Very soon I’ll be summing up the whole expansion, but this topic deserves a separate post.
As a musician and a composer myself, I pay lots of attention to the music of movies and games. There’s no wonder that a moving moment could be enhanced 100 times by a corresponding soundtrack. Would The Lion King’s stampede scene be as tense and heartbreaking if not for Hans Zimmer’s soul ripping piece? Would the ascension of Simba in the finale be as majestic as it would have been with another composer’s work? I doubt that very much.
Any expansion music is one of the vital things that defines my whole expansion experience. As with a music album, there must be hit tracks, and also a fitting ambience throughout the zones which tingles you from time to time, and doesn’t get you exhausted like in “Not again!” exhausted upon re-entering the zone.
Surprisingly Legion has very few significant tunes compared to other expansions. What I would mention:
- Anduin/Varian theme, introduced in scenario. The Lion King was not mentioned in vain previously – it’s an intended pun here, and it’s just as heart ripping as the stampede scene tune with the alike result. The theme that strong in emotions in WoW is only Draenor’s piece “Malach” aka Yrel’s theme from Warlords of Draenor.
- Highmountain theme – it’s the piece that I always enjoy, the tender flute delivering the most pleasant melody and telling the down-to-earth, shamanic and sunny zone of Highmountain. It tells about the wings, the light chilly breeze, the pine tops, the skies.
- Valar’jar theme in Stormheim. I think it’s the best vrykul theme in all Warcraft. Fjord was not that bad, but I can’t help tapping my foot to the horn syncopes in Stormheim. It is more to the ground, very scandinavian tune, and the one that could be played in repeat.
- Finally, Antorus/Argus. The heavy grand piano royal tune is an excellent epic piece. It is meant to provide the epicness of everything happening, and it copes with the task. It is not that evil, surprisingly ending in major key, so it happens to surprise and awe. Too bad that Argus/Antorus are mostly a pile of dirt :) The music tells us about the opened spaces, the epic structures – while at Argus all we do is lurking in the holes, praying not to be noticed and drifting through the ash at light speed, never having an opportunity to look around and see the landscape.
And I’m totally not touched by every tune else. Is it because the expansion is about elves? Blizzard is uneven with elves: they normally nail the woodlands, but cellos for blood elves, although not bad by themselves, didn’t speak Sunwell and Silvermoon at all. Suramar was not pleasant. Val’sharah is, but I think it’s a recolor of previous melodies, particularly Moonglade. Ysera’s death is a piece of a much earlier Nightsong, so Legion doesn’t take credit for this. And Azsuna is simply awful. Once I hear this melody, I want to escape the zone asap – maybe that’s the major reason I dislike the zone most of all. It’s definitely gonna be one of my Worst 10 list.
There’s nothing to be said about raid, dungeon or other zones ambience – it just doesn’t stay in mind.
All in all, Legion provided 2 mighty epic pieces and a couple of decent zone tunes. That is drastically not enough for the whole expansion. Sadly, it happens to be one of the worst expansion considering soundtrack in my personal rating.