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Exploring The Burning Crusade Soundtrack | Top 5 Tracks

Title: World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Original Game Soundtrack)

Composers: Russell Brower, Derek Duke & Matt Uelmen

Featured Musicians: Pedro Eustache – Duduk, Bansuri, Tunisian Midjwiz, Shakuhachi and Flutes

Additional Music by: Brian David Farr, David Arkenstone

Full list of credits here.


The Burning Crusade soundtrack is one of my favourite video game soundtracks of all time. It is full of rich, enthralling ambient tracks that are actually excellent to listen to when focus or relaxation is required. The dark ambience of the soundtrack reflects the emptiness and decay of not only Outland’s barren lands — once lush and full of life — but also of the primary antagonist, Illidan Stormrage. It reflects Illidan’s loss of who and what he used to be.

Top 5 Favourite Tracks

5. Netherstorm

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A gorgeous atmospheric track with an extra tinge of futurism to match Netherstorm’s strange, decayed setting that is now occupied with Blood Elf technology. The Blood Elves seek to harvest mana from this twilight wasteland, and their dark lust for energy is reflected in the track’s sound, especially thanks to the subtle yet harsh guitar.

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Screenshot from Skootchie posted on WoWHead.

4. Honor Hold

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While this song is not on the released album soundtrack, I had to include it because it has always stuck with me. It plays in Honor Hold, the Alliance town (that the Horde seems to love) settled in Hellfire Peninsula. The song is a soft yet powerful and noble call to arms. It is a reminder to maintain honor and determination in the face of adversity.

It also includes a lovely rendition of Chopin’s “Nocturne Op.27: No.1“.

This song is on the World of Warcraft: Mosaic album which was available to the lucky souls at 2009 Blizzcon.

3. Shards of the Exodar

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The Exodar is the Draenei’s capital city on Azuremyst Isle. It is actually a ship that has crash-landed after a group of surviving Draenei refugees escaped genocide and their taken home world.

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Azuremyst Isle on Wowpedia. Blizzard Entertainment ©

“Shards of the Exodar” sounds as if it is emanating from the crystals surrounding the Exodar itself, audibly glinting and gleaming. This song begins serenely, but the duduk (Armenian wind instrument) brings out the grief of the Draenei.

2. Shadowmoon Valley

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Fel and brimstone. Shadowmoon Valley is one of the most haunting locations in Azeroth, and so it is suitable that this song is also one of the most haunting in WoW’s music library.

Shadowmoon Valley is so seeped with fel magic that it is as if it has moved beyond a state of decay and is instead flourishing with the stuff. It is difficult to believe that such a place was once inhabitable, beautiful, and free of demonic taint.

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Concept art on wowwiki.

Shadowmoon Valley is stunning in all its blight. This is a location in which the danger and calamity feel undeniably real.

The grim and eerie music complements this hell. This ambient track includes haunting cries by a male chorus which allude to the tragedies and downfalls of the Orcs, Draenei, and even Illidan himself.

1. Hellfire

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The first time I went through the dark portal and into Hellfire Peninsula, I was being given a tour by veteran-player friends as I had only just started playing. My newbie eyes could not handle all the new, fantastical visual information and I went into sensory overload; as such, I do not remember much of that experience besides so many colours and my senses of awe and smallness.canva-photo-editor

The first time I entered on my own with my first level 58 character is something I wish I could experience over and over again.

Hellfire Peninsula felt big, much bigger than any other zone I had experienced up to that point. As soon as you enter you’re thrust straight into a war, witnessing an ongoing battle against demons at the very bottom of the portal’s steps.

Hellfire is a barren wasteland, and doesn’t initially seem striking for any reason (except perhaps its size), however the sky completely makes up for that; it is beautiful and enchanting, and certainly one of the most marvellous sights in the game.

This track takes off with a grand start, then ebbs to a steady, astral ambient sound. The song has a duality to it, as Hellfire Peninsula itself does; it is dreamy when you are gazing at the sky, and forlorn when you look at the desecrated earth. There is something deeply intriguing in the sound of the music, and it seems to hint at a brokenness and an age-old destructiveness that has made its home in the location, particularly as the track begins rumbling and moving uneasily.

Even now, I relish entering the portal and stepping into Hellfire. Now, reaching Honor Hold and attempting to quest in the location without getting ganked…that I could do without! But for that sky, it’s worth it.

 

The official soundtrack is available on iTunes and Spotify.


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2 Comments

  1. Great post, takes me back to the good old days

    1. Thanks!

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