Before receiving this album, I had about as much knowledge aboutÂ theÂ DragonLance series as the next guy on the street. So, in all fairness to those uninitiated I’ll give a brief rundown.Â After some quickÂ quick researched, it appears that DragonLance is a huge fantasy adventureÂ novel series that takes place in a Dungeons & Dragons type world. Recently a DragonLance feature film, Dragons of Autumn Twilight,Â was released straight to DVD featuring a relatively wellknown cast (Keifer Sutherland, Michelle Trachtenberg, Lucy Lawless). This album, composed by Karl Preusser, is the resulting score/soundtrack to the film.
Making abundant use of the fantasy realm that he is given to work with Preusser creates aÂ narrative that is ripe with intrigue and mysticism.Â Along with hints of a Celtic vibe, (especially in the quick “Returning to Solace”), there is a general mood of adventure and action. Even without the film you can imagine the types of swordplay and spell-casting that Preusser’s music is providing the backdrop for. Peaks and troughs abound, though there seems to be a steady sense of urgency running through the entire album. The deep drumming bass and the pauses at the end of “Darken Wood” lead perfectly into the incredibly light, airy opening of “Forestmaster / Pegasus Ride.” It’s transitions like this, as much as the music itself,Â that helps push this album along and keeps it interesting throughout.
The rather surprising “Qualinesti Hymn” seems to come out of left field, but provides a nice break in the action and really does sound somethingÂ like an old Latin hymn sung in a cavernous church. I haven’t heard any of Preusser’s other work, but his skillset is perfectly in tune with the kind of atmosphere needed for a good fantasy film. Unlike many score albums, Preusser keeps his tracks around the 2 minute mark, rather than providing overlong tracks. This makes for a fast-paced, evolving score that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Zach’s Rating: A-
Perfect For: Anyone looking for a good role-playing game score
Stay Away if: Choruses and crescendoes don’t do it for you
To purchase the soundtrack for DragonLance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight, visit Amazon