Meet Clint Mansell, the man responsible for parts of the Mass Effect 3 soundtrack. And what a brilliant accomplishment that was – a perfectly paced mixture of atmospheric synth punctuated some of the more poignant parts of the storyline, with the track “Leaving Earth” a particular highlight. Say what you will about Mass Effect 3, but the soundtrack is one aspect that surely cannot be criticised.
But Clint isn’t just your average video game composer. Before he scored video games (and films for that matter*) Mr Mansell was a bit of a rockstar, forming part of the English alternative rock/dance/industrial band Pop Will Eat Itself (PWEI). Far from the lingering sounds that accompanied the player’s journey in Mass Effect 3, PWEI were seemingly influenced by every genre of music to develop their highly identifiable signature sound of high adrenaline electronic rock.
And it was with PWEI that Clint Mansell saw his first video game credit in the form of a track in the soundtrack for the early Sony Playstation (and Sega Saturn) title, Loaded. And a better match could not be found, the fast paced, adrenaline fuelled sound of the PWEI track ‘Kick to Kill‘ fittingly accompanied the on screen carnage of what was easily the most violent games early on in the 32-bit era.
A far cry from his work on Mass Effect 3 indeed. But it goes to show the scope and versatility of these musicians and artists. Perhaps the next ThatGameCompany production will be scored by Lemmy Kilmister?
*On a note more fitting for my co-author’s other project, http://101filmsyoushouldhaveseen.com/, Clint Mansell he also composed the soundtracks to the both The Wrestler and one of my favourite films of all time, Moon.