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The Lord of the Rings: War In the North Original Video Game Soundtrack
Catalog Number: N/A
Released On: November 1, 2011
Composed By: Inon Zur
Arranged By: N/A
Published By: Watertower Music
Recorded at: Unknown
Format: 1 CD, Digital
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Tracklist:

01 - Echoes Of Angmar
02 - Between Hammer And Anvil
03 - Sons Of Forgotten Kings
04 - Nordinbad
05 - Ghosts Of The Grey Mountains
06 - The Savage Ettenmoors
07 - Before The Citadel Gate
08 - Into The Heart Of The Storm
09 - Realm Of Ancient Kings
10 - A Gathering Storm
11 - The Savage Peaks
12 - Men Of Carn Dm
13 - Trolls!
14 - Beast Among The Ruins
15 - In The Footsteps Of Kings
16 - The Forges Of War
17 - Halls Of Valor
18 - Shadow On The Ettenmoors: Reprise
19 - Against The Darkness
Total Time:
39'46"

Any soundtrack for a product based on The Lord of the Rings doesn't have much of a chance after Howard Shore's tremendous score for Peter Jackson's films. Comparisons can't help but be made, even across media. Prolific composer Inon Zur took up the challenge of creating something equally fitting for Middle Earth. He only gets close by imitating Shore, however, and his imitation is a shoddy one. This is one album I literally forgot was playing.

I didn't forget the music immediately because of "Echoes of Angmar," the opening track. While not unique, the track at least encompasses some range and depth while providing that epic Rings feel. Like many others on the album, "Angmar" looks to the movies for inspiration. The second track, "Between Hammer and Anvil" exhibits the passionless quality of all things generic, although it's actually one of the more rousing tracks. "Sons of Forgotten Kings" and "Nordinbad" begin the descent to boredom with monotone bass strings, which do little to instill mood by themselves.

Somewhere around track six, I lost interest. Around track ten, I forgot the music was playing. Most of the tracks sound designed for battle (excepting "Halls of Valor"), and perhaps they work in context. Outside the game, however, they fall pathetically flat. The tracks bleed into one another after a while if you do pay attention, and Inon Zur borrows too liberally from Shore. For better or worse, this is a brief soundtrack with short tracks; the longest is a mere 2:34. Such short track lengths should help keep things interesting. Alas, they do not.

At best. LOTR: War in the North's OST provides some decent background music: unobtrusive enough to be ignored if necessary, but present enough to... well, at least it's not silence. This is a safe, perfunctory soundtrack overall, and I have to wonder if Inon Zur is getting overly comfortable with a regular paycheck. Skip this one. If you need some extra LOTR music, hunt down the films' Complete Collections instead.

Reviewed by: Kyle E. Miller



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