Game Music, Reviews

Wrath of the Lich King’s Exclusive iTunes Tracks: Difficult Decisions Ahead (Review)

December 15, 2008 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Wrath of the Lich King’s Exclusive iTunes Tracks: Difficult Decisions Ahead (Review)on Twitter

Remember the three exclusive tracks we mentioned in our review of the collector’s edition Wrath of the Lich King Soundtrack? Well, we didn’t want to leave you in the dark about what was being offered through iTunes, and figured it’d be nice to tell you a little about the three exclusive tracks that can’t be found on the physical release.

One each from composers Glenn Stafford, Derek Duke, and Russell Brower are featured, and I must say that I’m having trouble deciding which trio reigns supreme! It’s almost as difficult as having to choose between Sylvanas and Alexstraza in the photo above if you know what I mean (actually, they’re both kind of creepy). Perhaps you’re going to have to treat yourself to both releases, or maybe you can use our impressions to determine which set suits you best.

Read our thoughts on the iTunes exclusive tracks after the jump.

Russell Brower starts us off with “Path of the Lifewarden,” which features an ethereal whistling synthesized lead against the backdrop of falling rain. A pad and choir slowly build upwards, reaching into infinity, creating a really cool effect as the track progresses. The piece is quite an experience, and falls in line with the rest of the amazing score, but I was astounded by how much this piece reminded me of Metroid Prime with it’s whistling synths and environmental backgrounds. This along with some of Brower’s other contributions to the Wrath of the Lich King soundtrack have been pleasant surprises.

Next up, Derek Duke offers “Shadow Web Caverns,” which provides a dark ambience similar to the rest of that found on the Wrath of the Lich King score. I guess if I had to pick between this track and Duke’s “Borean Tundra” exclusive track from the physical release, I’d go with the latter simply based on its unique sound and atmosphere.

Finally, “Obsidian Sanctum” by Glenn Stafford sports a cinematic sound that is tense and ominous. The big sound and distant orchestral percussion hint at what lies ahead, and the 6 minute length of the piece allows it to develop over time with multiple layers.  I enjoy the bassy dissonance and subdued string melody towards the end of the piece.

So, you’re going to have a hard time picking, I’m sure. I’ll say that “Path of the Lifewarden” is absolutely excellent, while “Secrets Long Forgotten” and “Borean Tundra” were the winners from the physical release. I guess that’s 2-to-1 in favor of the physical release, but I guess my final recommendation is to listen to them all! They’re all great pieces of music, and I highly recommend checking out the Wrath of the Lich King Soundtrack in any way, shape, or form that you’re able.

Did you pick up the physical or the iTunes release of Wrath of the Lich King? Do you have any opinions regarding this exclusive track business?

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