Jason Graves’ score to Dead Space is absolutely terrible. And I mean terrible like Ivan the Terrible – invoking fear; terrifying. Much like the game it scores, this soundtrack did not have an ounce of levity or beauty in a conventional sense. Was it an absolute work of art? Without a doubt. But, it was among the most difficult listening experiences due to the sheer volume of aleatoric music and percussion/brass blasts designed to scare the living bejesus out of you. And it worked. However, unlike last years Dante’s Inferno which also contained a huge amount of terrifying horror music, there are very few beautiful moments in Graves’ first Dead Space outing and it simply follows the game’s lead which, too, cannot crack a smile or give us much besides the horror element. This is absolutely fine with me as I made it one of my top picks of 2008.
We have been very fortunate these past several months as “sequel scores” like Bioshock 2, God of War III, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Fallout: New Vegas, and several others have come to the dance with flying colors surpassing their predecessors in all the right ways. How does Graves fare this time? Is his score as “terrible”? And I wonder if he flinches knowing that I referred to his score as “terrible” even being very clear that I am referring to the definition meaning “terrifying.” Click the jump to find out the answers to these questions! Well, the first two at least. (more…)