Usually, when I'm working the news shift, I'll pop on one of those lo-fi youtube mixes to keep my ears distracted. Today, however, I'm thinking about trying something a little more Nordic. This week, a snippet of Assassin's Creed Valhalla's soundscape hit Spotify in the form of the Out Of The North EP, a seven-track mix of chanting, panpipes and warlike drums to study / relax / raid East Anglian settlements to.
While not a full original score (that'll come sometime after release, I reckon), Out Of The North's brief tracklist gives us an early taste of Valhalla's rustic Nordic soundscape. It's a nice broad mix, too, from Holmgang's droning, thumping battle riff to the pious strings and choir lamentations of The Sceptered Isle.
The EP features tracks from Danish composer Jesper Kydd - whose musical stylings last touched Ubisoft's stab 'em up back in Assassin's Creed Revelations - and Sarah Schachner, who contributed to the scores of Assassin's Creed Unity and Origins alongside last year's Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare.
But Ubi have also wrangled in Norwegian artist Einar Selvik, founder of Norwegian "musical constellation" Wardruna - a group that uses ancient instruments to reinterpret old Norse myths and poems as contemporary tracks. If you're a telly buff, you might recognise his work from Vikings. Fitting, then, that he'll be helping score a big open-world Viking brawl.
Out Of The North is available to stream on Spotify right now, and there's a list of other places to buy and stream the EP courtesy of producers Lakeshore Records. Assassin's Creed Valhalla itself comes out on November 15th. You'll be able to pick it up on the Epic Games Store and Uplay for a cool £50. I would be remiss not to mention that the past few weeks have seen the ejection of several prominent Ubisoft executives following allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, including the "stepping down" of Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail.