It’s a good time to be a fan of survival horror games. The genre has seen a resurgence in popularity for the last few years but with a slew of hotly anticipated titles just around the corner, a gory renaissance of terror is upon us. Leading that charge is The Callisto Protocol, a third-person survival horror game set hundreds of years in the future on Jupiter’s moon, Callisto. Although technically a brand-new IP, the game’s pedigree has built layers of hype since its reveal. Developed by Striking Distance Studios and directed by industry veteran Glen Schofield, the game is a spiritual successor to the Dead Space series – a franchise co-created by Schofield himself and due for its own revival with a remake of the first game coming out in January of 2023.
Ahead of the game’s imminent release, composing duo Finishing Move appeared on our Twitch daily show to break down their approach to creating the skin crawling score and ambient sounds that imbue the game’s world with looming dread. The team, Brian Trifon and Brian Lee White, spoke with host Jon Weigell about the innovative methodology behind the compositions, which utilized aleatoric effects and custom sounds created by the Apprehension Engine, an increasingly popular tool for musicians working in the horror space. As part of the discussion, the duo unveiled two exclusive tracks from the game’s OST. Listen to both below.
The first track is titled “Europa,” and in a note provided to Rolling Stone is described by Finishing Move as, “representative of the game because it explores interplay between horror and humanity. It opens with an extremely dissonant, near cacophony of sound, and transitions into something with lush harmony consonance — thematic even — while maintaining an undercurrent of tension and anxiety.”
The second track is “Infection,” and it utilizes multiple layers of unique instrumentation to create its sound. “This piece is an excellent example of our explorations in using organic textures and ‘infecting’ them. Metal sculpture performance, wooden instruments, a blade of grass being blown, wind, dry ice, field recordings of frozen lakes shifting, the fame apprehension engine, et cetera. Ripping the sounds apart and rebuilding with granular synthesis, degrading with distortion, mangling and manipulation with Eurorack modules, stretching and slowing down into vast reverbs and FX chains until only a fragment of the original sound remains.”
For the full interview with Finishing Duo, check out the video below.
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The Callisto Protocol releases on Dec. 2 for PS5/PS4, Xbox One & Series X|S, and PC.