Composed by
Kevin Manthei

 

Published by
KMM Productions (2001)

 

Tracklistings
Panzer General II
1) American 1 - Battle
2) American 2
3) American Lose
4) British 1 w-bagpipe
5) British 2 w-bagpipes
6) British Lose w-bagpipes
7) Britsh Win
8) British Win w-bagpipes
9) German 1 - Battle
10) German 2
11) German Lose
12) German Win
13) Russian 1
14) Russian 2
15) Russian Lose
16) Russian Win
17) Short American
18) Short British
19) Short British remix
20) Short German
21) Short Russian

View full tracklistings

 

Extras
- Game website
- Composer website
- Interview

 

Availability
- Kevin Manthei's shop
- Synsoniq.com

 

Review by
Oliver Ittensohn

Panzer General series

Developer SSI’s Panzer General series debuted in 1994 and has fast become one of the most popular operational wargame franchises. The graphics and gameplay evolved over the years until the game went fully 3-D in 1999. On board from the very beginning was composer Kevin Manthei who would score four titles in the series: Panzer General II, People’s General, Panzer General 3D and Panzer General III: Scorched Earth. The original soundtrack album features cues from each one of these titles.

The album opens up with Panzer General II which features a selection of 21 cues. Each faction of the game, American, British, German and Russian, is represented with a few tracks that range from ambient background or battle to win or lose music. For each faction, Manthei chose different orchestrations, arrangements and themes: solo trumpets for the Americans, bagpipes for the British, army drums for the Germans and strings and clarinets for the Russians. All the themes are very enjoyable to listen to and add much to the game’s atmosphere.

People’s General only features two opposing forces, West against Chinese. In this score, Manthei composed an overall game main theme as well as gameplay and win/loss cues for each side. Like Panzer General II, it’s a thematic score that even features Chinese flutes and choir. As a bonus, you get an unreleased and an expanded cue on the album.

Panzer General 3D gets the smallest amount of music on the disc and the cues are limited to the main title theme and the win/loss cues. They pretty much flow in the same vein as in the other titles.

Panzer General III: Scorched Earth opens up with a great cue composed for the intro cinematic of the game. It features choir, trumpet solos and orchestra and introduces a theme that reappears in some of the gameplay cues. As in the other titles, the score is purely orchestral, but it is evident that Manthei’s synthesizer delivers the best and most sophisticated sound from all the Panzer General series.

As for the overall sound quality, it is clearly audible that Manthei’s synthesizers have improved over the years. While Panzer General II might sound a bit weak to your ears, Panzer General III clearly delivers a satisfying orchestral sound. That isn’t to say that the themes have gotten better as well. Quite the opposite is true. Panzer General II’s themes and arrangements might strike you as being the best and most memorable.

But each score has something interesting to offer and it’s the wealth of the themes and the different orchestrations for the many different factions that the Panzer General series featured throughout its games that make this album an enjoyable listen. It runs a generous 70 minutes and it’s good to hear selections from all the games in the series. Manthei really gave Panzer General its musical voice; something he can rightly be proud of.