arrangements classical game music gothic piano review VGM video game music

David Peacock and Augustine Maguya Gonzales – Hollow Knight Piano Collections Review

Piano arrangements to raise the dead

Sounds like…

Dracula getting in touch with his feelings with a piano album…

The review

Hollow Knight has garnered a lot of love for many reasons and the soundtrack is just one of them. Hollow Knight Piano Collections brings the series’ tunes to a gothic piano rendition. Much like the original music itself, it’s beauty comes from repeat plays.

Across the 15 tracks, Augustine Mayuga Gonzales pours his heart and soul into often melancholy and gentle performances. These performances are arranged by David Peacock and so with the two forces combined, it makes a potent concoction. ‘Hollow Knight’ has a sparse twilight to it full of beauty and foreboding. This tense delicate nature flows throughout many other tracks like ‘Resting Grounds’ and ‘Reflection’. These pieces are immediately endearing.

Hollow Knight Piano Collections Artwork

On the flip side, when the arrangements go full metal gothic – out comes the flourishes and dramatic left-hand smashes. This is where I had some of the most fun with a piano collection for a while. Tracks like ‘Grimm Troupe’, ‘Mantis Lord’s, ‘Dung Defenders’ and in particular ‘Radiance’ are full of energy. Their complex arrangements are a technical marvel for the performers and I was preparing my own pipe organ serenade for my devil entrance after each track.

In between these extremes are the location tracks and these are the hidden gems. ‘White Palace’ and ‘Queens Garden’ stood out for me as beautiful mid-tempo arrangements. The focus for these arrangements is on the gothic elegance of the music. They may get lost upon your first listens to the big and bold set pieces or the emotional ballads but they hold their own with ease. What holds the entire collection together is the expressive playing that Augustine provides. Whether fast, slow, curious or theatrical – Gonzales leans into each tracks’ spirit with gusto.

As someone not overly familiar with the game, I lapped up this collection as a pianist lover and game music fan. I can only imagine fans of the game will love it more. There is nothing hollow about these renditions at all. Highly recommended.

Recommended track: Radiance

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David Peacock and Augustine Mayuga Gonzales - Hollow Knight Piano Collection

9

9.0/10

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