Miracle of Sound: Reclaimer (Halo 4)

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Reclaimer (Halo 4)

There is blood pumping through your machine of a heart.

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Oh my God. Cortana, baby D:
Gavin, you are flawless for this one. Amazing doesn't even begin to cover it!

Hey. Wait a minute! Who gave you the right two release 2 kick ass songs, one next to another when you already gave us one earlier than normal?!?!

I like how the song never loses speed and strength; it makes it feel very halo-ey. Also, the chorus captures almost perfectly the new theme that they tried to take in this new instalment. Whether one thinks that they managed to pull it off is up for debate, but it reflects the intention behind it. Even though they feel like written for Cortana's perspective, I do admire how they can also be applied to the Chief. And I may only attribute them to her because she has more personality than the Chef. I really like the instrumentation too, it maintains a sense of speed and scale very (don't kill me for this) fitting to the halo series. Plus, it gives it a much more pop-like sound. My only big complaint would be the fact that the chorus takes up most of the song.

On a little side note: I never realised how good material for a music video halo was. Even though I played it, If I saw this on TV I'd just take it for a music video a la Break the Ice or something like that.

TheBestPieEver:
Even though they feel like written for Cortana's perspective, I do admire how they can also be applied to the Chief.

Yeah, that was kinda the aim alright. The song is about their friendship so I tried to use phrases and metaphors that could apply to both of them :)

TheBestPieEver:

I really like the instrumentation too, it maintains a sense of speed and scale very (don't kill me for this) fitting to the halo series.

haha that's ok, it was very deliberately made to 'fit the game' this time ;)

Hey, Gav finally got to do a Halo song! I seem to recall him saying once that he's always wanted to do one, but never been inspired, or something along those lines.

This is EXACTLY what I wanted from a Halo song from ya Gav. Nice and rockin'. Totally appropriate to the colorful action of the games.

I also found the Lyrics pretty poignant and heartwarming. MC and Cortana are one hell of a team.

The bold bit still says "The Spy Who Survived" (underneath the video).

Well, I just won a Big Team match to this song. Splatters, lasers, and carbine headshots while the chorus echoed "Reclaimer"; I think I can say it was awesome.

I heard my brother playing this upstairs and thought "whatever that song is, it'd make a great soundtrack for a Halo match."
Should'a guessed it was one of yours!

I was still busy being blown away by Distant Honour when Survived came out... 3 songs in 2 weeks?! Christmas come early, thank you, sir!

Oh wow... 2 awesome songs in as many days? From 2 different musical genres? You have a gift Gavin...

I really enjoy the song, especially the transitions between time signatures. Excellent work!

One thing I noticed, only because I'm a drummer with a pair of studio headphones... :) The crash cymbal sound you mainly use in the chorus sounds strange. The only thing I can think of is that each time the sound gets played, it's muting the previous one, which sounds unrealistic. It also sounds like you're using eighth notes there; I think the problem could be alleviated with quarter notes instead.

I love your work, just that one small nitpick! :)

You're going crazy! Not only three songs in... How long? But a Halo song to boot! I thought you didn't want to write one?

OT: I like this one a lot, not what I imagined for the Halo song I was hoping you'd do some day, but presumably it fits the OST of 4 like you said above (I haven't played it yet)? I always pictured it being big, sweeping and impersonal/sublime, kind of like the feeling you get from the scope of the structures, particularly the forerunner ones.

I really like how you focused one the relationship between Cortana and Master Chief though. Her absence for most of Halo 3 was one of the things that made 3 feel... emptier I guess. This song captures that relationship remarkably well :)

Is 1:47 a reference to a particular song from the OST or are my ears just crap? It sounds familiar. The main theme? I don't know, I've played that series so much the music runs together...

Off topic though, is Halo 4 worth it? The series really seemed like it should have stopped after 3. There were no loose ends, the covenant was defeated, the mystery of the forerunners adequately solved, and the flood destroyed. Honestly The Chief and Cortana either should have died at the end of three or made it back to earth. It felt like keeping them alive was just a way to keep Halo going to make more money. The story resolved itself. What gives? :/

TL;DR
I'm approaching this one with reservations.
Does it live up to the other games?

Awesome! Now all you have to do is release one tomorrow so my chance of finishing my homework REALLY shinks. Just Kidding. Enjoyed the song!

