Those devoted Japanese Atelier fans who paid for the limited edition of Atelier Iris Grand Fantasm were treated to a number of bonus items. One of them was this strange little soundtrack.
At the moment, most within the "VGM community" are not even sure what these songs are from. Are they featured in Grand Fantasm? Will they be themes for an upcoming title? No one can say for sure at this point. What we can say is that Daisuke Achiwa wrote five beautiful songs; however and wherever they are used, they will be great.
Each of the four instrumental pieces remind me of Achiwa's work from Atelier Viorate. The synthesized sounds are very interesting; one in particular sounds like a lead synth from Metroid Prime. However, when this sound is combined with the more organic flutes and a funky bass part make for a unique sound that generally characterizes the Atelier series. It's more of the same, but it's not entirely the same. These are new songs, and they are definitely worthwhile.
Haruka Shimotsuki's vocal performance of "Wings of the Night" (Yoru no Tsubasa) is not her best, but it is still quite enjoyable. Fast synth runs are repeated up and down the scales as Shimotsuki adds her melody and harmonies. The song is more fun than it is epic.
Hopefully we will see these songs again in a full OST of some sort; until then, this rare bonus album is the only way to get it. Unless you're an importer, you probably won't be able to find it.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann