It is a rare thing, but some of the best video game soundtracks work equally well if not better when listened to on their own, away from the imagery for which they were composed. Such is the case with Alone in the Dark’s soundtrack album, just released by Milan Records. No matter what the reviews of the game say, composer Olivier Deriviere has created an engaging and original soundtrack to go along with the survival horror game.
The majority of the album features the female voice choir The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices (or Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, for you continental types). If you don’t follow the World Music scene, this singing group has been around several decades and released numerous albums. There are shock and scare moments thrown in, but the music is not what you would typically expect from a survival horror game. It isn’t so genre-based that you can’t sit and listen to it on its own (which I have done about five times today). The highlights are far and away the pieces featuring the Bulgarian Voices, which make up half the album. Tracks like “Edward Carnby” and “Who Am I?” mix the voice choir with electronica elements and orchestration to create a suspenseful yet listenable sound.
What is really heartening to see is that American game music fans are finally beginning to get game soundtrack album releases which are more than just the triple-A titles that you’d expect one from. An interesting side note is the “Listeners Also Bought” list on iTunes when you look this soundtrack up. The list includes video game music composers Tommy Tallarico and Michiru Yamane along with several bands from Grand Theft Auto IV’s Vladivostok FM. You game music fans have very good taste.
--Rick “No Fear of the Dark” Damigella