Transformers Devastation: OST Review
Review by Neil Mc Allister
Composers: Satoshi Igarashi, Tetsuya Shibata, Jun Okubo, Vince DiCola, Kenny Meriedeth
Released last year, and currently on Playstation Plus for free, Transformers Devastation recaptures the nostalgia of the 1980’s animated show in a frenzied action video game, courtesy of the action game masters themselves; Platinum. One might be expect the OST to be a nostalgic throwback to the 80’s TV show’s soundtrack, but instead Transformers Devastation opts for a full-on heavy metal punch (robot puns, hue hue) to the ear, which still fits the adrenaline-pumping nature of the game.
While there is some solid ambient music featured to take breathers between battles, the main focus is on the battle theme. You’ll notice the vast majority of these tracks will have similar themes, having fast heavy metal guitar riffs and a lot of catchy melodies. The Autobot’s theme is naturally heroic, with Iron-Maiden style riffage, albeit with a lot more guitar shredding akin of Van Halen or Yngwie Malmsteen, the main motif is eventually included, which itself is a pastiche of the classic Transformers theme. The opening riff and massively reverberated drums alone in the first ten seconds should be enough to get anyone pumped.
Devastator’s battle theme is played more mid-tempo, which suits the towering giant of a Decepticon, it also includes a string section and a choir for a more grand feel, which amounts to monumental build-up of unison guitar bends, choir and the string section. Kickback’s theme hints more at heavy punk than say, with a suitably “buzzy” guitar sound for the Insecticon, which incorporates some electronic sounds. Blitzwing’s theme takes elements from more modern bands of metal; from Killswitch Engage, Periphery and Tesseract, playing a mid-tempo breakdown riff, but also with some melodic playing that has quite more emotion to it. Not entirely suitable for the simple and cruel nature of Blitzwing’s persona, but it’s still catchy nonetheless.
Motormaster's theme goes into similar Iron Maiden territory, but also incorporates some electronic noises to differentiate itself. Menasor continues a similar trend to Devastator’s theme, albeit a bit more… menacing. The choirs and organ here make the entire piece sound like Menasor himself came straight from the gates of Hell. Starscream’s theme is ruthlessly speedy, sounding not unlike a fast Avenged Sevenfold number. Shockwave’s theme is noticeably less visceral in tone, having this rather melancholy nature to it. It’s also one of the few tracks featured to have a brass section.
Soundwave’s theme is a mixture of thrash metal and dubstep sound, which suits the most robotic (personality-wise) of the Decepticions. Megatron naturally has one of the catchier tracks featured, with his “Final Battle” version which elevates the track to ridiculously epic levels via the addition of an entire orchestra and choir; the sort of ridiculous you should expect from Optimus Prime and Megatron fighting in space to either save humanity or utterly destroy it.
If you’re not a fan of metal or the Transformers franchise, then you won’t get that much enjoyment out of this soundtrack, otherwise you’re in for a treat. Now sit back and enjoy Megatron's extended theme!!
Written by Neil Mc Allister
Neil is a Graduate of BIMM Dublin and Griffith College where he studied music and sound design. He is also a freelance composer and musician.