Call of Duty 2 Official Soundtrack
Call of Duty 2 Official Soundtrack
October 25, 2005
Buy Used Copy
Activision’s Call of Duty 2 featured three war heroes from different nations fighting for different reasons. Despite the success of Michael Giacchino’s score for the original game, there was a shift in composers for the sequel. Graeme Revell, the composer for series CSI and a long list of movies (which include Sin City, Collateral, and my personal favorite, Street Kings), took the lead. He composed a wide variety of cues for the soundtrack, ranging from slow and beautiful anthems, to mysterious and fast-paced action scores. The scores were recorded with a full orchestra and mixed in surround sound.
“Comrade Sniper” opens the soundtrack with an iconic theme to represent the Russians. It is written as a rather typical manner with marching rhythms and military instrumentation, though isn’t as formulaic as the material in Call of Duty 3. Indeed, the memorable melody and rich development are very appealing here and demonstrate Revell’s intimacy with the game. This theme is also revisited in several other tracks in the score and serves as a meaningful cue for listeners to come back to.
Like its predecessor, the Call of Duty 2 soundtrack puts a strong focus on action themes. Perhaps the most notable of these is “Not One Step Backward!”, a striking war anthem peppered by heavy percussion and mixed chorus. It’s interesting how Revell skilfully integrates the headlining theme here too. Other tracks such as “Armored Car Getaway” with its turbulent pacing and “Charge of the Crusaders” with its ever-intensifying development are also effective. However, not all the themes are as enjoyable when given their cinematic focus and abrupt development.
While the score largely hearkens backs to the classics of Giacchino and Williams, there are some tracks with a more modern inspiration. For example “The End of the Beginning” creates an ominous tone with its Zimmer-influenced vocal writing and African soprano performance. Likewise “The Desert Sea” creates a sense of discovery as it slowly builds up with ambient string writing, before delivering astonishment on brass. Tracks such as these are most inspiring in context, but are also welcome for the way they diversify the album experience.
Despite the action focus, there are also a number of deeper tracks on the soundtrack. For example, despite the Reagan reference, “The Boys of Pointe Du Hoc” will inspire listeners with its soft and anthemic presentation. “Across the Rhine” is a sombre choral piece to close the soundtrack written in the spirit of Williams’ Saving Private Ryan. This track is profoundly emotional in the game and is an exquisite stand-alone listen too. However, it is perhaps disappointing that not more of the victory themes were incorporated into the soundtrack release.
Revell used his extensive experience in the film music industry to create a varied and emotional soundtrack for Call of Duty 2. While many of the tracks follow the tradition of past World War II scores, they are usually intricately composed and beautifully recorded nonetheless. Unfortunately, the official soundtrack release had a very limited distribution, so it may be better to experience the music in the context of the game instead.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Harris Iqbal. Last modified on August 1, 2012.