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Icewind Dale The Soundtrack

[back cover]
Catalog Number: MN-AUD-1248-1
Released On: June 29, 2000
Composed By: Jeremy Soule
Arranged By: Jeremy Soule
Published By: Interplay Entertainment
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - The Tale of Icewind Dale (Movie 1)
02 - Icewind Dale Theme
03 - Easthaven in Peace
04 - Hrothgar's Home
05 - Temple of Tempus
06 - The Lost Caravan
07 - Drums of the Dead
08 - Avalanche at the Pass (Movie 2)
09 - Kuldahar Theme
10 - Arundel's Home
11 - Vale of Shadows
12 - Lysan's Lair
13 - Kresselack's Tomb
14 - Kresselack's Lair
15 - Temple of the Forgotten God Entrance
16 - Temple of the Forgotten God Interior
17 - Heartstone Shrine
18 - The Dragon's Eye
19 - Yxunomei's Lair
20 - Severed Hand Entrance
21 - Severed Hand Interior
22 - The Mage Tower
23 - Lerrel's Daughter
24 - Lerrel's Astrolab
25 - The Heartstone Gem (Movie 3)
26 - Upper Dorn's Deep Entrance
27 - Upper Dorn's Deep Interior
28 - Drow & Orog Gate
29 - Umber Hulk Labyrinth
30 - The Wyrm's Tooth Entrance
31 - Aquarium of Alkonos
32 - Frost Giant Cave
33 - Lower Dorn's Deep
34 - Svirfneblin Refugee Camp
35 - Marketh's Palace
36 - Artisan's District
37 - The Fallen Temple
38 - Belhifet's Doom
39 - Return to Easthaven (Movie 4)
40 - Easthaven in Pieces
41 - Success! (Movie 5)
42 - Bonus Track 1
43 - Bonus Track 2
44 - Bonus Track 3
45 - Bonus Track 4
46 - Bonus Track 5
47 - Bonus Track 6
48 - Bonus Track 7
49 - Bonus Track 8
50 - Bonus Track 9
51 - Bonus Track 10
Total Time:
64'14"

Note: the ten "bonus tracks" are unlisted on the tracklist, and hence don't have official titles.

Jeremy Soule is a legend among game composers. Along with being one of the first (and only) Western composers to bridge the East/West gap with his score to "Secret of Evermore," Soule has written music for many of the greatest, most critically acclaimed PC RPGs of the last two decades. Today, many people associate Soule's name with the Elder Scrolls series, and some dedicated Guild Wars fans have come to love him as well; but dedicated fans trace their love of Soule back to one album, one game: Icewind Dale.

Released in 2000, the soundtrack to Black Isle's "Icewind Dale" marked and solidified Soule's standard orchestral style. Since then, some say, Soule has remained too comfortable with this style, becoming less and less "fresh" or "original" since this epic release. Others say his work has improved since this time. As for me? I'm not sure I'm with the former or the latter. What I do know is that I love this soundtrack.

That's not to say the soundtrack doesn't have its flaws or weaknesses. If you look at the tracklist, you see over 40 tracks packed into one disc. Comparing disc time to number of tracks, you see the average track is just over a minute long. These songs, many times, feel like short cues that would be better suited for... (wait for it, wait for it...) film score. However, if you ignore the separation of tracks and just listen to the album from start to finish, imagining it as one 50 minute masterwork, the experience changes on cognitive level.

If you like the Western VGM writers, particularly those that helped pave the way for the "film-esque" soundtracks written primarily for epic fantasy RPGs (sometimes in the D&D realm), your collection isn't complete without this artifact. Note that it is a rare find, especially because it printed by the now all-but-dead Interplay. And even if you're not the biggest fan of Western VGM or Jeremy Soule in general, still be sure to check out the audio samples: you may want to consider owning this one.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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