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Robert Berry - (A Soundtrack For) The Wheel Of Time CD (album) cover


Robert Berry


Crossover Prog

2.69 | 10 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars This was just a haphazard discovery from the library; it had 'progressive rock' description and it was classified in the electronic/ new age section, so it had a good chance of being interesting. The fact that it's a "soundtrack" for Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time fantasy series is not a recommendation for me, because I really couldn't care less of epic fantasy literature (Tolkien is the only name from the genre that I've read). But who knows, the music might be nice nevertheless, I thought. After one quick listening (and that's all I'm going to give it, except for re- listening to few better tracks for a possible inclusion in a compilation CD - you see, there just isn't time to re-listen everything that's not interesting in the first place, that's my principle with music) I can say that it was not up to my taste.

The music has no memorable melodies, and it feels as if it's not even properly composed, just worked together in the studio with images and plots of the fantasy story constantly in mind. I believe that multi-instrumentalist Robert Berry has captured very well the atmosphere of the series, and the dedicated reader of Jordan's fantasy may gladly use the CD as the background listening while reading, or memorizing the story in his mind. And it seems that's exactly what the "soundtrack for The Wheel of Time" stands for, as it is not a case of any film or TV series. The music is dark and cinematic, it has a sort of sinister feeling of a quest through dangerous landscapes (by this music I get a picture of the books themselves); happily there are no overblown battle sequences or other sorts of megalomanic drama, but as a whole the CD is quite tiresome and frustrating to listen to if you're not already familiar with the world it describes. It simply doesn't work as pure music on its own.

It's mostly instrumental, and neither of the featured vocalists (Andy Frazier and Lisa Bouchelle) are ones I would want to hear more. Mandolin on several tracks brings a folkish feeling. This is epic fantasy music all right (note that I use the word epic as an epitome to fantasy, not to music itself: the longest track is about five minutes). But I'd say it's only for the target audience, the fans of fantasy books and roleplaying games.

Matti | 2/5 |


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