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Album Review: Music Inspired by Middle Earth, Vol. ll
David Arkenstone
Cover image of the album Music Inspired by Middle Earth, Vol. ll by David Arkenstone
Music Inspired by Middle Earth, Vol. ll
David Arkenstone
2022 / QDV
63 minutes
Review by Michael Debbage
It has been over 20 years since David Arkenstone released his first creation of Music Inspired By Middle Earth. Cinematic, moody, intriguing and atmospheric are a few words that come to mind when attempting to describe the music presented back then. Needless to say that would be pretty accurate second time around with the cinematic musical wizard painting a canopy of broad strokes and intricate details of his musical tribute. Music Inspired by Middle Earth, Vol. II is in complete contrast to his prior delicate title Solitude but that should not come as a surprise for those of us that have followed the wanderlust of this most mesmerizing artist.

For those of you that are familiar with the first title that played tribute to world of J.R.R. Tolkien and Middle Earth, you will be more than pleased with this déjà vu musical revisit. While not a carbon copy of David’s first visit, there is no doubt that they are both anchored within similar core foundations. To say that you will be transported to a magical renaissance like atmosphere would be an understatement.

As expected of any good “movie soundtrack”, there are many of the tracks that are less conceptual than others as though you were watching a blockbuster movie with colorfully crammed contextual textures to add to mood versus the main focus. But Arkenstone also makes sure that he presents us the main course versus just a backdrop intriguing appetizer. The first track that really jumps out as such is the toe tapping joy of “The Green Dragon” that transports you deep into the imaginary past world of J.R.R. Tolkien. With the dance set, Arkenstone then turns you upside down mood wise with his delectable whimsical wonder via the heavenly strings along with the angelic vocals of Jillian Aversa on “Daughter Of The River”.

After a few more textured tracks we merge a little later into the pulsating “Shadowfax And The White Rider” driven by its galloping rhythmic beat, a theme many fans of Arkenstone’s music will be somewhat familiar with. Add the luscious orchestration and prominent harp embellishments found on “The White Tree of Gondor” and the concluding “The Returning”, the magical world of Middle Earth courtesy of the musical wizardry of David Arkenstone are imminently represented and interpreted.

Revisiting the Music Inspired By Middle Earth was for the lack of a better word an inspiring move. If this is your first visit to Arkenstone’s musical world of J.R.R. Tolkien then it will serve you well to seek out the original released back in 2001. That aside, Arkenstone’s music is totally capable of being atmospheric, filling in intricate details or in contrast leading the charge when needed that it leaves one scratching their head as to why he has not yet been invited to create a major Hollywood movie soundtrack. Maybe time will tell but this album certainly does all the telling!!!
July 3, 2022
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