Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Midweek Music Box: BlackThorne

And now the hit track "You'll bleed for me" from Blackthorne's debut self-titled album.
Synthesized heavy metal music, shotguns and bombs, demons and monster, and a ripped main hero?  If it isn't an 80's movie or a band from the same time period then it has to be Blackthorne.

Cutscene music

Dark heavy metal guitar synthesizer music not only set the tone for many a heavy metal band of the 80's but also helped sell the setting of this Blizzard/Interplay puzzle platformer.  I would call it a high-bred of the puzzle and platformer genres because of the way you need to not only wield your shotgun and bombs, but the fact that you have limited bombs on each level and need to to find various bridge extenders, keys, and other items to progress through the game.  It still surprises me that I got this game as a kid.  My parents were pretty careful about what my brother and I brought into the house when it came to games and music.  So something that that fused semi-demonic elements and hard rock finding its way on to my shelf was kinda a shake up from the norm.  But oh what an awesome shake up that was.  There's so many awesome things about this game, it might find its way into a review at a future date.  For now, I just want to focus on the music. 

As I keep saying, I like to use video game music for a variety of things from background music when writing to background music when cleaning.  I love game music.  This is another case where the game and music are nearly inseparable (at least in my mind).  

Mines of Galadril

Just listen to the bass guitar sound on that.  It's pretty sweet in it's own right, but man oh man does it help sell the oppressive atmosphere of the slave run mines of Galadril.  It has the just the right brooding tone to make you want to escape, and free your people.  (Either that or carelessly do an over-the-shoulder-accidental-sorry-I-just-killed-you-chained-up-guy-shotgun-blast-to-the-face.)  Honestly, with that long-haired,ripped hero you control it wouldn't be surprising if the guys and the demons just suddenly dropped the guns and started rocking out.  Heck, I think that would make an awesome video from the crew at Dorkly.  Screw this game!  Let's rock!

Let's talk tempo, because even though the music has a certain chomping, head-bobbing quality, the composer obviously knew how well it would fit the tone of the story.  As obvious as it would be that the happy-go-lucky music like the kind you find in first stage of  Super Mario Bros. 2 would not fit at all, I think it would have been possible to make the music have too similar a quality throughout the game.  Too much brooding would have sunk it.  However, as the game progresses, you get a bit of a faster tempo to the music, culminating in a nice, brisk pace for the end battle.  I like that there's an air of triumph to the music as you get closer to the game.  A game like this could have made for a fantastic open world game like Metroid, but with the tempo and tone of the music, it feels like each new level is a new chapter of a story.

Put this game in the "Pop it in just to hear the music at least" category.  You'll want to do some head-thrashing and gameplaying.  Possibly both at the same time.

Yeah, kinda Alpha Omega Sin style.

No comments:

Post a Comment