Composer Phil Hamilton, head of Deadly Sin Studios, is an up-and-coming composer using his Deadly Sin series of indie RPGs as a vehicle for his music. Although I was not particularly fond of the first Deadly Sin game, its music was easily the best aspect. The second Deadly Sin game surpassed the first in all areas, including music. Mr. Hamilton has now released The Music of Deadly Sin soundtrack featuring music from both the games, and it is good.
The music itself is the type of high adventuring, classical inspired fare favored in the genre. There are also occasional pieces that use modern instruments like electric guitar. Without the context of the game, I was able to better discern the complex layers of music in each composition. The horns, the strings, the winds, and the percussion all shined through. Although the music itself follows a fair bit of RPG convention, it never gets dull and has a lot of “voice.” What I mean by that is that the essence of the composer really comes through. In a ubiquitous style of RPG music where there is a danger of sounding indistinct or phoned-in, Hamilton’s work exudes self-confidence and feels distinctly “him.”
The majority of compositions utilize slower, more deliberate tempos giving them a heady feel. Some themes, like the battle themes, are a little faster but nothing here plays at breakneck speeds. Although deliberate in tempo, the compositions are never shy or meek. Even the quieter pieces let you know that they’re there. I like listening to confident music, because it makes me feel as if the composer had a vision and did not second-guess himself. I also really liked how some pieces had tasteful variations of a similar theme to tie them together.
In terms of sound quality, the computer generated instrumentation is quite good. Sure live instrumentation would sound great (in my opinion, no synthetic guitar can match the live sound of a Gibson Les Paul through a Marshall or Mesa Boogie stack), but Hamilton uses the quality tools and software at his disposal to positive effect. I appreciate that the orchestral music sounds full, though the electric guitar driven pieces sound a little thin.
Although the Deadly Sin games have, thus far, been hit or miss, the music is always consistently good and this soundtrack is proof of that. I really enjoyed it and if new blood like Phil Hamilton and Aaron Walz (Aveyond series) are the future of classical inspired video game music, then we’re certainly in good hands.