Senko no Ronde Soundtracks
Senko no Ronde Soundtracks
September 17, 2005
Buy at Sweep Record
The Senko No Ronde Image Soundtracks album was quite a pleasure to discover. While it was only four tracks, it was enough to show that Yack fans were going to be quite pleased with its eventual full soundtrack release. Six months later, it finally arrived — my most anticipated soundtrack for 2005. Of course, being very familiar with Yack’s musical background, I knew this was going to be another satisfactory purchase. Yack not only dwelves further into jazz, but also tries his hand in rock and ambient compositions.
The opening theme, “HI-ROUNDER” starts up with a gentle piano solo, giving way for piano and synth play side by side. While it’s only a minute and 24 seconds long, it introduces the listener to a great listening experience. Moving on to “Shift”, this is labeled as the “exercise” theme. Mostly electronic in nature, it deals with wavy synth and ambient strings. It possesses an upbeat rhythm which gets the player prepared for an upcoming battle. “North Star” consists of more electronic elements but also some interesting synth use, at times it will change in tone slightly before getting back to its original sound, which creates a fuzzy feeling while listening. Halfway though the piece, Yack gives priority to the synths used and also inserts a few piano keys here and there.
One of the jazzier themes is “Find the way”. Here Yack uses several trumpets, an acoustic guitar, and several types of synth. It creates an interesting mixture which exudes the sense of excitement and slight tension. “Little Witch” is one of the more mellow battle themes around, just using some simple slow percussion and a choir. A little bit of synth is inserted early on, but doesn’t add or remove any force the piece already has. By the end of the piece, Yack uses a little bit of piano and ends the theme with some organ supported by the existing choir. “Brave Heart” is another jazzy theme which has an acoustic guitar, percussions and trumpet just sticking to a mellow sound. It’s actually difficult to think of these as battle themes since they are so calm and soothing. As if “Brave Heart” wasn’t soothing enough, “Rondo of the Moon” comes in with its waltz-like melody, calm percussion and piano. A synth accordion makes a surprise appearance as it just creates the right mood for relaxation, not just a battling one.
Moving on to some odd themes, “Sentimental Journey” has the synth, backbeats and a steady sound effect which sounds like a scream in the distance. I especially like how the track moves along and never becomes boring or too harsh as you listen. “Idaflieg” not only has a weird name, but also a surprising evolution and progression through its course. It starts up with synth phrases, adds percussive elements along the way, and finishes off with a peaceful piano solo before the synth kicks in again. One of the few rock themes is “Vision of Boys”. Here, Yack repeats a couple of guitar chords over and over for the first 35 seconds of the piece. He later improvises on the theme by adding some synth phrases until a piano solo hits on 2 minutes in, while being supported by the electric guitar and then returns back to the two chords beginning before fading out.
Boss themes are quite subtle; they don’t sound very threatening, and are generally slow paced. “Volley” starts by using some strings and steady percussion, which moves along slowly until some synth and special effects bring the piece to the climax, only to repeat its cycle afterwards. “Bind” is just wind effects and bells with some slight strings being used, pretty ambient here, but it succeeds in creating a foreboding mood preceding the final battle theme. The final boss theme, “Nakurami”, is quite the oddity as it begins by using bells, wind effects, and horses whining until it hits the 50 second mark. Then it uses an Asian flute, some interesting percussion and a shamisen while being supported by steady beats. This one does actually sound tense while not overpowering itself by using loud instruments like electric guitars or an orchestra ensemble.
Overall, Senko No Ronde is a one-of-a-kind soundtrack. It’s not as engaging as other soundtracks on the market, but works well with its many subtle elements. As said earlier in this review, Yack succeeded in making another quality soundtrack. If you’re looking for a soundtrack that’s easy to get into, I can’t recommend the Senko No Ronde Soundtracks enough. Fans of Yack can’t miss out on this, as it surpasses even Border Down.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Luc Nadeau. Last modified on August 1, 2012.