Metal Saga -Wilderness Ark- Original Soundtrack

 bspe-1056 Album Title:
Metal Saga -Wilderness Ark- Original Soundtrack
Record Label:
Basiscape
Catalog No.:
BSPE-1056
Release Date:
November 25, 2015
Purchase:
Buy at Amazon

Overview

The Metal Saga -Wilderness Ark- Original Soundtrack accompanies a mobile game developed by SUCCESS and is related to the Metal Saga game, at least in name, released for the Playstation 2. Featuring music composed by Yoshimi Kudo, of Basiscape, it’s the first release from Basiscape Records in a few years and Kudo’s first solo work to be published. Although it is composed for a mobile game, the production values for the album are quite high and such, makes for a good listen. Read on to find out more about this soundtrack.

Body

The album opens with “Crack down!,” featuring vocals by Stephen McNair, which carries the feeling of an anime-inspired rock song with some metal influence, particularly in reference to the heavy guitar riffs and the, at times, harsh vocals. It’s an edgy song with a great melody, some excellent guitar work, with the extremely catchy chorus making the track stand out. However, for those who might not enjoy the vocals, there is an instrumental that closes that album, “Crack down! (combat mix),” that replaces the lead vocals with electric guitar, keyboards, and mallet percussion. While I did enjoy, to some degree, the vocal version, I find the combat mix to be much more tolerable. Following the vocal theme is the outstanding “Main Title -Wilderness Ark-” with its epic orchestral sound blended with both rock and electronic elements as well as some exotic sounding vocal samples, all of which help support the fantastic melody. “With the Wind and the Land” is a very Wild Arms-like orchestral theme with some industrial tones and electronic elements. The theme itself incorporates the main theme quite nicely, particularly the percussion of said title, and the exotic vocal samples help tie it together as well. Hybridization continues with “Traverse the Ancient Protocol” with its rock meets orchestral meets electronic. There is a sinister rock tone to it while also at the same time being adventurous and epic in style. Midway through, the regal orchestral sound mixed with rock stands out with its wonderful melody and harmonies.

The rest of the soundtrack features a blend of styles, some relying more on rock elements, some electronic elements, and some orchestral elements. “Mortal Engines” is a militaristic orchestral theme with an adventurous melody but is quite repetitive in the end. “March of 65536 Steps” is done in a very Sakimoto-esque style with a nice melody but is marred at times with out-of-place bagpipes that detract from the piece. While these tracks focus more on the orchestral front, themes like “Workaholic’s Jam,” “Show by Rhythm,” and “In the BAR” all focus on more jazz/funk elements with the former featuring a nice melody, while the latter two tracks suffer a bit. “Show by Rhythm” is a fun sounding tune, although doesn’t do anything special with its blend of funk/jazz and suffers a bit from some questionable saxophone synth, while “In the BAR” also suffers a bit from mediocrity taking on a jazzy meets rustic sort of sound while also sounding slightly espionage-like in nature. The more electronic focused tunes aren’t the strongest on the album either. “Elegant Resuscitated Person’s Dance” is a quirky electronic tune with modern EDM elements although doesn’t really stand out too much while “Bolt and Nut Girl” also features some industrial tones, but suffers from repetition and a lack of any substantial melody. One exception is “Fragment 2 Fragment” with its focus on strings and house beats backed by ambient synth. It is quite ethereal and beautiful and makes for a wonderful listen. On the ambient side, “Artificial Ambient” features a delicate sound thanks to its beautiful synth and piano sections while ” Into the Silence” is a more mysterious and atmospheric affair.

The rock oriented themes, which denote music for battle, are all, for the most part, quite enjoyable. “NO BULLETS, NO LIFE” is a hard/speed rock tune with orchestral harmonies and some great slap bass, all of which help craft a quite intense theme. “On the Edge” is another hard rock theme with a great melody that also incorporates some string elements and some quick percussion to help give off a nice energy and intensity with some nice contrast throughout the theme. A personal favorite is “Moment of Truth” that is reminiscent of something one might here from a Falcom soundtrack. The rock/orchestral blend is quite nice while the militaristic percussion adds a nice martial sound. In addition, the melody is excellent and the softer sections of the piece offer a nice break from the tension. “Giant Killing” features deep choral elements with tense orchestral and rock elements to create an extremely ominous sound. In addition, there are some dubstep elements incorporated into the track, which work quite well in this case, offering an edgier sound to the track without being overbearing or stealing away from the orchestral soundscape. Lastly, “Yesterday’s Friend is Today’s Enemy” reminds me of Megaman X in some ways with its keyboards, speed metal, and melody. The rustic slap bass is particularly charming. While the overall progression of the tune is quite haphazard and chaotic, I think it really helps create an extremely engaging tune.

Summary

While not without its flaws, Yoshimi Kudo’s Metal Saga -Wilderness Ark- Original Soundtrack showcases the diversity of the composer. There is a lot to enjoy on the soundtrack with great production values, particularly with the orchestral and rock aspects of the soundtrack. For fans of Kudo’s other contributions to various Basiscape run productions, this soundtrack will certainly feature plenty to enjoy. Being available on both Amazon and iTunes for digital release, its’ quite easy to listen to some samples of the soundtrack before making up your mind, but this one certainly comes recommended.

Metal Saga -Wilderness Ark- Original Soundtrack Don Kotowski

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

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Posted on December 1, 2015 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on December 1, 2015.

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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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