Soundtrack Month: “The Elder Scrolls Online” (Brad Derrick, Malukah, & Others) Yes, another TES soundtrack. No, it’s nothing like Skyrim. The Elder Scrolls Online caused something of a ripple both positive and negative in the gaming world, not only in terms of its game mechanics but also the soundtrack itself (mostly because Jeremy Soule had departed the series by this time). Brad Derrick and several [...]

Soundtrack Month: “Imaginaerum” (Tuomas Holopainen) A score for a small-budget movie you’re sure to have missed unless you follow Nightwish, frontman Tuomas Holopainen finally got a chance to flex the full strength of his orchestral muscles with this project. Nightwish has long been known for broad, sweeping sounds and epic flavors (I can count the metal bands I listen [...]

Soundtrack Month: “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring [The Complete Recordings]” (Howard Shore This probably appears to be an excessively obvious choice, but it’s still worth considering if you really haven’t listened to it yet. The Lord of the Rings trilogy had some of the longest soundtracks in recent years. In an age when a 100-minute movie is considered long, only Bollywood soundtracks boast a longer average [...]

Soundtrack Month: “Dragon Age: Inquisition” (Trevor Morris)

Fantasy RPG games always run the risk of being too abstract or too dense to be approachable. Yet some well-wrought character development and a knockout soundtrack kept the world of Thedas grounded and more than a little palatable in this third installment. Trevor Morris (yes, his second appearance on this blog this month) managed to [...]

Soundtrack Month: “The Virgin Queen” (Martin Phipps & The Mediaeval Baebes) Yes, yes, I already mentioned a song from this album in a previous post - but you've never heard Elizabethan-themed music quite like The Virgin Queen. Underdog Martin Phipps, mostly known for his work in British TV, nailed this album. While little to none of it is a direct transplant from bygone centuries - [...]

Friday Album: “Cadfael” (Colin Towns)

Cadfael was a quirky medieval murder mystery TV series. You wouldn't think that the music for such a subject would be interesting or atmospheric, but you'd be wrong. Synthesizers and primitive instruments coexist beautifully. Even if you skip over the vocal portions, this album is worth flicking through.  

Emily Barker – “Nostalgia Reprise” {Free Song Download}

Wallander began as a mystery novel series. It was later turned into a TV series in Sweden and was more recently re-interpreted by the BBC (both versions are worth watching, by the way). This song - sadly only a fragment - plays at the end credits of some BBC episodes. Emily Barker apparently received such [...]

Malukah – “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” (excerpt) {Free Song Download}

Vocal time for a few seconds, if you please. Something about the brevity of this one (it was only intended as a partial demo but still managed to rack up 60,000+ plays) gives it an unsettling yet angelic vibe...anyone writing war or death scenes should take notice, even if you don't typically listen to religious [...]

ValKyrie and Mary Gunderson – “Behind the Red Door”

Ambient chillout of the very highest caliber - probably because it sounds like it isn't breaking a sweat to achieve that sound. I've found almost a thousand worthy songs on Soundcloud since discovering the site a few months ago, and this is still one of my favorites.

Liz Katrin – “Whispers” {Free Song Download}

A pinch of tribal vocals from Poland for your consideration. Liz Katrin is capable of extremely operatic sounds (including a tremendous lower register, if I do say so myself), but she focuses many of her efforts on game tributes (often originals) and soundtracks. Anyone who says that conventionally-trained musicians can't work in a spooky context [...]