Wednesday, November 9, 2011

TES V: Skyrim - Main Theme (Official) Full

Your orchestral skill has increased. Go rest and mediate on what you have just learned.

Jeremy Soule never ceases to amaze me. From his masterful work on the Elder Scrolls Series to the award winning Guild Wars soundtracks, he has proven time and time again that he is truly the master of his craft: composing videogame soundtracks. If more of this is what I have to look forward to in two days (yeah, that's when The Elderscrolls V: Skyrim is released), I will probably play the game just to listen to all of the music this game has to offer.

Well, no, not really.

When I first queued up this track, what struck me was Soule's implementation of what Bethesda Softworks Inc. called a "Barbarian Choir." Dear Lord, it was epic. I've never been turned on so much by grunting men in my life. Of course, they sing the newest iteration of the classic Elder Scrolls theme with the Skyrim nordic spin, as we saw Soule do with the Oblivion theme and its "Imperial" feel. I realized that what they were singing wasn't in English either. After a little digging, I found out that the lyrics chanted by the choir were, in fact, sung in draconic - a language invented by the dev. staff at Bethesda for Skyrim.

Which directly translate to:

Dragonborn Dragonborn
by his honour is sworn
to keep evil forever at bay
and the fiercest foes rout
when they hear triumph's shout

Dragonborn for your blessing we pray
and the scrolls have fortold
of black wings in the cold
that when brothers wage war come unfurled
Alduin bane of kings
ancient shadow unbound
with a hunger to swallow the world

(Props to xmvargha on ign boards for the decoding and translation)

What blew me away was 2:07 and on when the choir crossed over and sang to the classic TES tune. The effect it had on me could only be described as the deepest nostalgia I have ever felt. The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind was the first role-playing game I have ever played and, this theme has been permanently seared into my mind. Soule's addition of this epic choir gave me shivers the likes of which I don't think I will ever feel again...

Or at least until The Elder Scrolls VI comes out.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes

I wasted a lot of time when I was younger. Most of it was spent not listening to 30 Seconds to Mars. That was a mistake. I remember buying their album, A Beautiful Lie, in 2005 and falling in love with it, but soon tossing it aside. It wasn't fashionable for a teenager to be listening to an "emo" band, regardless of whether or not their album went platinum in the US, and sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide. No one cared about that back then.

When my brother turned me on to 30 Seconds to Mars's new album, This is War (2009), words could not describe how much I needed to hear it. It changed my life. I am now hopelessly obsessed with this band, and a life long member of the Mars army.

This song is probably my favorite song of theirs. It means a lot to me, as most people's favorite songs do. The music video showcases many great things about the band. It shows how well-traveled they are (they are nearing their 300 show mark for their tour on this album cycle, a feat that will be a new Guinness World Record), their eclectic fashion sense, and their message of being who you really are despite what the world may tell you. It also shows how wild their shows are. I've been to one - Jared Leto (lead singer) singled me out of the crowd and invited me up on stage - and it was nuts. This December, I will be going to another show in NYC with a backstage pass to meet Jared and the rest of the band. Did I mention his voice is amazing?

I invite all of you to give them a shot. It's a great listen.

Will enjoy if you like:
Linkin Park
My Chemical Romance

Suggested tracks:
Kings and Queens
Vox Populi
From Yesterday
Where the Streets Have No Name [U2 Cover]