God Rising - A Theme For Atreus (God of War)

Genre/Style: Epic, big adventure, God of War, Bear McCreary-style video game theme.

Creative Vision for the Track: In 2018’s God of War, nearly every character has their own musical theme. But Atreus, despite being the other main character, does not. At first, I wanted to imagine what Atreus’ theme might sound like. Then I decided to try to make it a prediction of what his theme might sound like once God of War Ragnarok comes out. By then Atreus will be a teenager and he knows a lot more about who he is, so it would make sense for him to have a theme in the upcoming game.

I started with the idea that Atreus’ theme would likely be a combination of Kratos’ theme (his father) and Faye’s theme (his mother). Then I looked through the 2018 soundtrack for any sliver of a melody that might belong to him. Then I looked to the music from the Ragnarok trailer. I did manage to find one brief moment in the soundtrack from a track called “The Reach Of Your Godhood” that had a solo french horn playing a melody at the moment Atreus is told he is part god. I reworked this into a lively action melody and mixed in some of the trailer music, and the parent themes for good measure.

The other part I felt was necessary to pull this off was a big epic choir singing Old Norse. Unfortunately I don’t know Old Norse. So I wrote some lines and translated them to Icelandic, which is apparently the closest modern language to Old Norse. Then I asked a few friends from a couple different Discord servers for help building a virtual choir. I wrote parts for a 3-part choir with a tenor, a baritone, and a bass. I multiplied each part, changed some formants, and slightly offset them to make 5 people sound like 25.

The main goal was to make it sound authentic. I wanted it to sound like I had pulled this music straight out of Bear McCreary’s head.

Composition Details (Tempo, Key, Main Chords etc):
Tempo ranges from 115 to 58, spending most of its time around 113.
Changes keys a few times, mostly in Cm or Gm.

Main Instruments used:
Full orchestra from BBCSO and Hollywood Orchestra.
Homemade virtual choir.

And here is a video where I walk through the process of making this:


Excellent job Mike! Absolutely fit the game series perfectly. I know I’ve said it before, but somehow you really get BBCSO to sound good; it never sounds this way for me (hell, no library ever sounds this way for me no matter how I mix it :rofl:) The “Norse choir” was a great touch and sat well within the piece.

I did get a good sense of Bear McCreary in there so great job on that. I’ve been listening to his soundtrack to Dark Void a lot lately to try and pick up on stuff from him, but I’m still modeling my style more around Cris Velaso and his GoW II, Bloodborne and Dauntless soundtracks.

Congrats on this one!

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