Monday, 23 May 2011

I've Been Listening To: Invincible (Two Steps From Hell)

Time for a short review while I pause to gather up my creative juices for my next stint at the keyboard. Today I'll be talking about the album "Invincible" from Two Steps From Hell.

Obviously this isn't my normal thing so I'll hide my ramblings after one of these "jump" things...

What Is It?
Orchestral film/trailer type music.

What's Good About It?
Two tracks in particular stand out for me. The first is "Heart of Courage" which was used in both the Mass Effect 2 trailer and also the trailer for Voyage Of The Dawn Tredder (sp?) This really is one of the most stirring Stand-And-Fight pieces of music I've ever heard. The use of short, low bowed strings is probably the big characteristic of the piece and it's that rhythm along with it's majestic choir and high string theme which provides momentum.
The second great track from this album is definitely (for me) To Glory which has a completely different kind of momentum but is equally as strong. While Heart of Courage feels more like a precursor to a battle, To Glory takes you into that battle, through hoards of enemies and the feeling that you have the power to take on anything. Again there is a continuous riff which has a very Celtic feel to it. I got the feeling I was hearing about a sci-fi battle but fought by Scottish descendants or perhaps something fought on Scottish ground. Very powerful stuff.

What's bad about it?
Heart of Courage feels too short!
Hard to criticise that really but there's a kind of hint that it should continue at the end and I wanted to hear that continuation!
So many of the tracks are great so I haven't got too much bad to say about it. Wait, no I have!
Everything is very trailery, like it all builds up all the time. There's very little difference in the volume between tracks it's kind of an "All or Nothing!" Feeling. It works very well if you're in a defiant mood but I would have liked to have heard some more reflective pieces that didn't feel they needed to live up to the momentum of the rest of the album.

Worth listening to?
Blimey yes. If you only buy one track this week I would suggest you make it Heart Of Courage or To Glory. The whole bloomin' album is good though and it's worth a quick listen through on Amazon (which is by far the cheapest place to buy it) to see if it's worth going the whole hog.

Unfortunately it's not (yet) available on Napster, so that's no good. Itunes have it (which is where I got it from) but it'll cost you more from there.

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