CD REVIEW - THE ABBEY
Music by Emilio De Paz
KeepMoving Records KMRCD015 (Russia)
28 Tracks 49:05 mins
Another recent release from enterprising label KeepMoving Records is the score for the murder mystery adventure game The Abbey, written by Emilio De Paz, who is actually head of Alcachofa Soft, the game's developer. But before any alarm bells go off, I have to say that this is an accomplished work, largely utilising the services of the City of Prague Philharmonic and mixed choir, though electronics are included in the mix, but are generally subtly applied.
This disc provides a generous helping of the 70-minute score, commencing with "In Memoriam," which, after a dramatic opening, settles into a memorable choral theme, with Latin lyrics, before taking flight and ending in a powerful climax. "Abbot's Theme" follows,with organ intro giving way to a sunny theme that then develops into a proud, Chronicles of Narnia-like theme, before resuming. The very noble and spiritual "God's Domicil" follows, giving way to the first hint of dark mystery in "Chapter." A jaunty, medieval-styled theme then follows in "Fire and Iron," giving way to the classical-styled strings of "Segundo's Theme," joined later by choir, as the questing cue reaches its conclusion. "Benedicte Dominus" is a lovely, sunny theme, with choir briefly adding to the orchestral mix; and the mood continues in "Healing Hands." There's more medieval dance-like music in "Umberto's Theme," with "Embracement of the Night" slowing things down and returning us to noble, spiritual territory. The brief, shimmering "Finding" follows, and then the comedic sneakiness of "Aegidius' Theme" leads to a dramatic choral for "Cadaver."
Things take a darker turn with the mysterious "Room of Wisdom" and increasingly dramatic choral "Hand of Dead." "Sneaking Suspicion" and "The Passage" offer more mystery and suspense; giving way to the religious source cue "Holy Spirit," with choir and organ solo.
"Kingdom of Dead" returns us to spiritual territory, with "Nazario of Milan" continuing in the same vein, but with an air of mystery and wonder about it. Action and drama follows in "Blaze in the Heart," and then it's briefly back to the spiritual again for the suitably moving "Requiem," before more dramatics in "The Confrontation" and "Opus Rei."
"Bruno's Theme" initially offers serene resolution, with muted organ then taking us into the "Finale," which soars heavenwards, before chiming bells transport us to a peaceful resolution.
I guess the last two tracks on the album are included as a kind of bonus, with first the foreboding choral "Satanico" and then the impressive "The Abbey Suite" rounds things off in fine style, with a great arrangement of some of the composer's best material from the score.
As I said before, this is an accomplished work and yet another example of the fine music that is being produced for video games these days; and, as always, this is a very limited edition, so you'd best get along to www.keepmovingrecords.com to check out samples and order your copy.