01 - Nerevar Rising (Morrowind Title)
02 - Bright Spears, Dark Blood (Battle 1)
03 - Over the Next Hill (Explore 1)
04 - Knight's Charge (Battle 2)
05 - Peaceful Waters (Explore 2)
06 - Dance of Swords (Battle 3)
07 - The Road Most Travelled (Explore 3)
08 - Hunter's Pursuit (Battle 4)
09 - Blessing of Vivec (Explore 4)
10 - Ambush! (Battle 5)
11 - Silt Sunrise (Explore 5)
12 - Stormclouds on the Battlefield (Battle 7)
13 - Shed Your Travails (Explore 6)
14 - Drumbeat of the Dunmer (Battle 8)
15 - Caprice (Explore 7)
Jeremy Soule is lauded as the videogame composer of the United States. His works are the most critically acclaimed, and many people agree that his work is on par (perhaps above par) to some of the better film scores out there.
Though I only dabbled with Morrowind, the third of Bethesda's "Elder Scrolls" series, I knew from the start that its score was excellent. In 2006, I was reminded of this soundtrack's excellence when I heard a medley of songs from the game performed at the PLAY! concert in Philadelphia. The album itself came as a limited release from Bethesda, so I scoured the wonderful world of used stores on the 'net until I came by the hit 2002 soundtrack.
In many ways, the Morrowind soundtrack is little more than a theme followed by variations on that theme (again, comparisons to film score abound). Though I would usually complain about a lack of original composition, just in terms of sheer quantity, I was not at all displeased with the way this album came together. My only complaint is the lack of original song titles, but I suppose it's nice to know that this is how Soule took a look at the score and went to work.
Between the even-numbered battle themes and the odd-numbered town themes, I admit a slight favoritism shown towards the more calm "exploration" tracks. Much like the film score to "Lord of the Rings," the battles use a lot of percussion and not much melody, whereas the overall themes have beautiful, memorable melodic passages. I'm sure the battle songs serve their purpose in-game, but for simple listening, I found myself attracted to those odd-numbered tracks from beginning to end.
Before this soundtrack completely disappears into "oblivion" (get the pun?), interested fans should seek out used copies on eBay or other online outlets.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann