Bear McCreary's soundtrack for God of War is available right now, just ahead of the launch of the PlayStation 4 exclusive, God of War. The soundtrack can be downloaded or streamed if you feel like listening to the game's OST ahead of its release.
In a way, the soundtrack does give away some of the pacing and plot points of the game, but nothing that you probably didn't already know before going in. For instance, the second track on the album is called "Memories of Mother," which obviously alludes to the death of Atreus' mother, and his memories of his mother.
Of course, Atreus' mother dying isn't much of a spoiler at all given that the entire game is about the father and son trip that Kratos and Atreus make up the summit in order to scatter his mother's ashes. What we don't know is how his mother died and why exactly it's so necessary for Kratos and Atreus to make the dangerous journey up the Norse mountain in order to spread the ashes of the boy's mother in that particular place.
However, further down the track list there is a song called "Ashes," which could allude to two different things within the God of War realm. As some of you may already know, in the original God of War Kratos is covered in the ashes of his dead family, which is where he ends up going on a blood-soaked quest for vengeance against the Greek gods. I do wonder if the track here is paying homage to the classic ashes or the ashes of Atreus' mother? I suppose a lot of gamers will find out once the game releases this week, on April 20th.
The score itself mixes in the bombast one would expect from the axe-wielding Kratos going on an adventure where he has to slay monsters, kill giants, and face off against the Norse gods during the journey.
The soundtrack features some mellow moments for sure, as you can tell that McCreary really put in the time and effort to shape the formation of the sounds to shift seamlessly between those emotional and solemn moments, and those over-the-top action beats.
A lot of the music this time around also seems to cater toward the game's colder, and more harsh atmosphere set in the northern mountains of the Nordic regions. The music is canvassed with a lot of supporting instruments based around Nordic culture, such as the shaman tambourine, the deerskin Viking drum, and various rawhide percussion instruments fused with classical string ensembles to bring the music to life in God of War.
Modern beats and tempos are laced throughout for the combat sequences, which should keep most gamers engrossed. I can't say that the soundtrack beats out Horizon: Zero Dawn or Nier: Automata from last year, but gamers who appreciate the Scandinavian homages and more theatrically paced tracks will likely listen fondly to the God of War soundtrack.