Album Review | Victor Vran Original Soundtrack (MusiCube)

By John Son 14.10.2015

Classically-trained Bulgarian composer George Strezov already has a fairly hefty portfolio of soundtracks for film, TV and games to his name. Cubed3 takes a close look at his most recent work, the soundtrack for Haemimont Games' action RPG Victor Vran, to see how the music fares on its own, and whether the album itself justifies a proper look for those unfamiliar with the game.
Image for Album Review | Victor Vran Original Soundtrack (MusiCube)
The most striking quality of the music of Victor Vran is how much of it flirts with the qualities usually associated with ambient music, yet still doesn't feel passive enough to be classed as such. True, while the majority of the tracks on the album do, indeed, feel solemn, understated, tense and just generally unobtrusive sounding, it's the prevailing classical feel, and the sparse, yet effective, melodies that prevent the album from sinking to the depths of full-blown, anonymous muzak-like white noise.

The overwhelming atmosphere, however, is still a noticeably subdued one. The opening track, "Victor Vran Main Title," is one of very few pieces to use a large-scale arrangement for dramatic effect; many of the others are more conservative in their instrumentations. Despite this, the track itself doesn't feel overdone by any means; the guitar notes, which open and close the track, nicely offset the effect of the orchestra, choir and menacing percussion when they're performing at full blast. This ominous, and at times, eerie-sounding melody also crops up throughout the soundtrack in various forms and guises, giving the album some semblance of cohesive thematic identity.

One notable example of this is the track "Bard," which takes the aforementioned melody and transforms it into a short study utilising a Spanish flamenco guitar - the result is a morose and poignant sounding piece, with an especially effective major key change towards the end, granting it a particularly stately and dignified undertone. Despite its modest arrangement, it's most definitely one of the more interesting and memorable tracks on the album.

"Archdemon," on the other hand, is probably the biggest track on the album in terms of sound and scale - although, despite this, while it does inject a bit of energy into an otherwise introspective track list, the melody feels disappointingly circular and lacks development. Even though the arrangement itself is slick and organised, on close listening, the piece just doesn't hold up as much as it probably should do.

It would be unfair to criticise Strezov's music in this way too heavily, however, as the brooding nature of much of the tracks simply doesn't lend itself well to situations outside the context of the games. Evidently, this is music composed sorely to complement and enhance the gameplay experience only, and little else. While the music itself is well composed enough to justify a standalone album release, the nature of the tracks; the bleak landscapes and subtle gothic aesthetic painted by the music, lends itself best to just being what all game music essentially is: background music. The mistake here would be confusing music of this genre with that of music that is uninteresting, lazily composed or just plain bad - none of which can necessarily be said to apply to the music of Victor Vran. The reality is that there's just so much tense incidental music a person can listen to without an accompanying event to help contextualise it before it starts to sound a little odd.


 

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

There's no denying that the Victor Vran soundtrack is, for the most part, well-thought out, well-produced, and overall, pretty slick. The issue here is that without a game to help give the more solemn and bleaker tracks some meaning, it's difficult to get attuned with the soundtrack's intricacies and general mood. For what it is, though, Strezov's music is mostly on point - but bar a select handful of tracks, the album is probably a little too bare-bones and reserved to make for terribly fascinating listening on its own.

Box art for Victor Vran
Developer

Haemimont

Publisher

EuroVideo Medien

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Comments

There are no replies to this article yet. Why not be the first?

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
K-Pop Korner - The Best of Korean Music
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Azuardo, Sandy Wilson

There are 2 members online at the moment.