A standing Ovation for Gav here. Two excellent songs in a single week. How much sleep have you been getting? :P
Anyways. I do like the song, but I must admit that the instrumental part (Supposed to be reminiscent of the Halo theme/Style a bit? It felt that way.) did feel a little out of place. It just didn't seem to me to fit with the rest of the song. Listening again, it just feels like it moves from the first part to the instrumental to fast. Mainly just a personal niggle; still loved it. Congrats once again Gav.

T0ad 0f Truth:
Off topic though, is Halo 4 worth it? The series really seemed like it should have stopped after 3. There were no loose ends, the covenant was defeated, the mystery of the forerunners adequately solved, and the flood destroyed. Honestly The Chief and Cortana either should have died at the end of three or made it back to earth. It felt like keeping them alive was just a way to keep Halo going to make more money. The story resolved itself. What gives? :/

TL;DR
I'm approaching this one with reservations.
Does it live up to the other games?

Making my way through it slowly. At its base it feels like Halo (stating the obvious, perhaps, but more so than Reach). MP is just as good, with a dash (just a dash, mind) of CoD-style XP and in-match ordnance drops.

Story wise, they're drawing a lot more from the expanded fiction, whereas before it was "nice to know but completely unessential". They still do the old Halo trick of "minimal exposition, just drop you in and get out of the way," but they're also giving the characters a lot more oomph - Chief suddenly talks more, and outside of cutscenes.

As to the end of 3 - I thought it was perfect. Not in the sense of "setting it up for a sequel," but in the sense of keeping the Chief whomever the player thought he was. Killing the Chief off would rile up the players who'd built him up to be a Warrior God who Never Dies - and in a way, returning him to Earth would have done the same, because then, when the war is over, the Chief has to stop being a warrior, thus turning him in the eyes of those same players into a (forgive me) pussy.

Putting him into cryosleep lets his myth carry on, potentially forever.

Everyone else gets the bittersweet ending of a hero trapped in his own fate, the being whose only job is to fight, stowed away until called on again.

IMAGinES:

Story wise, they're drawing a lot more from the expanded fiction, whereas before it was "nice to know but completely unessential". They still do the old Halo trick of "minimal exposition, just drop you in and get out of the way," but they're also giving the characters a lot more oomph - Chief suddenly talks more, and outside of cutscenes.

What stories are they drawing from? The forerunner saga, or Ghosts of Onyx stuff. The latter would be vastly preferred IMO. The forerunner saga went around trying to explain so much about the "Gods" that they took away a lot of the atmospheric mystery behind them (and retconned their Humanity!)

Don't even get me started on what happened to the flood :(

Ghosts of Onyx and all the other stuff (Contact Harvest, Fall of Reach, etc.) was incredible. Really gave life to the Halo universe while keeping it from being all Mass Effect mundane detailed (which was awesome, I loved reading about all that stuff in the codex. It was just awesome in a different way).

As to the end of 3 - I thought it was perfect. Not in the sense of "setting it up for a sequel," but in the sense of keeping the Chief whomever the player thought he was. Killing the Chief off would rile up the players who'd built him up to be a Warrior God who Never Dies - and in a way, returning him to Earth would have done the same, because then, when the war is over, the Chief has to stop being a warrior, thus turning him in the eyes of those same players into a (forgive me) pussy.

Putting him into cryosleep lets his myth carry on, potentially forever.

Everyone else gets the bittersweet ending of a hero trapped in his own fate, the being whose only job is to fight, stowed away until called on again.

I didn't dislike the ending, I just thought it wasn't the best thing to do. I mean you have Achilles and Odysseus, The epitome of Warrior Gods (one actually was a warrior half-god), and their endings are, respectively, death or a quiet retirement. It didn't diminish their badassery, and it provided an immensely satisfying ending. Idk I just think it was less closure than I'd have liked.

TL;DR As long as it still has that Halo spark to it, I'll still love it :)

EDIT: Ahhh I forgot what thread this was! Sorry for Nerding over Halo in your thread Gav :(

Two awesome songs in a week? You're spoiling us again! This one is definitely going into that list of Miracle of Sound songs that plays in my car. You make awesome driving music no matter what style you go for!

Holy, Two Miracle of Sound songs in a week, this is the best Christmas present ever! What do you mean it's still November, damnit, then why are all the malls playing Christmas Carols already?!

Ahem, back on subject, I'm so happy you focused on Chief and Cortana's relationship, which shouldn't come as a surprise given it's probably the biggest theme of Halo 4, but it came as a surprise to me, none of the reviews I've seen made more than a passing mention of just how big it is. And that ending, oh god, I swear, I just... had something in my eye, that's all.

