Some of the game industry’s best-known composers have contributed original works to Novum Initium, a benefit album for working musicians struggling with illness and injury.

There are a lot of good causes to throw money at these days but to be perfectly honest I’m not entirely convinced that musicians who are having a hard time making ends meet qualifies as such. On the other hand, Novum Initium [New Beginning] is so packed full of awesome that I might just have to make it rain.

“There are many musicians who struggle with medical bills and making ends meet during tough times after dealing with unexpected health issues,” said Novum Initium co-producer Sam Hulick, who’s probably better known to gamers for his work on the Mass Effect soundtracks. “We wanted to put together a special project to help our peers who are on that stressful road after recovery.”

“We reached out to our friends in the videogame industry and were overwhelmed with the response,” added co-producer Jason Graves, the composer of the Dead Space soundtrack. “As full-time composers, we are self-employed contractors and there’s no such thing as ‘time off’ or ‘paid vacation.’ If we don’t work, we don’t get paid. Medical bills can add up quickly. That’s the whole impetus behind the album.”

Okay, I guess that is a pretty good cause, but what pushes it dangerously close to “must-have” territory for game music fans is this fully-loaded track list:

  • “Lionheart” – Sam Hulick (Mass Effect)
  • “Adagio Coda” – Brian Tyler (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3)
  • “Adrenaline” – Jason Graves (Dead Space)
  • “Awakened” – Otto Cate (MAG) & Aubrey Ashburn (Dragon Age)
  • “Underwood” – Inon Zur (The Lord of the Rings: War In The North)
  • “The Maelstrom” – Singlefrequency & Chad Seiter (Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony)
  • “Shadows And Light” – Trevor Morris (Army of Two)
  • “Chrysalis” – Neal Acree (World of Warcraft)
  • “Trouble In Chinatown” – Tom Salta (Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands)
  • “Dancing Outtakes” – Garry Schyman (BioShock)
  • “Versailles” – Ed Lima (Doom 3)
  • “Consequence” – Neil Goldberg (Shift 2: Unleashed)
  • “Lacus Turbatus” – Gerard Marino (God of War)
  • “Espionage” – Mark Griskey (Star Wars: The Old Republic)
  • “House Of The Vine” – Mick Gordon (Shift 2: Unleashed)
  • “The Left-Hand Path” – Cris Velasco & Sascha Dikiciyan (Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine)
  • “Bullseye” – Christopher Lennertz (Medal of Honor: European Assault) & Timothy Wynn (Red Faction: Guerrilla)
  • “I’m With You” – Jack Wall (Mass Effect) & Cindy Shapiro (Myst III: Exile)

Digital editions of Novum Initium will be available starting tomorrow, December 6, on Bandcamp,, Amazon, iTunes and 7digital. For the more serious and deep-pocketed game music fan, 20 limited-edition CDs, autographed by the composers, are up for auction now on eBay. All proceeds will go to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, which provides financial assistance to musicians suffering from illness or disability. To find out more, hit up

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