Album Review | Amnesia: The Dark Descent (MusiCube)

By David Lovato 31.10.2015

Any horror game aficionado will admit that one of the most important aspects of a successful title of that ilk is atmosphere. One of the biggest contributors to ambience is arguably its sound, with music often carrying a lot of responsibility for setting the mood. Frictional Games chose Mikko Tarmia to compose the soundtrack to its spooky release, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and now Cubed3's MusiCube takes a listen to the score in closer detail.
Image for Album Review | Amnesia: The Dark Descent (MusiCube)
The Amnesia soundtrack is a moody, foreboding block of tracks, most of which clock in at around a minute or two long. Dark, dreary orchestral pieces carry most of the tracks, sometimes accented by piano, but more often than not being filled with atmospheric sounds and noises. Many of the tunes can better be described as "soundscapes" than songs, something that is fitting for the genre at hand. As a set of music, though, it's not likely to attract listeners who aren't already into this kind of mood, although it's sure to be a hit at Halloween parties.

Several of the tracks sound thematically similar, and it can be difficult to tell a few of them apart. They don't necessarily use the same tones or rhythms, but are just so vague in their sound that nothing really defines them. Others head for the polar end of the spectrum; Back Hall features a rare use of acoustic guitar blended perfectly with choir vocal sounds. Theme for Unknown, one of the longest pieces, uses an almost cliché organ, but does so sparsely and pushes it back far enough that it accents the track rather than sticking around and grating on aural nerves.

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10
Amnesia: The Dark Descent isn't likely to be the go-to soundtrack for anyone who isn't a fan of brooding soundscapes, but it's an atmospheric venture that fits perfectly in the game it accompanies. It makes for good Halloween-time mood setting, and anyone wanting a dark or creepy, yet unobtrusive soundtrack to listen to, probably won't find much better than this.

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