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Castlevania by Trevor Morris (Review)

posted Jul 21, 2017, 12:43 PM by Kaya Savas

The one cool thing about Netflix is the variety of their “Netflix Originals”. Instead of creating a specific brand like the network channels do with certain types of shows, Netflix seems to be interested in everything no matter the tone, genre or style. Castlevania is an animated series based on the hit game series, but specifically Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse. With an art style inspired by Japanese anime, the show enters a gothic world of vampires and witchcraft. A demon hunter faces against Dracula and his forces to try and stop Dracula from declaring war on the people of Wallachia. The score comes to use from the awesome Trevor Morris who is definitely familiar with the world of vampires having scored the short-lived NBC series titled Dracula. Here we get to see a cool side of Trevor with a lot of retro synths, awesome gothic textures and even some exciting action.

Castlevania's pulpy retro style immediately pulls you in. The theatrical main title opens things with a bang, but the majority of the score bubbles under the surface in a soundscape that feels like a melting pot of Blade Runner and Metal Gear Solid. The gothic synth sound through Trevor’s unique voice as a composer gives the show the perfect tone and pacing. The great part of the entire experience is how subtle everything is. The main title is very theatrical, but the rest of the score is quite reserved in its approach. This allows Trevor to be super stylish without it feeling like it’s going overboard. The second half the album sort of opens up from the synth textures into some more theatrical gothic action/horror, but it never goes overboard. Ghostly chorus mixed with high-pitched strings add intensity when needed and compliment the bubbling electronic pulsing like a charm. The whole album is a great presentation of what you'll find in Season 1 on Netflix.

The whole score is a wonderfully stylish ride. The use of a synth-based soundscape twisted into a more gothic horror styling works like a charm. The score feels just the right amount of retro without going full Stranger Things on you. And Trevor’s light-handed approach makes sure the music is working under the surface while only saving the more theatrical pieces for big action. Trevor Morris is able to give Castlevania a wonderful and entertaining pulpy style that is a joy to get wrapped up in.