Game Music, Reviews

Majestic and Terrifying: Until Dawn Original Soundtrack (Review)

December 2, 2015 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Majestic and Terrifying: Until Dawn Original Soundtrack (Review)on Twitter

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Jason Graves’ soundtrack to Until Dawn is both chilling and beautiful.  The music is a wonderful orchestral score that has moments of pure skin crawling themes, and hopeful melodies that give you a sense that things are going to be okay until they aren’t. Which is absolutely perfect for a survival horror game, although I have not played the game yet I feel that I’ve experienced one the most significant part of it.

Jason Graves has composed the music for several video games including Dead Space 2, The Order 1886, and Tomb Raider. You can revisit OSV’s reviews of the soundtrack to Dead Space 2 and The Order 1886 in case you missed them the first time around.  Read on for my review of the music of Until Dawn.  

The review copy of the soundtrack I received only contained 12 of the soundtracks total 14 tracks.  I tried listening to the music in my living room before bed earlier this week and its not something I recommend especially if you have a dog present as they may not like some of the intense moments. If you love horror games and scores in the dark, after hours the Until Dawn soundtrack is perfect for you.

I listened to the full album on my walk to work after a morning snowfall, at times I found myself turning around because I thought something might be after me: possibly a monster, a baby doll, or some sort of evil presence.  Overall I think the music fits the source material, and if you are a fan of Jason Graves’ previous works you will really enjoy this soundtrack.

To understand the experience I had during my walk be sure to take the time and listen to the above track titled “Run or Hide” which is listed as track 5 on the album.  The song opens with a balancing of chimes and low strings which sounds almost soothing.  Horns later join the melody as does some maraca that builds into a more diverse sound. At just over 2 minutes the tone of the song shifts completely and at 2:30 adding the sound of a heartbeat and rapid almost ear piercing strings until about 3:15 when the music give you the sense it’s time to run! The hide portion of the title to this track applies at about 4 minutes when the chime turns to something that sounds like an off nursery rhyme.  It’s an intense piece of music to listen to.

You can sample two tracks from this score right on Jason Graves’ website.  The main theme “The Shadow of the Mountain” which is an excellent symphonic introduction to the album which delivers a underlying sense of uneasiness, and “Chris and Ashley” which is one of the more lighthearted pieces on the album featuring solid stringed arrangements and soft echoing piano.

My favorite track on the album is track 4 “You Go, Girl” which has a locomotion sound to it and I imagined would accompany images of scenic vista and aerial shots of a helicopter or train.

Until Dawn is available on iTunes for $9.99, as are a number of Jason Graves’ albums.  Have you played Until Dawn?  How does the music drive the in game experience?

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