Author: Chris Wickham
The Swamp of Sorrows is a dreary marshland covered in murky bogs and weeping trees, situated on the Eastern coast of the Eastern Kingdoms. Formerly part of the Black Morass, the land was divided into the swamp and the southern Blasted Lands after the implosion of the Dark Portal in the Second War. Given its proximity to the Dark Portal, the region is of strategic importance to both Alliance and Horde. The only established settlement is the Stonard, a Horde rebuilt settlement which still remains from the First War, while Alliance encampments largely consist of smaller sites strewn across the region. The land has mostly succumbed to savage wildlife such as crocolisks and murlocs on the coasts, while ancient bog creatures wander aimlessly through the inland swamps.
The sonic landscape of Swamp of Sorrows perfectly reflects the nature of the land itself. Its theme is a durge of thick, growling low brass and synthesiser tones with loud war percussion echoing in the background, reminding the player of the contested history of the land. Moreover, the stagnant, undeveloping nature of the music suggests a reflection of the stillness of the swamps themselves. While ‘viscous’ may not be a typical word used to describe musical texture, the arrangement does a remarkable job of creating this impression of a thick, gloopy liquid. A horn melody struggles to permeate this texture and has slight turbulent quality to it, wandering into its higher range before falling back into its typical low register. This creates an element of unpredictability or surprise, much like the hidden surprises of malevolent creatures lurking in the land itself.