Oscar Araujo follows up his immense Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow scores with this fantastic effort for Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2. Castlevania is a game series that even if you’ve never played video games you’ve probably still heard of it. You play as Dracula except here the game takes plays in modern day versus medieval times. Araujo delivers a score incredibly bold, grand and stunningly beautiful at times. The game itself is filled with a lot of hokey stuff, but the score apart from the game is an experience truly to behold.
The score can be described as gothic action, and it truly propels you through the journey. Moments of grandeur are crafted with beautiful builds. The whole experience is a thrilling ride with plenty of tracks that will get the hairs standing on the back of your neck. Araujo keeps everything very embedded in the gothic fantasy world of Castlevania, but also incorporates some modern electronic elements. While the music can be bold and intense most of the time, there are still moments of quiet elegance. This prevents the experience from being a full assault, and the album in turn becomes a supremely well put together narrative experience. The flurry of strings with a sea of chorus backing propulsive action is definitely some impressive writing. I found myself invested in a musical narrative and pulled into a fantastical journey worth seeing through to the end. The score never really feels like it was structured for gameplay, and honestly moments from the score could have fit perfectly on a film like Lord Of The Rings. The scale and scope of the music here is fantastic and Araujo handles it all supremely.
Parts of the score reminded me a little of Zimmer’s infamous “Time” and even Cris Velasco & Sascha Dikiciyan’s Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine score, but it wasn’t enough to take you out of it. The score for Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2 is its own unique journey, and a tremendous one at that. Oscar Araujo is a talent worth noting as his themes and emotional builds are truly stunning. The video game itself may have a niche fanbase, but the score is definitely something accessible by all.
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