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Planescape: Torment The Soundtrack
Catalog Number: N/A
Released On: November 30, 1999
Composed By: Mark Morgan, Richard Band
Arranged By: N/A
Published By: Interplay Productions, CD Projekt
Recorded at: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - Main Title
02 - Nameless One Theme
03 - Deionarra Theme
04 - Dak'kon Theme
05 - Annah Theme
06 - Ignus Theme
07 - Nordom Theme
08 - Fall-From-Grace Theme
09 - Vhailor Theme
10 - Ravel Theme
11 - Fhjull Theme
12 - Trias Theme
13 - The Shadows Theme
14 - Transcendent One Theme
15 - Morte Theme
16 - Morte Alternate Theme
17 - Sigil Battle
18 - Catacombs Battle
19 - Curst Battle
20 - Modron Cube Battle
21 - Fortress Battle
22 - Mortuary
23 - Sigil
24 - Smoldering Corpse Bar
25 - Smoldering Corpse Bar Alternate
26 - Bones of the Night
27 - Civic Festhall
28 - Curst
29 - Modron Cube
30 - Ravel's Maze
31 - Baator
32 - Fortress of Regrets
33 - Bad Ending
34 - Neutral Ending
35 - Good Ending
36 - Intro Movie
37 - Finale Movie
Total Time:
53'31"

Mark Morgan composed the Planescape: Torment soundtrack after leaving the post-apocalyptic wasteland of the Fallout franchise. While similar in tone to the first two Fallouts (a heady mix of humor and darkness), Torment features a rather different setting. Indeed, Sigil, the City of Doors, is unlike anything else. An amalgamation of fantasy flavors, Sigil houses absurdities, wonders, and horrors of every kind. For this, Morgan thoughtfully employs a variety of strange instruments and synthetic sounds for the soundtrack. Masterful in context, the soundtrack loses some of its power when heard outside the game. After repeated listens, however, the atmosphere of the music bleeds from the background to the foreground.

Morgan eschews melody for the most part, although the title track that also provides the main character's theme has something approaching conventional melody. Otherwise, he opts for odd sounds, desert-esque instruments, and effective combinations of noises; sometimes unsettling, sometimes humorous. Most of the tracks contain a percussive undercurrent as well, even the ethereal Deionarra's theme. This makes the soundtrack more coherent (and unsettling).

One of the more evocative tracks, Deionarra's theme stands out among the character themes. Many of these sound similar, but they display the soundtrack's (and the game's) tonal range rather well. Compare the somber severity of Dak'kon's theme to the exotic urban vibe of Annah's. Consider Morte's theme as well, a dose of absurdist humor. Disparate they may seem in tone, yet all display facets of Sigil daily life. I doubt they could be mistaken as coming from different soundtracks, however, as they all bear the Torment brand.

The battle themes convey immediate danger and conjure vivid images in the mind of one who has played the game. Sigil Battle is probably the best of them, with its discernable melody and stabs of breaking glass. The Catacombs and Curst themes are also commendable. Perhaps my favorite track here, Mortuary, is an endlessly haunting piece that can imbue any afternoon with macabre dread. Some of the other area themes are intriguing, but none as stimulating as Mortuary. The Smoldering Corpse Bar comes close with its wailing melody and suggestions of tall tales being told while men are in their cups. It has a Middle Eastern sensibility about it, which characterizes other tracks as well. The ending themes are a bit perfunctory and samey, but the Credits track offers something unique: a descent from sitar to electric guitar.

Upon first listen, the Planescape: Torment OST might come off as merely good background music – something to accompany an activity that occupies most of one's attention. After multiple replays, however, the soundtrack slowly absorbs more and more of one's attention, until, at its apex, the music commands attention. This soundtrack might not have much melody, but neither does that wondrous city, Sigil.

Reviewed by: Kyle E. Miller



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