Monday, February 12, 2024

Nathan McCree not involved with Tomb Raider I-III Remastered

Original Tomb Raider (1996), Tomb Raider II (1997) & Tomb Raider III (1998) composer Nathan McCree has not been approached by developer Aspyr to contribute to Tomb Raider I-III Remastered, a restored compilation of the first three entries in the franchise starring Lara Croft. Tomb Raider I-III Remastered publishes on February 14th, 2024 in an unprecedented updating of the classic titles.

There has been no official word on how the games' existing music may be considered in this trilogy of remasters, as with other contemporary re-releases featuring full re-orchestrations (e.g. Halo Anniversaries or Age of Empires Definitive Editions) or at minimum a remastering process of the audio. MoTR did however receive a press preview copy of the game(s) and can confirm following embargo(s) today that the original soundtracks are indeed intact (and, if anything, tidied up a little).

Aside, McCree, following numerous mentions over the years, reportedly still plans to finally release remastered soundtrack albums for each of the original games. This, separately, could be as soon as this month. Again, however, this material will not feature in Tomb Raider I-III Remastered. This is an unequivocal missed opportunity, not only for the presentation of the music in these modernised releases, but also in the interest of preservation.

To date, none of the original music tracks from McCree's Tomb Raider games have been published officially in a dedicated standalone capacity. Including, as the composer alludes, score to the cutscenes and FMV sequences in its isolated form. McCree procured the rights prior to a 2017 Kickstarter, which ultimately resulted in the Tomb Raider Suite (2018) material medleys & the accompanying Synth Mixes (2021), the latter being the closest representation to original soundtrack albums - these being promised in original stretch goals.

Conversely, Peter Connelly (Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, Chronicles & Angel of Darkness) followed suit in 2019 with The Dark Angel Symphony project (& accompanying MIDI Demos in 2021) which actually featured the original soundtracks to his titles remastered. As soon as the Tomb Raider I-III original soundtracks see the light of day, MoTR will be sure to include these in our commercial discography catalogue.

Friday, October 07, 2022

Alan Silvestri's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life original score receives re-release "Deluxe Edition" treatment

Varese Sarabande provides Tomb Raider and film score fans with an unexpected expanded catalogue release of Alan Silvestri's original score to Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life. Nearly 20 years later, the 2003 film and its 2001 predecessor starring Angelina Jolie do have quite the cult following. Four respective soundtrack albums were previously released, two alongside each film, being both original scores and various artist feature compilations. 

The "Deluxe Edition" album includes approximately thirty minutes of unreleased music, more-or-less constituting an unprecedented complete score release for the franchise's second film entry. This album is immediately available across all streaming and digital music platforms, which is unusual for such a niche project, as well as a limited edition physical 2-CD run consisting of 2000 copies only. The latter collectible is out on October 28th, 2022, available to pre-order at Varese Sarabande today.

MoTR of course has secured a copy for archiving and the album is published in our Commercial Discography. Full tracklist supplied after the jump below - we've taken the liberty of highlighting the previously unreleased material. Notably, Craig Armstrong's "Lab Scene" has been included as track 14 "She Escaped - Break In". This may or may not be as previously suspected an ultimately unused, Silvestri-embellished version of the piece, regardless, Armstrong goes conspicuously uncredited. "Shoot Her Between The Eyes" appears to be the Silvestri substitute, denoted here as ultimately unused in the final film. 

Both Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) & Cradle of Life (2003) are notorious for having hired composers at very late stages of production. Silvestri, according to the DVD featurettes, famously borrowed and varied Nathan McCree's original Tomb Raider video game motif for the second film. Following expansion of the hour-long album of 2003, new liner notes from Silvestri himself are included in the 2022 Deluxe Edition - issued to those first lucky two-thousand owners.    

Friday, September 17, 2021

Additional album Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness MIDI Demos released by legacy composer Peter Connelly

The Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness MIDI Demos is released by composer Peter Connelly today, being the fifth (5th!) album within the Dark Angel Symphony project. MIDI Demos contains an eclectic mix of musical instrument digital interface versions of previously released material, demos for ultimately unused cues, plus previously unreleased electronic in-game score. The collection is also hot off the heels of the Tomb Raider Suite: Synth Mixes, published by Nathan McCree last month, which instead aimed to embody the Playstation-era timbre with authentic sound reciprocation of the original titles.

While the Synth Mixes approach doesn't exactly apply here, at first glance, the MIDI Demos may not strictly entail exact soundtrack material from the franchise's sixth entry. Perhaps this is for good reason, as this is advertised as an album of demos. But, most importantly, this rare collection does indeed contain unprecedented representations of material from particular stages of Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness (2003). Levels such as Le Serpent Rouge ("Le Serpent Rouge"), Storm Drains/Louvre Galleries ("Sewage Pollutant") & Strahov Fortress ("Prague Metropolis") were accompanied by electronically mixed tracks in-game. Both the pity and consolation here is that the applicable final-use cues incorporated the real-instrumentation of the Abbey Road Studios recordings, however, these "demos" are nearly indistinguishable (albeit the infamous "Le Serpent Rouge" bass doesn't quite 'slap' the same in its extended form). The electronic/orchestral mixes were strangely and entirely omitted from Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness Remastered (2019), and the MIDI Demos release begs the question - have they actually now seen the light of day?

The Dark Angel Symphony store sadly closed earlier this year, but the digital-only publication of MIDI Demos is available via all good music retailers, including streaming services and digital music stores. The crowd-funded production and historical release of the Tomb Raider: Dark Angel Symphony marked the first standalone, commercially available music by legacy Tomb Raider composer Peter Connelly. The Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness MIDI Demos joins MoTR's commercial discography catalogue and the ever-growing collection of officially sanctioned franchise albums. Full track-listing after the jump below.