Review: Military Tune The Album

This album has been teased for years. It’s appeared on numerous Square Enix sampler CDs and singles from the album have trickled out on iTunes. But what is it?

Now Square Enix has finally released the album, and it’s not quite what anyone was expecting.

What exactly does that mean? Well, read below!

The primary thing to know about Military Tune The Album is that this is an authentic electronic experience with sometimes only glancing references to the source material. If you go into it knowing that, you’ll likely find your listening experience with Military Tune to be much more enjoyable. In fact, this may be a great way to sneak some game music in on your friends who might not know the difference!

Some of my favorite moments come with Chrono Trigger’s “Wind Scene” with its deep pulsing bass and percussion and fragments of melody, while “Fear of the Heavens” from Secret of Mana gets the opening whale sound effects before hard-hitting bass drum and bass and synthesized guitar samples do their work. There are actually two versions of this theme featured, as Secret of Mana certainly seems to be the Military Tune favorite. “Oracle,” in fact, is my favorite track on the album with its rhythmic percussion sounds from the original with gutteral vocal snippets that sound like an extension of the original. The source wasn’t all that melodic, which might explain why it fits in so well with this kind of treatment.

There are two arrangements from Sigma Harmonics, which are quite nice. You get hints of Hamauzu’s signature melodies with the typical electronic treatment. There are also tracks from some more obscure titles like Racing Lagoon, Tobal No. 1 (one of the most melodic of the bunch), and Drag-On Dragoon, which gets dark and ethereal with an arrangement out of left field that nobody could have expected.

I had a great time with Military Tune. They may have explored some other source material, as there was some duplication, but in all, I enjoyed the experience, and hope they do turn this into a series of sorts. The more cross-over we see between game music and popular genres is always okay by me!

It’s available at CD Japan if you’re interested.

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