Composed by
Pierre Langer and Tilman Sillescu

 

Published by
JoWood Productions (2004)

 

Tracklistings
1) Cenwen
2) Enchanted Plains
3) Grim's Betrayal
4) Mirraw Thur
5) Freeing of Fial Darg
6) The Nevershade Frontier
7) Into the Abyss
8) Claiming the Shadow Blade
9) Attack on Fastholme
10) Tirganach
11) Master of the Runes
12) Winter Deep
13) Lost in the Cold
14) Aryn's Battle

Bonus
15) Credits
16) The Return of Cenwen

 

Extras
- Game website
- Composer website
- Interview

 

Availability
Get It For FREE!

 

Review by
Oliver Ittensohn

Spellforce: The Breath of Winter

The breath of Aryn, the Frostweaver, covers the land of Fiara with ice and snow freezing everything in its path and it isn’t until the elfmaiden Cenwen calms him with her beautiful voice that Fiara is saved. The storyline of Spellforce: The Breath of Winter ties directly into the original storyline of Spellforce. With the whole game being in the tradition of epic storytelling and adventure, a strong and thematic score was required to bring the vast landscapes of Fiara and its adventures to the homes of video game music enthusiast and casual gamers alike. Having scored the original Spellforce, composers Pierre Langer and Tilman Sillescu were an obvious choice for developer Phenomic.

To give Cenwen her unique and magical voice (it can tame an ice dragon!) the composers decided to collaborate with German singer Talia. The result opens up the album with “Cenwen” introducing Talia’s emotional singing as well as Langer and Sillescu’s flair for melody. It’s a calming and innocent theme that manages to radiate an aura of vastness and beauty; it’s simply one of those tracks that might stick with you for quite some time. The rest of the score is a mixture of atmospheric background music and rousing if short battle cues. The composers’ approach to the thematic of fantasy scoring is purely orchestral which fits the style and spirit of the game perfectly.

In “Enchanted Plains” you will find the first example of background music that dominates much of the album. It’s a serviceable cue in-game but doesn’t stand too well on its own. The theme of Cenwen makes its appearance in some of the cues most notably in “The Nevershade Frontier”. It is a nice change from the ambient passages and helps to hold the score together. The most thematic cue of the album is probably “Mirraw Thur” that features a new town-theme. It starts slowly with a violin solo before bursting out into a performance of the theme with full orchestra. The album ends with a superb performance of the Cenwen theme in the "Credits" track and a reprise in "The Return of Cenwen".

Unfortunately, the battle music is the weakest part of the score. Although “Aryn’s Battle ” is a big and thunderous action cue filled with power and energy it suffers from the use of synthesizer. The same goes for all the battle cues. They just sound weak and somewhat unaccomplished. The ambient cues, on the other hand, sound pretty good although the synthesizer is audible as well.

The problem of balancing the more thematic/action cues with the ambient background pieces was solved by cleverly arranging the tracks on the album. The opening song draws you into the listening experience and some of the slower and unattractive cues are often countered with a more interesting follow-up track.

All in all, Spellforce: The Breath of Winter is a solid fantasy score. Players of the game will surely find all the melodies and themes on this album and while it may be a little hard to appreciate disconnected from the game, you should at least give it a listen, if only to hear the great opening track “Cenwen”.