The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - OST

Review by Dean Allen

GIVEN that composer Howard Shore's first foray into the music of Middle-earth has recently been voted the best film soundtrack of all time by Classic FM listeners, that shouldn't put you off, as his work for The Two Towers is harder, darker, and amazingly, even superior.

Shore has managed the tricky job of keeping enough of the original's themes and emotional cues, while adding new ones and subtly suffusing the themes anew.

From the opening track, Foundations of Stone, it's clear that The Two Towers is a far more aggressive and action-packed film. Tracks such as The Urak-Hai, The White Rider, Helm's Deep and Isengard Unleashed are savage and brutal, with pounding drums competing with the large chorus.

Shore has always stated that the trilogy is his chance to score a complete opera, with The Two Towers the second act of a three-act saga. Themes established in the first score, principally the Fellowship theme and the ring theme, are distorted to represent the characters with a subtle shifting of emotional emphasis.

The dark and tragic Gollum's Song is a classic case of saving the best for last. With vocals performed by Emiliana Torrini and lyrics by co-screenwriter Fran Walsh, the song provides some musical answers to the character of Gollum and the danger that Frodo and Sam will be in by the end of the film.

Dark and tragic ('We are lost! We can never go home'), with Torrini sounding like a more restrained Bjork, we can be thankful that Enya wasn't called back again.

(Composed by Howard Shore/WEA)

NB: The soundtrack is also available in a limited edition, which includes exclusive packaging, with leatherette CD 'wallet' to hold 20-page CD booklet, as well as exclusive audio of previously unreleased score from the first film and a flash gallery of images not previously released to the public. Click here to order...

RELATED LINKS: Click here to sample some of the album's tracks, including the Emiliana Torrini single, in our AV Room, or click here to access a review of the film and related features/commentary...

Track listings:

1. Foundations Of Stone
2. The Taming Of Smeagol
3. The Riders Of Rohan
4. The Passage Of The Marshes
5. The Uruk-Hai
6. The King Of The Golden Hall
7. The Black Gate Is Closed
8. Evenstar [featuring Isabel Bayradkarian]
9. The White Rider
10. Treebeard
11. The Leave Taking
12. Helm's Deep
13. The Forbidden Pool
14. Breath of Life [featuring Sheila Chandra]
15. The Hornburg
16. Forth Eorlingas [featuring Ben Del Maestro]
17. Isengard Unleashed [featuring Elizabeth Fraser & Ben Del Maestro]
18. Samwise The Brave
19. Gollum's Song [performed by Emilia Torrini]