Fellow audiophiles, I arrive with joyous information: Chained Echoes has probably the most engrossing, polished soundtracks on the market. Like the sport itself, the Chained Echoes (Unique Recreation Soundtrack) has the “love letter to JRPGs” factor coated. Do you just like the musical stylings of Yasunori Mitsuda? Michiko Naruke? How about Motoi Sakuraba? Composer Eddie Marianukroh synthesizes a few of the greatest options from the 16- and 32-bit eras of JRPGs and provides his personal touches with a two-hour musical tour de power that mixes lifelike sequenced music and studio recordings.
I’m actually unaccustomed to video games with the “indie” tag having such excessive manufacturing worth with its music. After all, there’s nothing unsuitable with an incredible indie soundtrack that works with a restricted soundscape or feels a little bit tough across the edges when it comes to mixing and mastering. However goodness did Eddie and crew pull out all of the stops for Chained Echoes. The opening and ending tracks function a 13-piece chamber orchestra, with the ending additionally tacking on a 13-member choir. All through the soundtrack, there are practically a dozen tracks that includes a number of recorded devices and/or vocals. Stand-out tracks in my thoughts embody observe 35, “A Promise Made Lengthy, Lengthy In the past” that includes vocalist xMEIYIN, and observe 3, “Prologue – Interlude” that includes John Paul Hayward on cello.
Even the sequenced, synthesized music is fascinating, although. I discussed Motoi Sakuraba as some extent of comparability earlier. Should you have been considering prog rock, although, you’d be unsuitable. Although there are some upbeat rock battle themes, I’m considering alongside the traces of the slower, emotionally highly effective tracks from Valkyrie Profile and Star Ocean: The Second Story. Marianukroh hits all the identical stress factors in observe 31, “Flower Fields of Perpetua.” Monitor 36, “Winter Winds,” has comparable emotional energy behind it, however its musical style and elegance are altogether completely different. Which is to say, for all of the methods Eddie Marianukroh channels the kinds of the greats who got here earlier than him, he’s properly able to defining his personal soundscapes too.
One in all my favourite components of the soundtrack is the “Prologue” part, tracks two by means of six. It jogs my memory of Michiko Naruke’s prologue tracks for Wild Arms, each in format and in type. Nevertheless, Marianukroh’s method to the Prologue additionally comes with a drop of impressionism, with quick, minimalist motifs layered one over the following. That is particularly noticeable in observe 4, “Prologue – Into the Storm.” Talking of impressionism, Marianukroh himself features a quote from the nice Maurice Ravel in his liner notes for the album: “I did my work slowly, drop by drop. I tore it out of me by items.” Becoming, provided that RPGs borrowed straight from this type of music with Ravel in Breath of Hearth IV and have been drawing inspiration there for even longer.
My colleague Caitlin Argyros acknowledged in her evaluate of Chained Echoes that the music is “totally implausible,” and I share her opinion that “you’ll be able to hear the affect of and love for traditional RPGs in each observe.” Caitlin gave the sport an Editor’s Alternative award, giving the sport a 90 out of 100, with the sound subscore set as the very best element with a powerful 95 out of 100. I absolutely agree with Caitlin right here. I believe there are a rising variety of followers who share our opinion: the Chained Echoes soundtrack stands out as well-crafted and price celebrating. Composer Eddie Marianukroh has your complete soundtrack accessible without cost streaming on a number of shops, together with YouTube. The digital soundtrack is obtainable on Bandcamp, whereas a bodily 2 CD model is being printed by First Press Video games in 2023.