The Music of Rise of the Tomb Raider: Part #1

Whetting the appetite.

I’ve said it before, a few times in fact — but what the hell? I’ll go ahead and say it again: I love soundtracks. They’re pretty much my favourite things to listen to — not just when I’m working on something, tidying, or partaking in a (admittedly very rare) spot of exercise, but full stop. All the time. If you happen to see my with earphones in, it’s odds-on that I’m listening to the soundtrack of a film, game… whatever. My iTunes library is overflowing with instrumental albums — that stuff some might consider to be ‘proper’ music is negligible there… almost as rare as that exercise of mine.

So when, earlier today, Crystal Dynamics finally started giving out some concrete information on the soundtrack of the upcoming Rise of the Tomb Raider, I sat up and paid attention — well, figuratively. In reality, I woke up, saw through bleary, glasses-less eyes that I had an e-mail from Crystal and gave a grin of approval when I saw the subject line.

The musical accompaniments to the Tomb Raider series are special to me. Ever since the fantastic theme of Legend —

— found its way to my eardrums, I’ve been hooked. In January, I took to this very site to write about the awesome surprise that was the stellar soundtrack to Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris.

You can imagine my relief, therefore, when I listened to the just-released preview track from Rise of the Tomb Raider’s soundtrack —

— and liked what I heard.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it’s the most epic, awe-inspiring thing I’ve ever listened to. There’s nothing obviously thematic or immediately catchy about it, but I can imagine it fitting perfectly over the grand reveal of one of the game’s many spectacular sights. It’s a preview track, and in whetting my appetite for the full soundtrack release, it more than does its job.

The man behind the music, Bobby Tahouri, also has work on projects such as Game of Thrones, Despicable Me 2, and Iron Man under his belt. Speaking of being tasked with composing the latest Tomb Raider soundtrack, he said, ‘It’s been an honour working on such a storied franchise. Lara is someone who embodies indomitable spirit, and crafting music to accompany on her journey has been a fantastic experience.’

In a particularly cool twist, it has also been revealed that, during some stealth and combat events, Rise of the Tomb Raider will feature procedurally generated music, which basically means that Tahouri’s compositions are analysed, and a system in-game uses said analyses to dynamically compose new music.

Of course, this also means that you’re probably not going to be able to relieve your complete aural experience via a soundtrack release — and, indeed, there’s been no mention of such a release just yet. I hope there is one, though. Come November, it’s only right that the music of Rise of the Tomb Raider should sit alongside its brother-and-sister soundtracks in my iTunes library.

Much like I did with that of Temple of Osiris, I think it’d be nice to dedicate a future post — Part #2 to this post’s Part #1 — to the complete soundtrack of Lara’s next adventure. Until then, I’m going to go ahead and go back to being excited about Rise’s impending release.

It’s coming up fast.


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