Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Friday, May 26, 2006

CD REVIEW - Soul of the Ultimate Nation

Soul of the Ultimate Nation
Music by Howard Shore
Sony BMG SB70053C (Korea)
20 Tracks 64:34 mins

For any Howard Shore fan suffering withdrawal symptoms following the end of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, I have the perfect tonic. This game score from Korea is something of a first cousin to the LOTR scores. Performed wonderfully well by the National Philharmonic of Russia and Academy of Choral Arts, this is music almost the equal in power and majesty as those scores and is a great listen, even if it does lose its way somewhat towards the end of the disc (though it does end in a powerful piece of action writing for "Menace of the Army Wings").
It's hard to pick out standout cues, though the eager mover "Helron's Castle," the brassy action of "The Valley of Dragons" and the powerful "March to Victory" most consistently do it for me. Rather that most tracks have some great moments like the ethereal choir that opens the disc in "Sanctuary of Fear;" the call to arms at the start of "A Prelude to Revolt;" the powerful build of "The Triumph;" the sensation of flying in "Forest of the Beasts;" "the menace and power of "Empire Geist;" the female choral lament of "The Epitaph;" the use of theremin, seldom heard these days, in "Hymns of Battlefields and "A Pernicious Plot;" and the powerful brass and organ in "Immortal Emperor."
If you still need convincing that game scores can be the equal, if not better, of music being composed for film these days, check this one out - you won't need further convincing.
Although I got my copy direct from Korea, I'm glad to say that it is now readily available from most specialist soundtrack retailers, so what are you waiting for?


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