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|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||June 22, 1996|
|Label||id Software (album included on game disc)|
|Nine Inch Nails chronology|
Quake is the soundtrack album to the 1996 id Software video game of the same name, composed by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. Originally pressed on the same disc as the game, Quake has yet to see independent release, though a vinyl version is planned. Trent Reznor, the sole member of Nine Inch Nails at the time, also provided sound effects for the game.
The collaboration between Nine Inch Nails and id Software occurred strictly due to a mutual admiration for each other's work; Reznor provided his services to Quake completely free of charge.
Aside from the first relatively driving track, Quake is a predominantly ambient soundtrack, and was Reznor's first experimentation with the genre. He would later go on to win an Academy Award for his ambient soundtrack work. The music on Quake has been described as dark, immersive, and intended to accentuate the game's oppressive tone. The music is often called "subtle", "disturbing", and "hair-raising". About the soundtrack, Reznor said, "it is not music, it's textures and ambiences and whirling machine noises and stuff. We tried to make the most sinister, depressive, scary, frightening kind of thing [...] It's been fun."
The Quake official soundtrack received positive reception, with many appreciating how the music builds upon the game's atmosphere. In his 1996 review of the game for GameSpot, Trent Ward wrote, "Simply put, this is the best soundtrack ever created for a computer game." Ward went on to write about how the eerie sounds and unsettling background noises heighten the game's already tense atmosphere. Major Mike of GamePro said that "With harsh, rockin' guitar riffs, and creepy low-key synthesizers, the music goes perfectly with each level and thoroughly enhances the overall atmosphere." Writing for Destructoid, Peter Glagowski said, "Not only did it show that the industry was moving beyond being targeted solely at children, but it pushed the action of its game into overdrive."
All songs written and performed by Trent Reznor.