Sunday, 22 January 2012

REVIEW -- Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition Vinyl Soundtrack

Microsoft are always on the look-out for new ways to monetise Halo. With 9 Halo albums being released in the franchise's 10 years it's actually surprising they hadn't pressed one to vinyl sooner.

Take the jump for more:

The album is beautifully put together with gorgeous new artwork and a lovely intro from Kristofor Mellroth. Pressing the vinyl using green plastic is a really nice touch, though mine was a little damaged around the spindle and the sticker was torn.

The album hasn't been released in the UK officially, though it is available at a premium on Amazon UK, athough for that price you may as well just order from Amazon US, it'll take a little while to receive, but including postage it only cost me £24.

The tracklist is a little condensed compared to the CD or digital versions, featuring 16 tracks from CD1 of the Anniversary album (Infiltration is omitted). None of the tracks from CD2 feature, but a code to download the full 39 track album is included, so you're not missing out on anything for choosing the vinyl over the CD.

On to the music itself. Well, there's a bit of  a split audience over the remastered music in Anniversary. I'm a huge fan of the original score and have listened to it hundreds of times, and whilst I do like the new recording it feels a little too clean and clinical at times. I don't like the fact that they've changed the names of the songs and order of the tracks, but as it's a re-release with new folks at the helm I guess we can afford them a little artistic freedom. The clearer recordings bring an improved depth to the music and you can pick out the different instruments much easier than before. The fact that it's vinyl gives the music a warmth that you just don't get on CD and for that reason this is worth owning.

It's a specialist piece for sure, but it's not really high priced (even with the cost of importing) and it really has the feel of an item that'll appreciate in value over the years. Hopefully yours won't be damaged like mine!

 One last thing, does anyone else think that Master Chief's head looks a bit small in the cover art?

- Cowboy Out.

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