Caravan Stories Original Soundtrack Vol. 4

 

 

Album Title:
Caravan Stories Original Soundtrack Vol. 4
Record Label:
Basiscape Records
Catalog No.:
BSPE-1074
Release Date:
September 28, 2018
Purchase:
Buy at iTunes

Overview

Caravan Stories is a mobile/PC MMORPG released by Aiming in 2017 and features the talents at Basiscape helming the music. The Caravan Stories Original Soundtrack Vol. 4 is the fourth of eight planned releases that will span through January 2019. Featuring the music from Basiscape veterans Yoshimi Kudo, Azusa Chiba, Mitsuhiro Kaneda, and Masaharu Iwata, in addition to relative newcomer, Kazuki Higashihara, what type of sound can be heard on this volume, which focuses on the dwarf areas of the game?

Body

The album opens with Yoshimi Kudo’s “Caravan Trip -Spring-,” a bright strings rendition with piano and airy woodwinds. It doesn’t deviate too much from the previously established flow, but it manages to open up the album on the strength of its melody. Likewise, his “Sailing to the City of Freedom -Dwarf-” follows the same flow and structure of the previous renditions but with more emphasis on piano and mallet percussion. Kudo is responsible for the majority of this album with other composers at Basiscape playing a more minor role. “Baldu Pipe Town” is a playful tune with xylophone, strings, warm woodwinds, and sports a great melody. The first area theme, “Billibino Pumpland,” blends dulcimer and mallet percussion to serve as the backbone for a beautiful melody full of woodwinds and adventurous and heroic brass. The night version, “Billibino Pumpland -Nightscape-,” is certainly the stronger of the two renditions. The delicate piano and warm woodwinds provide a contemplative and peaceful sound and the melody stands out even more.

“Uragan Valley” is a brass and woodwind focused tune with some strings accompaniment. It has a mysterious and magical sound to it, especially during the bright flute passages. The tone of the piece is also a bit slow, giving it a more grandiose feeling that helps accentuate the melody. The night version, “Uragan Valley -Nightscape-,” is Rikako Watanabe’s sole contribution to the album. It emphasizes the magical soundscape of the day version with a clarinet melody, acoustic guitar, and rustling percussion that helps set the tone for the first half of the piece while the second part is a bit more playful and features an exquisite brass interpretation of the melody. Lastly, “Gherisk Arctic Town” is a stunning snow theme. Crystalline synths and piano give a feeling of ice while warm oboe and strings help elevate the soundscape to something quite fantastical. The end result is a peaceful and lovely tune with a beautiful melody. “Gherisk Arctic Town -Nightscape-” features glockenspiel, piano, and piccolo with the end result sounding a bit more upbeat, surprisingly. Fluttering percussion and crystalline synth are used to help carry the atmosphere while the warm woodwinds of the original also make a reappearance.

More action oriented themes, like “Dynamic Ingenuity” and “Start of Hunting Season,” provide different soundscapes to excite the listener. The former is an invigorating strings forward battle theme with an adventurous brass melody, fun woodwind sections, and both the melody and its dynamism are both quite strong. The latter is a bright and jovial tune with acoustic guitar, strings, and mallet percussion. The melody itself is quite fun, but the end result is a rather repetitive piece. The one tune on the entire soundtrack that feels out of place amongst the orchestral focus is certainly “Markings of a Lifetime.” Played during a side story in the game where one of the characters discovers metal music for the first time and goes forth to assemble a band, it’s a full on heavy metal tune with a blend of vocals that include more guttural vocals, distorted male vocals, and even female vocals. The dynamic blend of vocals themselves provide the texture to the piece and the melody itself, particularly in the chorus, is quite catchy. The melody is also quite noteworthy, but the style of music may not be for everyone.

The result of the album is comprised of minor contributions from Azusa Chiba, Rikako Watanabe (mentioned above), Masaharu Iwata, Kazuki Higashihara, and Mitsuhiro Kaneda. Azusa Chiba’s sole contribution, “Duel Battle -PV Version-” is a dramatic orchestral tune with a militaristic sound at time. Powerful brass and beautiful strings help craft an engaging melody that also incorporates the main theme of the game. Masaharu Iwata’s contributions, much like the previous album, is an area theme and its respective night version. “Rostov Wilderness” is an invigorating tune with a brass and strings melody with a strong focus on percussion. The adventurous tone and catchy melody help to bring a true sense of wilderness into the atmosphere. “Rostov Wilderness -Nightscape-,” with its slower tempo, has a more dramatic feel to it and the brass focus on the melody is particularly welcome. The percussion, much like the original, is still strong, but the end result is a stunning transformation of the original.

Kazuki Higashihara, as with the previous albums, provides the music for this area’s mine theme, “Arlosa Mine.” It is certainly reminiscent in style to the other mine music heard thus far in the series but the melody itself is much stronger and the ethereality of the accompaniment and playfulness in the percussion help make it stand out. “Milworth” is a festive and upbeat tune with lots of snappy percussion and a slight militaristic influence with a bright woodwind and strings melody giving it some warmth. Lastly, “Dubious Person” has a mischievous tone and a decent melody but certainly falls into the stereotypical sound heard in many games. Closing out the supporting cast is Mitsuhiro Kaneda, who provides his talents to a location and an area theme. “Mad Cow Brewery” has a tavern-y sound with a Celtic influence. The rustic strings alongside the jovial percussion and melody help paint a lovely picture. “Ghelbours Foothills” is another mystical tune on the album. Wonderful brass swells lead the melody with strings, woodwind, and percussion all lending fantastic atmosphere. There is a sense of exploration and grandeur to this theme as well and the melody, whether brass or another instrument, is exquisite. Lastly, “Ghelbours Foothills -Nightscape-” has an even more mystical sound. Airy strings and woodwinds work well with the subdued tempo and the brass is mainly used for support as opposed to the main star. The overall atmosphere is exquisite and is certainly one of his best contributions to the series.

Summary

The Caravan Stories Original Soundtrack Vol. 4 is another excellent entry in the series of soundtracks being released dedicated to the music of Caravan Stories. Kudo, as well as the other members of Basiscape, help craft a wonderful peek into the world of dwarfs with adventurous and magical area themes. While it isn’t as strong as the volume dedicated to the human areas, it is certainly stronger than Vol. 3, the orc dedicated release, due to its varied sound. While there are tunes that don’t manage to succeed as strongly as others, the album from start to finish, sans a single outlier that is quite invigorating in its own right, is quite cohesive. With the next release being dedicated to elves and being helmed by Azusa Chiba, what types of sounds can be expected?

Caravan Stories Original Soundtrack Vol. 4 Don Kotowski

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!

4.5


Posted on November 1, 2018 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on November 1, 2018.

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About the Author

Currently residing in Philadelphia. I spend my days working in vaccine characterization and dedicate some of my spare time in the evening to the vast world of video game music, both reviewing soundtracks as well as maintaining relationships with composers overseas in Europe and in Japan.



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