Jukebox Heroes: The best of World of Warcraft Legion’s soundtrack

For soundtrack junkies such as myself, the release of a new World of Warcraft expansion is always extra-special for reasons that go beyond mere gameplay. Blizzard is always incredibly faithful in treating its music as an integral part of the game and releasing an official album that contains at least some of the score. Legion, of course, is no different in these respects.

Having listened through the entirety of the expansion’s score over the course of a weekend, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is an above-average entry into the WoW musical canon. There is a lot of forgettable filler, some incredibly long suites, and a few entries that will no doubt be remembered fondly when the community has had its fill of Legion.

Today I want to share with you six picks of what I think are the best of Legion’s score. Very little of it is brash action or hummable tunes, but instead these tracks exude a special kind of beauty that pairs well with the visual art of the game.

1. “Anduin”

World of Warcraft does love its flutes (what I call the “Braveheart flutes” whenever I hear them), especially when it comes to telling a story. The breathy flute and the soft guitar make for a wonderful pair here, only to be enriched further with some gorgeous female vocals singing that unrecognizable Latin gibberish that this game likes.

2. “Requiem for the Lost Cities”

Whenever you see “requiem” in a title, chances are you’re in for something weepy and bittersweet. This track actually threw me for a loop because it sounds so out of place with the rest of the soundtrack, almost a throwback to the Asian influences of Mists of Pandaria. It’s definitely lovely, if sad, and the creepy whispering in the background evokes images of ghosts wandering about the ruins of the titular cities.

3. “Highmountain”

The Highmountain suite is generally quite good, but this segment really caught my ear as something exciting and inspirational. This is such a triumphant theme, with the strings pulling out all of the stops to get you pumped up for victory, while the choir and piano lend a note (no pun intended) of reservation about the outcome.

4. “Last Stand B”

If you’re jonesing for a strong action cue, here you go. This short, powerful track is constantly on the move, propelling the listener ever forward. The original Last Stand track is jolly well and fine, but I definitely prefer this alternate version more due to its increased energy.

5. “Totems of the Grizzlemaw Revisited”

Speaking of alternate versions, everyone’s favorite Wrath of the Lich King track made a surprising return for Legion. Not that I’m complaining, mind you! This new take on an old classic is welcome as it is wonderful. It’s the soundtrack to an adventurous frontier, and I could put it on repeat for hours. (Here’s the original if you want to compare.)

6. “Sacred Stone”

Maybe I’m just a sucker for the flute/vocals thing, but I thought that this track was nothing short of majestic. It reminds me of the best of World of Warcraft’s original zone themes, where the music became married to the land and your memories.

What are your favorite tracks from Legion? Where have you encountered them in the game? Let me know in the comments!

MMOs are meant to be heard as well as seen, and chances are that music ties your memories to these games more than you might realize. Every two weeks Jukebox Heroes listens through a game soundtrack and picks out the highlights to share and discuss. And if you like this column, then don’t miss the author’s MMO music podcast, Battle Bards!
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