Rise of the Tomb Raider has a launch trailer to bring us up to speed on what launches Lara Croft’s quest in Siberia, and reveals a bombastic theme song from famed rock singer Karen O in “I Shall Rise.”
Karen O, for those who don’t know of her, is a badass.
Lead singer of acclaimed indie rock act Yeah Yeah Yeahs (a band you should be very, very sad is on hiatus), Karen O has become famed in recent years for her soundtrack work, which I guarantee you’ve heard. Composing the entire soundtrack of Spike Jonze’s Where The Wild Things Are led to an Academy Award nomination for her next collaboration with Jonze – “The Moon Song,” from his film Her – but her most famous work of recent memory is the loud, terrifying cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Her latest soundtrack contribution, however, is a far cry from those films – the theme song for Crystal Dynamics’ Rise of the Tomb Raider, titled “I Shall Rise.” It is first heard in the trailer above, and the full audio is below.
“I Shall Rise” is, perhaps, the most perfect distillation of Crystal Dynamics’ approach to Lara Croft and Tomb Raider in their reboot/origin series. At first it plays almost like a song ripped from True Detective – the low strumming of the guitar leading into slow, echoing vocals about being torn to strands and dragged down by raging seas. The brutality of Rise of the Tomb Raider represented well, as the trailer shows Lara being nearly thrown from a cliff in Syria and hunted by the mysterious armed group Trinity – people who may have hunted her father during his quest for immortality.
But slowly it powers up into something much more bombastic as the Rise of the Tomb Raider changes to Siberia, and Lara Croft follows in her father’s footsteps. The vocals pick up about how her name will be known and called out – like the “legend within,” as the trailer proclaims, before launching into a stirring chant of “I shall rise” as Lara climbs over mountains and burning buildings and uncovers an ancient, frozen city. The violence and struggle of Lara Croft’s journey gives way to stirring triumph and the birth of a legend. If there’s any greater summation of what Crystal Dynamics is trying to do with their Tomb Raider reboot, I don’t know what it is.
Rise of the Tomb Raider releases on Xbox One and PC November 10th.