Chaos Rings Original Soundtrack
Chaos Rings Original Soundtrack
June 23, 2010
Buy at iTunes
Chaos Rings marks Square Enix’s first major foray into the iPhone gaming market. Externally developed by Media.Vision, Noriyasu Agematsu of Elements Garden was hired to compose the soundtrack, having previously impressed them with his work on Wild Arms 5. How does the composer fare with this work? Does the quality suffer due to the title being released on a platform not commonly associated with the major RPG publisher?
The soundtrack opens with the appropriately titled “Theme from Chaos Rings,” and it is clearly evident that Agematsu went all out in its composition. A masterful, hopeful, and indeed rather epic melody plays, well orchestrated amongst a typical set of orchestral instrumentation. It’s clear right from this track that, despite being released on an iPhone, the soundtrack has top-notch production values and elaborate compositions.
This main theme returns in various places throughout the soundtrack. In “Savage Sadness,” being a solo piano arrangement, the melody is given a soft, mournful treatment. The piece is arranged rather delicately for the chosen instrument, and the result is a very pleasing arrangement. “Ark Arena,” however, features the superior arrangement of the two, excellently crafted into a rather rambunctious little piece with some excellent little jazz sections on the piano, creating an absolutely delightful little track.
Most pieces on this album tend toward spirited, action-oriented tracks, yet most contain a welcome degree of variation that helps them stand apart from one another. “No Place Like Home” is one of the calmer variants, but it too contains a driving, and wholly pleasant melody. “Path to Purgatory” contains some rather intelligent usage of impromptu jazz on the piano, and a choir heavily modified through synthesizers. The track divulges halfway through, shedding most other instrumentation for a section focusing on the piano and drums, segueing back into the main symphony with excellent timing.
There are softer themes on the album, albeit not many. The standout track of this nature would be the game’s vocal theme, “Together at Dawn,” a deceptively simple track that never feels overly dramatic thanks to its complex melody and piano accompaniment. The instrumental version of the track, too, is more of an arrangement than the piece rehashed without vocals, and this version might be superior even to the vocal one. The track also receives a rather decent arrangement in “World in a Dream,” though it is a bit slow.
“Entwined Destinies” starts with some rather simple choir but develops extraordinarily well, intertwining the main theme in places for an enjoyable, charged track. It’s unfortunate that “Tension Rising” is so short, because it, too, develops well, portraying its namesake with excellent clarity through a pounding beat and quick spicattos on the strings. The album closes with “Final Curtain,” a track that quite expertly crafts both the main melody and vocal into one piece, with some nice bridges connecting the two.
This soundtrack is quite an enjoyable listen. It’s only major flaw is the large degree of driven, active pieces, but that is also its strength, as no two tracks sound quite alike: they all manage an impressive degree of uniqueness. There is no boring track on this album, and anyone looking for a soundtrack to get the blood pumping will find much to love here. Don’t let the iPhone format alienate you, as this soundtrack is on par with most next-gen RPG soundtracks.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Marc Friedman. Last modified on August 1, 2012.