Album Review: Pinnacle // Steven Coltart and Marcus Warner


If there is anything I remember from a visual experience, it’s the way audio can capture it. I don’t know about any of you, but I always feel like sound in movies,video games or any other optical art form can be drastically underrated in many cases. 

When it comes to composers, I feel like they’re the most visually active contributors to art. Their whole archetype of art form is built around the idea of capturing imagination and emotion in a way that makes it hard for any of genre to compete with. It even gets to a point where it can make any mediocre visual experience memorable.

Last year, I came across Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier and one of, if not the pinnacle aspect for that game to me was Steven Coltart’s composition for it and to this day, it’s a soundtrack that hasn’t let go from my imagination when it came to that game so when I heard Steven Coltart’s new collaborative project, ‘Pinnacle’ with Marcus Warner was coming up at the start of 2019, I was very much excited and eager to see how their sounds formed into one.

Talk about Epic

If this album succeeds in doing one thing then it’s definitely capturing that epic sense of sound. At times, I was pleased by the transgression from a serene to colossus atmosphere, and whilst it has Two Steps From Hell influences, importantly the tracks have a unique style that brings a much needed new sound for this genre. 

I love the endeavour of using a wide range of musical components to build on that epic sound. There were live sounds heard within The Launch and Cloud Realm for me in particularly which really push forward the atmosphere it is trying to achieve and tracks that I love like Remember and Chapters use the more stoic instrument of the piano to convey a gargantuan scale to these tracks and I appreciated that change of pace so much.

The Crux

Even though I felt that the album achieved that epic atmosphere incredibly well, I couldn’t help but feel slightly off put by the repetitive design that encapsulates each track.

I understand that this style of production music needs to stick by a specific formula, sometimes in order to properly capture an emotion, but nevertheless the predictability on some occasions kind of took me out of the emotion.  Though it very much succeeded with many tracks, I couldn’t help but have that repetition lingering whilst I listened to the album.


However,once I stripped away that problem and started listening to each track as an individual force rather than combining them as a group, I started to witness the powerful edge that each track presented for themselves.

Like I said at the beginning, I feel like this genre’s main target to achieve is to capture imagination and bring to life moments in your mind triggered from the tracks and these certainly achieved that.  

The greatest impact I found that it had on me was the emotional tension it presented. I found that some of my favourite tracks on the album held and captured that emotionally charged punch Coltart is known for, and those were the tracks that really made me look forward to hearing more work from the artists involved.

I felt Coltart and Warner beautifully collaborated their two distinctive styles to create a shared experience between them, and even though I do find the project as a whole very structurally repetitious, the goal that they were trying to achieve was achieved brilliantly with a collection of pieces that we will likely be hearing on television from next year.   

Words by Kieran Hunter


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