Composed by
Paul Arnold and Andrew Barnabas

 

Published by
Silva Screen Records (2003)

 

Tracklistings
1) Opening Credits
2) The Timekeeper
3) Arella's Theme
4) A Love Lost
5) Jen Meets Arella
6) Raum & Empusa
7) The Demon Awakes
8) Coliseum
9) A Prince In Chains
10) World Of Water
11) The Turbulent Depths
12) A Kingdom Restored
13) The Mad King
14) Mountain Of Suffering
15) Devil's Waltz
16) Dark Science
17) The Helot
18) Temple of Flame
19) Hall Of Gods
20) Journey's End

 

Extras
- Game Website
- Composer Website
- Liner Notes
- Interview

 

Availability
- Amazon.com
- Synsoniq.com

 

Review by
Oliver Ittensohn

Primal

Primal tells the tale of the ordinary, modern-day girl Jen who, in search of her abducted boyfriend, has to travel to demonic worlds and to participate in the battles between Order and Chaos. Accompanied by a gargoyle named Scree she undertakes an epic adventurous journey that would lead her to her destiny. The world is very much gothic-inspired and most of the game’s soundtrack consists of heavy metal or electronic rock pieces. But in addition, the producers thought that all the cut-scenes of the game needed a movie score like approach. Composers Bob & Barn (Paul Arnold & Andrew Barnabas) wrote over 100 minutes of original score and recorded it with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir.

The album opens up with the soft and quiet theme of Jen in the “Opening Titles”. The score is then divided into 4 different groups of tracks. Each group is tied to one of the demonic worlds Jen has to explore and features a very distinct sound while maintaining an overall coherence.

The demonic world called Nexus has a sense of calm and tranquillity and its music is equally soft mainly featuring flutes, strings and piano. Of special importance might be “Arella’s Theme” for she is the Goddess of Order and the mistress of Scree, Jen’s companion. Her theme comprises strings and flutes with some choir backdrop to give it an ethereal feel. In contrast to these beautiful and dreamlike melodies of the Nexus stands the music associated with the world of Solum, a harsh and brutal place inhabited by a tribal race of hunters. The atonal and brassy “Raum & Empusa” introduces us to this unfriendly place. All the cues have a very percussive and pitched sound to it, completely unlike the musical beauty of the underwater world of Aquis. Especially “World of Water” will stun you with its lush and flowing melodies and pleasing harmonies. It really draws into this tranquil and serene place. The World of Aetha is a dreary realm of chaos and oppression. Bob&Barn went for a melancholic and sad sound with solo violin and Russian sombre instrumentation. The Devil’s Waltz is a waltz-like cue with a violin solo that will let you shiver because it conjures images of the ball thrown by the demonic count and countess of Aethea. The album closes with “Journey’s End” in which Jen’s theme is reprised in a more heroic fashion that provides a suitable ending to the musical score.

As much as the music suits the cinematic in-game sequences it is a fantastic listening experience on its own. Each of the tracks bears themes, motifs and emotions and can easily be appreciated as a stand-alone listen, especially because the booklet of the score features liner notes.

What Bob&Barn created is an excellent score that can compete with many movie scores. The soundtrack is orchestrated with great skill and performed beautifully and emotionally; a must-have in every respect.