After Oscar Araujo’s impressive score for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, I was excited to see what he’d do with Lords of Shadow 2 given the modern setting. Producer Dave Cox was quick to talk about the soundtrack, telling fans that there would be an electronic edge, as well as hinting that some classic Castlevania melodies may make an appearance.
So, does the Lords of Shadow 2 soundtrack live up to expectations? Find out below.
There are actually two versions of this soundtrack out by Sumthing Else Music Works. The physical edition features 19 tracks that run close to 70 minutes of play time, while the exclusive digital-only Director’s Cut version, available from sumthing.com, features 31 tracks with an additional 35 minutes of music.
As for the music itself, as you’d expect from an electronic/orchestral hybrid, there is a certain Hollywood action vibe found through various pieces, but that doesn’t mean that the majority of the score isn’t dripping with atmosphere. The opening “The Throne Room” features throbbing synths and ominous strings before transitioning into something more contemplative, then decisive. It’s a powerful piece, and speaks to the energy of the rest of the score.
Some of my favorites are the slowly building “Dying for a Drop of Blood” with powerful choir, the sweeping “Descent to the Castle Dungeons” with a strong emotional component, the somber piano piece, “Dracula’s Theme,” the dreamy guitar and strings in “Underground Forge,” and the beautiful electronic new age piece, “Return to the Castle.” For the Hollywood-esque action cues, I love the guttural “Hunter and Prey” with its chugging synth work, the pounding “Castlevania” with its explosive percussion and tense string and brass work, and the horrifying “Satan,” which hosts a little surprise at the end.
While melodies from Castlevania titles of the past do appear, Araujo doesn’t beat you over the head with them. They’re at times very subtle, and found in some unexpected places. I think fans will enjoy trying to find all the references.
Overall, I’m satisfied with the score. It adds a modern flair to what Araujo accomplished with the first Lords of Shadow soundtrack while staying true to that sound. In all, if you loved the Lords of Shadow soundtrack, you’ll probably enjoy this one as well.
Available At: Sumthing Else Music Works
Review copy provided courtesy of Top Dollar PR.