Music is Everything – Exploring Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2’s music

Every story has an ending. Sometimes that ending is fatal, and other times it leads to new beginnings, leaving off with ambiguity. The Castlevania: Lords of Shadow trilogy presented the tragic tale of Dracula, from his humble origin as Brotherhood knight Gabriel Belmont to his transformation into the full-blown Price of Darkness. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 gives us the grand finale to Dracula’s story, and it…Well, I’m not going to spoil a thing!

But just as important as the game’s story is the one element which fans have come to always appreciate from the series: the music. Oscar Araujo complements this closing chapter with another amazing soundtrack that builds upon the style and tone of the previous two games’ soundtracks. While it doesn’t dethrone Mirror of Fate’s soundtrack as my favorite from the trilogy, it still stands as one of the genre’s best.

Once again we get an orchestral and more cinematic style of music than what fans were previously accustomed to. The game also happened to have the largest orchestra ever used in a video game production. And it does show, thanks to its brilliant quality that truly makes it feel like it belongs in a hollywood film with a high budget. I’ll get this out of the way now, there are no classic tunes remixed here. Which I’m happy about, because Oscar Araujo was free to make this entire score his own.

“The Throne Room” and “Dracula’s Theme” serve as beautiful and moving pieces that stand together as a nice evolution of “Belmont’s Theme” from the original Lords of Shadow. “Dracula’s Theme” plays during the main menu, so you could imagine how long I was glued to that without even pressing “start”! On the other end of the spectrum, “The Siege Titan” provides a more energetic tune that aurally highlights the grand scale of the game’s opening battle with a towering mechanical monstrosity that the Brotherhood of Light is using to destroy Dracula’s castle. I was instantly hooked to this theme the moment I got my hands on the game at a preview event. It felt like a theme that would feel right at home played during the final boss in a game. But no, Lords of Shadow 2 decides to start the action with this theme after a brief tutorial segment.

Some of the bosses also get represented with some amazing tracks as well. The Toy Maker, Carmilla and Satan himself all have great tracks that make each battle all the more memorable and cinematic. Everytime I heard Satan’s theme from the first game mixed in I was pumped. And speaking of the Toy Maker, his scene played out to some somber music that really exemplified the tragedy and misfortune of his origin. It was a very moving track and really helped sell that entire scene (one of the best in the game). My biggest gripe with the soundtrack is the saddening omission of the theme that backed the game’s memorable debut trailer. I was really disappointed to see it not included here as it was a theme that I became quite addicted to after I initially heard it (great gym music!).

Oscar Araujo is a gifted composer, and he shows his skills to full effect with Lords of Shadow 2’s soundtrack. It nicely exemplifies the emotion felt throughout the game’s various main story beats, and it heightens the intensity and grandeur of every battle, especially those against the memorable bosses. Looking back at the trilogy as a whole, Oscar Araujo has given fans music that’s worthy of being ranked right up there with the best in the series. It’s a different style, yes, but it complements the trilogy’s dark and cinematic tone perfectly. I can’t wait to see what he does next. Contra?!

 You can purchase the soundtrack directly through Sumthing Else Music Works by clicking here.

 

               
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COMMENTS

  • Fernando Silva

    Dying for a drop of blood is my favorite!

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