Artist – Namco Sound Team (composed by Junichi Nakatsuru, Ryuichi Takada, and Keiki Kobayashi)
Album – Soul Calibur III Original Soundtrack
Year – 2005
Genre – Classical/Soundtrack
I think video games are one of the most underappreciated sources of great music. Video game soundtracks have often blown me away where ordinary film scores have not. One of the best video game developers that consistently puts out amazing music is Namco. Being a huge fan of the Soul Calibur series, it was agonizing to pick one track from 4 games worth of soundtracks that I have, but it had to be this one. “Path of Destiny” is a track that plays during the credits of Soul Calibur 2-4, but the version from 3 is just absolutely stunning and breathtaking in its composition and sound. It stands up with the best tracks from any movie soundtrack you’ve heard and then some. It’s epic in scope and will leave you stunned.
The opening flourish is just spectacular. The trumpets are crisp and loud and triumphant, and the whole orchestra is filled with bombast. However, despite the awesome grandeur of the beginning the transition and the next section are much more somber and poignant, but just as emotional.
The lone trumpet followed by the french horn gives me chills every time. It’s melody is a melancholic one, as it seems to be paying homage to all fallen warriors. It’s a beautiful sound, and as the snare rolls in and the next epic section begins, we’re just getting started.
This next section is a slow march filled with fanfare and beautiful orchestration. It has wonderful choral sections and melodies that will make your heart soar. Seriously, try not to get choked up while listening. As the brass comes in, the melody soars even higher and the instruments crescendo over and over, keeping the track interesting and engaging to both mind and ear. It’s literally a roller coaster ride. Crashing symbols, thundering brass, gentle strings and powerful drums create this glorious war march section.
The track slows again to a beautiful section with woodwinds and lower brass that echoes the main theme, and finally picks up once again to another incredibly loud and proud return to the melody with every instrument in tow. It really fills you with pride and spirit, and the song just builds on this feeling until the final ending.
The ending is fit for royalty, with trumpets blazing and then dipping into a final build up to a final loud stop from all instruments. It’s awe inspiring to hear. Every rise and fall of this track grabs you and doesn’t let go. It’s just such a beautifully composed track, and it really is something to hear. And yes, this came out of a video game. Believe it.
If you’re looking for a grand, epic piece of classical soundtrack work that’s different from the norm, this is your song. Everyone should give game soundtracks more of a chance, and here’s the best place to start. Listen, and be amazed at the sound of glory.
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