Monarch -Heroes Of A New Age- Original Soundtrack
Monarch -Heroes of a New Age- Original Soundtrack
Scarlet Moon Records
February 17, 2014
Buy at Bandcamp
Monarch: Heroes Of A New Age is a fairly new Korean MMORPG from Maius Games set in medieval Europe. Goomin Nam, otherwise known as “Nauts,” landed the job of writing this game’s score. Unlike most of Nauts’ past work in collaboration with SoundTEMP this soundtrack focuses on mostly regal sounding orchestrations. Although I greatly enjoy Nauts’ electronic work, it is refreshing to hear something a bit different from him. Can Nauts’ win me over in a style I haven’t really experienced from him? Time to get to it!
“Theme Of Monarch” starts us off and it is outstanding. A calming piano and acoustic guitar drive the first section. The melody really takes you back to that classic medieval sound you’d expect from a game with this setting. The next section is filled with various wind instruments and a lush orchestral harmony. Recording the score with a session orchestra, comprising 14 string players, a flute, and a guitar, Nauts achieves an emotional, realistic orchestral sound. However, he also uses some sampled elements too such as the ethnic percussion parts.
The album is no slouch when it comes to area themes. “Nasca Grasslands” begins with a somewhat dark percussive “click” sound that comes off slightly distorted. Once the orchestral melody comes in, the piece takes on a very serene and peaceful tone. The section from the beginning comes back with more intensity, leading into the peaceful toned climax which fades into a piano and acoustic guitar on the melody. “Seaside Village” is a stunning piano and acoustic guitar track, almost reminding me of something from Yasunori Mitsuda’s Chrono Cross soundtrack. “Tomb Of Sovereigns” is a very sad harpsichord led piece that develops into a cello melody. This one is difficult to describe in detail, but it is extremely beautiful.
Moving to the heavier themes, “Flurry of Blades” is driven primarily by the pounding percussion, and is only accented by the orchestra and brass sections. I love the intensity of this one! “Forging Tension” is also mostly led by the percussion, although this tune does give a bit more focus to the strings consistently building in strength into a climax at the end of the track. “Red Gate” is one of my personal favorites on this album. It takes on an evil theme throughout the majority of the piece, layering the string and horn section one by one growing in intensity. It climaxes with the entire orchestra, brass, and percussion sections fighting for the lead in intensity
Another favorite of mine is “Lake Of Oblivion.” A harp and piano bring us through the intro. An acoustic guitar layers in adding a charm to the track that is difficult to put into words. The final layer of the melody is added with a stunning woodwind solo. The last of my favorites I want to mention is “Glorious Capital, Nineveh.” This track has a majestic flair, based on harpsichord, guitar and piano. It has that “bouncy” sound that you would find in a Dragon Quest palace theme.
Those getting this album as a fan of Nauts may be a little shocked. Most of what we have here is heavily orchestral in nature, in the same vein as Koichi Sugiyama. Don’t let that discourage you though. Goomin Nam is an extremely talented composer in whatever genre he tends to do, and this album is no exception. While most of the tracks do have the same sound, he really stands out in the creative use of percussion to drive tension. It might not be the most varied album, but it comes with a very high recommendation from me on the simple fact that it is an expertly composed and performed orchestral score! Go find it now! You will enjoy every minute of this one.
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Posted on May 12, 2014 by Bryan Matheny. Last modified on May 12, 2014.