Fragments of the World

fragments Album Title:
Fragments of the World
Record Label:
LILT Records
Catalog No.:
LILT-0018
Release Date:
December 31, 2012
Purchase:
Buy at Official Site

Overview

Fragments of the World is one of the latest releases from Hiroto Saitoh and LILT Records. While it is technically a solo album, it is presented as a compilation of various event, battle, town, field, and scene music that would fit in an RPG. For those who use programs like RPGMaker, the music on this album is also free-to-use. How does the music turn out?

Body

All of the tunes are prefixed with “Fragment” but for the purpose of this review, I’ll be ignoring those and mainly describing them as their purpose in-game. The album opens with “Event1,” which is a very dark and ominous orchestral theme with some choral aspects as well. As the theme progresses, there is also some more electronic and worldly influences, such as Celtic flute, and the overall product becomes more adventurous and heroic in tone. “Event2” is a short theme that follows and is a very whimsical woodwind production that reminds me in some ways of Hitoshi Sakimoto’s more playful orchestral tunes. “Event3” is a very beautiful piano tune with a fantastic melody and a very heartwarming atmosphere. Lastly, “Event4” takes a more peaceful approach and focuses on harp, strings, and brass. The end result is a very beautiful tune that also incorporates some choral highlights as well.

“Scene1” is an orchestral tune that definitely can be reminiscent of Hitoshi Sakimoto’s work at times, although it still has Hiroto Saitoh’s influence on it. While the opening part of the tune is something that may be disappointing, as it was to me, as the theme progresses, I find the tune to be much more enjoyable, particularly with the beautiful interplay of woodwind and brass presenting a poignant melody. “Scene2” is definitely a more militaristic trackthat focuses on timpani percussion and brass melodies. It gives me a Suikoden vibe at times and captures that sense of adventure. Lastly, “Scene3” is an acoustic guitar, strings, and woodwind theme. As such, it gives off a very rustic sound. I imagine this music would work quite well in a reunion sort of scene.

There are also two town themes and a field theme featured on the album. “Town1” combines some light synthesizer with more worldly aspects. The woodwind and percussion aspects are well-produced and work well with the electronic aspects of the theme. While parts of the town theme aren’t as memorable, the B section in particular really manages to make an impression. “Town2” also features a worldly soundscape and is much more playful in approach than “Town1.” Unfortunately, it also doesn’t really manage to make a huge impression on this listener, but it would fit well in a forest location. “Field” is fantastic and could work quite well in a Wild Arms game. It has that adventurous and rustic approach with an upbeat tempo and catchy melody that make for a good world map theme. I really like the incorporation of accordion, particular in the melody line, as it gives it a nice unique flair that works nicely with the woodwind and strings sections.

Of course, you can’t have an RPG without battle themes and this album offers four. “Battle1” is an orchestral theme that combines electronic tones with heroic and uplifting orchestration for the melody. “Battle2” is a much stronger battle theme that conveys a strong conviction with its heroic orchestral sounds. There are also some more ominous sections that give the theme a bit more tension. In the end, I think this theme works quite well. “Battle3” was a welcome surprise. Originally featured as “Way of the Wind” on Megalomachia, an original album featuring composers’ take on battle music from the sound sepher label, it is a Latin-inspired theme with some wonderful flamenco guitar and woodwind passages. There is a bit of an oddity in the track, which would be this small section of synthesizer near the beginning that doesn’t recur in the theme, but it does manage to charm. Lastly, “Battle4” is a more tense and ominous orchestral theme with some courageous undertones. I really enjoy the woodwind aspect of this piece as it does give it a bit more of a lighthearted nature, but it contrasts excellently with the more ominous piano, choir, and militaristic percussion utilized in the theme.

Summary

In the end, I think that Fragments of the World is an enjoyable album. It does stick closely to RPG tradition, for better or worse, and not all the themes are particularly interesting. I find that the town themes are generally the least memorable on the album; however, the scene themes, battle themes, and event themes are largely successful. For anyone making an RPG out there, or even another type of game where you feel this music would fit, some tracks here could also serve as great license-free background music. You can hear a sample from the LILT Records SoundCloud page above if you need additional motivation.

Fragments of the World Don Kotowski

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

3.5


Posted on June 5, 2014 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on June 5, 2014.

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About the Author

Currently residing in New York, I spend my days working in antibody therapeutics 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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