Beautifully dark virtual reality
The new critically favored Playstation 4 game, Death Stranding, takes place in the United States after a plague of creatures terrorizes the Earth. The audience plays the game as Sam Bridges, who travels between the small colonies of people that are left in the aftermath of this apocalypse. Death Stranding: Timefall is a compilation of songs inspired by the game. The soundtrack features many popular artists from different genres including soulful singer Khalid and metal-rock band Bring Me the Horizon.
The soundtrack opens with song “Trigger” which features Khalid’s sweet vocals and Major Lazer’s EDM style flare. With lyrics like “Don’t try to change your mind when the blood is on your hands/ shoot me down, shoot me down, I don’t wanna remember,” people can easily picture the somber scenes found in the game. The sad, haunting vibes continue with track “Ghost” that includes electropop singer Au/ra and British DJ Alan Walker. This combination of artists leaves listeners with a catchy upbeat melody paired with compelling vocals and dark lyrics like “Tell myself I’m fine, but I don’t really know/ I’m just scared I’ll end up, I’ll end up, I’ll end up alone.”
There’s a taste of synth-pop on the soundtrack thanks to Scottish indie-pop band CHVRCHES with their track titled after the game itself, “Death Stranding,” that surprisingly sounds more hopeful and upbeat than the other songs on the album. On the other hand, rock band The Neighbourhood brings a bit of a moody rock sound to the soundtrack with “Yellow Box” and they make use of distorted doorbell noises and desperate lyrics such as “Can we begin again?/ just start all over/ I gave everything I can/ I’m dying to live again” to emphasize the dreary ambiance of the game.
On the track “Meanwhile… in Genova” by The S.L.P., the audience gets a taste of exactly what most imagine “video game music” to sound like. Heavy instrumentation, including plenty of percussion and strings, and an energetic essence that fits perfectly into an action-packed game.
The track “Born In the Slumber” by Flora Cash is probably the most fitting of this post-apocalyptic world painted in the game with tragic lyrics like “we were born in a slumber/ no one really cared about us/ except for our parents/ the government’s dead” and “you’ll be alright, child, no healthcare no education.” It is possible to say some inspiration for this song was found in our country’s current political climate.
Death Stranding: Timefall has a little bit of every genre, from pop to rock to EDM to everything in between. The soundtrack does a beautiful job of immersing us into the dark and grim virtual reality of Death Stranding.