Assassin’s Creed -Unity: Dead Kings- Original Soundtrack

DeadKings Album Title:
Assassin’s Creed -Unity: Dead Kings- Original Soundtrack
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Catalog No.:
Release Date:
January 13, 2015
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Assassin’s Creed: Unity was met with some mixed reviews, although the score to the game, which takes place right in the middle of Revolution-era France, had some stand-out moments. The latest expansion to the game, Dead Kings, came with music from Cris Velasco, the composer previously known for his work on the God of War series and Enemy Front. While the album is short, and it is only an addition to a complete score written by two other composers, the Dead Kings album gives some new life to the original score, and makes a notable contribution to the music of the Assassin’s Creed series.


I was glad to see Velasco take the same steps as Sara Schachner, the original composer for the multiplayer content of Assassin’s Creed: Unity, despite the fact that he actually composed the music completely separately from Schachner. However, like her, he incorporated period elements such as counterpoint techniques  and harpsichord. “Welcome to Saint Denis” is the second track on the album, and the first with a definitive structure. Opening with shifting, melodic lines twining around each other, the piece soon develops a mixed meter-style rhythm, without losing the shifting string melody. The resulting piece is dark and tense, constantly moving with sporadic rhythms and harmonic leaps across the scale.

It isn’t until the following piece, “Basilica,” in which we first hear the harpsichord, albeit relatively subtly, through drawn-out chords behind strings. Like “Welcome,” the percussion is somewhat sporadic, entering and leaving at various points. The instruments are just as sporadic, as the harpsichord does not last throughout the entire piece, and the accompanying instruments range from a bell sound to a solo clarinet. “Hide and Seek” features the harpsichord more prominently, particularly in the second half, with a playful and wonderfully catchy melody that stuck in my head long after listening to it, and is a great accompaniment to the trademark chase scenes of the series.

Each of the pieces contributes to the score as a whole in some way. “Meet the Raiders” is the most developed piece on the album, spanning just over four minutes in length, featuring the most consistent percussion and a rising string melody over a subdivided cello accompaniment. The piece begins uncharacteristically, however, with a strong, solo percussion opening, and takes its time to develop the melody that eventually takes over the piece.  “Outpost” is a slower and more ominous track, without as much development, but instead a pattern in strings, harp, guitar, and harpsichord, with some gentle horn background.

While most of the tracks are on the short side, I only found this to be significantly detrimental with two of them: “Memories of Elise” and “Hidden Temple.” The former is a one-and-a-half minute mournful melody sounding, at times, like a Classical funeral march straight out of the late 1700s.  My favorite piece, however, is “Hidden Temple,” the closing track, which opens with a rising cascade of strings and the same melody as in “Memories.” However, the melody is soon repeated with a beautiful choir, and a new sound in this album. Just before the piece reaches its end, the melody reaches a new level of radiance, and the last thirty seconds are easily my favorite part of the entire album – not something I say as a criticism to the score, but as wholehearted praise for that last piece. Unfortunately, the track comes to an end too soon, and what could have been a wonderfully developed and rich theme turns into a short, albeit beautiful, snippet.


Cris Velasco’s talent with the creation of perfectly suited thematic material is not lost in the score to Dead Kings; every time I come across another one of his solo soundtracks, I look forward to the newest theme he’s written and embedded in the score, and Dead Kings was no disappointment. While the tracks tended to span relatively short lengths, most under two minutes, and I wish I could have heard way more of that gorgeous melody, my biggest criticism of the album is just that; I would have loved to have had more music – the quality of the album made me want more of the quantity.  As it is, Dead Kings is a noteworthy album that holds up well to Velasco’s previous scores, and promises some great work ahead.

Assassin’s Creed -Unity: Dead Kings- Original Soundtrack Emily McMillan

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!


Posted on April 9, 2015 by Emily McMillan. Last modified on January 22, 2016.

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About the Author

A native and lifelong Texan, I currently work in software education while contributing news, reviews, and interviews to VGMO on the side. I love the feeling that comes with the discovery of a brand new soundtrack, and always look forward to the next rekindling of that excitement. Outside of VGMO, I enjoy playing piano, listening to classical music and film scores, and trying to go unnoticed in any stealth RPG I can find.

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