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Guild Wars Soundtrack

[back cover]
Catalog Number: SLV-GW-0025
Released On: April 28, 2005
Composed By: Jeremy Soule
Arranged By: Jeremy Soule
Published By: NC Interactive
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - Guild Wars Theme
02 - Autumn in Ascalon
03 - Mhenlo's Theme
04 - Over the Shiverpeaks
05 - Eye of the Storm
06 - Prince Rurik's Theme
07 - Sands of Kryta
08 - The Door of Komalie
09 - The Moment of Truth
10 - Devona's Theme
11 - Cynn's Theme
12 - Eve's Theme
13 - Abaddon's Mouth
14 - Crystal Oasis
15 - Gwen's Theme
16 - Ashford Abbey
17 - Aidan's Theme
18 - Guilds at War
19 - Hall of Heroes
20 - The Rift
21 - Witman's Folly
22 - Tasca's Demise
23 - Ascension
24 - Temple of Tolerance
25 - Althea's Theme
26 - The Charr
27 - The Great Northern Wall
28 - Droknar's Forge
Total Time:
54'49"

News flash: Jeremy Soule is a genius. He writes some of the most beautiful scores of all orchestra-composers in the new century. And while you'd expect his music to fall under the realm of film score, he actually has devoted himself to the realm of videogame music. This is videogame music of incredibly high quality.

Amateur composers are probably jealous of the opportunities Soule has had over the years. In this particular soundtrack, for the MMORPG Guild Wars, Soule had his work performed by a full orchestra. Some songs fare better than others, but the overall impression I get, whether during a casual or in-depth listen, is that this music is straight beautiful.

Soule doesn't entirely limit himself to acoustic orchestra. In the final production and mixing, plenty of effects (reverb etc) were added to different songs. Also, sophisticated synthesized sounds were used in places where traditional instruments wouldn't suffice. But, for any fan of the orchestral sound, these additions do not in any way take away from the beauty of the recording.

My usual complaint with VGM that sounds like a film score is its lack of originality: I can usually think of a film in particular that the game's composer attempts to emulate. Soule, however, is regularly able to dodge this criticism by writing music that not only has a clearly unique sound, but has a sound that wouldn't quite fit a film. It's not just mood music or event music; it goes beyond that and feels like it is either music written for its own sake, or perhaps...just perhaps...music for something more interactive than a film (i.e. videogames).

And for an MMO? MMOs, granted, have had pretty good music in the short amount of time they have existed; but this goes above and beyond. I am shocked by the quality. The few samples provided here ought to have you feeling the same way.

Why this soundtrack didn't receive its own separate release, perhaps even in major stores, is beyond me. The limited edition of the game (which ran for $80) was the only way you could obtain this excellent soundtrack. Perhaps, after all the expansions are released and the game is officially "done," a complete soundtrack will be released for purchase. Until then, good luck picking up this absolute gem of aural goodness.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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