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Killzone Original Soundtrack :: Review by Charles

Killzone Original Soundtrack Album Title: Killzone Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Sony Computer Entertainment
Catalog No.: Promotional
Release Date: November 2, 2004
Purchase: Not Available


The Killzone series is Sony Computer Entertainment's answer to the explosion of first-person shooters pioneered for Xbox consoles. While not wildly original, Killzone was still an entertaining game that exhibited impressive production values. The score aspired to the cinematic orchestral sound of science-fiction epics. Crafted by Dutch composer Joris de Man and performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, it largely succeeded in achieving this...


Right from the opening theme, listeners are guaranteed an immersive aural experience during Killzone. In the tradition of science-fiction films, the track develops from an atmospheric introduction into a full-blown military march. Though the individual components of quite familiar, the way they are used and integrated is highly impressive. The heartfelt viola solo and spell-binding chorus chants are especially effective. The main theme features many of the similar elements, but this time presents them in the style of a full-blown anthem with rousing choruses and dissonant orchestra passages. It is certainly a worthy way to headline to the soundtrack.

Aside these central themes, there are numerous cinematic cues during the progression of the score. It's consistently impressive how Joris de Man accompanies the sequences in a detailed and immersive way, as might be expected from a film score. What's more, he ensures a continuous experience, even making multi-tiered pieces such as "Running Out of Time" and "Hakha Jacks In" fluid yet dramatic experiences. A particularly impressive example of how he achieves this is provided by the E3 Trailer Music at the end of the soundtrack. With a thunderous percussion rhythms and rousing orchestral tutti, it makes utterly clear that war is coming...

That said, the majority of the cinematic cues included in the soundtrack are short ones, usually lasting between 20 to 80 seconds. This is inevitable given the in-game context, where such cues integrate beautifully. However, it doesn't ensure a particularly enjoyable stand-alone listen, even when the pieces are well-crafted. Indeed, this feature is probably why the soundtrack was never commercially released.


Evidently, the Killzone soundtrack is a top-notch experience in the game. Joris de Man's cinematic compositions are highly competent and immersive, while The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra brings out all the drama and emotions within. That said, it is best to skip the original Killzone soundtrack as a stand-alone listening experience in favour of the more expansive — not to mention available — Killzone 2.

Overall Score: 9/10