Seeing a thread about Doom in Rock and Metal, I thought I'd type up a quick review of this awesome soundtrack. As you can see, it is composed by Robert Prince, who did other games for id software, such as Wolfenstein, and Duke Nukem. They are all MIDI files, but some of the best MIDI's this reviewer has ever heard. The producers apparantly wanted a more metal sound than Doom, but he opted for a moodier approach. Rarely you find music more suiting to the mood that in this game. There are 21 tracks available for download (for source of download, see end of page). 18 of those tracks are made up of levels (some leves use the same theme) one of those themes is when you complete the game, one is for that theme you get when you open the game, and there is a short 15 second one that I have no idea where it came from. As previously mentioned, there are some awesome tracks on here. It ranges from full out metal (the unforgettable Map01) to spooky, almost ambient style themes (Map05).
Since I don't know the real names of the tracks, I will refer to them as in the download. And for the very first time ever, I will give tracks a rating!!! Yeah.
This is the track you get when you open the game up. I think. I haven't played it for a while. Anyway, some nice slap bass and strings in this one. 3/5.
I have no idea what/where this is in the game. So it gets a 0/5, because it sucks.
Ahh, the infamous MAP01. Everyone knows this track. It starts off pretty quietly with bass, and comes in with hi hats. Then it erupts into the well known riff, of synths, bass and drums. This is the ultimate in mood setting, you can almost picture yourself there. 5/5. And it's got a cool guitar solo as well... Metal to the maxxx!!!
This is somewhat relaxed from the previous song, it starts off pretty simply, with a cool little bass groove, and some hits on the hi hat. Some strings come in, accompanying the bass groove quite nicely. The key change is quite cool. There's another bit, with a kind of music box thing cranking, which is cool as well. Unfortunately, it stays pretty samey the entire song, so it gets pretty boring just listening to it. But, when playing the game, it suits the mood very nicely. 3.5/5.
This is the first real haunting song. It is heavily minor, with lots of things going on at once. The strings are cool, but the main riff string thing is very dissonant, it sounds great. The string section over the top of that compliment it very nicely. The occasional percussion (cowbell, triangle) gives it a neat effect. Again, pretty samey. 3/5.
The most madcore song on the album. Starts off with some awesome drumming (although, I don't think it's humanly possible to play :) ) and then some bass comes in, with a cool rhythm, it's kind of in a 12 bar blues form. Then a guitar or something comes in, for some nice harmony. A bit later (after a madcore drum solo) a distorted guitar comes in, playing in unison with the bass, I think, for another cool effect. It's very samey, but oh so awesome. The drummer is a god. 5/5
Again, this is a relaxed feel to the previous song. Starts with a cool 'clung' kind of sound, then a sort of fading away sound, and some high strings playing throughout. Then some typical Doom music, very gloomy, minor stuff. It's got that Doomy synth sound, and this time it's in this 16 bar phrase, which is pretty good. There's a bass and drums bit, which is great, the bass is very low, and the drums are very slow. Then the riff starts up again, with a different instrument. Great stuff. Very haunting and atmospheric. 4/5.
What an epic!! Clocking in at 10:36 for some random reason (all the other tracks hover at about the 4 minute mark) you're in for a long listen. It's similar to Hag Me from the Melvins - Houdini album. The longest, but probably the most boring. Complete this level quickly folks, for your own sake. 1.5/5.
Yeah! Power chords! Woo. This is a great little ditty. The drum rolls are almost Lombardo-like. Double kick, this drummer is a god. This is another slow, groovy song, but unlike the last, it's got a great feel to it. It's got a great lead in bit. A great song, with awesome atmosphere. 4.5/5
Starts off with a shaking sort of sound, then a kind of siren sound pulses in and out. If it wasn't MIDI, I could picture it going from one speaker and out the other. Some cool delay effects on the guitar in this one. Kind of a nothing track, really. There's a really cool effect that comes in at about the 1 minute mark, and plays constant long notes, and gives it a cool feel. 3/5
Yeah! This is an awesome track. It's that one you get when you're in that level and you have to fight all those huge spider things. I think. It has good strings in it, and is pretty uptempo. The dissonance in the strings gives it an eerie feel. The drums fit in great, as usual. All the song is, is basically the strings playing their thing, over guitar chords and drums. At about 2:00, the song changes, as per usual, into different instruments, to save it from getting boring. But this track is cool, and worthy of the 5/5.
Ugh... another famous Doom riff, but my god this is annoying. The guitar has totally the wrong tone. 0/5.
Fretless bass! Woo. I don't really remember this track (?) from the game. There's some nice acoustic work here, too bad the acoustic tone sucks. This is almost the ballad of the album. It's pretty laughable really. The bass throughout is pretty good. The strings are good as usual. I like the harmonies he puts on them, they have this awesome dissonance to them, makes it sounds really haunting and mysterious. There's a really bad key change at about the 2:04 mark, it ruins the whole mood. The song gets a 2/5, just for that key change.
I have noticed a general decline in the quality of songwriting around this stage. Maybe he ran out of ideas. This has decent atmosphere, but none like in the early stages of the game. It starts pretty slowly, with some weird effect (which I think is a guitar, played in the bass clef) playing something or another. The song is pretty boring, until the surprisingly excellent solo at about 3:30. The song gets a 2.5/5, for the solo.
Hmm, what do we have here? A song in 7/8 time? Heh, cool. This is a much better song, he seems to have found his touch. At about :20, there’s a cool 5 second thing, with descending guitars and slap bass. After that, there’s a cool windy sort of effect, very eerie. This song is only 1:36 long, so it doesn’t change, so it’s cool. 4/5.
Another decent song. Very good atmosphere in this one, too. Would be great for playing Doom to. Has a cool bassline, and typical dissonant strings. I like the drumming too. This is another short song, so there’s not really much to write about. 4/5.
Here is where the music starts getting really excellent
. This is the boss music, when you’re getting to the levels near that insanely huge boss, that no one can defeat without cheats. There’s so many instruments doing the one riff, it has this awesome vibe to it. And the bass is doing something different. The drums are on the snare only, giving it a kind of marching feel. Another great atmospheric track. I especially love the intro thing. 5/5.
This is the most eeriest song I’ve ever come across. It is a perfect track. There is absolutely nothing I can fault it with. It has this really, really slow, doomy (no pun intended) sludgy sort of feel. It has these really high strings, and starts with a kind of innocent whistling sound. You just know something is about to happen. The strings that come in soon after the intro are to die for, they are so perfect. The bass sounds like a tiger purring, ready for the kill. There are all these random effects going on, with the innocent whistling thing going on. Some wood blocks click, a couple of bass drum hits. The whistling stops after a while, and makes way for these weird, wooden kind of sounds. It kind of wrecks the mood a tiny bit when the drums comes in, but other than that, one of the best video game songs you will ever hear.
The 2nd to last level theme! I remember the level in this was called ‘Wolfenstein’ funnily enough. It’s got another soldiery type of theme to it. Great, great stuff. 5/5.
The final boss! How sweet it is. Some cool snare work. I think they are trumpets, playing in another awesome harmony. All the other instruments that come over it add to the tension. There is a cool synth going up and down a scale over and over, giving it a kind of Twilight Zone feel about it. A cool way to end the game. 4/5.
This is the track you get when you are reading the various text (it tells you the ‘story’ or lack thereof). Kind of boring. Just some riff over some string chords. 2/5.
There it is. It got a bit crappy (my review) towards the end, oh well.
5/5. An excellent soundtrack.
You can get the MIDI’s from this site: