Soundtrack review: Rise and shine (Damian Sanchez – 2016)
Welcome to Gamearth, a once peaceful planet now threatened by the warmongering Space grunts of Nexgen. In the aftermath of their devastating first strike a child named Rise is forced to take on the sacred gun Shine – and with it the fate of his world. This is the plot of the game “Rise and shine”, with a score by Damian Sanchez. I’m always excited to hear one of his compositions because no matter how small the game or the story he goes all in with his compositions.
“This is rise”, the opening cue, shows exactly what I mean: this is a smooth, jazzy and moody piece contrasting with background string motifs performed by Miriam Jimenez and Fernando Pasqual that gives this cue a feel of modern and classic fusion. I remember it was this hot and cold combination that attracted me to Damian’s music the first time I heard it. It’s present in a lot of cues from “Rise and shine” in the more alert cues. The composer himself performs the piano that compliments the strings in a few of the cues.
When writing a game score a composer must pay attention to keep the right balance in his music so not to hurt the gaming experience; sure there are games that demand an epic and spectacular score for some moments but mostly the music needs to help the gamer better settle in the atmosphere of the game, the music needs to be part of the game landscape and when I listen to a beautiful and almost mournful cue like “Flying boat”, again with a haunting string section, I imagine myself really feeling what’s going on in the game and being invested in it. I am more attracted to the deep emotional moments of this score as cue like “Gas” tugs at the chords of my heart.
The quiet moments are few though. I can sense the effervescence of creation when I listen to most of the cues from “Rise and shine” as a lot of them are agitated and with mood swings inside them, as if the composer was sometimes too impatient as the ideas kept flowing. There’s a lot to choose from in this score and I am happy to also discover electronic elements in “The throne”.
For me “Seashores” is the most complex piece from this score and the one that best showcases the talent of the composer; here somehow all the different pieces come into place and I can see myself enjoying a game when this is playing, I feel the adventure and I am ready for it. It has an “Assassin’s creed” feel to it.
“Rise and shine” is another bountiful composition from Damian Sanchez who once again creates an entire world with his music. I’m sure there’s something inside it for you as well.
Cue rating: 85 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 22 / 59
Album excellence: 37%
This is Rise (feat. Miriam Jimenez and Fernando Pascual) *
Flying boat (feat. Miriam Jimenez) *
Big Robot **