Halo 4 won’t be releasing until November 6 later this year, but, if not their anticipation, fans can at least placate their eardrums a few weeks earlier. 343 Industries announced today that the Halo 4 soundtrack – 15 tracks clocking in at over 75 minutes – will be available on October 22.
Composed by Massive Attack’s Neil Davidge, the Martin O’Donnell-less score is yet another element evoking 343′s new ownership of the Halo franchise. The sounds of the series under O’Donnell’s stewardship – those powerful symphonies of electronic verve, ethereal melody and sweeping choral tones – are as indelible as battle rifles and feisty Sergeant Majors, and Davidge plans to stay grounded in the established universe despite ramping up the electronic themes.
A surfeit of soundtrack purchase options will be available. A Special Edition tosses in remix tracks (notables like DJ Skee, Sander Van Doorn and Apocalyptica have chipped in performances) and a digital booklet while the Special Edition 2-Disc Box Set is more or less a ticket to audiophile nirvana. Check out the complete listing of details provided by Microsoft below:
“Halo 4” Original Soundtrack (available in physical CD and digital formats)
• Available for standalone purchase of $13.98 (U.S. ERP), the “Halo 4” Original Soundtrack features 15 themes from award-winning producer Neil Davidge, co-writer and producer of the pioneering trip hop group Massive Attack. This marks the first time a new composer has taken the reins for the iconic series’ musical score since the launch of the original “Halo” game more than a decade ago.
• Working in collaboration with 343 Industries, Davidge and his production team enlisted a 16-person hand-picked male tenor / bass choir plus 10 females from the London Bulgarian Choir, a full 50 piece orchestra and a whole host of other performers to bring the music of “Halo 4” to life through a massive production effort on par with a major Hollywood blockbuster.
• In addition, “Halo” fans who purchase a physical copy of the Original Soundtrack will receive a free download voucher for three exclusive remix tracks and three additional Davidge tracks not included on the soundtrack but featured in the “Halo 4” game. These game pieces will not be available on any other platform other than through the physical CD purchase.
“Halo 4” Original Soundtrack List and Titles (CD & Digital):
2. Belly Of The Beast
10. To Galaxy
15. Green And Blue
“Halo 4” Special Digital Original Soundtrack
• The Special Digital Original Soundtrack features the full content of the Original Soundtrack, a digital booklet, as well as six bonus remix tracks composed by renowned producer Neil Davidge and remixed as follows: “To Galaxy (Sander Van Doorn & Julian Jordan Remix),” “Awakening (Gui Boratto Remix),” “Revival (DJ Skee & THX Remix),” “Ascendancy (Caspa Remix),” “Requiem (Bobby Tank Remix) and “The Beauty of Cortana (Apocalyptica vs. Neil Davidge Remix).”
“Halo 4” Special Edition 2-Disc Box Set (available direct to consumer)
• Available for preorder today for $75 (U.S. ERP), the “Halo 4” Special Edition 2-Disc Box Set includes:
o “Halo 4” Original Soundtrack
o “Halo 4” 14-track remix album
o Exclusive “Making of ‘Halo 4’ Music” DVD containing over 70 minutes of unique behind the scenes footage, interviews and recording sessions from Abbey Road
o Exclusive hardcoverbook on the “Making of ‘Halo 4’ Music” featuring production and composition notes from Neil Davidge plus exclusive behind-the-scenes photos and exclusive artwork images
o Exclusive 12” Neil Davidge signed art print
o Exclusive 180g heavy weight 12” Vinyl Full color Picture Disk of Master Chief and Cortana in a uniquely designed Sleeve bag
o Exclusive Avatar T-Shirt download (Male & Female)
o The first 5000 orders will all be individually numbered in a limited series and personalized by Neil Davidge
o Preorder at: http://halowaypoint.com/halo4soundtrack
“Halo 4” Remix Album Track List and Titles:
1. Awakening – Gui Boratto Remix
2. Green And Blue – KOAN Sound Remix
3. Requiem – Bobby Tank Remix
4. Ascendancy – Caspa Remix
5 To Galaxy – Sander Van Doorn & Julian Jordan Remix
6. Haven – Hundred Waters Remix
7. Revival – DJ Skee & THX Remix
8. Ascendancy – Matt Lange Remix
9. Nemesis – Alvin Risk Remix
10. Solace – Maor Levi Remix
11. Arrival – Norin & Rad Remix
12. Green And Blue – Andrew Bayer Remix
13. Foreshadow – James Iha Remix
14. The Beauty Of Cortana – Apocalyptica vs. Neil Davidge Remix
All Soundtrack formats will be released by Microsoft’s new soundtrack partner, 7Hz Productions and affiliates: Friday October 19th, Australia & New Zealand (7Hz / Sony Music); Monday October 22nd UK & Eire, Europe & Japan (Essential), USA & Canada, South America (The End/RED).
Enough to tie us over until Halo 4′s actual release? We think so. But despite the density of details, the Halo 4 soundtrack is only part of the game-related content releasing ahead of time from 343 Industries: The Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn live-action miniseries and Halo 4 toys will both serve to drive pre-launch excitement (okay, we’re more excited for the former – but still), and perhaps add another layer of context to the upcoming Reclaimer trilogy.
Ranters, Halo fans speak in reverential terms about Martin O’Donnell and the soundtrack of Bungie’s trilogy; will Neil Davidge be able to set the bar even higher?
Halo 4 releases on November 6, 2012, exclusively for the Xbox 360.
Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.