Jukebox Heroes: LOTRO’s Great Wedding soundtrack

    
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Jukebox Heroes: LOTRO’s Great Wedding soundtrack

One reason why I keep highlighting Lord of the Rings Online patch soundtracks in this space is that the studio actually makes an effort to post its music out there. That’s fairly rare in the MMO space, much to my annoyance, considering how much excellent work is done by composers for new updates to these games.

In any case, LOTRO’s Great Wedding update earlier this summer set high expectations for the score — and those expectations were met with a very fine collection of fantasy party music. The Update 27 soundtrack included the new music for the wedding stories, the new festival, and additional tracks for Helm’s Deep (presumably for the “storied missions” that were added). There’s a lot of goodness here to enjoy, so let’s get to it!

“A Feast at Merethrond”

One theme that I see in this soundtrack is a whole lot of nostalgia for past tunes. Motifs are trotted back out, as in this track, and given a more sentimental spin. You certainly hear that with this dignified part track, which has echoes of Aragon’s coronation and more.

“Joy of the Free Folk”

Composer Bill Champagne has done a great job carrying on the tradition of creating music for this game that sounds like it’s from another era entirely, rather than generic modern fantasy soundtracks. This nostalgia-laden track is very couched in the world, with even more throwbacks to prior melodies. Is that Riders of Rohan that I hear?

“Revels in the City”

This is just a fun and lighthearted dance track, perfect for the new Midsummer Festival. When I heard this in the game, I couldn’t shake the feeling like this was the end credits music to LOTRO as a whole. You know, if LOTRO was a single-player title.

“The Great Wedding”

A royal wedding requires a royal theme, with a whole lot of grace and beauty. I like how this track melds together the worlds of Aragorn and Arwen, the Men and Elves, with the contributions of musical cues from both civilizations.

“The Lines of Earendil”

This is a gorgeous reworking of “The Horn of Gondor” that includes sweeping vocals from Tera Catallo. It’s slow and dreamlike and definitely a standout from this soundtrack.

“A Refuge in the Mountains”

I think this is one of the new Helm’s Deep tracks — correct me if I’m wrong here — but no matter what, it’s another majestic piece that embodies the hope of the Free People while making a nod or two back to older themes.

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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