Each time I've heard a soundtrack written by Spanish composer Oscar Araujo, I'm pleasantly surprised. Araujo continues to exceed my expectations with his next installment in the Castlevania series: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2.
The soundtrack is full of tender, thoughtful moments, capitalizing on the human qualities of the game's Dracula: Gabriel Belmont.
Game Informer's Tim Turi is the biggest Castlevania fan I know. He brings his gaming experience and love for music in games to the new episode of Top Score.
LOS 2 is an open-world game. Turi says this gives players the ability to soak in more of the music as they wander from location to location.
Occasionally, locations are from a different era in time. Turi talks about the delicate chronological balance in the game, noting that Araujo's score follows the time-jumps beautifully.
One of the most surprising moments for me was hearing "Dracula's Theme". It's a poignant melody, opening first with solo piano in simple counterpoint. I never would expect this to be the theme for Dracula, but my goodness, it's effective.
Being an action-adventure game with Dracula, castles and other monsters, listeners get their fix of epic orchestral moments as well. Turi explains how the score adapts to the chronology if the music accompanies present-day action, Araujo inserts more synthetic sounds to reflect the surrounding technology.
The contemplative moments are never far away, however, and Araujo writes lovely solos for some of the string players.
Catch up on past episodes of Top Score on iTunes, and follow me on Twitter and Facebook @topscorepodcast.