Friday, March 18, 2011
A Beautiful Re-Invention
Review by Marius Masalar
Not too long ago, the International Film Music Critics Association announced their award winner for best video game score. The winner, who was also nominated for best breakout composer of the year, beat out such critically acclaimed titles as 007 Bloodstone, Dark Void, and Lego Universe — each of which was penned by marvelous and well-known composers. The unexpected bolt of lightning that took the IFMCA and your humble writer’s breath away was the score for CASTLEVANIA: Lords of Shadow, a 3D reboot of the iconic Konami franchise, developed by Mercury Steam and released on the major consoles earlier this year. The musical mastermind behind this achievement was OSCAR ARAUJO, whose name is likely unfamiliar to you.
ARAUJO is a Spanish composer whose work on CASTLEVANIA will surely catapult him to more mainstream work, though he is certainly no stranger to the craft, having worked on a number of smaller scale projects in his homeland. For CASTLEVANIA, ARAUJO pulled out all the stops and recorded an absolutely immense score with a 120-piece orchestra and choir in Bratislava. An immediate gauge of the score’s success is that even die-hard Castlevania fans, ones who were demanding another gothic-rock musical offering in the vein of all the previous titles in the series, have unashamedly admitted that ARAUJO’s score — while certainly unexpected — takes the franchise in a very strong new direction.
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