View Full Version : The Ultimate Battle #2: Jesper Kyd vs. Lorne Balfe. POSSIBLE SPOILERS

01-12-2013, 11:36 PM
NOTE: This thread and its opinions do not refer to a specific AC score, but rather to the STYLES of the composers. Please do not only talk about one game's track. Thanks- Wolfmeister

Hey everyone! It is time for round 2 in ultimate battles. Before, we did Ac3 vs Ac2, and now we are moving on to a different genre. I will be comparing Balfe to Kyd and giving my own opinions. Please comment on your opinion and use the poll above!


Pros: I would not be a true Assassin's Creed fan if I didn't say that Jesper Kyd is absolutely amazing. His tracks are beautiful, inspiring, and they made Assassin's Creed what it is today. Kyd uses a very beautiful style of music, which includes the common use of a single female voice in the background. He used a mixture of acoustic guitar, techno sounds, and rock to create a unique score that perfectly melded with the Rennaisance and crusade settings. His most famous tracks are definitely "Venice Rooftops", "Ezio's Family", and "Access the Animus". He has the ability to use a variety of styles and instruments based on the time setting of the game. Example: His dark, rough, and techno track of Ac1 in the Crusades, his beautiful, emotional, and strong track of Ac2, his darker, grittier version of Ac2's track used in Brotherhood, and his middle-eastern style track in Revelations. Jesper Kyd uses irregular instruments and unique sounds to create amazing tracks that make me cry sometimes. He can go from sweet, to dark in style, and still hold his own as the voice and soul of Assassin's Creed.

Cons: My only fault with Jesper Kyd is his repeated, inconsistency. I feel that his tracks are either perfect, or dreadful. When reviewing his tracks in the last 4 games minus Ac3, I noticed that would either give 5 stars, or three stars, and sometimes two. He is very inconsistent and sometimes falls short in a few of his tracks. This being said, the tracks that ARE good are perfect in everyway, something Balfe can't even compare to. This inconsistency really shows in Ac:R. His tracks like "Street Fight" and Forum of Ox" are beautiful, but tracks like "rebuild the brotherhood" are a mash of random clinks and clonks that sound awful. Based on the inconsistency, I would rate Kyd's portion of Ac:R as GOOD.

2. Lorne Balfe.

Pros: While relatively new to the AC scene, Balfe has proven to be just as succesful in his scores as Kyd. He does, however, have a very different style than Kyd, which some may find refreshing, or awful. In Revelations, Balfe made the main theme, several others, and the entirity of the multiplayer portion. Balfe has a good ability to use parts of tracks in future ones. The main theme was beautiful, and the multiplayer portion blew me away. Balfe tends to not use many of Kyd's styles, such as a female voice background, guitar, and especially techno noises. He tends touse more classical instruments like violins, drums, and bases, all of which create a smoother sounding track than Kyd's. His use of violin, dramatic echos and sounds, and heavy drums and beats actually give his tracks the feeling of being BATMAN LIKE. Personally, I LOVE THIS. I love the batman tracks in the Christian Bale pictures, and Balfe just does such a good job capturing this feeling. His tracks are less emotional than Kyd's, but more dramatic. He also introduces a very open-world feel in Ac3's track, which is of course fitting to the Wilderness American setting. My favorite tracks of his are "Ac3 main theme" "welcome to Boston", "Temple Secrets" "wild instincts" "breaching the walls", Modern Assassin", and "main theme variation" You can tell that he incorperated parts of his ACR track into Ac3. He also, in my opinion, did a much better job with the modern day tracks than Kyd. The dramatic First Civ theme is used in many of the modern tracks, and the Modern assassin track is perfect. I also feel that Balfe's tracks are darker than Kyd's, and this is a refreshing and dramatic new sound. Balfe is just as good, if not better, than Kyd.

Cons: The only issue with Balfe is actually not much of con at all. He is much more consistent than Kyd, but because of this, not many of his tracks are as perfect as Kyd's I found myself giving Kyd either five stars or 2, and I gave Balfe's many 4's, and a few fives. Not one three or below. The Balfe tracks as a whole are smoother and more consistent than Kyd's but hey, what is better? A track of 5 awesome songs and 5 terrible ones, or a track with 7 good ones and 3 awesome ones? You decide.

I personally like Balfe more, because of his open and batman like sound, and his modern day tracks. Kyd is also a soundtrack god as well, though. What do you guys think?

