Two Steps From Hell

Independent release, 2010

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


If what you want to do is go through life with a personal soundtrack—say, one that makes your existence seem like a Squaresoft game—then Two Steps From Hell has you covered.

Two Steps From Hell is the brainchild of composers Nick Phoenix and Thomas J Bergersen. It was originally founded to create original music for film trailers, video games, television shows, and the likes. After four years of releasing demonstration albums for directors and producers, they finally released an album for the public in 2010; thus, we have my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Invincible.

What they did not expect was to be embraced by the classical music scene. By 2015, they had had an album that both appeared in the Billboard 200 and became Number One on the Billboard Classical chart. Since then, they have recorded two more albums—but it all started with “Invincible,” a compilation of their earlier work.

Here are a list of people who would like this album:

1) Anyone who wants a personal video game soundtrack, as above.
2) Anyone who cannot maintain sexual arousal without a copy of Carmina Burana playing.
3) Anyone who likes almost completely synthesized sound.
4) Anyone who thinks there just isn’t enough music around that can live up to the adjective “bombastic.”

For the rest of us, honestly, this is kind of dull. I found myself skipping backwards on Invincible just to remind myself what it was I was listening to. The tracks seem to run together into a sonic mélange suitable for an occasion that desperately needs more oomph—say, a MAGA rally or a Pittsburgh Pirates game.

Nothing is terribly bad on Invincible—save maybe “Am I Not Human?”, to which I internally answered “No, you’re an electronic keyboard that’s a half-tone flat.” Nothing is particularly great, either. This is the musical equivalent of dollar store potato chips. If this is your thing, go right ahead. Me, I’d rather listen to instrumental pieces with some heart behind them.

Rating: D+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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