GunGirl 2 Soundtrack, Josh Whelchel, 2010
There had been more than a few chiptune metal game scores before the GunGirl 2 soundtrack, but none of them were as ambitious and just plain HUGE as Josh Whelchel‘s work here. Calling upon the services of several – very talented – fellow university music students, Whelchel writes a beast of a score that dwarfs most AAA game soundtracks. While the game itself is a rather unassuming, cute 2d platformer, Whelchel scores its story about a zombie apocalypse with a (mostly) straight face. The resulting mix of excellent metal guitar riffage and drumming, catchy retro melodies, spooky electronics, cinematic string ostinati, Gothic organ riffs and operatic interludes creates a spectacular wall of sound befitting the end of the world. It’s one overblown, but absolutely fun and convincing melange that revels in its delicious excess (listen to the hulking monster that is “Sanctus Inferno”). Still, GunGirl 2 rarely ever turns into cheap wink-wink-nudge-nudge parody: a full-blown opera aria like “Libera Me” works precisely because it is written as a first-class melodramatic interlude – for a game about cute little sprites shooting other sprites.
Purchase on Bandcamp.