Dead Cells by Yoann Laulan
“Aren’t you the headless fellow that’s been getting around?”
Dive deep under the prison and into the slums of grooves and loot as we take a look at Yoann Laulan’s enigmatic soundtrack to Dead Cells. Pressed on “transparent orange and violet” vinyl by Laced Records, this deluxe double LP set is a hauntingly beautiful glimpse into the unforgiving nature of Dead Cells’ universe. With only a needle in hand, do you have what it takes to slay the Hand of the King?
Yoann Laulan’s musical foray into the gaming world has been incredible to see unfold in conjunction with the development of Dead Cells. A guitarist at heart, Yoann’s orchestrations tug at this sort of primal instinct that flows from the very soul he poured into the creation of this haunting and beautiful score. This spiritual and cathartic journey is just a needle drop away, throwing you into the fray of Gregorian style chants that will lure you ever deeper into this maze of wax peaks and grooves
Far away melodic strumming floats you through the dark and decrepit depths of these energetic and chilling orchestrations, weaving you on a path to redemption. The arrangements on display here by Yoann are very reminiscent of Matt Uellman’s iconic work on Diablo 2, bringing about this familiar nostalgic sense of wonderment whilst splashing in eastern vibratos at the whim of a fret. The subtle nature of these guitar flourishes give birth to the peaceful track “The Merchant,” a much welcomed and needed break from the chaos before all is torn asunder and a macabre choir pulls you deeper into the depths of this intensely percussive and haunting album.
The percussion on this album is absolutely superb! The cadence that it brings carries the strings forward into a momentous, swelling orchestration that blows you back at every twist and turn, all before subtly retreating into an ominous and sweeping score as the drums pick back up on their continuous onslaught to dominate your turntable. The ancillary guitar twangs and orchestral tones drudged to the surface pierce past the drums and into the despairing foreground, creating a heroic dynamism that really drives this album forward. All the while, a percussive cadence drives the whole album out of the depths into this perilous, one-way journey, spiraling forever upwards. Each time you flip the records, this album picks up the pace into this sort of swashbuckling tempo as more and more melodies spring to life. The sheer range of sound that this album explores really shows off Yoann's repertoire as a composer. The percussion is definitely the highlight of this album and my personal favorite. This background hum of rhythms carry you deeper into the siren call of this album.
Hand of the King
Laced Records’ presence in 2018 was incredible, and this album was definitely a surprise highlight on top of their DOOM release. The amazing work that when into making this release definitely shows from all sides of the creation process! The art and design work by Thomas ‘Carduus’ Vasseur of Motion Twin, the game's developing company, is as stunning as it is charming. Mastering here is wonderful as always from Laced Records — little to no surface noise, and crisp clean dynamics all around. The tracklist on deck here is, in my opinion, a perfect curation of Yoann's work on this album as a whole.
Check out this awesome interview Laced Records did with Yoann Laulan last summer where they go super in-depth on the making of this incredible album.
Remastered for vinyl by :
Thomas ‘Carduus’ Vasseur
Vinyl produced & distributed by:
Where to Buy?
Unfortunately, this album is completely sold out from Laced Records’ online store. If you missed out on this release, let Laced Records know that you’re interested in a repress by hitting them up on their social media pages or via email. I know that this soundtrack is loved by many and deserves to be in everyone's collection!
The album is available to stream in its entirely from multiple outlets, including Yoann's Bandcamp page where he occasionally sells cassette versions of this soundtrack as well. Purchases on Bandcamp include a high quality version of the album to download in MP3, FLAC, WAV, and more. Go give him a follow there, your support means a whole lot!