|1.||The Siege Of Greilyn Beach||3:05|
|3.||Freedom For A Price||2:15|
|4.||Into The Jungle||1:51|
|5.||The Morden Towers||2:14|
|8.||The Dark Wizard Of Valdis||2:11|
|9.||Rhythms Of Darkness||1:34|
|10.||Peering Into The Past||0:57|
|11.||Outside Of The Castle||2:23|
|12.||The Morden Mines||2:08|
|16.||The Knotted Shambler||2:06|
|17.||The Trilisk Of Xeria||1:32|
|19.||An Unsettling Situation||2:03|
|20.||The Inner Walls||1:38|
|23.||The Morden Dragon||2:02|
|24.||Talon's Final Stand||1:31|
|26.||The Mines Of Kaderak||2:22|
|27.||Havoc Hath Wrought||2:06|
|28.||Summit Of The Dark Wizards||2:04|
|31.||Snow Covered Landscape||2:08|
|34.||A Desert Affair||1:59|
|35.||Tales Of Kalrathia||1:07|
|36.||Tracking The Morden||1:34|
|37.||The Ruins Of Okaym||2:54|
|Total Album Time:||77:40|
|by Mike Brennan
September 30, 2006
This may very well be the direction that film and video game scores are going in the near future. Jeremy Soule's recent video game scores were composed and recorded using an extensive sample library that Soule himself developed and recorded with an orchestra. The end product is a synth score that sounds almost completely orchestral. While the task of setting up and recording an entire samples library of the quality which Soule uses is daunting, he has recently been putting it to good use. The result is a half-dozen video game scores, just in the past two years, with a sound quality often paralleling that of a live orchestra, but without the cost and time of recording with one. There are downsides to such an approach, and there are many critics of such synth-based compositions, perhaps rightly. The point, however, is that the caliber of music that Soule can write for video games with a given studio budget has increased to a very high quality over the years as he continuously adds to and updates the library.
Soule's bombastic style of epic video game writing opens his score for Dungeon Siege II with a pounding percussion intro followed by a strong brass theme in "The Siege of Greilyn Beach". The theme that is introduced here returns periodically throughout the score, as in "Freedom for a Price" and "The Dark Wizard of Valdis". Dungeon Siege II is a darker score than some of Soule's other works, with harsher percussion and a strong presence of low brass and strings ("Into the Jungle" and "The Morden Towers"). Strong action cues, like "The Trilisk of Xeria", mix these sounds into strong action cues while others, such as "The Morden Dragon", add new elements like a choir.
The 38 cues on the digital-download album from DirectSong almost begin to sound the same, except for Soule's inclusion of a few tracks that break the tone. A number of purely percussive cues ("Rhythms of Darkness" and "Talon's Final Stand") are an example. "Sneaky Sneaky" and "Snowbrook Haven" add a bit of a lighter side to the music. Some cues truly standout as exceptional for a synth-composed score, namely "Zaramoth's Horns" for the quality of the brass. Others do take on a bit of a synth sound in quieter moments or in percussive elements ("Mines of Kaderak" and "Final Confrontation"). Soule brings the extensive album to a close with two cues of note: the cello and woodwind-dominated "The Ruins of Okaym" and "Epilogue". The type of music Soule is able to create with his sample library is truly astounding, especially for this dark fantasy genre.
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