Lindsey Stirling would always have a place in my heart for her rendition of the theme song of Dragon Age: Inquisition – which is not found on Shatter Me, by the way, but you can see it on her YouTube channel. Just like the bard-like warrior in that video wielding a violin like it’s a weapon of mass destruction, she uses her violin on Shatter Me like it’s one of the most beautiful things in the world.
The songs here are a mix of classical, electronic dance music, and all kinds of other… things. Roundtable Rival goes from a barroom brawl to a stormy showdown of violin versus drumbeats in an irresistibly upbeat and catchy manner. Night Vision has the violin playing more nicely with the other instruments in the room, coming together to create a seductive rhythm that switches easily into a more menacing crescendo without warning. Take Flight combines some aggressive strings and some haunting aria bits to present a tune that could have easily been at home in some stylish sword and fantasy movie or game soundtrack.
We are Giants, which is a duet with Dia Frampton, is appropriately eccentric and discordant in a way that is both cool and weird, while Ms Stirling’s duet with Lzzy Hale on the title track is easily one of the best tracks here. Shatter Me is a steampunk fantasy made life as it combines soaring tortured screeching and electronic beats like some cyborg version of old school Evanescence.
Really, everything in here is a exciting musical voyage. Shatter Me is one of those fabulous albums to play when playing fantasy video games as well as when relaxing away. Lindsey Stirling strikes the perfect balance here – her violin demands attention, but at the same time, it’s perfectly fine to play in the back of my mind – just enough to make little things feel magical all over again. Just fabulous, this one.