Bard Banter – Music From The Dark Crystal
The Dark Crystal has captivated many over the course of the past 37 years. Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal movie is so old that it was released a full one year and a few days before I was even born. By all accounts and estimations, I should barely know that the Dark Crystal exists, rather than be a small scale enraptured fanboy. I strongly believe it’s one of the truly epic stories of the past 40 years. There are nothing quite like the characters, world, and puppetry production methods of The Dark Crystal.
It’s both a pleasure and a joy to be present and living in 2019 to see the series reinvigorated as a 10 episode Netflix series. The Dark Crystal has been given new life for many new generations to enjoy, which will likely outlast all of us. I think Jim Henson would be immensely proud if he were here still with us today.
The reason we’re all here is that we’re getting a Nintendo Switch turn-based tactics game that will follow in the footsteps of the new series and bring yet another avenue in which we can experience the fascinating world of Thra. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is currently being developed by a not-so unexpectedly tight-lipped BonusXP and published by En Masse Entertainment. We don’t know a whole lot about the game other than what’s been showcased at both E3 and Gamescom.
So far I really like what I see and am very excited to play it when it finally arrives. I also don’t envy BonusXP, as developing a game from The Dark Crystal source material has to be a monumental undertaking. One hope of mine is that they leverage the expansive soundtrack from the new series to help tell the dark yet hopeful story of the Dark Crystal. I listened to many many hours of the two-part soundtrack and collected some of my personal favorites that I think you definitely want to listen to, Dark Crystal fan or not. Beware, not many of these are joyous songs, The Dark Crystal Netflix series ends with a doomed storyline that started 37 years ago. Not one of us can change that.
The Dark Crystal End Credits is what you hear as the credits roll on the Netflix series. I have included this one first because it’s a prime example of all themes that encompass The Dark Crystal. This is pretty evident in the way the track starts off very dark, heavy, and full of malice, which progresses into a more inspirational tune. The Dark Crystal is just as much about love and hope as it is about hate and selfishness, and this is reflected in the enticing progression of this track. While it starts off very loud and sinister, it slowly starts to lift our spirits just a little higher as time passes. The short pause right before the end of the track (at 1:53) reminds us that the show does, in fact, go on, albeit slowly.
This is one of the shortest songs from both of the Dark Crystal playlists. I felt like I had to include it because it feels so light, cheery, and full of positive energy in an otherwise dark and brooding array of musical tastes that would even make ravens cry. If there was a song that reflected the internal soul of Gelflings and Podlings, I think this would be it.
One could not talk about The Dark Crystal music if they didn’t include this scene from the actual Netflix series. It’s such a powerful moment in the show, where the many different clans of Gelfling put aside their differences and mourn for the loss of Brea’s mother. Plus one Podling, the mighty Hup! It’s mainly a vocal affair, the main focus is on all the characters here, but the same tribal drum beats can be heard in the background that are also found within many other tracks.
This track is filled to the brim with feelings of doomed hope. The deep bassy rhythm of this track is continuous throughout and is always there to remind us that the bad things have never really left. There are many spots of hope and happiness found throughout the series but it all ends rather disastrously. The future holds nothing but death for nearly all the Gelflings and this song reminds us of this very fact at every step.
This is an absolutely stunning track. It’s dramatically scary in all regards. You can feel the fear through your bones as this track ramps up in its rather long slow opening. As it progresses, the drastic change in scale is both exhilarating and terrifying. One thing I think the show nailed- and that I hope to see in the game- is that they let a lot of the negative moments linger long enough to truly make an impact, even if we didn’t like to see them.
I’ve saved this one for last since it’s one my favorite tracks. What starts out as a high note, spirited affair quickly delves down into the depths of The Dark Crystal. This is a monster of a song that builds and builds upon itself to end with something massively beautiful. Preparation For Battle is a perfect mix of hope, love, fear, death, and awe. Everything that The Dark Crystal is known for. You can’t stop but to feel a little sad within the first minute right before the song dives deep.
Thanks for taking the time to give this article a read. These types of articles are largely driven out of internal motivations and ideas rather than hard requirements and review codes. What did you think about some of the music from The Dark Crystal? Let us know down below and let’s chat about it.