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God of War: Blood and Metal: Review

On March 2, Roadrunner released a collaborative album called God of War: Blood and Metal for the upcoming video game. The album includes Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Dream Theater, Taking Dawn, Opeth, and Mutiny Within. I formerly expressed my concern for the quality of this album due to the fact that the transfer from video games to other media often results in failure. Though that is not the case here, it is not quite a success.

The Music (rating: C+)

  1. My Obsession (Killswitch Engage)
  2. Shattering the Skies Above (Trivium)
  3. Raw Dog (Dream Theater)
  4. This is Madness (Taking Dawn)
  5. The Throat of Winter (Opeth)
  6. The End (Mutiny Within)

In terms of variety, Roadrunner could have done better instead of stacking the CD with melodic metalcore bands. Being a soundtrack for a game like God of War, it would be very reasonable to expect at least one symphonic power metal band. The melodic metalcore genre is not particularly complementary to the atmosphere of the game. However, the game has not been released yet (the date is March 16) so it is impossible to know how well the music embraces the video game. But going through the album, it simply does not feel loyal to GoW.

The first song is by Killswitch Engage. Despite not having heard much of KSE, I still found the song far too similar to their former work. First of all, it has the typical hammer-on/pull-off riff one would expect from the band. But also, it has the predictable growled verses along side with clean choruses, with a soft bridge in the mix. Even for a metalcore song, I thought this was weak. Not only was there nothing instrumentally impressive, but the creativity was also lacking. On to the next…

“Shattering the Skies Above” is a step up, in my opinion. The guitar work is much better than the previous track, but still is short of spectacular. Just like most metalcore, the song is growled verses and clean choruses. The bridge, unlike the KSE track, is heavy, and probably one of the better moments in the song. Overall, the song seemed to be standard for a metalcore song, nothing more. The effort by Trivium was half-hearted and the general musical composition was safe and boring. But the next track is yet another step up…

Dream Theater‘s “Raw Dog” is definitely one of the stronger tracks on the album. It is an instrumental, so the band did not risk compromising the song with irrelevant lyrics. Though it may not be their most prominent instrumental piece, it is still very well done, filled with the typical high levels of complexity and the impressive instrumentals. And despite having the typical Dream Theater characteristics, it is a very unique piece in the band’s song collection. Also, the use of strings and choir displays recognition to the atmosphere of the video game.

On the other hand, Taking Dawn shows absolute ignorance with their song “This is Madness”. In an earlier post, I stated that the music of Taking Dawn was watered down to a level beyond stupidity. I grew to regret that statement, feeling it was much too harsh and out of line. However, the fact that they wrote a song based on the movie 300 in order to promote the God of War video game simply proves my statement. Also, the attempt to be catchy with shouting chants is overkill. This is definitely the worst song of the album.

Luckily, “The Throat of Winter” by Opeth is a major upgrade to the previous track. Though they are clearly the heaviest band on the album, they have the lightest song. In fact, it does not have any rock drums. Still, it is one of my favorite tracks on the album. It is very creative, even for Opeth’s standards. It is not possible to know whether this song has any relation to the video game, but it very well could. It has a sort of “desert journey” feel, so it could likely flow with the game. Nonetheless, it is a wonderful creation.

Last, but not least, is Mutiny Within‘s song “The End”. It is better than the other metalcore songs on the album, but still does not reach the level of Dream Theater and Opeth. Another issue with the song is that being the final song of the album entitled “The End,” one can only expect it to be the most powerfully epic song on the record. However, this is far from true. Still, it is better than most of the other songs on the album. I only wish it could serve as a stronger conclusion to the album.

Overall, the album is either hit or miss. To me, it is largely a miss. The works of Dream Theater and Opeth are the hits in my opinion, while the rest of the album need not be heard. But in general, every song on the album does not seem reach the full potential of the author (specifically the Dream Theater song). Moreover, the flow of the record is heavily interrupted by the inability for the songs by different artists to mesh properly. God of War: Blood and Metal is a musically sub-par release and a poor and improper way to promote the video game.

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  1. You're Gay
    March 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    you’re really condescending and gay

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