Musical Score By: Trevor Morris
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
The Netflix original animated series, Castlevania, is based on the 1989 video game Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. It follows Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage), the last living member of the Belmont clan, a disgraced family of monster hunters. After the vampire Count Vlad Dracula Tepes (Graham McTavish) declares war on the people of Wallachia in retaliation for burning his wife at the stake for witchcraft, Trevor must take up arms against Dracula’s forces. Aided by magician Sypha Belnades (Alejandra Reynoso) and Dracula’s son Alucard (James Callis), can Trevor hope to regain the trust of the people of Wallachia by saving them for Dracula’s clutches or are they all doomed?
The musical score of Castlevania was created by Emmy Award-winning Canadian composer Trevor Morris. Studying violin as a child, Morris was commissioned to compose a piece for his school’s graduating class to perform in honor of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Canada. He went on to graduate top of his class in the Fanshawe College Music Industry Arts program. He began his composing career creating music for television commercials, but spread out into films and television series. In 1999, Trevor Morris moved to Los Angeles to expand upon his career. He would go on to work with James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer and compose music for such notable directors as Jerry Bruckheimer and Ridley Scott. Some of Morris’ works include the musical score of The Hills Have Eyes 2, The Tudors, Gotham, The Borgias, Alphas, Vikings, Iron Fist and more. He also has credits in the video game industry, scoring notable games like SimCity Societies, Army of Two and Need for Speed: Carbon.
According to Trevor Morris, “Being asked to contribute to Castlevania was such a great call to get. As a composer it’s just a cool, colorful and interesting world to get into, and provides endless inspiration for music. It was just such a fun and cool project to work on, I could score Castlevania for years and years.” Writer and Executive Producer Warren Ellis praises Morris’ work on the series: “Trevor is a master of his art: hugely innovative, yet with a deep understanding of early music, combined with a love of electronics, creating something weirdly primal but completely contemporary.”
The Castlevania - Netflix Original Series Soundtrack features orchestral music mixed with electronic sounds, synths and piano. Fight/action scenes (Hordes Descend on Targoviste, Trevor Fights the Cyclops) are adrenaline pumpers featuring taiko drums and electronic sounds. Tavern scenes (Murdenu Tavern, Tavern Brawl) are impish string melodies with a slight exotic feel. The score of the series is mainly dark and ominous, thanks to the style of the film (dark medieval fantasy meets horror). There are some incredibly dramatic moments in this score as well, such as those found in War for the Soul of Our People and Bloody Greist.
Listening to the Castlevania – Netflix Original Series Soundtrack was an awesome undertaking. I could hardly believe that this score had been created for an animated series. In fact, I thought this might be music created to accompany a live action film or video game. What an amazing, adrenaline pumping musical score…and for an animated television series! Wow! That pretty much sums it up! I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Trevor Morris’ score for this series and congratulate him on perfectly capturing the feel of the video game it was based on as well.