01-12-2013, 11:47 PM
I can`t say I preferred one over the other. I enjoyed both composers. I thought both did an excellent job in their respective roles (and games later)

01-12-2013, 11:51 PM
Although I prefered Kyd overall because I think he's more atmospheric than Balfe I think Balfe did a great job with AC3's soundtrack. I wouldn't be disappointed to see him working on future AC games.

01-12-2013, 11:52 PM
i felt like Jesper Kyd was more original. Plus, i thought Lorne repeated himself too many times, both in AC:R/AC3

01-13-2013, 12:02 AM
I agree with nitres15. Lorne has a bad habit of repeating himself and I think he finds it hard to discover new melodies (sure he changes them up here or there, but you always end up with the same thing) Kyd on the other hand never had that problem.

Imagine if Lorne composed Ezio's Family, then he would have used it to death in AC2 and then probably again in ACB only this time a bit different. Kyd never did that, his tracks were always original.

Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72AQHdRcI5o
It's a movie Lorne worked on and if you go through it's soundtrack you'll find many AC melodies there
(This one in particular has a begining similar to the begining of AC3 theme and the rest is multiplayer music)
NOTE: He made the soundtrack before working on AC

And this one..Fight Club anyone?? Lorne is a fraud he steals from himself! :p

01-13-2013, 12:09 AM
Kyd on the other hand never had that problem.

Yes he did. Ezio`s family, Hearth and Venice rooftops all have the same melody...

Not taking anything away from Kyd or your opinion. Just putting this out there

01-13-2013, 12:12 AM
Yes you are right, but still was anyone else a bit annoyed in ACR everytime you head the melody from the main theme in the cutscenes?
I love Balfes work, its just a bit too much repeating is all

01-13-2013, 12:13 AM
Yes you are right, but still was anyone else a bit annoyed in ACR everytime you head the melody from the main theme in the cutscenes?
I love Balfes work, its just a bit too much repeating is all
I understand and agree. I can`t say I found it annoying, but I agree that Balfe is sometimes too repetitive. Although if you`d search in the unreleased tracks from AC II(There`s about 200) you`d find a lot more variations...

01-13-2013, 12:28 AM
Jesper Kyd doesn't just compose "sweet" and "pretty" music. AC1's sountrack is much the opposite.
I feel Balfe's and Kyd's music style is pretty similar, I also feel AC3's score is very reminiscent of AC1's score. Both are great composers.

01-13-2013, 12:28 AM
Yes he did. Ezio`s family, Hearth and Venice rooftops all have the same melody...

Not taking anything away from Kyd or your opinion. Just putting this out there

maybe. He mixed them up enough each time though, so i didnīt mind.

home in florence

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mn_PIAh72A (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mn_PIAh72A)
city of rome
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwVvkf5CeJU (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwVvkf5CeJU)

01-13-2013, 12:30 AM
maybe. He mixed them up enough each time though, so i didnīt mind.
Sure he mixed it up. doesn't change the fact that it`s the same melody. just sayin`

01-13-2013, 01:07 AM
I'm going to have to say Kyd simply because the soundtrack to ACII was one of the most beautiful that I have ever heard.

01-13-2013, 01:12 AM
I've mentioned this in another thread, but as amazing as Balfe is, he sounds like a lot of other composers, he doesn't have a unique sound that helps separate him from the pack. While Jesper sounds like himself and no one else, and no one else sounds like him. The moment you hear something from Jesper Kyd you immediately recognize the composer, same can't be said for Balfe.

I personally prefer Jesper and would love to see him return in the future, but that's not saying that what Balfe has done for the past 2 AC games hasn't been incredible, because it has. It would be ideal is Jesper handled the Ambient music (which needs to make a return in the next entry) while Balfe composes the cutscenes, such as in AC:R.

01-13-2013, 02:35 AM
I enjoyed both so there is no option for me in this poll. :p

01-13-2013, 03:29 AM
I picked Kyd only because his tracks fit Assassin's Creed PERFECTLY! Really, even though Balfe is good, and adds a more cinematic style to the series, but Kyd has the perfect mix of sci-fi,and medieval sounding music. The perfect match for AC.

