AdvertCity OST: VoxelStorm feat. DorianSRed & Waveland – noirish ambience and dark, dense production

VoxelStorm is an indie game studio based in England and Scotland who place a great deal of emphasis on creating rich original soundtracks for their games. They have now released the official soundtrack for the cyberpunk advertising tycoon game AdvertCity, out on Steam. The album “AdvertCity OST” is a collaboration effort between DorianSRed & Waveland, who unfurl a haunting soundtrack, dark and dense, smoky and noir, everything in rich lustrous shades of black and grey, shuffling jazzy skitter underpins melancholy moaning horns bathed in reverb, pizzicato strings and minor key synths hover and dart furtively, so creepy and mysterious and lovely, and that’s just the first song.

The soundtrack cover artwork.
The soundtrack cover artwork.

This record is just so ominous and foreboding, so emotionally charged, so haunting and murky as the rest of the 12 tracks as the over-driven drum programming slams away over rumbling bass lines, filtered strings and screaming horns. It’s really hard to pick a favorite piece of music on this album as almost all of the tracks perfectly fit different moods. This full-length score is presented in two sides – Meatspace and Cyberspace – which are beat-matched for smooth cross-fading, and seem to encompass an incredibly vast range of modern urban sensitivities.

“AdvertCity OST” steals into your consciousness like an electronic dream. The music on the Meatspace side is often suffocating, the power of the bass seeping into the marrow of your bones, while the glitch break beats and horns attempt to destroy your eardrums: the sound of sanity disintegrating. Cyperspace is more trance-like bringing the electronic post rock element much higher into the mix.

“AdvertCity OST”, is noir soundtrack music in the truest sense of the word, a journey into the heart of urban darkness which leaves you emotionally exhausted and bewildered, but ultimately intoxicated. At times pure, resonant and beautiful, at others desperate and bordering on the deranged.

How this music matches up to the video game, I do not know, as I have never had the opportunity to play the game, so I’m looking at the soundtrack as a standalone separate entity.  The production is simply superb, with every bass line, and every sample, fitting perfectly into each track, giving every piece of music its own distinctive atmosphere.

There are no unnecessary flourishes, no attempts to sully the songs with trendier beats or catchier melodies; the songs are true to themselves, and while that may not always result in a radio-friendly track, the songs are much better for it, as they were actually designed to complement visual imagery – creating atmosphere and emotion. Something this entire album excels at doing.  DorianSRed & Waveland’s noirish ambience and dark, dense production will enslave you. It’s a profound and stunning accomplishment, even as a standalone soundtrack.


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