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Prince of Persia Warrior Within Original Soundtrack :: Review by Steven Kennedy

Prince of Persia Warrior Within Original Soundtrack Album Title: Prince of Persia Warrior Within Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Team Entertainment
Catalog No.: KDSD-00081
Release Date: October 19, 2005
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Prince of Persia: Warrior Within was the commercially and critically successful sequel to Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Demonstrating the game's international appeal, it received a full soundtrack release from Japanese record label Team Entertainment. Once again, Stuart Chatwood took the lead role on the soundtrack and offers a range of guitar-infused action and ambient themes. Inon Zur is specifically credited for the central seven tracks from Warrior Within and these contributions appear towards the end of the soundtrack.


The lead composer of Warrior Within, Stuart Chatwood, decided to focus on his speciality this time: hard rock music. The majority of his compositions are dominated by gritty rhythm guitar riffs this time and there are far fewer fusions of ethnic and orchestral elements. This approach likely offers the score more mainstream appeal, yet often comes across formulaic and samey. Chatwood is nevertheless able to adapt his musicality to suit a range of in-game purposes thanks to his excellent sense of rhythm and timbre. For example, tracks such as "The Mystic Caves" and "Shadows of the Tower" are suitably ambient in context with their suspenseful rhythms and unobstrusive textures. However, others such as "Conflict at the Entrance" and "Struggle in the Library" enhance intense action scenes with their wild guitar lines and dynamic tempos. Audience are divided about their value for stand-alone listening.

Inon Zur's contribution for Warrior Within is a completely different soundworld in some respects from that Chatwood explored. Zur tends to write in far more symphonic and cinematic brushstrokes. Here Chatwood's percussive ideas are part of the texture but the fuller orchestral sound lends the music, and the adventure, a far more epic sweep. Zur's music incorporates some of the electric guitar ideas as well, but tends to focus on creating atmosphere through occasionally dense symphonic textures. There is some great brass writing and thematic development that appears here alongside atmospheric electronics and ethnic instruments (especially a prominent erhu) work their way naturally into the texture. He also tends to craft music that can build through orchestral crescendos or by gradually intense repetition in a solo line, as in "Warrior in Despair" with its brash trombone idea. Overall, the music here is far more exciting and fascinating to listen to on its own.

The wailing vocals also appear in this score. They're a practical cliché in film that are often annoying to most soundtrack fans and many of the themes here are no exception. Chatwood's use of the vocals in "Welcome Within" adds a particularly superficial gloss to an otherwise guitar-dominated opener. However, the vocals do sometimes lend a more human element to the score. Zur wisely chooses to use fuller choral support after introducing the solo voice elements, which is particularly impressive in ensemble cues such as "The Chase of Time". The soundtrack is rounded off by three of Chatwood's heaviest rock themes of the score. These are an invigorating accompaniment to the onscreen battles and are potentially enjoyable on a stand-alone basis too. "Conflict of the Griffins" is especially effective for the way it unites the rock, orchestral, and choral elements into a definitive final cue.


The import soundtrack for The Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within is generally more accomplished than its predecessor. The compositions are generally better produced and more developed, ensuring both a fitting complement to the game and an entertaining stand-alone listen. However, the rock emphasis of the score neglects the Arabian setting of the game and potentially alienates fans of symphonic video game music. Thankfully, Zur's more symphonic approach to scoring provides an interesting contrast to Chatwood's work and demonstrates the musicality the series would benefit from more of. There is likely to be something that will appeal to prospective consumers in the resultant score.

Overall Score: 8/10