The Upward Turn composed by Rod Abernethy (album review)

Game soundtrack legend Rod Abernethy has made his first and hopefully not last foray into a world of music outside of the gaming industry.


Using his vast experience from working on games such as ‘Rage’, ‘Dead Space’ and ‘Wheelman’, Abernethy has created an audio portfolio that will have Hollywood knocking on his door in no time.

The album is quite short with tracks coming at you thick and fast. You don’t get time to savour one before another completely distinctive sound is on. I found myself pausing the album between tracks to compose my thoughts on the song I had just heard, especially as the tracks don’t lead into each other naturally. It’s more of a collection of tracks than a continuous work that tells an overall story.

What is interesting about this album is that Abernethy has created music to score an imaginary situation without any medium inspiring him. It’s almost a reverse soundtrack if you will. I imagine a lot of TV series and films will be looking to get Abernethy on board after listening to this album, of course that is dependent on whether he wants to leave the world of gaming soundtracks behind.

‘Seven Times Five’ and ‘It Looks Like A Warning’ are early stand-outs, with the latter an ominous piece that conveys a serious mood.

‘Blue Day Black Night’ is also an excellent track with lots of electric guitar and distortion. Abernethy himself said he was thinking of a war time infiltration behind enemy lines and you really get the sense of danger and drama.

‘Twisting Truth’ is my favourite track on the album. It’s a complete mish-mash of sounds, including the cello that probably shouldn’t work but does.

The album finishes up all too soon with ‘Short Stories’ that somewhat disappoints. It’s the second-longest track on the album but nothing is done with the time it has. Some of the other tracks seemed to do more in less than half the time. Although I can’t complain really, one dud out of 10 isn’t too bad.

Definitely worth a listen and when Abernethy is picking up an Oscar for best score in a few years time, remember this as his first step into film scoring.

Aidan Fortune

February 2013


(pub: Lakeshore Records. 10 tracks, 25 minutes, digital. Price: $8.99 (US))

check it out here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-upward-turn/id593292058 and www.lakeshore-records.com


Once called a "fountain of useless pop culture knowledge", Aidan is an unashamed geek, grateful that he is allowed share his opinions on a global scale. A journalist by trade, Aidan is a massive fan of comics and recently set up a comics group in Brighton in order to engage more with like-minded people. His home is subject to a constant battle of vintage paraphernalia and science fiction & fantasy toys.

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