Shadowgrounds -Survivor- Original Soundtrack

Shadowgrounds -Survivor- Original Soundtrack Album Title:
Shadowgrounds -Survivor- Original Soundtrack
Record Label:
Ari Tunes
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
November 14, 2007


The sequel to 2005’s Shadowgrounds brings back the same setting where the player has to survive in futuristic sci-fi locations while aliens are trying their best to take him down. Ari Pulkkinen, composer of the first game, is back for Shadowgrounds Survivor. My review will do two things: describe this soundtrack and compare it to its predecessor. Follow me to shed some light on this dark soundtrack.


Fans of the first game’s music will be happy to hear that the sequel share several characteristics with it. The mood is dark, actually even darker than the original, and the intricate beats can once again be heard in many tracks. However, the bad news is that this soundtrack actually feels like a stripped-down version of the original. Missing from the action tracks are Amen’s guitar riffs, which brings the energy level down. Since the heavy metal aspect was removed, the industrial sound palette takes more space now. Orchestral elements are still present, but in most cases, they are less substantial. While they still sound synthetic, they however definitely add to the listening experience by contrasting the electronic sound and softening the atmosphere. The action and ambient tracks from the original were quite distinct, but in the sequel, the difference is not as extreme. Indeed, some action tracks actually sound close to ambient ones from the original. This makes this soundtrack more subtle, more atmospheric. I have not played the game, but in videos I’ve seen, the music seemed to fit quite well what was going on. But out of context, this soundtrack is not the most exciting one you can find.

Bad comments aside, I find that while Survivor is not on the same level as its precursor, it is an above-average industrial soundtrack when taken on its own. People who enjoy dark sci-fi ambiance or breakbeat will surely find something to dig in there. I already mentioned that the orchestral samples are not the most realistic ones I have heard, but the electronic samples are of great quality and sound deep. The menu theme, with its dark pads and ominous beat mimicking a heartbeat, is reminiscent of the main theme from John Carpenter’s horror movie The Thing. If you are familiar with the Forsaken soundtrack, you might hear some similarities in the action tracks. Noteworthy ones include “The Running Man”, “Hiding from Shadows”, and “Everything Falls”.

The soundtrack closes with two arrangements of “Valley of Shadow”, one of my favorite theme from the original. The first is an adagio take, a slow version principally performed by strings and a female soloist. The other one, tagged “Remembrance”, is closer to the original with its fusion of orchestral and industrial sounds, now with a sublime piano segment, but its poor trumpet sample which takes the lead for a good while is not super. None surpasses the master, but their inclusion is certainly appreciated. The last track is “SGS Main Theme”, an orchestral and piano-driven dark, but optimistic, theme with a militaristic hint.


This soundtrack is not for everybody as it is not lively and melodious. As mentioned earlier, fans of industrial music will be those who will appreciate it the most. I find it is good for the genre, and certainly fits the type of game it was composed for. If it would have been more like the original soundtrack, it would have been better, especially concerning a diversification in the instrumentation and more energy in the action themes. The music was not released officially, but Ari Pulkkinen told me he will be releasing all 15 tracks for free download on his website in the near future, so keep an eye on it if you are interested.

Shadowgrounds -Survivor- Original Soundtrack François Bezeau

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!


Posted on August 1, 2012 by François Bezeau. Last modified on August 1, 2012.

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