Shatter Official Videogame Soundtrack
Shatter Official Videogame Soundtrack
Mushroom Music NZ
July 23, 2009
Download at Bandcamp
Let me pose a question to you. Have you ever bought a game on the PlayStation Network because it was an interesting revamp on an old classic? Well, that’s what happened when I decided to purchase Shatter, a nice classic take on Breakout, with some Pong influences as well. However, despite the awesome gameplay mechanics it added to these classic games, I was more floored with the music that was accompanying it. Composed by Jeramiah Ross, also known as Module, it features a fantastic soundscape full of electronic and rock tones, with a touch of retro influence. So, where do I begin…?
Well, I guess the most logical place to begin would be the title screen music. Entitled “Glass Halls,” it offers a blend of crystalline synth, easily imitating its title, and some deep bass and industrial tones. So, once I clicked start and chose Story Mode, I was greeted with the first world, “Kinetic Harvest.” The most fascinating thing about this soundtrack in general is the progression of each piece, and this one is no exception. While it starts out with some nice retro arpeggios mixed with electrorock bass line, as it progressions, more futuristic synth samples are added, there is a stronger focus on the bass line. It’s a fantastic start to the album. I couldn’t wait to get to the next world, but what’s this?! A Breakout game with a boss?! That’s really interesting, and the music that accompanied it was all sorts of awesome. Aptly named “Boss Music,” it features an intense rhythm with some awesome vocal distortion, making it sound pretty menacing at times, but at the same time, lots of fun. The next world, “Aurora,” doesn’t focus as much on the rock aspect. Instead, it opts for crystalline synth, some awesome bleeping synth (no expletive intended, but it would be fitting!), and an overall calmer atmosphere that keeps while maintaining the awesome tempo.
“Granular Extractor” is one of my favorites. It features some nice industrial beats and melody lines, some nice variations in melody, and a very progressive way of developing, and keeps with the retro feel. I think that Module really captured the background visuals for this level when he composed this one. “Krypton Garden” definitely pays a bit of homage to the history of rock with its development. Deep bass guitars combine with retro electronica, some distorted synth, and some electric guitar lines to create a very catchy theme. “Freon World” is similar to “Krypton Garden” in the fact that there is a focus on rock, but I find the rock melody to be stronger and it provides some of the most entertaining sections of the entire piece. Combine that with some nice synth samples and it’s a recipe for win. I’d even go so far as to say it was cool! See what I did there? So, it seems that as it progresses, this soundtrack gets better and better. Does it continue or is there a peak somewhere in the middle? Keep on reading to find out! You’ve already made it this far!
We’ve reached another favorite of mine, “Amethyst Caverns,” and boy does it kick ass. I absolutely love the vocoder usage to form the basis of the melody and the crystalline and pulsating synth effects. Particularly nice is the electric guitar that is added towards the end. It just adds a whole new layer to the mix. As soon as “Neon Mines” starts, you know it’s going to kick ass. Some deep synth work, clapping, and some grunge-like guitar riffs make up the majority of the track, but in the middle, there is a beautiful synth emulating piano and some electric guitar work that adds a calming bridge, while still retaining the energy. “Argon Refinery” is the longest thing on the soundtrack and features some sounds reminiscent of Daft Punk. I haven’t mentioned them yet, but their influence can be found in a variety of themes on the soundtrack. Given I absolutely love that duo so you can see why I enjoy this album. But I digress; “Argon Refinery” is a fantastic homage to some of their classic beats, throws in some electric guitar work that serves as the backbone of the melody and some beautiful synth layering. I must say, the last two level themes have a lot to live up to!
So, that brings us to “Xenon Home World.” This is my absolute favorite on the soundtrack. The intro is just all kinds of awesome. It features an awesome rhythm and bass line, some evil sounded warped synth, and sporadic higher pitched synth notes. However, the best part is when out of the blue, the electric guitar comes in and starts playing a sick melody that just meshes perfectly with the rest of the components in the track. It just harbors such a sinister atmosphere, despite being so upbeat! It seems we’ve nearing the end of this review. “The End of the World” closes out the level themes and does so marvelously. Even though I say “Xenon Home World” is my favorite, I kind of lied. It’s tied with this one right here! It is a culmination of the entire soundscape featured on the soundtrack. You’ll hear that rock focus, you’ll hear the vocoder usage (in a freaky kind of way!), and some beautiful synth layering and fantastic beats. The credits theme, “Homelands,” is another fantastic piece and is probably the one with the most focus on rock. It boasts a fantastic melody overtop some lovely bass line work. It’s definitely a nice way to end the soundtrack, and this review.
So yeah, definitely pick this one up if you can. If you are a fan of Daft Punk, this is a must for you. There is just so much diversity to be found and each track is a beautiful progression of its own. You’ll find a variety of soundscapes within each theme and throughout the album. It was a surprise hit for me and it might just be for you as well! Sure, a lot of the tempos are the same, but it’s the meat of the music that matters, if you ask me! Fantastic work, Module! You may have just dethroned my current favorite PSN soundtrack, Super Stardust HD. Don’t worry, though, Ari! I still love you!
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.