La Mer Charles Trenet
Assassin's Creed IV is Brian Tyler's latest opus - a soundtrack that conjures up seafaring action and effortlessly gives the games pirate theme a musical voice. Find out exactly how in our guide - and look at the gorgeous pictures from the game itself.
Kicking things off with a thoroughly bombastic main theme, Brian Tyler nails the piratical setting of this latest Assassin's Creed instalment, thanks to some devilish fiddle and thunderous percussion.
Tyler quickly establishes the violin as the instrument that will characterise the score -it dominates again here, making the tension suggested by the title eve more tightly wound.
The violin becomes far more reflective, even mournful, on this atmospheric piece. For a game that promises more high-octane action than ever, those moments are to be savoured.
There are shades of Klas Badelt's energetic theme for Pirates of the Carribbean here, thanks to the skipping rhythm. Here's Brian Tyler looking all showbizzy (not representative of in-game graphics).
The main character of Black Flag goes by the name of Edward Kenway, and Brian Tyler characterises him with this sparse, busy violin theme. It's got its share of clattering percussion though, especially as the theme moves down to the lower strings.
Previous Assassin's Creed Games have seen narrative strands from the present day and history intertwine, and Black Flag is no different. Tyler's trick is to bind them together with his soundtrack, which sounds remarkably unified throughout.
The main Black Flag theme makes a return at this point in the game, equally as buoyant and mischievous as it was the first time round.
Brian Tyler is himself a keen drummer and guitarist, something which often makes an appearance in his scores. Here, we can hear those influences coming through quite clearly. Here's Brian, holding an armful of awards like it's nothing. Bet his mantelpiece is a nightmare for dusting.
So much of the Assassin's Creed games rely on stealth and sneaking around, and with the challenge of stealing a brig dominating proceedings here, Tyler makes the music as tense a possible.
Another surprisingly emotive and reflective piece of writing, Fare Thee Well deepens the emotional tone of the soundtrack and the whole game.
There's not much time for reflection, though - Tyler takes things back up to full pelt here as the seafaring action comes back to the fore.
In a game called Assassin's Creed, you'd be forgiven than everyone is marked for death. And you'll feel like you are when those nervy strings kick in - properly atmospheric.
More gentle drum kit work here, this time with some gorgeous, almost choral-sounding string arrangements that give a strangely religious feeling to this particular goodbye. Here's Brian Tyler with John Williams, who's slightly overdressed for the occasion.
Plundering and general piratical behaviour is, of course, a rather large part of Black Flag, so expect it to be reflected in the soundtrack. Here, alongside the thrilling percussion, there's a neat and quiet nod to the original Black Flag theme, too.
A hint of Spanish guitar with discordant suspensions, soft tabla, bird-like flutes… Tyler's gift for evoking has really come of age over his last few soundtracks for various games and movies - this is some of his strongest writing to date.
As if the high-octane sections of the soundtrack weren't high-octane enough, Tyler throws some rather pervasive synth lines into this crushing bit of bombast.
It's not quite "Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum", but there's something distinctly seafaring in the gentle plucks of mandolin in the background. Again, lower strings being used to droning, destructive effect - thrilling stuff from Tyler.
The most rhythmically striking of the pieces here, this exciting slice is augmented with rolling timpani and flourishes of Spanish guitar. Here's Brian with a bit of a pout on.
Another fleeting rush of percussion, characterising the assassin as a flighty, nimble individual - perfectly apt for the gameplay here.
Another tripping time signature to give a sense of imbalance makes the proceedings that little bit more exciting, and with hints of the game's main theme jammed in for good measure, Black Flag's soundtrack starts to find real cohesion.
Surely a parping military band would have sufficed?! This is most definitely not the sound of the British Empire that we're familiar with, but Brian Tyler still manages to place an air of regality into the melée of the Black Flag soundtrack.
The pirate clichés are starting to come thick and fast now - but the music itself is so far removed from pieces of eight and shoulder-dwelling parrots you'd think we were nowhere near the high seas.
The game's dual narrative that ties the golden age of piracy to the modern era rumbles along throughout the soundtrack too, and so on tracks like this we hear rather more minimalist, cool-sounding synthesised sounds dropped in on the omnipresent booming string section. Here's Brian Tyler with Woody Harrelson, because why not.
Something of the inevitable tragedy of piracy is conveyed here, with Tyler managing to humanise what might potentially be just an inhuman stack of pixels.
It's probably safe to say that by this point in the soundtrack, the cello and double bass sections will be suffering from severe tennis elbow - the punishingly repetitive and rhythmic work here is exhausting, in a good way.
Some ambient, Whitacre-esque string chords gradually stand down when short, sharp stabs of percussion and lower strings arrive on the scene. Tyler's brand of confrontation is decidedly subtle.
It's what we're all here for, and Tyler really lets all the elements sing on this section of the soundtrack. That busy percussion, the twanging mandolin and all the string-led bombast combine to thrilling effect.
Tyler's experimentation with choppy time signatures gains ground here, giving the listener the impression that things really aren't settled quite yet. The accented percussion also does a great job of keeping us guessing.
Assassin's Creed is a game rather fixated on the art of moving quietly and stealthily, which is something that the soundtrack is able to do here. Bare, powerful slaps of drum and triangle clatter amongst the equally sparse harmonic support, gradually ratcheting up the intensity as it goes.
Immediately in contrast with The British Empire from earlier in the soundtrack, here we hear delicate harp lines intertwining with the percussion to give an almost eery effect.
The West Indies form another key location in the game, due to its prominence in the history of piracy. Our hero Edward Kenway is bonded to the are for much of the game and, therefore, so is the soundtrack, which is at its most mysterious here.
Much of the action in Black Flag is constrained by characters being stuck on a boat, or leaping between them, so it's only right that a portion of the soundtrack captures that uneasiness.
Enigmatically titled, Secrets of the Maya continues the theme of mystery that is romanticised throughout the game and its soundtrack. Here's Brian with Aerosmith's Joe Perry, because he's just that kind of a guy.
Some gently distorted electric guitar and boldly struck piano gradually build to incorporate a gentle theme to round off this epic soundtrack, Brian Tyler again proving that he's perfectly adept at scoring gaming action without merely providing 'mood', something that he's becoming increasingly good at.