01-13-2013, 04:24 AM
*Long list incoming*

I love Balfes work on ACIII. He's done some amazing stuff that I don't think Kyd would've ever done:
Assassin's Creed Theme (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGPXR565RkE)
Assassin's Creed III Main Theme (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqInIbpvVcU)/ Variation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szopr9qtfrk)
Welcome to Boston (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZDV5X67n8E)
Modern Assassin (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfK91tJjpoM)
Chase through Abstergo Facility (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmIGTxiUq5I&list=PLVJhplboLSEehnO9sSKxlmW6GvT5O0dz-)
Trouble in Town (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYqP_4aCYHE)
Let the Chase Begin (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btpJKAsbMYM)
The Pursuit (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uV70KPHzfQ)
What Came Before (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0aGa7IetPI)
Scheduled for Deletion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3njtBA0WuI)
Labored and Lost (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6xR3esZSHw)/ Temple Secrets (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFLjJ0LPZBQ)
The Road to Masyaf (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZuNCTzdTWg)
Connor's Story (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzEFYVxq2cM&list=PLVJhplboLSEehnO9sSKxlmW6GvT5O0dz-)

But I gave the vote to Kyd because he makes these really unique sounding tracks for the series.
Access the Animus (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0DlLEo8T7k)
Flight Through Jerusalem (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPNhSzuxNwQ)
Trouble in Jerusalem (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJv3PKBNW7k)
Masyaf in Danger (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgMNwbOHluc)/ Altair Esacpes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiO47u4mg40)
Cristina (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zqfd9uSa_4k)
Endfight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-11s1rWrH9o)
Earth (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3udu4SUsIc)
Ezio's Family (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0i6YFrSs6c)
Wetlands Escape (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zwp2Ps26kQ)
The Vault (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es4Hkyh5nkw&list=PLVJhplboLSEehnO9sSKxlmW6GvT5O0dz-)/Apple Chamber (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIrovVoZsrE)
Greek Fire (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vohr5oolDzA)
Investigation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ46gD1SgKs)
Die by the Blade (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5LPOVMbT2c)
Byzantium (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-As2T3UWgQ)/ City of Rome (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwVvkf5CeJU)/ Dream of Venice (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvZHAT7xHO4)
The Wounded Eagle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuAhtWqLpcw)
Welcome to Kostantiniyye (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSnOq9g5RIU)
Fight or Flight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOHUXriHzXQ)
On the Attack (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIFWD4rHsAQ)
The Brotherhood Attacks (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_0n8cnom0A)
The Madam (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nso1sJykCX0)
Cesare Borgia (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1StdFjkli98)/ Villa Under Attack (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moKTylxTlec)/ Battle in Spain (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT19O3IaNYQ)
Flight Over Venice 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psJx4r****Y)/ 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAwP4KIivl4)
Echoes of the Roman Ruins (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdlmwwRcfog)

01-13-2013, 02:27 PM
Balfe is good at composing thematic tunes, but the bombastic Hollywood style music is in every game these days. Kyd's music was different and unique for each new game and setting. Just compare "City of Jerusalem" with "Constantinople" or "Dream of Venice". Each city and area in every game had a unique atmosphere thanks to the music. The soundtrack to AC3 only has a few memorable tracks compared to the games where Kyd was the main composer.

I once read an interview with Lorne Balfe where he said he deliberately avoided using electronic instruments when composing the music for AC3 because he didn't think it fit the series. Whereas Jesper Kyd made a point of mixing electronic sounds with historical sounds because the historical and modern day parts of the game are inseparably linked through the Animus. For example, the reason the chase theme in AC1 has an electronic beat to it is because that's when Desmond is dangerously close to desynchronizing with his ancestor. The Animus is working overtime and glitching all over the place while trying to keep them linked, so modern day sounds are mixed in with historical sounds. I thought this was a brilliant way to link the present day and historical plotlines with each other. Lorne Balfe specifically chose to remove that link because he felt they should both be separate.

01-13-2013, 02:51 PM
Definetly Jesper, his music was so spine tingly good and had soul. I found Lorne's music okay but very run of the mill, like something you had heard 1000 times already in other games and films. Jesper had style and it sounded unique.

01-13-2013, 03:32 PM
Kyd - For his ambient music
Balfe - For his cinematic music

01-13-2013, 08:49 PM

I'm not much of a fan of the more techno soundtracks

01-14-2013, 08:03 AM
I love Kyd and Balfe, probably Balfe more as I love the dramatic big songs he makes as nothing immerses you more in a game then music. The bad thing is you can't have big dramatic songs as ambient music which AC needs (AC3 proves this) and I feel Kyd would be better suited to ambient music. So I think they should do combined efforts like they did in ACR but actually work together this time not just both write music.

01-14-2013, 02:35 PM
Hated the music Balfe produced in general, Kyd just seems to deliver far more memorable tracks which has continued into 2012 with his work on Borderlands 2 and the even better Darksiders 2.