Guild Wars: Nightfall Soundtrack

Guild Wars: Nightfall Soundtrack. CD US ver. Click to zoom.
Guild Wars: Nightfall Soundtrack
CD US ver
Covers release: Myrkul
Composed by Jeremy Soule / Julian Soule
Published by NCsoft Europe Ltd.
Catalog number NCS-GWNF-ST01
Release type Game Soundtrack - Promo / Enclosure
Format 1 CD - 42 tracks
Release date October 27, 2006
Duration 01:32:54
Genres
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Overview

Tyria's third campaign, Guild Wars: Nightfall introduced further gameplay modifications and a new continent. Having dedicated much of the previous year to developing the Guild Wars universe, Jeremy Soule once again returned to create an additional score for the game, this time with assistance from his brother Julian Soule. Once again, Soule focused on hybridising orchestral underscore with traditional instruments to portray the new continent in the game. But unlike Guild Wars: Factions, he focused on integrating Arabian instruments than Chinese ones to demonstrate the Egyptian influence of Elona. The soundtrack was originally released with the collector's edition of the game.

Body

"Land of the Golden Sun" introduces the main theme for Guild Wars: Nightfall. With its fast pace and rousing orchestration, the track has a much more adventurous quality to it than the spiritual main themes for Guild Wars: Prophecies and Guild Wars: Factions. The incorporation of ethnic percussion and an oud soloistensures the track manages to capture the Egyptian-inspired lands of Elona, albeit in a stereotypical manner. However, the highlights are definitely the rich and melodious orchestral portions that prove a welcome departure from the series' more ambient sound. Sadly, this theme isn't extensively arranged like the series' previous main themes were and instead is only loosely reference elsewhere on the soundtrack. This makes the soundtrack a little thematically barren as a result.

For the most part, Soule preserves his approach to dark ambient scoring throughout Guild Wars: Nightfall. Tracks such as "Haunted Ruins", "Fortress of Jahai", and "Web of Terror" exemplify his scoring approach at its most drab; they are made up almost entirely of deep suspended strings (with excessive reverb, of course). The only novelties are some repeating percussion rhythms and these are nowhere near as creative as those on the series' battle pak. While "Descent into Madness" and "Turai's Legacy" complement the twilight scenery, these pieces are nothing more than ambient noise and lack any true melodies, harmonies, or instruments. When prolonged for three minutes apiece, the score undoubtedly bores at times. This is not intellectual ambience, like Soule's work on The Elder Scrolls, but merely functional underscore.

Unlike the previous campaign, there are plenty of more expressive themes to break up the soundtrack. For example, "Gathering Storm" provides a welcome relief from ambient nothingness with its thunderous string bass and dissonant brass cries, while "Sulfurous Wastes" provides an ethnic twist on the approach heard at Sorrow's Furnace. Another memorable addition is "Resplendent Makuun", which emerges from its percussive origins into a rich fantasy orchestration with a memorable melody. "Garden of Seborhin" and "Guardian Sunspears" are also reminiscent of Soule's more expressive approach to the Prophecies campaign, combining intimate and personal instrumental solos with rich interweaving orchestration. Aside the main themes, these are the strongest pieces to be featured in Guild Wars since the original campaign.

A further issue with the music for Guild Wars: Nightfall is that it features an excessive number of short cues. Many of these break up the ambient underscore to provide some action-packed moments on the soundtrack, for example the intensely percussive "Invasion of Vabbi" or dissonant brass cue "The Garrison". Due to in-game limitations, they're simply too short to fulfil their musical potential and, as a result, end up being unnecessary interruptions rather than fully-fledged highlights. The highly repetitive "Into the Breach" also indicates that Soule approached some of these pieces with uttermost efficiency, without concern for the quality of the stand-alone experience. Even the last track on the soundtrack, "The Five True Gods", is an unremarkable spiritual cue that relies on sustained flute notes and fragmented harp arpeggios.

Summary

The close release schedule of Prophecies, Factions, and Nightfall clearly either exhausted or bored Jeremy Soule. The incorporation of Arabian instruments and percussive elements seems like a trite way to individualise the campaign and there is far too much ambient underscore to appeal to stand-alone listeners. With the exception of a handful of themes, the majority of the music on Guild Wars: Nightfall isn't as memorable or evocative on those from the original campaign. The soundtrack is a more diverse listen than Factions, but that is not enough for it to be worthwhile.



Album
6/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Chris Greening

Included with the Collector's Edition release of the game.
Album was composed by Jeremy Soule / Julian Soule and was released on October 27, 2006. Soundtrack consists of 42 tracks tracks with duration over more than hour. Album was released by NCsoft Europe Ltd..

CD 1

1
Land of the Golden Sun
02:15
2
Guardian Sunspears
03:19
3
Lost Dynasties
02:55
4
The Grand Cataract
01:04
5
Descent into Madness
03:08
6
Gathering Storm
02:12
7
Festival of Lyss
03:21
8
Desert Dwellers
01:04
9
Fortress of Jahai
02:02
10
Pride of the Centaurs
00:59
11
Haunted Ruins
02:21
12
Turai's Legacy
03:12
13
Path to War
01:20
14
Tortured Souls
03:15
15
Sunspear Assault
01:17
16
Garden of Seborhin
04:19
17
On Harpies' Wings
01:05
18
The Forgotten God
02:22
19
Corsair Armada
01:02
20
Black Sails at Dawn
02:18
21
Sulfurous Wastes
02:18
22
The Garrison
01:11
23
Web of Terror
03:55
24
Invasion of Vabbi
01:08
25
Resplendent Makuun
03:11
26
Kormir's Theme
02:21
27
Kournan Caravan
02:17
28
In to the Breach
01:16
29
Distant Battle
01:09
30
The Makers' Song
02:14
31
Desperate Flight
01:03
32
The Hidden City
00:56
33
Unseen Intruders
01:14
34
Abaddon's Gift
01:12
35
The Barricades
01:17
36
The Five True Gods
01:07
37
The Bone Palace
03:20
38
Champion's Dawn
03:08
39
Wilderness of Bahdza
03:08
40
Pogahn Passage
03:10
41
Arkjok Wards
03:23
42
Reign of Anguish
04:06
20.08.08
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