Tag Archives: Fantasy

DRUAGA ONLINE -THE STORY OF AON- SOUNDTRACK (SRIN-1121)

While Druaga Online -The Story of Aon- was never released outside of Japan, I think a lot of RPG fans can get behind an arcade-based RPG with online four player co-op. What drew my attention to the soundtrack was the eclectic combination of composers, which includes SuperSweep’s Ayako Sasao, StudioMINSTREL’s Hiroto Saito, and Bandai Namco composers Junko Ozawa and Hiroyuki Kawada. True to the eclectic nature of the team, the soundtrack offers upbeat orchestral, electronic, and rock in adventurous fantasy fashion.

Listeners will enjoy the infectious synth pop castle theme as well as the main character themes, which include playfully epic rock (“Gilgamesh”), bubbly electonics (“Ki”), and even industrial (“Xeovalga”). The map themes will also stand out with the exotic woodwinds of “Windy Prairie,” the grand orchestral stylings of “Hanging Gardens,” and the funky Castlevania-esque “Floating Island,” which even sports bagpipes at one point. Rounding out the two-disc collection are the gloriously defaint “Heavenly Palace,” the explosive final battle theme, and the triumphant and rustic ending theme complete with harpsichord.

Check out SuperSweep’s soundtrack sampler on YouTube and pick out the soundtrack on CD Japan if you’re interested.

DRAGON’S CROWN ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK (BSPE-1051~3)

There are many fans of Vanillaware’s gorgeous fantasy beat-’em-up, Dragon’s Crown. Scarlet Moon Artists composer and Basiscape head Hitoshi Sakimoto scored the game in its entirety, drawing on classic fantasy inspirations to weave together melodies that are strong yet deceptively simple. Dragon’s Crown wasn’t trying to break new ground, but rather reaching back into the heart of the fantasy genre, and this powerful soundtrack follows suit. Anyone’s who played the game will love the masculine “Dragon’s Haven Inn” with its exotic instrumentation, the whimsical and enchanting “City Street,” the somber and healing “Canaan Temple,” and the angelic “World Map.” Those who are more into action will enjoy the foreboding and epic “Castle of the Dead: Catacombs,” the powerful and adventurous “Mage Tower,” and the dangerous and swashbuckling “Ghost Ship Cove.” There are also two piano arrangements tucked away at the tail end of the three-disc set for both “City Street” and “World Map.”

After loving the soundtrack in-game, many fans have been wondering if an album would ever be released, and it’s now available courtesy of Basiscape Records on both CD Japan (physical) and iTunes worldwide. The physical package  includes several wonderful (and provocative!) pieces of art throughout. Pick it up today!

Review: Kaku-San-Sei Million Arthur Original Soundtrack

Last week we looked at Kenji Ito’s battle themes from the Million Arthur series. I referred to producer Hyadain’s original soundtrack, which we’ll take a look at now. The mysterious Hyadain had made a name for himself in the doujin scene producing excellent music and arrangements, and was later revealed to be artist Kenichi Maeyamada. His production values come through strongly in this album, featuring a blend of pop, rock, and fantasy goodness.

The first track, “Faction Selection” starts right in with some wonderfully produced J-rock and a descending bell tone melody that offers something unique. “Footsteps to Fortune” is a laid back overworld-esque theme that starts off strictly fantasy before introducing electronic elements and percussion to lend the track a cool edge. “Round Table Congregation,” one of my favorite tracks, opts for intense militaristic electronics, percussion, and strings, while “Welcome Back, Lord Arthur!” is a super cute and upbeat pop tune with Rhodes and strings that sounds like it ought to have vocals. I also love the octave-jumping bass in “Faerie Sighted!,” the ominous dungeon-sounding theme, “Wait, Could it be?,” the dark and sinister “D-O-U-B-T,” the regal and beautiful “God Save the King” with its melancholy harpsichord, swelling strings, and bell tolls, and the silly “Pumpkin Soup” with wood block and chip tones. “Sadness Shall Someday Fade” is the obligatory sad theme, “Morgan Fay” offers catchy gothic rock, and “Won’t Say Goodbye” is a glitchy upbeat electronic outro that ends on a positive note.

Hyadain didn’t disappoint, and I’d love to hear more collaborations between the artist and Square Enix in the future. If you want to pick up the soundtrack, it’s available on CD Japan.

Review: LORD of VERMILION III Original Soundtrack

While I’ve never had the pleasure of playing Lord of Vermilion, I have been on top of their multiple soundtrack releases. The series itself is interesting in that it’s an arcade card-based title with some beautiful artwork from a number of contributing artists, and likewise, the music has been handled by a number of composers, with Nobuo Uematsu on the first game, Hitoshi Sakimoto and Basiscape on the second, and now electronic artist Tachytelic on the third.

