HomeJukebox Heroes: The best of LOTROs Before the Shadow soundtrack

Jukebox Heroes: The best of LOTROs Before the Shadow soundtrack

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Since taking over the titles of the video’s Lord of the Rings Online, Composer Bill Champagne has risen in confidence and skill in leaps. The newest release is just the beginning: The expansive and revealing release Before the Shadow.

Play LOTRO for free. This five-track course (!) ranges from the merry to the moody, from the exciting to the dreadful. I certainly enjoyed it, and I was eager to get into it from beginning to finish. Here are some of the highlights I’ve found.

Before the Dark Shadows, I’m beginning to wonder what was in our face.

Talk about starting early. This mini-expansion really gives a real gift to the creator. But apart from that, this piece has a whole lot of heart.

Remain after a long trip.

This almost belongs to Final Fantasy more than LOTRO, but I will let that slip, because I dig my very old western vibe. My only complaint is that two different tracks play simultaneously and never go out of sync anymore.

Cranny and Nook have no luck.

This homey, sounding track evokes the bright end of summer, and lands in a serene mood. If you take my meaning, I love its minimalist sound and its tone makes it look a bit more natural than artificial.

The shackling mob will have his own hamstring.

The Stoor hobbits are a bit more country than their northern cousins. Likewise, their theme evokes images of being laid out on the farm, hunting chickens etc. It’s a good track, with several sections with their own distinct instrument.

The long night for the waiter’s sleep.

One of the most memorable quests of the new expansion is the long wait for the night in a house for the townsfolk. This tune captures the cheery interior of the tavern, as well as the apprehension that something terrible might happen. That’s a complex balancing act.

Paths Forsaken

The unusual option of instrument allows this track to Scandinavian flair. It’s a bit like a jig and a rustic lounge song, and as soon as I listen, it grows and grows.

The shadow swells.

This track is like an all-time favorite track, weaving in familiar, old-fashioned tunes into an end product that’s a bit more gruff and weathered. This album is definitely a standout.

MMOs should be heard as well as seen; but it is possible that music connects your memories to these games more than you realize. Jukebox Heroes listens during game soundtrack and gives them the highlights to share and discuss. And if you like this column, but don’t miss the authors MMO Music podcast, Battle Bards.

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