Soundtrack Review: Middle-Earth Shadow Of War

Soundtrack Review: Middle-Earth Shadow Of War

Middle-Earth Shadow Of War Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the video game score Middle-Earth Shadow Of War by Garry Schyman & Nathan Grigg.

At a glance:

Geek Score: 98.6
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 130.4
Album Excellence: 94.4%

How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War is a 2017 action role-playing game developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. It is the sequel to 2014’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, and was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 10, 2017. Shadow of War continues the previous game’s narrative, which is based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s legendarium and set between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Like its predecessor, the game also takes heavy inspiration from director Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings film adaptations. The player continues the story of the ranger Talion and the spirit of the elf lord Celebrimbor, who shares Talion’s body, as they forge a new Ring of Power to amass an army to fight against Sauron. The game builds upon the "Nemesis System" introduced in Shadow of Mordor, allowing Talion to gain followers from several races of Middle-earth, including Uruks and Ologs, and plan out complex strategies using these to complete missions. The score is composed by Garry Schyman and Nathan Grigg.

Three years ago, Shadow Of Mordor was released and it was hailed as a very good game at the time. Finally a great game for the awesome Tolkien universe. I never got a chance to play it, although I did get it a couple of months ago and it still sits in my Steam library. Have to give it a go one of these days. What I didn’t enjoy was the music which was more a horror score than a Middle Earth score, specially since we’ve been given so much great music from that universe in the last couple of decades. Three years on, the new game is out and the same composers as well. I’m skeptical, but I’m hoping to be proven massively wrong. The score opens with ‘The New Ring’, a very dark but very good piece of music. It’s heavily action oriented and mood based, but it’s still a strong piece. I don’t think we’ll get our grand fantasy score this time either, but maybe this time will be different because I expect it.

I think it mostley comes down to expectations. Now that the Shadow Of Mordor score has been out for 3 years and we all know what that sounded like, I won’t make the mistake of expecting and craving a high fantasy score. It would be very nice if it was, but what if we just treated this score as music and judge it based on that? The quality of the music is very good, and as a dark grimy horror score it works quite well. The moods that Grigg and Schyman manages to create are really good and it puts me into some kind of dark place. It might not be Middle Earth, but it’s somewhere dark and scary where enemies and mischief is around every tree, over every hill and mountain. It’s not your father’s Middle Earth, but it is a new kind of experience, one that deals with horror and mayhem. I quite like it on that premise but even though the music is great sounding, there’s always the "wish" that it would entail more fantasy and more themes. That being said, there are some really nice themes here like in ‘It’s Not Enough For Them To Destroy Us’ and ‘Shadow Of War Theme’. The dark side of fantasy is quite an amazing experience and this delivers that in troves. And there’s a number of over-the top epic cues here for everyone who loves that kind of stuff.

I wonder if I go back, knowing what I know now, and listen to the Shadow Of Mordor score, will I love it now? Perhaps I will and perhaps I should go ahead and do that. I know what I will do now anyway. Right now I’m installing Shadow Of Mordor to give it a go and see if I like it, game and music. If you want a more traditional fantasy score, check out the various Lord Of The Rings Online scores by Chance Thomas. But I definitely recommend you check out this score. It’s a wild ride and probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but you can’t fault the quality of the music. If anything this is more of a dark fantasy score, very dark, but for me, that works out great. It does seem to get more fantasy the more I listen to it and there’s even a throwback to the classic LOTR scores by Shore in cues like ‘The Courtyard Battle’ and definitely in the orc-ish cues at the end. By the way, the Orc cues are absolute crazy and I love it. I highly recommend you check this one out. It’s one of the better dark fantasy scores out there.

HIGHLIGHTS:
2. The New Ring
3. He Waits For You
4. I Deal Only In Truth
5. The Siege Of Minas Ithil
6. The Lowe City
7. Shield Maiden Of Gondor
8. Some Things Were Lost Forever
9. I Must Defend The Gate
10. The Upper City
11. It’s Not Enough For Them To Destroy Us
12. A Show To Remember
13. The Arena
14. I Come For Him
15. Don’t Go Alone
16. The Warchief’s Camp
17. Cirith Ungol
18. My Precious
19. With Prophecy… Comes Torment
20. She Is Not Our Ally
21. One More Vision
22. Return To Minas Ithil
23. The Courtyard Battle
24. Flight Of The Witch King
25. Castamir’s Bargain
26. The Nazgul
27. The Fall
28. The Blade Of Galadriel
29. The Two Lives Of Baranor
30. I Will Not Be Protected
31. Kings Of Old
32. Sacrifices Must Be Made
33. Rise To Power
34. Worse Than Death
35. Either Way’s A Win
36. The Fort Assault
38. I’ll Defend The Fort Like It Was My Own
39. A New Overlord
41. Carnan’s Song
42. Beasts Of Carnan
43. They Are Summoning Death
44. Gorgoroth
45. Tar-Goroth
46. Seregost
47. The Ice Cave Chase
48. Undeath Will Become Undeath
50. The Beasts Invade Fort Seregost
51. The Drake
52. Drake Riding
53. Why Do You Keep Fighting?
54. A Drake Would Have Been A Great Asset
55. They Are No Longer Men
56. Lord Of The Dead
57. No Escape, Even In Death
58. Arise And Serve
59. You Fight For Mordor
60. Barad-Dur
61. Open Your Eyes
62. Minas Morgul
63. The Witch King
64. They Are One
65. Shadow Of War Theme
66. Kharb-Durbghu-Hai (Masters Of Beasts)
67. Kinku-Hai Gulshu (Seers Of The Shadow World)
68. Karku-Hai Kutmushu (Crafters Of War)
69. Ranh-Hai Balk-Shu (Lords Of Pain)
70. Krum-Marku-Hai (Soldiers Of Glory)
71. Sherk-Shokku-Hai (Blood-Drinkers)
72. Bashzikri-Hai (Shadow Knives)
73. Snaga-Hai Gaishu (Slaves Of Fear)
74. Khurku-Hai (Consumers, Devourers)
75. Kharb-Durbgu-Hai Kutmashku (Overlord)
76. Kinku-Hai Gulshu Kutmashku
77. Karku-Hai Kutmushu Kuthmasku
78. Ran-Hai Balk-Shu Kutmashku
79. Krum-Marku-Hai Kutmashku
80. Sherk-Shokko-Hai Kutmashku
82. Snaga-Hai Gaishu Kutmashku
83. Khurku-Hai Kutmashku
84. The Eastern Desert
86. The Menus
87. The Army Of Minas Ithil

GD Star Rating
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