Shatter (as you can read below in our review) is a fantastic game. Just as fantastic is the 14 track soundtrack made by Module. The whole thing has an electro-rock feel that feels both retro and futuristic wrapped into one sound. The soundtrack sounds more like a shoot-em-up game but with real riffs and not just freak out guitar solos.
“Kinetic Harvest” gets things going with grizzly bass lines, chugging electric guitars, electric arpeggios and a foot stomping beat. The tune itself is relatively simple but it never sits still and therefore never runs the risk of being stale. “Aurora” is more synth led but although it has an aural essence to it, it’s not a song you’d find on Chill FM. Again its a song that adds and adds to its beautiful bass with all kinds of catchy plinky riffs. There’s some great percussive sounds in this song that manages to sound heavenly yet industrial at the same time and the contradiction works perfectly.
“Granular Extractor” for some reason reminds me of the Beverley Hill Cop theme song and old Spectrum games. There’s a real retro arcade feel to this track specificially. Combined with electric percussion and the way the track changes from high to low pitches, it also sounds more like a medley track in some ways which is great as it feels like going on some kind of space journey. “Krypton Garden” sounds like something Ladytron would make. It’s use of real guitars side by side with loads of keyboards just absolutely works and when it comes together for the final two minutes, its quite possibly one of the best things to happen in VGM releases for the passed couple of years. Fantastic!
“Freon World” is a joyous track. From the nearly uke-sounding guitar unpinning to the blipping arpeggios, this song is a happy bean. At the half way mark it becomes more of a statium rock track with infectious riffs and pulsating keyboards throbbing through to your brain with hedonistic results. Another fab track! “Amerthyst Caverns” is a real personal highlight. The song features clipped vocal samples played via a keyboard it seems. Coupled with a great four bar chord riff and some fantastic keyboard riffs, the song just sound absolutely epic. It’s the perfect mish-mash of old meets new in a whole new ball game. This track is already an all time favourite track for myself.
“Neon Mines” is a grizzly-funky track. It follows the same principle as all the tracks do. A simple start, building up to a new section that then builds up to the two tunes joining. Again this track is infectious and its the voice instruments that stick in your head as you want to strut your stuff. “Argon Refinery” is a great stadium track and would do well as a track to download and play on things like RockBand. The tune is simplistic again but that’s where the beauty lies and if you aren’t playing air guitar after this track, you never will.
“Xenon Home World” see’s the guitar become more edgy and grungier almost. The feedback and whammy bar are great to hear and the whole track sounds like a big boss battle and for a six minute track that is essentially based of two chords, it still feels as fresh as a morning dew at the end as it does at the beginning. “End of the World” is a great track mixing all the elements already mentioned above into one seemless track. It’s almost like a tour de force of Shatter, moulding all the elements of each song together to create a super-song.
“Boss Music” is has some great little touches to it especially the mini freak outs at the end of every four bars at the beginning before it gets dramatic at the half way point with rousing keyboards leading the way. This track feels much quicker than it actually is because its constantly got various things all pumping out a certain beat. “Homelands” is a much more relaxing and free-bird track in many ways. It’s the end credits one and has some great dolphin like snyths that hark back to Ecco the Dolphin! The guitar then kicks in and gives us great memories and a mighty fantastic track.
“Glass Halls” is the menu track which is more electro-ambient with music made from keyboards and dripping water samples. It still bounces along at a fair pace but it’s about as sedate as the Shatter soundtrack gets. The final track is “Hyperspace (extended version)” played in the bonus sections which has a great hook to it and really sums up exactly why this soundtrack is golden.
So far in 2009 I have been seriously underwhelemed with a lot of VGM. Shatter has completely blown me away. Not only is it by far my favourite soundtrack of 2009, it ranks amoungst the best soundtracks for the passed decade with ease. The fusion of old school themes on modern days technology is exactly what a lot of game music is screaming out for today and top marks for Module for going the whole hog and then some to give us a masterpiece. I cannot recommend this collection enough and I’ll look forward to giving it some fine awards I’ll expect come the end of the year. Mind-blowing!