A.S.H. -Archaic Sealed Heat- Original Soundtrack
A.S.H. -Archaic Sealed Heat- Original Soundtrack
October 24, 2007
Buy at CDJapan
I got Odin Sphere‘s game rip and loved it, but I like the full sound versions of the Original Soundtrack way better. The soundtrack is up there with the most classic projects from Iwata and Sakimoto, and I think the first one in a long while to be worthy of such praise. (Grim Grimoire and Odin Sphere didn’t quite do it for me, although Odin Sphere is commendable).
While on Stella Deus I found Iwata’s contributions not nearly as dynamic as Sakimoto’s and lacking overall, this isn’t the case on A.S.H. -Archaic Sealed Heat-. On the more aggressive tracks such as “Ancient Hatred,” he has really recaptured what made his Final Fantasy Tactics battle themes such as “Back Fire” so badass. “An Enormous Machinist Soldier”, in particular, brings back memories of “The Pervert” from that game. “Flame And Rebirth” is a track that I had expected to be from Sakimoto instead of Iwata while listening to the rip; it’s a very interesting and mysterious track coming from him.
Character themes are few and far in between here, and one of Sakimoto’s two themes (Cootrolan’s) is very quirky and generally uncharacteristic of his character themes. Aisya’s theme however is what you’d expect, offering a nice and soft melody that is reminiscent of “Memories” from Final Fantasy Tactics. Maritie’s theme is from Iwata and, as with most of his non-battle themes is not very interesting. If it can be counted as a character theme, however, and judging by the name it probably is, “Mercenary of the Wind” is another Iwata track that I had initially ascribed to Sakimoto and it’s quite good.
The battle themes here are easily among Sakimoto’s finest. “Bullnequ’s Battle” is frantic and everything around it works brilliantly; I would count this amongst Sakimoto’s best boss themes. “Ashen Soldier” is not quite a battle theme (I don’t have the game myself but I’ve seen enough to know it plays on the field in between battles), but is also very good; the part that starts at around 50 seconds is genuine sweeping Sakimoto. “I Will Also Fight” is a solid “normal battle” type track. As for Iwata’s battle themes… “Please Take Care” is a weird name for a battle theme, but it is one and seems to be the most common normal battle theme in the game. It is short and to the point, for short and to the point battles. “Let’s Take Up Arms” is a boss battle track and, while it doesn’t go many places, it serves the purpose. The menacing and dark “An Enormous Machinist Soldier” is, as I stated earlier, what Iwata does best.
The setting themes are also very good. “Underground Labyrinth” is a very broody and slow moving track from Sakimoto, while “People of the Forest” is an enigmatic piece offering one of his typically nice flute melodies. “Naval Battleship Barusa” is an upbeat track that I had expected to be from Sakimoto, but is actually Iwata’s. “Machinist Soldier Factory” is my favorite of these tracks; it starts with huge Sakimoto horns, and then becomes more subdued and atmospheric, but there’s a lot of stuff happening here that makes it interesting. “Millinear Kingdom” is a nice peaceful Sakimoto tune; all is completely well in Millinear Kingdom before a giant flame serpent goes to work on it.
As for everything that falls in between, “Aisya’s Tears” makes me wonder why Sakimoto doesn’t do full-on piano tracks more often. It’s a very nice piano version of the main theme, though it’s too bad it’s so short. Restrictions in length also affect the presumed FMV accompaniment “To You…”, otherwise a very good example of a sweeping Sakimoto track with a further iteration of the main theme. “Team Tactics” is a nice melodious pirate-like track from Iwata. “An Iron Mechanism” is a very awesome fast paced track that shares a connection with “Machinist Soldier Factory” if you listen closely.
Moving on to the conclusion of the soundtrack, “The Will of the Planet” is an excellent emotional track that I had previously imagined to be Aisya’s theme. “The Battle With History” is the final boss music, and it’s more akin to Vagrant Story‘s and Final Fantasy Tactics‘s short and concise ones than Final Fantasy XII‘s nine minute epic. It’s essentially a very aggressive track with a huge sound. “To The Future” is one of Sakimoto Ending themes. It starts off on a soft and melodious note, but at the halfway point it becomes fast paced and action packed, probably reflecting the kind of ending the game has. These three track end the OST on a very good note.
All in all, I would give the soundtrack an 8/10. I don’t think there’s any track on this OST that I don’t enjoy aside from Iwata’s “Inescapable Sadness” and “Solitude” (this man should stick to frantic, high paced stuff). It is everything I had expected it to be.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Ssoass. Last modified on January 18, 2016.