Soul Of The Ultimate Nation (Collectors Edition Vol. 2) by Howard Shore (album review)

You’ve just composed the score for one of the most successful film trilogies and won an Academy Award for your work, what do you do? Write a score for Asia’s top online role-playing game apparently.

Composed by soundtrack heavyweight Howard Shore, the score for MMORPG ‘Soul Of The Ultimate Nation’ has echoes of his previous masterpiece ‘The Lord Of The Rings’, especially ‘Graveyard Of Aiort’ and title track ‘Soul Of The Ultimate Nation’ which have more than a few hints of Middle-Earth. That’s not to say that Shore is a one-trick pony. Far from it. With this album, he manages to bring a new aspect to the game and I, for one, now see it in a whole new light.

Standouts include ‘Sanctuary Of Ether’, which is a beautiful, haunting opening track to the album, setting the tone perfectly. ‘The Valley Of Dragons’ and ‘Forest Of The Beasts’ are also two dramatic tracks that convey the drama of the game.

Interestingly enough, Shore’s soundtrack was composed back in 2006 but was only released in Korea. After a few years, Shore decided that the rest of the world should hear it and re-released through his own label Howe Records. In another record, it’s also the first video game soundtrack to feature leading theremin performer Lydia Kavina. He really does spoil us.

The soundtrack will draw comparisons with some of Shore’s previous work, especially ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ but it does hold its own. We should be thankful that he made the effort to launch it on an international basis rather than Korea having all the fun.

A nice rousing soundtrack that will stir echoes of a certain trilogy but it’s definitely worth investing in if you’re a fan.

Aidan Fortune

December 2012


(pub: Howe Records. 20 tracks, 62 minutes CD. Digital Price: $15.99 (US), £ 7.49 (UK). CD Price: $ 8.99 (US), £14.65 (UK). ASIN: B0081UY0Y8)

check out website: http://howerecords.com/


Once called a "fountain of useless pop culture knowledge", Aidan is an unashamed geek, grateful that he is allowed share his opinions on a global scale. A journalist by trade, Aidan is a massive fan of comics and recently set up a comics group in Brighton in order to engage more with like-minded people. His home is subject to a constant battle of vintage paraphernalia and science fiction & fantasy toys.

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