Caravan Stories Original Soundtrack Vol. 8
Caravan Stories Original Soundtrack Vol. 8
January 30, 2019
Buy at iTunes
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. 8 is the last of eight planned releases that will span through January 2019. Featuring the music from Basiscape veterans Yoshimi Kudo and Mitsuhiro Kaneda, as well as contributions from Basiscape’s Rikako Watanabe and Kazuki Higashihara, former Basiscape composer Masaharu Iwata, and guest contributions by Masaki Kawasaki and Atsume Hashimoto, what type of sound can be heard on this volume, which focuses on the the story related aspects of the game and other miscellaneous tunes from the game?
The album opens with “Assault on Enigma,” an extremely powerful choral tune with a strong Classical influence composed by Yoshimi Kudo. The harmonies between the male and female counterparts in the choir provide a nice contrast while the piano, organ, and strings help provide a sense of tension and exhilaration. Kudo’s other contributions include the “Unexplored Cave,” a mysterious tune with strings and fluttering woodwind passages, giving the piece a sense of tension, but the bright piano contrasts with this, giving the piece an engaging atmosphere. “Sorrow in Adagio” is a melancholy strings and woodwind tune that is serviceable while “Rallying Man” is a more upbeat march with woodwinds and a brass forward melody. The end result is quite a fun listen. Lastly, “The Snow Girl and the Three Santas” definitely captures the spirits of the holidays with its sleigh bell, glockenspiel, and xylophone driven percussion and jovial strings led melody. It has a very celebratory sound and there is a bit of a big band influence, particularly when the brass is incorporated into the piece.
The other main contributor to this volume is Mitsuhiro Kaneda. His “Demon Transformation” is an intense orchestral tune with choir, giving off a sinister sound with a brass forward approach and light electronic accompaniment. “Claw Knights” is a bit more expressive and is primarily comprised of strings and brass. The melody itself has a pensive feel to it and is also quite beautiful. “Chamber of Spirits and Training” features ominous strings and brass, giving it a more horror-esque sound and a strong atmosphere. The battle rendition, “Chamber of Spirits and Training -Battle-” is more intense with a stronger brass focus, but is a bit underwhelming in comparison. Another battle theme is “Duel,” with its vibrant strings, woodwinds, and percussion hits that help give off a sense of tension and energy. His other contributions are area themes that were added after the initial release of the game. “Crescent Hot Spring Town” is a peaceful strings and woodwind driven tune that has Odin Sphere vibes. The soundscape is beautiful and relaxing and is a strong addition to the album. It’s “Nightscape” counterpart is more piano and strings focused that keeps the peaceful and relaxing atmosphere of the original. “Trumbull Dominion” is a woodwind and violin driven tune with a bit more atmosphere and tension. The melody itself is quite beautiful and the slight jazz influence of the piece gives it a nice dynamic. The “Nightscape” rendition is lusher in tone and is more strings focused. The solo violin is still present and the jazz influence is more prominent, particularly in the piano sections, while giving off a bit more urgency in its approach.
The rest of the soundtrack features minor contributions from other members of Basiscape and some guest contributors. Rikako Watanabe’s “Philosopher’s Tower” features sitar, hand percussion, and a sense of mysticism, providing a wonderful melody and atmosphere. The woodwind melody, in particularly, gives off a nice airy vibe. On the other end of the spectrum is “Slapstick Castanet,” a jovial tune with bright woodwinds, castanet, piano, accordion, etc. It is much more comedic in approach, providing a fun listen. Kazuki Higashihara’s “Jillian’s on Stage” is a Middle Eastern inspired tune with a fun melody and a great soundscape, although it does come off as a bit cliched. Masaharu Iwata’s “Ancient Fortress” is atmospheric and combines dulcimer, strings, woodwinds, to give it a mystical sound. The melody and soundscape are exquisite. “House of the Lord,” by Atsume Hashimoto, gives off ominous tones, thanks to the deep strings; however, this is contrasted with glockenspiel and woodwinds that give it a more whimsical feel. The end result is a march tune with some wonderful contrast and a great melody that carries both aspects of the piece quite nicely. However, the highlight of the entire album, in my opinion, is Masaki Kawasaki’s “Guriam Borderland.” It is an exquisite piece with a beautiful atmosphere, mysterious strings, and a stunning melody with haunting piano harmonies. The B section, in particular, with its brass melody exudes power before transitioning into a more reflective strings section. It’s a tune that would fit right in with Final Fantasy XIV‘s Heavensward expansion.
The Caravan Stories Original Soundtrack Vol. 8 is a fitting end to a series of soundtrack releases encapsulating the breadth of variety found within the game itself. While it doesn’t necessarily excel at portraying a single style, due to its content focus, it encompasses the highlights heard throughout the previous releases. Whether it is from guest contributors or from Basiscape composers, the music at hand is well-composed and lets the listener experience a range of emotions. Fans of the previous releases will certainly be satisfied with the final release in the soundtrack series.
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Posted on April 10, 2019 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on April 10, 2019.