by Jason Parker (Ragachak)
Castlevania: Ressurection of the Night comes right in time for Halloween! It’s a “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night” inspired album if the title weren’t obvious. Symphony of the Night is probably my favorite in the franchise, outside of Super Castlevania IV (arguably the most perfect Castlevania game ever made) and as Metroidvanias are among my favorite genre to play, it was a perfect fit. There’s so much exploration to be had, and this album also deserves to be explored. I listened to the album while playing the game of the same name (PS3 PSN version). Now, I didn’t listen to the tracks on the appropriate stage, because that’s way too much work! I want to just be able to sit down, relax, turn the in-game down and turn Winamp up, and that’s just what I did! Unlike some of the previous albums I’ve listened to, this one is mostly in-line with the actual game soundtrack. It’s a tribute, but not really reimaginings per se’. These versions of the songs have more life to them, that’s the best way I can explain it. Better instrumentation than the Playstation X was capable of, and if I had a remake of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, I’d want it to sound just like this. Nice heavy brass, sassy percussion in Marble Gallery, somber pianos during Dance of Pales, all the way down. It also has a feel of Castlevania: Bloodlines, as that’s the game that leads into Symphony of the Night. This is Richter’s tale, as he travels through the massive hold of Dracula.
It’s also important to note that there’s an “Inverted Castle” album coming soon to Kickstarter (seen here), entitled Ressurection of the Night: Alucard’s Elegy. Personally, that’s the one I am really waiting for. Inverted Castle made me gnash my teeth and pull my hair in frustration, but it’s really a fascinating dungeon crawl. Plus, Inverted Castle is the home of Crissaegrim, the best weapon in the game. As soon as I hit Inverted Castle, I rush to the Forbidden Library to farm “Moos” until I get one. Before I pick a few pieces as my personal favorites, a word from Wayne Strange, arranger/producer:
“The music from Richter’s castle will be laid before you with Resurrection of the Night,” notes arranger and producer Wayne Strange. “We intend to delve deeper into the anguish that Alucard must endure with Alucard’s Elegy. Because we would be moving into more story-driven material we would like to make this experience a truly authentic one. That means hiring a professional choir, and, if our dreams are fully realized, a symphony orchestra. But enough talk, have at you!”
The Tragic Prince (Track 10): It’s very hard to pick a favorite track on this album, as the Symphony of the Night music was phenomenal. But the most iconic piece for me in the entire game is “The Tragic Prince”. The electric guitar combined with subtle brass in the background really sold it for me. This is the song I remember the most from the game, and when I think leaping through the air and slashing the undead to bits, this is the go-to track. I love towards the end of the song you can hear quiet wailing in the background, a chorus of the damned perhaps? Chimes, violins, this song has everything. It’s a terrific rendition of a song useful in exploration, mindless murder, and it feels like it leads up to a dramatic boss encounter as the music swells and crescendos at the end.
Dracula’s Castle (Track 3): The thunderous Bass/Cello at the start, paired with a lilting flute is really a remarkable pairing. Dracula’s Castle is another track that personifies the sound of SOTN and is another one that frankly, whenever I think of the game, I come back to. It starts dark but loud, and swells louder, as you approach the more lit rooms, leaving behind the empty void of the foyer. When I’m listening to the music I can picture Alucard or Richter (though this album is leaned more towards Richter’s travels in the castle) moving deeper, slashing and whipping away at the hordes of Dracula’s servants, avoiding the careful eyes of the Dark Priest, Shaft.
Dance of Gold (Track 4): Kudos to Laura Intravia and Kristin Naigus for their hand in Dance of Gold. It feels like it belongs in a dramatic film, and though it is the shortest piece on the album (at 2:04), it packs potentially the most punch for your eardrums. All it needed was the occasional rattle of bones as Skeletons exploded or the click of footsteps and I would have thought I was actually playing a game. The big cathartic feel of a Metroidvania is in the exploration and finally getting that item you’ve been seeking out or overcoming that obstacle. This music takes me to that emotion, that feeling. It’s very dramatic. It’s music I could see myself listening to, standing on my deck before going to do something tiresome, stressful or unpleasant. It’s great to get the blood pumping and prepared to do what must be done.
Enchanted Bwakquet (Track 13): Not every track must be serious. This is a very grimdark, guitar-filled album, combining the wail of an electric guitar, with ghostly chimes. This particular track, I could not avoid talking about. But I tried… a few times, actually. But I love it! It’s so silly and absurd. It’s the “Enchanted Banquet”, but all the musical notes are Chicken Bwaking. Is that the sound you type for that? Chipring, Bwakking, and more await in the Enchanted Bwakquet! But what really makes this a must-hear is that the music is still ominous and dark, combined with chickens ethereal wail (I never thought I’d explain a chicken as having an “ethereal wail” in my life, so there you go). If you listen to no other song on this album, please listen to this one.
You can find links to the album as well as more information right here. Look forward to more music reviews in the future! I do so love doing these.