Jukebox Heroes: Bless Online’s soundtrack

    
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You probably wouldn’t blame me for the fact that I’ve dragged my feet on listening to the Bless Online soundtrack over this past year. After all, the MMO’s shaky release was fairly embarrassing for all involved, and I didn’t hear anyone come out of the early access to shout how the soundtrack is amazing or anything.

But if I had really been paying attention, I might have noticed that Hans Zimmer was one of those tapped to be the game’s composer. And in that case, I assure you that I would have listened to this well before now. Yes, that Hans Zimmer — the Pirates of the Caribbean guy, the Batman guy, and the Lion King guy. And while he’s not the only musical creator at hand here, his involvement does ratchet up my interest somewhat.

Knowing this, it makes sense that Bless’ soundtrack isn’t as eastern as I had anticipated but more moody and full of stirring choruses. It’s actually quite good in a low-key way, so today I’d like to explore it with you.

We Shall Overcome

You can’t title a song “We Shall Overcome” and not have it be some sort of stirring and inspirational tune that will make you feel like fighting the world. And while this track does have those sorts of moments, I feel like the middle gets a little muddled and aimless to truly be deserving of this moniker.

Bon Voyage

Every good MMO needs a sea shanty here and there, and Bon Voyage is Bless’ weirdly sped-up oceanic jig. Other than the tempo, which really is a touch too fast, it’s a fun and engaging track that’s full of that sense of adventure and unknown vistas.

Forest of Legends

I deeply appreciate a good forest track that can somehow capture the essence of being alone in a great big breathing wood, and Forest of Legends does a great job in that. There’s a sense of isolation and connection, not to mention timeless beauty. And the little flitting flute notes sound very much like bird calls, which is a good touch. Actually, the whole track reminds me a lot of the music from the original Karate Kid — am I weird in thinking this?

The Sea of Sadness

While not a fun track by any stretch of the imagination, The Sea of Sadness evokes strong emotions as it slowly sails through (or sinks down) this realm. I really admire the atmosphere that it conjures and definitely think that it would make for a highly effective zone track or even a cutscene.

Dawn of the Empire

Carrying a touch of both the sacred and royal within it, Dawn of the Empire is a track drenched in the anticipation of history. The melody gradually emerges stronger and stronger as the track continues, as does my appreciation for it. Not a knockout track by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a surprisingly pleasing one when all is said and done.

The Sacred Garden

This track kind of came out of nowhere to really impress me, so much so that I bumped off another tune from this list to make room for it. It’s a peaceful and uplifting track that weirdly enough sounds about one or two notes of from being the iconic EverQuest theme. Which isn’t bad, mind you. I love that theme.

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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