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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – “The Ice Titan” (Oscar Araujo)

October 7, 2010

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a complete reboot of the (at times) venerable series. New characters – but with the same gothic and horror touchstones as the Castlevania of old – and, of course, a Belmont as the hero. The soundtrack seems very high quality, with a brilliant orchestral score that sounds, if anything, absolutely filmic. Composed by Oscar Araujo (Blade of Darkness, SCRAPLAND), Lords of Shadow simply oozes atmosphere, with a full 128-piece orchestra, gothic choirs, and a generous mixing of brass, string, and woodwind. This said, what the soundtrack seems to be lacking is a healthy dosage of…well…melody! I have yet to give the entire soundtrack (over 3 hours complete!) a full listen, but from what I have heard, there is very little here in terms of catchy melody, a cornerstone of the series since the 80s. This despite promises I remember hearing that the game would feature arranges of classic Castlevania themes. It seems then that Konami has separated itself from these roots as well…

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – “The Ice Titan” (Oscar Araujo)

That said, there are some pieces to the soundtrack that immediately stand out as memorable. My favorite of these so far is “The Ice Titan”, which possesses a frantic pacing through rapid strings and a menacing weight via heavy brass section (and supported by bongos!). The melody here is one of the strongest, punctuated by trumpet blasts, choir, and strings. About halfway through, the track takes a chilling break in silence before leaping back to the fray. The hulking weight of the theme mixed with leaps from the feet of the giant to its shoulders and head makes “Ice Titan” feel like a refugee from Shadow of the Colossus (and no wonder – the game features several bosses that take advantage of the immense scale of the game). Definitely a winner.

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