Game Music, Reviews

Damned if You Do: Shadows of the Damned (Review)

November 9, 2011 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Damned if You Do: Shadows of the Damned (Review)on Twitter

Yeah, we already reviewed the promotional soundtrack for Shadows of the Damned and loved it. It was actually quite an impressive sampler, featuring 12 tracks totaling around 30 minutes of music. Having loved what I heard, I was immediately excited when a full soundtrack release was announced.

We’ve listened, we’ve been surprised, and now we’re going to tell you about it.

Hit the jump for our review.

Well, I could probably start and end this review with: “See our previous review of the sampler.” The sampler featured 12 tracks, whereas the soundtrack release sports 21. That is to say, if you already have the sampler, you already have a large portion of music from the game. But there’s a flaw with the “See our previous review” statement.  As it turns out, many of the tracks featured on the sampler are nowhere to be found on this CD.

So, you ask, what’s here then? While there are a lot of different tracks on this album, they all sport the same kind of vibe. Dark trip-hop material that meshes well with what was heard on the sampler. There are a few cross-over tracks, but they appear here with completely different track titles. This is very confusing and makes it difficult to tell you which tracks made the transition.

What was listed as the main theme on the promotional release appears here as “Take me to Hell (Broken Dreams),” which does, in fact, feature Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as we had surmised. And she’s heard two other times on the album, with the highlight being on “Different Perspectives,” which I’d describe as a moody synth pop track. The actual main theme proper  features performers from the British metal act, The Damned, with Akira Yamaoka on guitar, and is a standard rock tune that doesn’t stand out a whole lot compared to the rest of what’s here.

I could delve into particular tracks, but I think my descriptions would all be the same: lots of reverb, lots of layered pads, and lots of tribal percussion. It all falls in line with what Yamaoka has done with the Silent Hill series in the past, and it all sounds fantastic. He has way of making music that is comes off as more of a sound design element which I’ve always admired him for.  By that same note, however, I will say that this doesn’t make for the most pleasant outside listening experience.  This is hell after all.

The question now arises: is this soundtrack release worth picking up? I personally loved the sampler, and the fact that some of my favorite tracks do not appear here is pretty devastating.  At least I have them in digital form, but in terms of value, this disc only contains 60 minutes of music, so I don’t understand why the other tracks are not here. It’s also confusing to rename the tracks, making it difficult to determine whether your favorite track from the sampler is here at all.

On the other hand, it’s always nice to have a physical product for collecting purposes. The packaging is fairly simple, with a textured purple cardboard slipcase providing a nice wow factor and the jewel case itself featuring the disc and a single-fold booklet with the cover, track listing, and track credits only. As a bonus, however, Yamaoka is signing every copy sold internationally.

The soundtrack costs about $30 USD from the GHM store, and you’ll have to fork out shipping as well. It’s a tough call, but if you’re a huge Yamaoka fan, a fan of the game, or you just want more of what you heard on the sampler, you may want to pick it up.

Let us know what you think of this release and Akira Yamaoka’s work on the game. Are you a fan of “The Big Boner?”

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