Eldritch is a highly stylised random generated first person adventure and David Pitmann’s soundtrack is equally stylised. It’s a weird and wonderful mix of noises and genres and will take a fair bit of explaining before you will know if you want to dive in or not. It’s not an easy listening soundtrack that’s for sure!
Opening with a single chord strum of “Elder Ridge Library”, the soundtrack really begins with the ambient guitar feedback rumbles of “Beneath Innsmouth” which features soundwaves of guitar feedbacks that wash in and out, both low and high. It’s quiet Silent Hill-esque in its grumblings and that’s never a bad thing. “Dagon” takes the high-pitched siren feedback of the guitar to make a dissonant ambient fire bell sound whilst slightly more tuneful guitar strums burp and bubble underneath. If the previous track was growling and low-key, this is like being disoriented on high alert – yet in a strangely alluring slow motion. “The Nameless City” continues down a more tuneful path but only just as one ear is attacked by the same chord being reversed and looped and the other has weird and wonderful guitar slides slithering like a creepy snake. “Nyarlathotep” then poises into a singular drone of guitar noises that gradually twists and bends inside itself without ever leaving the note. It drags itself from guitar to droning synth over the course of the track though and it’s impressively immersive for a single chord.
“R’lyeh” verges off into the world of ambience with hallowed sirens and echoing tubes that drone, drip, moan and whistle in the wind. It’s beautifully eerie and a real scene setter. “Cthulhu” sounds like an electric guitar is being played under a huge pillow in the distance. You can hear a vague melody in their somewhere but it’s lost in the muted madness of it all. “The Ascent” follows with a Zen rumbling drone for three minutes before “The Ritual of Binding” showcases an ambient air. There’s no real noise either, it’s literally like you’re in a hot air vent listening to a tone.
Suddenly from nowhere “48th And Desperation” bursts into a short acoustic guitar number. There are chords, patterns, melodies and half a tune. It takes you by so much surprise as it gets more leery on each repeat. It paves the way for “Skittering” which is a synth piece of trickling melodic rain notes with scene setting warbling guitars. It actually has transitions and you can hear the guitar amp buzz throughout which becomes a raj like sound throughout the piece. “Whispering” continues the more melodic side to this experimental ambient soundtrack with open strums, twirling synths like crystals and weird whisperings that are reversed and robotic. The soundtrack ends with “Existing” which returns full circle to clangs of distant guitars and a few synths winding down into the darkness.
One glaring omission from the soundtrack is the absolutely fantastic piece that comes with the games trailer. I was hoping for far more of that acoustic guitar flair but here all I found was post-rock drones and whimpers. It’s not as interesting as Silent Hill and not as rocky as a post-rock band. Instead it feels like an awkward crossing over. Some of it is really effective and I can imagine on a really miserable say this would make me feel suitably horrid in the dark – but go with caution – it’s not an easy listen at all and if your ambient love isn’t very high, this could well be a miss. One of the most acquired taste ratings I could possibly give.