I can’t say I know a whole lot about Tachytelic, but if you’re a fan of electronic music, dubstep, and electronic-orchestral hybrids, this album may be for you. The opening theme is the original by Uematsu redone with a trip-hop drum beat, exotic vocals, and dubstep stylings. A few of my favorites include “Elder Tower” which combines dubstep elements and epic fantasy orchestral with a cool ascending brass and string melody, “Red String Break,” which sports ominous pads and break beats on top of some lovely string work, and the trailer-esque “Over the Pride,” with its slow build and intense climax. “ANGER Z E N N O” is a heavy drum ‘n’ bass track with angry flaring synth lines that almost sound like guttural speech, “Tentacle Dread Hot Beat” (probably my favorite track) with its epic descending string line, and the cinematic tracks that include the emotional “Tear,” the spooky “Another Space,” and “Worry.” There are two ending themes that combine electronic and orchestral elements. I love the choral elements in “Red Flamers” and the killer bass and piano work in “Wind to Wind.”

In all, the Lord of Vermilion III OST offers a new sound that makes a great addition to the eclectic franchise. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Tachytelic in the future. You can grab the album from CD Japan if you’re interested.

Review: Bravely Second End Layer Original Soundtrack

The Bravely Default soundtrack was widely acclaimed. It featured rock artist REVO providing some fantastic themes that earned the score a lot of praise in 2014. With Bravely Second on the horizon, Square Enix is going big once again with the soundtrack, this time by hiring ryo, the producer of one of my personal favorite acts in Japan, supercell, to score the game.

Can lightning strike twice? Does ryo have it it takes to give JRPG music fans what they so desire? Continue reading Review: Bravely Second End Layer Original Soundtrack

Monarch: Heroes of a New Age Arrangements & Variations (SMRC-1002)

As mentioned, this arrangement album is one not to be missed. Containing alternate versions of many of the tracks from the Original Soundtrack, there are also all-new arrangements created by Goomin Nam including a moving Korean vocal version of “Forgotten Archduchess,” pop ballad covers by Goomin Nam of “Peaceful Macdallena” and by Dale North of “Seaside Village,” a dark take on “Wandering Woods” by Joshua Morse, and a beautiful piano and saxophone improvisation by Norihiko Hibino and AYAKI (GENTLE LOVE).

The album features 15 tracks, including variations, arrangements, and a bonus trailer from the game’s announcement.

A limited-print physical version is available on Bandcamp, while the two albums are being bundled together at a discounted price exclusively on Loudr. You can also pick it up on iTunes and Amazon MP3.

Hear a sample and view the beautiful physical packaging along with album credits below. Continue reading Monarch: Heroes of a New Age Arrangements & Variations (SMRC-1002)

Monarch: Heroes of a New Age Original Soundtrack By Goomin Nam (SMRC-1001)

This epic classical-inspired fantasy MMORPG score by Goomin “Nauts” Nam is finally available. From the powerful main theme to the whimsical towns and ominous dungeons, there’s a lot for RPG fans to love with this soundtrack, and it demonstrates that Goomin Nam–best known for his work on TalesWeaver and Bar Oasis–is a versatile musician.

The album features 22 tracks from the game, with an entire second album also being released that contains additional variations and arrangements.

A limited-print physical version is available on Bandcamp, while the two albums are being bundled together at a discounted price exclusively on Loudr. You can also pick it up on iTunes and Amazon MP3.

Hear a sample and view the beautiful physical packaging along with album credits below. Continue reading Monarch: Heroes of a New Age Original Soundtrack By Goomin Nam (SMRC-1001)

Dragon Fantasy Book II Original Soundtrack by Dale North (SMRC-1004)

The first release out from Scarlet Moon Records is Dale North’s Dragon Fantasy Book II Original Soundtrack. This 43-track album marks the triumphant return of the classic JRPG soundtrack that many enthusiasts, myself included, have been yearning for. North, a singer and songwriter first and foremost, draws on this background to craft catchy melodies around every turn.

I had a blast coming up with the track names with Muteki’s Adam Rippon. We hope you enjoy them!

A limited physical edition, available via Bandcamp and Amazon, features 37 tracks and is adorned with artwork from the game. The Bandcamp version includes an immediate download of the full 43-track version.

Also available via iTunesAmazon MP3, and Loudr.

Credits and physical packaging artwork can be found below. Continue reading Dragon Fantasy Book II Original Soundtrack by Dale North (SMRC-1004)