MindJack Original Soundtrack

MindJack Original Soundtrack Album Title:
MindJack Original Soundtrack
Record Label:
Square Enix
Catalog No.:
SQEX-50028
Release Date:
January 26, 2011
Purchase:
Download at iTunes

Overview

Tsuyoshi Sekito and an uncredited Yasuhiro Yamanaka joined forces once more for the techno-driven score for MindJack, a futuristic shooter where the mind can be hacked into at will. The majority of the soundtrack is made up of heavy techno, bombastic orchestral saturations, and the occasional guitar riff that one might expect from Sekito. I feel the compositions here are built upon what Sekito offered us within the score of The 3rd Birthday, though the industrial reverberations and Hollywood orchestrations are more prominent and drive much of the content, offering a slightly contrasting listen to what most have expected from Sekito through scores like The Last Remnant.

Body

The score starts with a sombre and relaxing harmony, though “Early Warning” soon breaks into the stylisations that make up the rest of the score. The middle segment of the track consists of looping strings and industrial beats with a pace and urgency that works well for the atmosphere promised within the game. It ends with a brief vocal section that offers a greater improvement on the synthetic choir used in Sekito’s previous projects. “Mirage” carries on the vocal component, and I imagine serves as the main theme for the game. This track is a last relaxation on the score before the action begins, though there are a couple of event tracks that provide a brief, if not forgettable, interlude.

Among the action themes, “Under Fire” was used in some of MindJack‘s trailers. It relies on rhythm and percussion, though often displays Sekito’s signature orchestrations. “Torrents of Flame” builds on this orchestration style, using otherwise sparing guitar riffs to add to the atmosphere, while “Ares’ Pawn” sounds like a boss theme after its build-ups of rhythm and texture. “The Dreadnought” is a welcome mix of what Sekito is best at — symphonic metal and percussion, plus the added bonus of bass beats and undulating whirls. About 1:20 in, Sekito’s chorus enters before an epic bridge before the loop in a Hollywood imitation. It surely fits the game wonderfully and is likely to appeal to most first-person shooter fans, despite its derivative nature.

“Mind Incursion” and faster-paced “Collapsed Illusions” are industrial tracks that use tense riffs and hybridised soundscapes to atmospheric effect. “Electromagnetic Dream” is quite catchy and reverberates in tension, though isn’t among the most defined tracks on a stand-alone level, while “Inherited Aggression” takes this exigency a step higher to portray scenes from the game displaying ordinary people suddenly turning on each other as their minds are hacked. Perhaps the most surprising track is “Bullet Through Friendship”, which offers a flamenco influence. In hindsight from Romancing SaGa, this is nothing new from Sekito, though I was not expecting this kind of style on MindJack.

Moving to the climax of the score, “Machines in Search of a Soul” is a nine-minute epic, where synth chorals are flooded with electronic backbeats and brass overtones. The track heroic and creepy at the same time, much like The Last Remnant before it, though the techno synth elevates it to original grounds. It manages to fit in some piano, before the percussion builds and the tempo gains before repeating. It lacks a strong melody, but the tension evoked by the industrial elements makes for an exciting listen. “Beyond the Mirage” concludes the score, building on the second track adding reverberating guitar riffs before exploding into rock, techno and makes full use of the operatic vocals from the first two tracks.

Summary

The soundtrack for MindJack builds on what Sekito provided in The 3rd Birthday with its use of urbanised and futuristic themes. However, it hybridises this influence with Hollywood-styled orchestrations and chorals to portray the Western-influenced modern shooter gameplay. Sekito’s work here doesn’t compare to the melodic orchestral colours or rocking battle themes that he composed in created The Last Remnant, and simply isn’t as diverse an experience due to its more limited scenario. However, it offers an enjoyable listen to those who enjoy action scores and all features some little gems along the way. MindJack is an enjoyable listen and worth having if you are interested in hearing Sekito’s more technical side, though might be sparing for people with high expectations from other scores by him. MindJack‘s soundtrack is available from most iTunes stores and no physical release is planned.

MindJack Original Soundtrack Christopher Jones

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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Christopher Jones. Last modified on August 1, 2012.


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