Arnaud Roy

" Humankind is gentle relaxing music but with a big orchestral heart "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the download only release

Humankind has a fun launch trailer, we'll have to see if the game can settle it alongside other games like Civilization, Settlers and other strategy games. But music wise I'm glad how things turned out. Whereas themes are explored and elevated in the Civilization games, each track here is sort of a stand alone experience, no really recurring melodies but interesting and meaningful stand alone music nonetheless. The composer is an unknown to me, but unknown doesn't mean unworthy. For Arnaud Roy surprised me easily from the start with a wonderful opening track.

That opening track is sort of a culmination of the entire score, vocals, evocative instruments, percussion and a beautiful emotional vibe all-round. And even though this excellence is never repeated, it's a sign that Humankind will be a meaningful experience nonetheless. Most tracks are rather soothing, always highlighted by gentle and relaxing solo instruments, solo vocals or militaristic percussion. Always hinting the same vibe of that opening track, but mostly never reaching it. Nonetheless it remains pleasant and soothing background music. And occasionally a few stand out among the rest. "The Myrtle Gardens" transporting you back through its soothing performance of the duduk to Western civilizations. The solo vocals in "Astrea Fled", giving a haunting experience, and I utterly adore the Chinese influence in "Mandate of Heaven" leading into a heavenly finale.

The few "action tracks so to speak of" don't really sizzle with power, but they deliver some rhythmic variation that stays true to the heart of the score. "Battle of Qadesh", "Conquered Lands" and "Under Invasion" don't offer the power but remain pleasant reminders that this is foremost a score for in the background. And in between we discover lovely enchanting pieces like "Amongst the Mighty" and the tantalizing guitar solos in "The Thyiads Circle".

Making Humankind a relaxing experience that must appeal to listeners of strong orchestral music nonetheless. Too many times I've heard first person shooters or beat em up games dwell down in the same dungeon of never ending loops, whereas Humankind is meaningful music where solo instruments or solo vocals stand central. Occasionally haunting, the almost religious sound does heighten the musical experience and works amazingly well as a background listen. Somehow it leaves room for improvement, various returning melodies or themes are absent that could easily stand for a specific character or world. And truthfully I could have trimmed the time by some 20 / 25 minutes. But overall I was extremely impressed by the music of Roy. It somehow sounded the same, linking the entire experience together. And yet you kept discovering pleasant performances, making it a relaxing journey gamers will surely enjoy.

Track Listing

1. Humankind (Main Title) (4.52) Excellent track
2. Oracles (4.30)
3. Hidden Soul (5.46)
4. Pastorale (4.46)
5. The Myrtle Gardens (4.44) Excellent track
6. Battle of Qadesh (1.49)
7. Videte Gigantem (5.24)
8. Signs (4.01)
9. Astrea Fled (4.43) Excellent track
10. Mandate of Heaven (6.38) Excellent track
11. Eudaimones (4.01)
12. Conquered Lands (3.47)
13. Deus Ora Movet (5.14)
14. Amongst the Mighty (4.49)
15. Mercury (5.39)
16. De Vita Contemplativa (6.01)
17. Under Invasion (3.20)
18. The Thyiads Circle (5.14) Excellent track
19. Jo Ha Kyu (3.22)

Total Length: 88.40
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Released by

G4F Records (download only release 2021)

Performed by

The Slovak National Symphony Orchestra