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Soundtrack review: Castlevania (Trevor Morris – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Castlevania (Trevor Morris – 2017)

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“Castlevania” is a Canadian-American adult animated web television series based on the 1989 video game Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse by Konami. The series follows Trevor Belmont, who defends the nation of Wallachia from Dracula and his minions.When his wife is burned at the stake after being falsely accused of witchcraft, the vampire Count Vlad Dracula Tepes declares all the people of Wallachia will pay with their lives. His army of monsters and demons overruns the country, causing the people to live lives of fear and distrust. To combat this, the disgraced demon hunter Trevor Belmont takes up arms against Dracula’s forces, aided by the magician Sypha Belnades and Dracula’s son Alucard. Being of both Romanian and vampire descent it’s always fascinating to see how foreigners portray the Vlad Tepes story. Besides, never thought I would see names like Lupu, Murderu or Targoviste in a score. The music was composer by Trevor Morris which is why I am reviewing it.

Trevor Morris is no stranger to games, demons, vampires, vikings, psychopaths and all sorts of strange and stranger creatures so this will be right up his alley. Him being Trevor Morris also means I come in highly anticipating one type of excellent score and am served an entirely different kind of awesomeness. I was expecting an epic fantasy action score and here I am enjoying music that in a lot of moments has that sweet 80s electronic sound. “The true science” for example is a dreamy heroic anthem that echoes back to that age and I just love it. I chose this one because it checks all the 80s marks I need but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the cues aren’t just as good. I mean the opening of “Tavern Brawl” is a synth fan’s wet dream (or nightmare) and when you add the Celtic influences it’s just something that needed to be invented and written and Trevor was the man to do it. Composer Trevor, not demon hunter Trevor. Or are they one and the same? I mean he must have had fun writing cues named “Trevor fights the cyclops” or “Trevor fights the mob”.

But I digress, this is about the music and I am up to “We can’t turn away” and this is pure atmospheric delight, if ones delight was a dark, metallic and menacing atmosphere. I swear I saw a melodic romantic motif hiding in there as well though. There’s also the electric RCP sounding “Twilight descends” in there and this cue could have appeared on “Transformers – Age of extinction” by Steve Jablonsky without any trouble. I am having fun left, right, front and centre with this score. There’s a cue called “Let me kiss you” which is about the darkest and most growly sounding piece from “Castlevania” so I imagine it’s a metaphor.

Trevor (Morris) fights the good fight once again. Trevor (Morris) fights boredom and filler cues. “Catlevania” is epic, dark and wonderfully nostalgic; it’s an 80s inspired bonanza of great cues and emotions, a score that’s both barbed wire and an inspiring raised flag, both scary and romantic and, above all, simply great great fun.

Cue rating: 92 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 37 / 59

Album excellence: 62

Highlights:
Lisa of Lupu
The True Science
No More Do I Travel as a Man
Murdenu Tavern
Tavern Brawl
Bloody Greist
Bit of Dried Goat
We Can’t Turn Away
War for the Soul of Our People
Twilight Descends
I’m Trevor Belmont
I Fight for Myself
Night Hordes Besiege Gresit
There’s an Army of Us
Alucard Rises
Hunter, Scholar, Soldier

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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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