Ravensword -Shadowlands- Original Soundtrack

Ravensword -Shadowlands- Original Soundtrack Album Title:
Ravensword -Shadowlands- Original Soundtrack
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Release Date:
December 7, 2012
Download at Bandcamp


Crescent Moon Games’ Ravensword: Shadowlands set a new benchmark for open-world gaming on smartphones with its cutting-edge presentation, epic world storyline, and solid RPG mechanics. The score from Sean Beeson (Mecho Wars, Epic Mickey: Power of Two) is a production of matching quality and magnitude. Intent on proving the potential scope of pocket-sized productions, the game and score alike both strongly adhere to fantasy convention. A 45 minute stand-alone soundtrack was also released as a stand-alone download on Bandcamp on a ‘name your price’ basis.


“Ravensword Theme” is sets the tone of the game with a traditional fantasy orchestration. Much like the score as a whole, it is firmly grounded in fantasy tradition — sharing similarities with scores by Zur, Soule, and Shore. While the melody is serviceable, what is most striking about the theme is the way it shifts in mood. Some sections capture the game’s beautiful world with subtle melodies, cantabile strings, and mystical chorals. Yet the core of the theme is more barbaric with mighty, unpredictable build-ups and ferocious percussion rolls — capturing the invasion of the Dark Elves. Though lacking in originality, it is a high-quality and encompassing theme that should appeal to fantasy soundtrack enthusiasts and those with a taste for the epic.

Beeson explores softer timbres with “The Eastern Forest” or “Soul Forge”. While the leads of these compositions come and go, they reward listeners with more rich and emotional melodies than featured elsewhere on the score. “Aven South”, “Aven North”, and “Avenshire Hills” maintain a similar approach, flowing cinematically during their substantial playtimes and intricately complementing the visuals. “Aven North” is particularly evocative with its sudden piano and string surges. As a budget could not be afforded for live performances, such tracks are instead sequenced with moderate- to high-end samplers. While most components are convincing enough, the excessive reverb gives the score a muddy feel and detracts from the clarity of the writing. It’s no worse in this regard than Skyrim or Guild Wars 2, though.

A large proportion of the score focuses on heavier textures. Beeson’s soundscaping in the dynamic, adventuresome “The Crags” and suspenseful, horror-influenced “Troll Caves” drives the game and score forward. By contrast, “Grim Pass” and “The Shadowlands” sound voluminous and morbid, the latter having many parallels with the main theme. Though these tracks further adhere to convention, their percussion use stands out as a creative highlight — clearly one of Beeson’s specialities, having composed a snare drum concerto that has been performed by Dame Evelyn-Glennie. This inspired percussion writing further extends to omnipresent bass rolls of “The Old Iron Mines”, the exotic combos in “Tanglewood Marsh”, or the unusual mechanised rhythms of “Wasteland” and its counterpart, lifting them all beyond the ordinary.


The soundtrack for Ravensword: Shadowlands provides a convincing demonstration that today’s iOS scores can match most main console scores. Boasting bold themes, detailed writing, high-quality implementation, and some beautiful melodies, it’s clear Sean Beeson put a lot into this soundtrack. The majority of the score treads very familiar ground, and it seems that Beeson was given the brief to write in a similar manner to today’s other fantasy scores. As a result, those who enjoy scores in the Dragon Age or The Elder Scrolls franchise should find this one familiar and accessible, but rarely inspiring in its own right. It’s available for free on Bandcamp, so why not give it a try?

Ravensword -Shadowlands- Original Soundtrack Chris Greening

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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.

About the Author

I've contributed to websites related to game audio since 2002. In this time, I've reviewed over a thousand albums and interviewed hundreds of musicians across the world. As the founder and webmaster of VGMO -Video Game Music Online-, I hope to create a cutting-edge, journalistic resource for all those soundtrack enthusiasts out there. In the process, I would love to further cultivate my passion for music, writing, and generally building things. Please enjoy the site and don't hesitate to say hello!

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