What, another song so soon after Distant Honor? Gavin, slow down - you'll strain something :) .

T0ad 0f Truth:

What stories are they drawing from? The forerunner saga, or Ghosts of Onyx stuff. The latter would be vastly preferred IMO. The forerunner saga went around trying to explain so much about the "Gods" that they took away a lot of the atmospheric mystery behind them (and retconned their Humanity!)

I'm pretty sure it's mostly from the Forerunner Saga, because they certainly weren't drawing from the The Fall of Reach - Glasslands stuff. A little disappointing, but there you go.

Edit: Well, they did take one thing from the The Fall of Reach - Glasslands stuff. But, no spoilers from me!

UNHchabo:

One thing I noticed, only because I'm a drummer with a pair of studio headphones... :) The crash cymbal sound you mainly use in the chorus sounds strange. The only thing I can think of is that each time the sound gets played, it's muting the previous one, which sounds unrealistic. It also sounds like you're using eighth notes there; I think the problem could be alleviated with quarter notes instead.

It's quarter notes, it's just heavily compressed against the kick drum to give a percussive 'pumping' effect. It is the kick and snare drum that mutes the cymbal, not the next cymbal hit. It's a trick to make the kick and snare feel louder and more punchy to the ear. Here's another example of this technique at 2.09:

And another at 1.27 here

If you listen carefully you can hear the crash get sucked drastically down in volume on each kick drum hit. It's too extreme a compression for many tastes, personally I like it. It's hard to emulate a real drumkit with programmed drums, this effect to me somewhat helps fool the ear a little.

Too much awesomeness in Skyfall and this in just 2 days O.O
This was seriously great, I haven't played after Halo2 except for some Multiplayer but why did I get the feeling out of this that Cortana would be Chiefs mom?
Might just be me thou :P

Guffe:
Too much awesomeness in Skyfall and this in just 2 days O.O
This was seriously great, I haven't played after Halo2 except for some Multiplayer but why did I get the feeling out of this that Cortana would be Chiefs mom?
Might just be me thou :P

Well, my fellow countryman, it's kind of fitting, since Cortana is modeled after Dr Halsey, who created the SPARTAN-II program, making her kind of a mother to Chief.

OT: Great song, once again, although I was expecting something more orchestral.

VeryOddGamer:

Guffe:
Too much awesomeness in Skyfall and this in just 2 days O.O
This was seriously great, I haven't played after Halo2 except for some Multiplayer but why did I get the feeling out of this that Cortana would be Chiefs mom?
Might just be me thou :P

Well, my fellow countryman, it's kind of fitting, since Cortana is modeled after Dr Halsey, who created the SPARTAN-II program, making her kind of a mother to Chief.

Is that so?
I just played Halo 1 and 2 as mentioned and that was a long time ago so the lore has pretty much left my mind except for the major things.
Still play Halo 2 Multiplayer occassionally thou :D

I love how the speed of the song mirrors the gameplay and story pace, while the lyrics are more in line with the emotional tone of the story. It really sounds like a last hurrah

Great work once again Gav! YouŽre really spoiling us with the amount of songs this month!

Just thought IŽd mention it, thereŽs a typo in the description, the first text says:
"There is blood pumping through your machine of a hear" instead of "heart".

One more song? Looks like I should Audiosurf this one too..
You managed to create another awesome song about game series I don't like =)

P.S. Am i the only one who thinks that "Follow the forerunners, requiem's near.." part was pretty much like "Conquer the anger and ravenous rage.." part of Sovngarde Song?

P.P.S. Gav, I'm really sorry for making this kind of comment but the structure of your last three songs was pretty much the same for my ear. Maybe time for an instrumental? *runs to his Gavin-proof bunker*

P.P.P.S That's a huge amount of postscriptums I used there. Hope there is enough space left for other messages.

P.P.P.P.S Captcha: space is big. Alright then.

Whao, were is that cutscene at 0:21 from, the one with the Elites and Spartans fight each other on Earth(?). Never seen it before and it looks kind of badass.

Wow, this came out of nowhere. No Halo song for ages and then BAM! There it is. This did not disappoint. As usual I love your focus on the emotional aspects of the characters' journey rather than making it purely a tribute to yet another FPS. I really felt for Cortana in Halo 4 and your song just brought it all back to me.

I'm quite interested to hear what you think of Halo 4's soundtrack Gav? Although nothing like Marty O'Donnell's music I think it's brilliant, a very good fit for the new trilogy and definitely helping 343i to carve their own Halo identity without losing what fans love.

