Outlast: Trilogy of Terror - The Anthology by Samuel Laflamme
“The only way out of this place is the truth. Accept the gospel and all doors will open before you.”
Welcome to the Asylum
Spice the flesh and witness the horrors of humanity this week with Outlast: Trilogy of Terror - The Anthology by Samuel Laflamme. Pressed on limited glow-in-the-dark vinyl by SPACELAB9, the distressing soundtrack to an asylum of horrors is here. Be careful when you drop your needle into this labyrinth of grooves, there may be no escape…
Now my Son
Samuel Laflamme is a composer and musician based out of Montreal. Getting his start with TV, Mr. Laflamme has made a bone-chilling splash into the video game music scene with his harrowing and dynamic work on Red Barrels' Outlast game series. As one of the most disturbing gaming franchises of all time, it's Samuel's score that sells this experience to you and lingers long after the screen fades to black and the credits roll.
Split into three parts, this release feels like an homage to Samuel's growth as a musician over the course of this franchise's development. Starting with a more classical horror ambiance, the first Outlast and its story DLC The Whistleblower will leave you in this symphonic subterfuge of whirling notes and shrieking strings and vocals that has this amazingly overwhelming sense of dread. This same sense of dread becomes the very tool Samuel uses throughout this album to hang you over his own drudging pit of despair before plunging you deep into its depths — baptizing you in the wake of his darkest work to date. While somber at first, it's how this release evolves with each revolution that wowed me the most. There's a sense of cohesive evolution that fully transcends into the third part of this musical voyage which climaxes with the second LP, Outlast 2.
The Origins Of Murder Victim Jane Doe
On Outlast 2, Samuel evolved his sound entirely. Shedding the comfort he found in the first game's traditional orchestrations, Samuel chose a more stripped-down approach to achieve the dynamic and unique sound found throughout Outlast 2's nightmarish pilgrimage. Through the use of guitars, a banjo, an acoustic bass, and what he dubbed as "experimental percussion" what Samuel achieved here is brilliance through the growth he found within himself. In my opinion, the best aspect of this release is the presence of a more raw and ephemeral soundtrack. The way in which Samuel has played with the notes creates a truly hypnotic vibe. Drawing out familiar tones in an almost alien way makes way for this uncanny valley-esque experience of sounds which will make you feel trapped within the grooves. By sprinkling in a more electronic flair to his raw instrumentation, Samuel shows us his passion and growth as an artist. This album doesn't just feel like an evolution of sound, but more like the embodiment of Samuel's transition into an illustrative and refined musician.
You Don't Have To Hide
SPACELAB9 has been one of the main forerunners in the video game vinyl industry for a while now. From hit titles like The Witcher 3 to Bethesda's Fallout and The Elder Scrolls franchises, one thing has remained true, their commitment to pressing the industry's best soundtracks to vinyl. This release is no exception to that fact and is one that took me by surprise when it was announced. As one of the best horror soundtracks in the modern age of games, this album is a must-own for any fan of the genre! Beyond all of that, this record sounds amazing and that’s what’s important. There's always some trepidation when it comes to glow-in-the-dark releases, and their volatility has been widely documented for a while now. However, recently glow-in-the-dark pressings have never sounded better and Outlast stands among the greats like Rain World this year. This album is just crystal clear!
God Don't Hear Dead Men
The design for this release is incredible. With a die-cut, “peephole” jacket featuring interchangeable artwork, to lovely lore filled spot embossing on each side, I couldn't get over all the details! With a glow-in-the-dark finish on the cover to top it off, this makes for the most unique release ever from SPACELAB9. As one of SPACELAB9'S most ambitiously designed releases to date, I can't help but be hung up on one major flaw with the presentation of this album… the spine. Forever emblazoned on the spine of this release is the title of the album featuring a hilariously glaring typo, "Trilogoy" instead of Trilogy this just completely baffles me. How does something like this happen? Either way for bad or worse, this definitely makes it one of the weirdest mistakes I have ever seen on a video game vinyl release. This doesn't really take away from the overall package, but it's worth mentioning so something like this hopefully doesn't happen again in the future.
You Never Let Me Go
Overall this album is a must-own for fans of the Outlast series and of horror in general. There is so much to like here that I can't recommend this release highly enough. This is easily one of, if not the spookiest album in my collection. Listening to this record with all the lights out creates this nail-biting experience that I don't think I've ever experienced on vinyl. The lone glowing disc in a pitch-black room becomes the only solace of light, yet is exuding this dichotomy of sound that makes you want to stay as far away from it as possible. My hair was standing on end the entire time this album spun and is one experience I will never forget!
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Where to buy?
Unfortunately, the glow-in-the-dark variant pictured in this review was limited to 200 copies and quickly sold out earlier this year. There was also a blue with black splatter variant available from Light in the Attic as well. More recently SPACELAB9 made a new blood splatter variant for their New York Comic Con booth, however, this variant has not been made available for the general public. In the past some of their previous con variants have gone up on their site once an event has ended, so definitely keep an eye out!