Vestaria Saga I Soundtrack
Vestaria Saga I Soundtrack
December 31, 2016
Buy at Sweep Record
Vestaria Saga I Soundtrack accompanies the web-based game, influenced by the Fire Emblem series, of the same name, created by the father of that series, Shouzou Kaga. The music, composed by Hiroto Saitoh, takes on a traditional militaristic approach, with some creative license every once in a while. How is the end result?
The album opens with “Traditional Poetry,” a Japanese woodwind driven theme with choir that helps to set a powerful mood. Following that, “Heroic Poetry” is more upbeat and uplifting and incorporates the vocaloid program, Hatsune Miku, and some electronic accompaniment. The melody itself is quite beautiful, but the choice of execution is a bit odd given the genre of the game and the overall style of the album. As expected, militaristic influence is in copious quantity on the album. “Chronicle” is a brass forward piece with an engaging and bright sound and a fantastic melody while “Beyond the Mountain River” incorporates some electronic elements in the accompaniment, to complement a decent melody. “The Enemy Approaching” is more tense in nature, also incorporating electronic elements, but comes off sounding a bit more generic. “Vestaria,” presumably a town/castle theme, is heroic, regal, and militaristic with a brass driven melody that creates an enjoyable listen, but doesn’t quite stand out among some of the other tunes on the album.
Of course, there are some “outliers” in terms of sound. One of the highlights is “Fellow Soldier,” has a bit of a spaghetti western/Wild Arms sound with a beautiful violin and brass driven melody, upbeat percussion, accordion, and a bit of a Spanish flair. It really manages to stand out in the sea of battle tunes that take on a more expected sound. “People Coming and Going,” a rustic/quirky town theme with woodwinds, woodblock, and strings, also manages to stand out stylistically from the crowd, even if the end result isn’t the most powerful. “Continental Swordsman” is an intriguing piece with its blend of rustic elements, Japanese instrumentation, and percussion heavy piece. The overall piece has a sense of pride with a beautiful atmosphere and melody. “Gentle Person” opens with harp and woodwind to give off a quaint atmosphere. It’s a very simple, yet effective, approach and offers a nice melody. As the piece progressions, more Japanese influence, both in terms of progression and instrumentation, are introduced that really help to elevate the piece.
Additional tunes like “Prairie of the Steppe” combines synth, woodwinds, and percussion, to offer an interesting musical texture and atmosphere, but it falls short on the overall melody. Another highlight is “Soldier’s Rest,” with a similar approach to “Fellow Soldier,” incorporating upbeat Spanish guitar, and electronic synths, to create an intriguing combination with an enticing melody. “Ball in Harar” has a varied range of classically inspired pieces, at times sounding Sakimoto-esque. It suffers a bit from tonal shifts, as the piece doesn’t come together due to the various styles mashed together. Fortunately “A Young Day” is a rustic acoustic piece with Japanese instrumentation and acoustic guitar that offers a beautiful atmosphere and melody that reminds me of a backwater village. “Numerous Heroes” offers a heroic melody with lots of bass in the percussion, a nice melody, and a determined sound for an enjoyable end result.
There are plenty of militaristic battle themes on the album, and while I could go over them all, there would be too many to describe, as many have a similar approach. Tunes like “Reason to Fight” are heroic in nature with a brass/woodwind lead, but don’t particular stand out, although this one does have a Hitoshi Sakimoto vibe to it, while “Knight’s Honor/Knight’s Pride” is more brass forward with an intense determined sound. There is a beautiful B section that really helps to break the tension heard throughout the piece. Other pieces of particular note are “Release ~ Liberation” with its heroic melody and choral elements, and “War Cloud II,” with its determined brass sounds.
There is quite a bit of music to be heard on Vestaria Saga I Soundtrack. The end result is a soundtrack with a militaristic approach with some key standouts and many tunes of consistent, yet middling, quality. The incorporation of electronic elements to some of the pieces is a bit strange, given the nature of the game, but they aren’t a major detriment to the piece. Fans of Fire Emblem music might fight something to enjoy, but there are certainly more engaging strategy RPG soundtracks out in the wild.
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Posted on October 3, 2017 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on October 3, 2017.