Rift -Harmony of the Planes- Original Soundtrack

Rift -Harmony of the Planes- Original Soundtrack Album Title:
Rift -Harmony of the Planes- Original Soundtrack
Record Label:
Sumthing Else Music Works
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
November 3, 2012
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Rift is a MMORPG with an interesting scenario: beasts invading the players’ world through rifts in the space-time continuum. Known for his work on RPGs such as Dragon Age, EverQuest, and Fallout, Inon Zur was selected as the composer for this title and, once again, composed a fantasy orchestral score. A soundtrack was available with the exuberant collector’s edition package, featuring 17 tracks. It was recently made available as a commercial release Rift -Harmony of the Planes- Original Soundtrack through Sumthing Else Music Works.


The title theme for Rift features Inon Zur’s music at his most cinematic. More brutal than his thematic material for Dragon Age: Origins, Zur portrays the invaders of Telara’s beautiful world with belligerent horns and merciless percussion. An ethnic chorus is featured towards the climax of the cue and maintains the fantasy feel; however, their beautiful voices exclaim desperate cries rather than elvan hymns in a further contrast to Zur’s other scores. But the scenario is not without hope and the last piano-laced passage of the composition reflect the uncertain fate of Telara’s beautiful world.

Following the title and introduction themes, Zur presents the beautiful central theme for Rift, “Guardians of the Vigil”. Once again, this track uses vocal elements in an evocative manner. While the male chorus at the introduction serves as a portent of doom, the soprano voice at the centre of the theme — while not as striking as Aubrey Ashburn’s performances — brings a very personal aspect to the game’s drama. Blending fantasy staples with a surprising classical tilt, the orchestration only magnifies the emotional effect of this exceptional MMORPG.

The setting themes in Rift continue to build on the tradition of fantasy scores. For example, “The Silverwood” uses romantic interplay of radiant woodwinds and earthy cello to capture an exotic location, whereas “Stonefield” more akin to Zur’s bombastic works on Crysis with its brassy orchestration and choral chants. While such tracks are derivative, Zur elaborates on their cores to offer more personal and fascinating compositions. A particular highlight is the theme for “Moonshade Highlands”, which emphasises the core concept of ‘darkness invading beauty’ with its conflicted orchestration and understated development.

In terms of the development, each of the setting tracks undergo a number of dramatic shifts to reflect emergence and dissipation of conflict. Zur built an interactive music system to achieve this in the game, partly based on building riffs. However, the shifts are often quite unprovoked in this commercial soundtrack and many tracks come across as compilations of several themes, rather than a cohesive overall piece of music. This will be troublesome to some listeners, though the scope each track encompasses is still impressive. A further issue is that a number of major themes from the soundtrack were cut from the stand-alone release. No tracks from Rift: Storm Legion are included either and it’s not clear whether a separate soundtrack will be made for this expansion.


Despite being built on the foundations laid by Howard Shore and other cinematic composers, Inon Zur still makes the Rift soundtrack his own. It’s particularly impressive how he ensured the title adapted to the extended gameplay in the various areas of the game. That said, this soundtrack does feature some presentation problems and notable omissions, reflecting that the best way to experience Zur’s soundtrack is to play the game. Available as both a physical CD and a digital download, this new commercial release is cautiously recommended for those who want to relive the Rift experience.

Rift -Harmony of the Planes- Original Soundtrack Harris Iqbal

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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Harris Iqbal. Last modified on August 1, 2012.

About the Author

Lover of games and humble listener of music, not to mention A HUGE FAN. I love anything that has memorable melodies in it, or a good story to tell. Also... huge horror fan... HUGE! So, Silent Hill is the best Survival Horror game ever... NO DEBATE! Anyways, the previous version of this site was where I first got my writing start in 2009, with the help of Chris Greening. Now, with around 5 years of experience writing for various websites, I plan to give you some really kickass articles!

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