Tyler Bates & John Swihart ~ Far Cry: New Dawn
Unlike the constantly pounding and dramatic tracks of Far Cry 5, the music in New Dawn is much more atmospheric, emphasizing not the very weight of beliefs in a world’s destruction but the resulting panorama, sometimes gripping and immediate, sometimes distant and calm. The industrial style is kept, except the backbone is trap music, giving the whole OST a slow, grinding quality that highlights the dissonance of the rock riffs instead of making them the centerpieces of the music’s dynamism. In a way, this makes them much more effective at conveying aggression and tension, the moments at which the apocalypse depicted in the game is taken in.
One of the most interesting aspects of the album is the utilization of broken guitars and fused instruments, as well as improvised ones that grant it with eerie and unidentifiable sounds. In “The Prophecy”, for example, there’s a layered drone whose harmony sounds strangely electronic and electric, like a guitar that’s been compressed by mechanical means, its sound small and yet stirring. This pieced-together nature not only reflects well the game’s themes but also its musical atmosphere, its beats grave and it electronics piercing, an unmistakable violence lying underneath the sheen of the uncanny.
Ghoulnoise ~ Can Androids Pray
Can Androids Pray begins with ambient tones to a recitation of a few of the Beatitudes of Jesus, a bold opening that centers on reflection and meditation: offering solace in virtue, the soundtrack pairs subdued choir-like tones with robotic sci-fi sounds that are not entirely functional. Peppered with beeps, metallic creaks, and other electronic noises of the sort, the EP-length album suggests a machine broken down and barely functioning, its last mechanical gasps transformed into the slow, dense music of thought. It is full of glitchy tones, as if listening itself was a last, failing effort to make sense, and both “ether” tracks, the main body of the OST, seem as if born from struggle, every sound a difficult last breath, every noise a signal of finality impending. It is effective at conveying a certain weight perhaps lifted by its initial references to the virtues of Christian religion, the sparking edges of machine failure smoothed out by bright, yet distant drones. And then, suddenly, a dreampop track explodes into the scene, its placement between the two “ether” tracks and their unified version a jarring, unexpected punch in the face of the relative gloom built up till that moment. It’s a good track, however, and it emphasizes the artificial, sci-fi aspects of the OST by means of vocaloid singing. In summary, Can Androids Pray is an interesting, short album made to lie back and question what the end is.
V/A ~ Katana ZERO (Remixes)
The Katana ZERO remixes take some of the OST’s more distinctive, decisive themes and takes them for a spin with artists like Jasper Byrne, who for the most part convert them into more subdued, darkwave-inclined endeavors. Like any good classicism, Katana ZERO’s is open to Gothic reinterpretation, and what these remixes do is to channel the first’s quieter, darker undercurrents into passionate, emotional moods that do not necessarily connect with the dance-as-violence aesthetic. The violence present here is of another kind, one of a ruined psychic landscape, much quieter, sometimes even lacking in bodily expressiveness (though the suggestion of it abounds, as in Angle’s version of the main theme). Where the originals explode with movement, the remixes implode, their energy redirected towards repression. You might want to dance every now and then, but I warn you, it will be a punishing dance, full of screeches and threateningly vertiginous beats. (David Murrieta Flores)