CD Review: BEYOND: TWO SOULS SOUNDTRACK

BEYOND: TWO SOULS soundtrack | ©2016 Lakeshore Records

Good, if not excellent things can come to those who wait, which can be especially frustrating when it comes to a world where instant, visual gratification always comes first before music that can be equally as gratifying (if not more so) than the game it’s attached to. Now finally after three years, listeners will finally get to dive into Lorne Balfe’s terrific score for the 2013’s BEYOND: TWO SOULS. Game creator David Cage’s attempt to break down the line between movie and controller by having the player make choices that would creates fateful ripples across the rest of his experience – […]Read On »

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CD Review: BATTLEFIELD: HARDLINE soundtrack

BATTLEFIELD: HARDLINE soundtrack | ©2015 E.A.R.S.

As you play the “episodes” of BATTLEFIELD: HARDLINE that take a straight-shooting cop from the pride of the force to a vigilante looking to take the force down, you might feel like you’ve been drop-kicked into an R-rated version of CSI: MIAMI or more likely old-school MIAMI VICE given the thrumming rock soundtrack by Paul Leonard-Morgan. Having impressed with his energetic, often electricity-fueled scores for such rapid-fire films as LIMITLESS, THE NUMBERS STATION and DREDD, Morgan goes for a rawer, rock guitar guitar groove that not only brings to mind Jan Hammer, but also such late 80s Tangerine Dream scores […]Read On »

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THE ORDER: 1886 composer Jason Graves joins the steampunk video game – Interview

THE ORDER soundtrack | ©2015 Sony Classical Music

Since his 2005 video game scoring debuts with RISE OF THE KASAI and GAUNTLET: SEVEN SORROWS, Jason Graves has played faithful service to a genre that’s continually evolved in terms of its striking visuals and bold storytelling as the genre has done its damnedest to shirk the mantle of being kid’s stuff, no more so than in the quality of its music. Action has been a particular forte for Graves, who’s proved that one could indeed hear a terrifying orchestra shriek in the void with the DEAD SPACE franchise. He’s given the stuff of soaring fantasy to DUNGEON SEIGE III […]Read On »

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CD Review: LAIR soundtrack

LAIR soundtrack | ©2014 La La Land Records

2007’s LAIR stands as a videogame that simultaneously allowed the booming industry to take off and crash to the ground. The big downdraft came from a “Sxixaxis” PS3 control system that was supposed to allow you fly giant lizards with the ease of a dragon rider from Pern. However, it ended up being so frustratingly faulty that thousands of users let fly their controllers towards their television screens (mine included). While players would have to wait for an analog update to truly enjoy the game’s graphic virtues, the one area that immediately met LAIR‘s grand ambitions, and then some, was […]Read On »

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CD Review: CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW 2 soundtrack

CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW 2 soundtrack | ©2014 Sumthing Else Music Works

If you want proof that video game scores can scale epically dark heights, then Spanish composer Oscar Araujo’s latest sojourn into the nightmarishly heroic world of CASTLEVANIA is a thrilling, and resounding answer to the affirmative. Having scored an animated version of his country’s legendary knight El Cid, Araujo knows about the kind of religious fortitude necessary to wield a sword against the forces of darkness, a conviction that takes on hell-blazing power when given the armor of Dracula himself. Having musically done battle with the demonic opponents of LORDS OF SHADOW and its follow-up MIRROR OF FATE, Araujo unleashes […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE LAST OF US soundtrack

THE LAST OF US soundtrack | ©2013 Sony Music

When it comes to video game scoring, it’s often the bigger, the better. And there’s nothing wrong with that, especially when the composer is mostly trying to make an impression amidst shattering spaceships, cannon-blasting world wars, dragon-slaying sword battles and zombie holocausts. Though THE LAST OF US deals with the latter, it’s on a far more human scale that’s ennobled a strikingly stripped-down score from Gustavo Santaolalla that just might be the least amount of “music” ever done for the genre. But then, having Naughty Dog hire the Oscar winning composer of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN and BABEL to do to a […]Read On »

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CD Review: COMPANY OF HEROES 2 soundtrack

COMPANY OF HEROES 2 soundtrack | ©2013 Sumthing Else Music Works

Imagine if RED DAWN‘s score was on the side of the Russkies, and you’ll get an idea of the powerful Mother Russia patriotism that fill’s Cris Velasco’s exceptional real time strategy game score campaign against the Nazi bastards on the Eastern front in COMPANY OF HEROES 2. You’d be hard pressed to think that Stalin himself didn’t commission this score from the prolific videogame composer whose excelled in the battles of GOD OF WAR 3, DARKSIDERS and WARHAMMER. Velasco’s march-or-die orders inspire a dynamite symphonic performance that salutes the valor of the snow-swept homeland, unleashing powerhouse broadsides of heroic, militaristic […]Read On »

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CD review: REMEMBER ME soundtrack

REMEMBER ME soundtrack | ©2013 Capcom

Olivier Derivière’s name first dealt with amnesia in his videogame soundtrack for 2008s ALONE IN THE DARK, where a memory-wiped tough guy battled demons in an apocalyptic NYC. Now he’s back in who-am-I style for Nilin, an acrobatic ass-kicker from 2084 Neo-Paris that really levels up for this French musician with his new game score for REMEMBER ME. As Nilin seeks to reclaim her past while re-arranging the memories of others, Derivière comes up with a striking approach that might be best described as a trip-hop spin on Don Davis’ scores for THE MATRIX series. Here it’s given a brighter […]Read On »

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CD Review: GOD OF WAR ASCENSION soundtrack

GOD OF WAR ASCENSION soundtrack | ©2013 La La Land Records

Tyler Bates knows a thing or two about playing Spartan vengeance after his seminal score for 300, which made sword-and-sandal music hip again by incorporating a heroic orchestra with anachronistic metal guitars and time specific ethnic instruments. Now after showing ancient sword and sorcery vigor with the videogame THE RISE OF THE ARGONAUTS and the underrated reboot of CONAN THE BARBARIAN Bates once again proves that crossing a muscular death-dealer will be hell to play, especially when it’s a titan-slayer named Kratos. Bates furiously delivers again for this popular berserker’s latest button-mashing adventures in GOD OF WAR ASCENSION. It’s a […]Read On »

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CD Review: STARCRAFT II: HEART OF THE SWARM soundtrack

STARCRAFT II: HEART OF THE SWARM soundtrack | ©2013 Azeroth Music

WORLD OF WARCRAFT‘s band of scoring brothers Neal Acree, Glenn Stafford, Derek Duke and Russell Brower get their sci-fi grlll power on for the Queen of Blade’s great escape in this score to STARCRAFT II: HEART OF THE SWARM that accompanies the expansion pack of WINGS OF LIBERTY. Its exceptional cut scenes generate one of the more crazily stylized scores for the genre, starting off by mashing a galaxy-spanning orchestra by way of the grunge sensibility of its sword and spine-slinging heroine. Sarah Kerrigan’s treated like an ersatz Lisbeth Salander, bringing on the lizard beast hurt with industrial metal rock […]Read On »

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