- Name: Skyrim Soundtrack
- Label: directsong
- Composer(s): Jeremy Soule
- Number of Tracks: 53
For those who regularly read my blog, you would know I ordered in the special physical edition of the Skyrim soundtrack from directsong. Since I ordered early too I actually managed to get Jeremy Soule's signature on it too (hopefully it'll be worth something someday :)).
I'm a big fan of Jeremy Soule's music. He's created classic soundtracks for games such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Guild Wars and of course the previous two Elder Scrolls games, Morrowind and Oblivion. No surprises that he was recruited again to do the soundtrack for Skyrim.
The physical soundtrack comes on a whopping 4 CDs and there's a lot of music here: 53 tracks, although one of the tracks is a 40 minute long track of ambient music/sound effects so I didn't really listen to the last disc. However, as always half of the tracks are combat and ambient music. This is appropriate when you want to build atmosphere while dungeon-crawling but not as entertaining when you're listening to the tracks by themselves.
When I first heard the main track Dragonborn, I wasn't actually impressed. It had a similar tempo to Oblivion which I didn't really like, and there it sounded like a bunch of drunken Vikings were belting out the tune. Of course, that's the whole point I guess but I still prefer the "original" Morrowind theme where it all started. However, after playing the game, and finding how they integrated it so well with the experience (e.g. bards actually sing the song, the music plays whenever a dragon attacks - although that track is actually called One They Fear etc.) it's now definitely one of my favourites on this album.
Another track that is a favourite is the Jerall Mountains. Like the track Dragonborn, it too is based off previous Elder Scrolls music by Jeremy Soule. The melody found in Jerall Mountains is based off Silt Sunrise in Morrowind and Through the Valleys in Oblivion. It's a very calming, peaceful and nostalgic tune.
Finally, one of the best original tracks on the album (i.e. one not based off previous themes) would have to be Ancient Stones. This one quickly became a favourite as I wondered through the charming towns and hamlets of Skyrim during the day. It just fits the majestic nature of the province so well. Still not quite sure what the main instrument played in the track is though.. sounds a bit like a harp, harpsichord and a lute all in one...
Other tracks of note are the adventurous and grand Far Horizons and a combat song that is actually worth listening to, Death or Sovngarde.
So there's quite a lot of good tracks on this album, about half of the 53 are worth listening to, the rest however is the combat and ambient music so just be aware of that when deciding to buy the album.