08/10/2021

๐Ÿ’ฟ๐Ÿ“€ Children of Morta | Vinyl | Video Game Soundtrack ๐Ÿ’ฟ๐Ÿ“€ @minimum_records #VideoGameVinyl #Vinyl

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Available From:
https://www.minimumrecords.net/shop/baovigseys35z3i68et75e1hdtk0gv

Label - Minimum Records

www.minimumrecords.net

Music by - Hamidreza Ansari

https://hamidrezaansari.com/home

Taken from the 2019 ARPG game ‘Children of Morta’ developed by Dead Mage, the game tells the story of the Bergson family, who are trying to erase ‘the Corruption’ from their home, Mount Morta. 

Children of Morta is a game I have played only briefly, it just so happened to be a game I was just tucking into – not to review for GF, just stumbled upon it on Game Pass – just as a deluge of things that required coverage came into the GF HQ and the flaming gavel of justice was required elsewhere once more. Whilst I only spent an hour or so with the game, I was digging the presentation and mood and so I’m intrigued by how the soundtrack feels as a standalone piece of music.

Written by Hamidreza Ansari and comprising of fifteen (mostly) instrumental tracks, the album is presented on a single, black vinyl and features a darker, subtly altered version of the game’s cover art with a matte finish. Whilst the game art is more vibrant, I actually prefer the soundtrack’s cover, as it feels more ominous and muted, definitely suiting the vibe of the music contained on that sweet, sweet vinyl. The rear of the cover features a sepia-toned image of three of the main characters in a battle pose with a pixelated frame over the top, inside which are the credits and copyright details, very classy. The inner sleeve is again a two-coloured sepia-hued image (with a touch of purple), featuring the cast of characters fighting off the corruption, with the image reversed on the opposite side. It all feels visually cohesive and stylish.

Side A 


Prologue – We are off to an atmospheric start! An echoing, distant crash leads to Chinese flute layered in breezy synth before threating violin notes come in, introducing the full orchestration. It sneaks up and drops away as suddenly, leaving you with twinkling notes and a humming bass note underpinning the score as a distant thunderclap ends the song.


We are the Bergsons – Traditional, plucked notes act as the backbone to the intro of this track as the flute makes a welcome return over languid, tribal toms. Trills on the flute meld with the violins in this short but delicately pretty track.


A Set of Daggers – The mood is lifted here, with rimshots and dancing violin over a playfully staccato beat. The first use of vocals are here, used sparsely. The flute appears to be a focal point of the album thus far – which is fine, as I love it – always dropping in at key points to add character and nuance, a dainty counterpoint to the more epic sections..


Origin (Anai Dya) – Back to a fuller sound, the big opening here gives way to echoing, reverb-laden harp playing as atmospheric choir, violin and more electronic-driven effects swirl around, a definite switch of mood from the previous track. Whereas A Set of Daggers felt light and playful, this one is ensconced in darkness and foreboding.


The Last Supper – Continuing the mood set by the previous track and building upon it, the darkness continues! Aching violin pushes forward after the opening section before what appears to be a didgeridoo played by Satan himself is the cue for some very cinematic panic, a brief but memorable track!


In Search for Her – Eastern-inflected, chiming notes over a layer of strings kick this one off before being taken over by raising, echoing high piano notes. Again, heavy on atmospherics, it’s becoming very clear that the album is based on punchy tracks that aim to instantly set a scene, with each one so far being but a couple of minutes long.


Origin (Anai Raha) – Big, low drum work is the order of the day for this one, as choppy violins overlap each other, building to a rousing centre that feels like someone getting ready for a one-sided battle. The addition of subtle choral work adds to the sensibility that whatever happens next… it’ll be epic. The longest track so far, this one takes time to wash over you and ends with that humming, low cello and some gently plucked strings, a beautifully delicate coda.


Cue for Mary – A sense of searching pervades this, those Eastern inflections meld with subtle percussion and almost intertwined flute and violin.

Side B


A Critical Decision – Soaring vocals kick off the second side of the record, supported by an epic soundscape with some real weight at the low-end of the instrumentation. Leading up to a passage that called to mind the image of a light spinning down a hallway in an ethereal kingdom, the music felt very cinematic here, very much like the introduction to a fantasy movie that starts off light but ends up in a dark place, beautiful use of choral vocals.


Of Hope – Moving back to more stripped-down, sentimental instrumentation, gentle harp / nylon-strung guitar kicks this off combined with some more Chinese flute. It feels celebratory without being bombastic, a shorter track than A Critical Decision that feels like a Segway between pieces.


Origin (Anai Sarava) – echoing a melody heard in a previous track; gentle, high piano runs almost sound like rain plinking on glass as the violins reach ever higher, fading at the crescendo only to be joined by the full orchestra as it again builds to a climax fraught with tension.


Inside the God – An ominously grand-sounding title delivers a sense of unease here, with a move towards a more atmospheric sound. Building like a wave with reverb-laden squeals, the use of delicate piano and chimes giving the track a ghostly vibe. 


Envied – This feels like a full-on boss theme. A driving, marching beat and liberal use of the horn section give a sense of epic struggle. The strings feel like they are clamouring over each other as the drums pound out a beat of doom. Again, very cinematic, and evocative. I loved the demonic final movement of this one, the largest and most frightening moments of the album yet, I actually got goosebumps, good! Descending violins and rolling, low cello give way to blaring horns as a choir is placed front and centre. A track that feels very threatening towards the latter half.

Of Love – This one feels like it’s generating the vibe of a person running through darkened woods. There’s a real sense of chase underscored by the possibility of triumph. Some beautiful cello sees this track out. The highlights of the album for me are the moments when each instrument has their moment in the sun as those segments feel so rich and focused.


Children of Morta – The flute returns! Accompanied by shimmering, high violin notes and more of that medieval-sounding plucked instrument that evades me! A very comforting track that ends the album on a positive note and feels like someone returning home after a long journey, you can almost smell the mead and crackling, wood fire.


I love the rich, fantastical artwork that Children of Morta sports and the dark fantasy world that the music conjures. I can imagine that each passage would be instantly familiar to fans of the game and are rousing enough in their own right, It’s also a beautifully clean pressing.

The one thing that sticks out as a slight negative is how a lot of the songs are quite brief. They cram a lot into their runtimes, but I’d love just an extra minute or two to soak up the mental visuals and evocations that the music calls to mind.

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