- Atlus
  - Capcom
  - Cave
  - Falcom
  - Konami
  - Microsoft
  - Namco Bandai
  - Nintendo
  - Nippon Ichi
  - Grasshopper
  - Sega
  - Sony
  - Square Enix
  - Western Games

  - Castlevania
  - Chrono
  - Dragon Quest
  - Final Fantasy
  - Kingdom Hearts
  - Mana
  - Mario
  - Megami Tensei
  - Mega Man
  - Metal Gear
  - Resident Evil
  - SaGa
  - Silent Hill
  - Sonic
  - Star Ocean
  - Street Fighter
  - Suikoden
  - Tales
  - Ys
  - Zelda

  - Masashi Hamauzu
  - Norihiko Hibino
  - Kenji Ito
  - Noriyuki Iwadare
  - Koji Kondo
  - Yuzo Koshiro
  - Shoji Meguro
  - Yasunori Mitsuda
  - Manabu Namiki
  - Hitoshi Sakimoto
  - Motoi Sakuraba
  - Tenpei Sato
  - Yoko Shimomura
  - Koichi Sugiyama
  - Masafumi Takada
  - Nobuo Uematsu
  - Michiru Yamane
  - Akira Yamaoka

Home Contact Us Top


World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King Digital Soundtrack :: Review by Steven

World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King Digital Soundtrack Album Title: World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King Digital Soundtrack
Record Label: Blizzard Entertainment
Catalog No.: iTunes
Release Date: November 13, 2008
Purchase: Download at iTunes


Perhaps among one of many engaging aspects of the game itself, the score for World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King will enthrall any fan of epic fantasy music conceived here in a truly cinematic scale. Fans picking up Blizzard Entertainment's special collector's edition of the latest installment in the series received a lengthy physical soundtrack. The soundtrack was also released digitally through iTunes, though three tracks were replaced, to ensure each release had exclusives. Are the digital exclusives worthwhile?


There is something quite ethereal in the opening bars of the game's main title sequence, but soon this moves in to a larger orchestral battle music sequence with a semi-anvil sound and choral statements that recalls the music of Poledouris' Conan scores crossed with a little Lord of the Rings music. This opening track and "Arthas, My Son" were recorded with the Northwest Sinfonia and Chorus and it brings a real large-scale depth and cinematic quality to the music as it appears here in a grandiose and extensive track of tone poem proportions. "Arthas, My Son", in particular, has that same sort of fantasy world quality of the opening music writ large with an exciting choral section driving things ever onward.

"Dragon's Rest" is sandwiched in between these and, features a more recessed orchestra against an almost classical piano solo with post-romantic undertones that create together a rather unsettling atmosphere. There are many beautiful moments in the score beyond these, with highlights certainly being "Crystalsong" and "Garden of Life". The musical ideas here are laid out simply and gradually gain in their emotional power as various ideas are added into the texture. They make for moments of gentle repose in the surrounding terror or battle sequences that emphasize a different sort of "power".

By adding live ethnic instruments into the orchestral textures in the remaining score, the composing team is able to maintain a level of connectedness that stands out against often beautiful ambient and electronic musical textures. Woodwind writing takes a momentary forward stage in "Forged in Blood" before ambient sound and epic chorus and gorgeous melodic ideas take over. "Mountains of Thunder" is also fascinating for the way it offers gorgeous woodwind and choral leads against very dark and sparse orchestration. The result is highly atmospheric in the game.

Throughout the score, individual thematic ideas tend to get laid out against often detailed, and at times highly-chromatic, accompaniments. The cadences into rich harmonic conclusions make these moments highly satisfying listening experiences and even here a beautiful flute idea helps transition into yet another segment of epic music. As the score progresses, things tend to become more diffuse with individual sounds, richly recorded, stating thematic threads against various percussion sounds or ambient ideas that create a rather unsettling feel, for example in "The Culling" and "Totems of the Grizzlemaw". This perfectly offsets the larger orchestrally-conceived segments of the score and lends variety to the score as a listening experience.

This digital release features a number of exclusives that replaced other tracks on the physical counterpart. This time listeners receive "Path of the Lifewarden", "Shadow Web Caverns", and "Obsidian Sanctum", which are somewhat longer than the removed tracks, allowing the digital release to exceed the 80 minutes mark. As for the tracks themselves, "Shadow Web Caverns" doesn't provide much different from the other dark ambient pieces on the soundtrack. "Path of the Lifewarden" offers a more interesting but somewhat superficial soundscape, with whistling sounds protruding against the sound effects of falling rain. The most wholesome of the exclusive additions is "Obsidian Sanctum", a multi-tiered orchestral epic that captures a particularly chilling area in the game, whereas the rest are superfluous.


Overall, the World of Warcraft: Wrath of Lich King soundtrack is a satisfying collective listen. The material tends to smoothly move from one track to the next, perhaps due to this extremely generous playing time. Anyone who hungers for expansive fantasy soundscapes and epic music making with a touch of ethnic music, often of a Celtic quality, will find much to truly enjoy throughout this amazing release. The digital exclusives will be desirable for completists, though only one is a definitive highlight. Thus, fans of the game may be better purchasing the soundtrack with the collector's edition and possibly supplementing it with the additional three tracks featured on the digital release.

Overall Score: 8/10