T0ad 0f Truth:
Off topic though, is Halo 4 worth it? The series really seemed like it should have stopped after 3. There were no loose ends, the covenant was defeated, the mystery of the forerunners adequately solved, and the flood destroyed. Honestly The Chief and Cortana either should have died at the end of three or made it back to earth. It felt like keeping them alive was just a way to keep Halo going to make more money. The story resolved itself. What gives? :/

If I had to use a phrase to sum up Halo 4 to players of the original trilogy it would be this: As 343i's first forray into the Halo universe it's a pretty big step in the right direction. So not perfect but they've still made some damn good improvements. To list a few:

T0ad 0f Truth:

What stories are they drawing from? The forerunner saga, or Ghosts of Onyx stuff. The latter would be vastly preferred IMO.

BoredWalker:

I'm pretty sure it's mostly from the Forerunner Saga, because they certainly weren't drawing from the The Fall of Reach - Glasslands stuff. A little disappointing, but there you go.

They are drawing from the Kilo-Five trilogy which is the sequel to Ghosts of Onyx and includes Glasslands. Most of the tie-ins come from the second book in the trilogy, The Thursday War. The Thursday War was only released a little over a month before Halo 4. I only found out about it about a week before Halo 4 released, so I was rushing to finish it.

OT: Loving the song. I love the mixed metaphors of whether or not it could be talking about the Chief, Cortana, or both.

Proverbial Jon:

If I had to use a phrase to sum up Halo 4 to players of the original trilogy it would be this: As 343i's first forray into the Halo universe it's a pretty big step in the right direction.

That's reassuring then :)

Hopefully it will be good.

Elvaril:

They are drawing from the Kilo-Five trilogy which is the sequel to Ghosts of Onyx and includes Glasslands. Most of the tie-ins come from the second book in the trilogy, The Thursday War. The Thursday War was only released a little over a month before Halo 4. I only found out about it about a week before Halo 4 released, so I was rushing to finish it.

So... no forerunner saga # Glimmer of hope

I honestly stopped paying a whole lot of attention to most of the Halo story after ODST so I haven't read most of the books after The Cole protocol (i.e. Glasslands, Thursday War etc.) because of work and school. Are they worth reading?

MiracleOfSound:

haha that's ok, it was very deliberately made to 'fit the game' this time ;)

What makes you want to decide to "fit" certain songs more closely to the... traditional interpretation?... of the song?

Is it just the parts that interest you, or things you think are under appreciated (Like the relationship between Cortana and the Chief)?

T0ad 0f Truth:

MiracleOfSound:

haha that's ok, it was very deliberately made to 'fit the game' this time ;)

What makes you want to decide to "fit" certain songs more closely to the... traditional interpretation?... of the song?

Is it just the parts that interest you, or things you think are under appreciated (Like the relationship between Cortana and the Chief)?

I don't really have a ruleset or strategy for it, I just go with whatever feels right each time :)

Wow, as someone who has tried to get into Halo and just didn't like it, this certainly makes me want to give the 4th one a try.

Well done Gav, another awesome song, and two so close together, you spoil us. Thanks :)

T0ad 0f Truth:

Elvaril:
snip

So... no forerunner saga # Glimmer of hope

I honestly stopped paying a whole lot of attention to most of the Halo story after ODST so I haven't read most of the books after The Cole protocol (i.e. Glasslands, Thursday War etc.) because of work and school. Are they worth reading?

Haven't read the Forerunner saga so I am not really sure how that compares, but I thought Glasslands was pretty good and [1]The Thursday War[/i] was really good. Felt like the author was kind of getting into the swing of things with the first and really managed to hit it home with the second. Plus it was fun wondering what would make it into Halo 4 and it really helped explain parts of the plot.

That was freaking AMAZING. I loved how you used lines from the games ("Were it so easy" and "Don't make a girl a promise") and the chanting in the background really made it sounds like something straight off the soundtack. And I love how emotional it sounds, which really fits now that the Cheif is starting to lose his stoicism. That said, the middle bit sounds a lot like Sovngarde Song. I know the Halo series has a lot of Christian overtones, and some Nordic and Greek overtones, but the sudden shift in speed was a bit jarring. Other than that though, I'd say it's up there with Normandy, New Black Gold and Calamity as one of your best. I am one of the biggest Halo fans you'll ever find outside of the screeching section of the fandom, and I loved every millisecond of Reclaimer.

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