May 18, 2005
Buy Used Copy
Yasunori Mitsuda is no stranger to Celtic-influenced music with Eastern undertones. With KiRite, an album of music to accompany a 52 page story by Masato Kato (which is provided but is in Japanese), Mitsuda once again delves into what he does and knows best.
“Is KiRite Burning Up?” opens the album with an acoustic guitar gently playing to the vocal delights of Eri Kawai. After the beautiful introduction, we are treated to a military-paced Celtic charge led by an electric guitar with echoing vocals. It all reminds me of how I pictured the Chrono Trigger arranged album should have been had it not tried to straddle ten genres all at once. An excellent opener and all the instruments are live. “The Market in Volfinor” passes Celtic by at the start for a more middle-Eastern feel to open with. A whistling intro gives way to beautiful percussive bells and more acoustic guitar chords. Once the drums and violin break out, however, it reminds me of a typical village theme to a game. However, instead of using loops, because the instrumentation is live the themes can move and flow freely like water and not just do two repetitions and end. This piece never sits still and is an amazing piece of composing.
“Promise with Winds ~ Petals’ Whereabouts” sounds like a downtempo rock ballad. Eri Kawai’s vocals shine on this track as she sings with little reverb to distort her unlike the first track. It’s a difficult song to pull off because of the various chord changes in the chorus but the end result is a very pleasing one. “The Forest of Lapis Lazuli” uses one of my favourite instruments, a hammered dulcimer, to lay the background tune out with a guitar while the violins and tin whistles carefully soar the main tune out for everyone. This piece could have came straight from Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for its use of more ancient instruments. Similarly, it also reminds of the style Mitsuda adopted for Haka no Niwa. “The Azure” is another vocal song, but this time it is a Celtic-influenced uptempo folk piece. The chorus is particularly catchy.
“Scorning Blade” for the first time takes a darker route in music. Using various ambient percussion and very low tone monk style hummings for the first half, it suddenly transforms into a solomn piano piece which aches the heart. A song of two halves and quite unusual at that. “Upon the Melodies of the Moon” is an a capella version of the main theme heard in several songs. Beautifully presented. “Fated Encounter ~ The Fall of Darkness” now reminds me of the Shadow Hearts arranged album (although Kirite came out first) because of the way how the guitar pounds out riff after riff with vocal moanings and piercing bagpipes all competing for your attention. Previously it reminded me completely of a band called “Secret Garden” and it still does to this day. Another excellent piece again.
“Nocturne” is a beautiful piano and violin piece which gives warmth before “As Autumn Passes Away” ups the pace with an uptempo number with a slightly mysterious but compelling twist to it. “The Snow Howling” is a strange piece — the main violin is very much in the foreground of the speakers but everything seems to be very much distanced and almost in slow motion. Once the drums join the violin, it makes more sense giving the effect of a tough stamina reducing journey. “Prayer Tree” is a piano- and acoustic guitar-led piece with various other instruments making up the percussive line. “The Name of Our Hope” provides the final vocal song. Choosing another upbeat song (I assume the story has a happy ending!), Eri Kowai once again shows her strong vocal talent to what is a full band version of the piano piece from “Scorning Blade”. It sounds completely different but you can still hear the link which is great. “Circle of Infinity” is a short piano reprise of the previous track to end a stunning album.
This whole soundtrack is classic Mitsuda. There is not one poor track on this collection and it has quickly become one of my favourite soundtracks. I liken it in style and music composition to Legaia Duel Saga in the way the songs are written and the instruments used. If you enjoyed that soundtrack, think of an arrangement of that with real instruments and you’re some way to describing KiRite. A superb classic and a must buy for all music fans.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Simon Smith. Last modified on August 1, 2012.