From Software. That lovely, small, strange company that has a history of releasing mediocre games early in a system's life and then keeping quiet for a few years. That's right, the company that brought you Eternal Ring and Evergrace for PS2 is now releasing one of Xbox360's earliest RPGs: "eNCHANT arM."
The new title's soundtrack features work from five composers (unfortunately, Kota Hoshino isn't a part of the list) in a total of 42 tracks. Though I can't speak for the game itself, I find myself saying yet again that From Software has created another strange and unique soundtrack. Not every track is pleasing to the ear, and some tracks may be downright boring: but you haven't heard anything like this soundtrack in any other videogame on the market.
The opening track, "Reborn," is a 5 minute techno theme. It's the longest track on the album, and it's definitely one of my favorites. It has a sound different from most techno tracks; I can't explain it. Just listen.
Among the first ten tracks, about half of them are my favorites from the album. The first three tracks are all extremely unique, track 7 "Enchant Arm" features massive choir vocals, and track 9 "Rondinus Forest" is an interesting environment piece.
Things begin to go downhill from there, particularly because of the many "filler" tracks that just have weird echo-y noises and nothing more. However, there are still plenty of catchy and upbeat tracks throughout. Sampling, looping, and other weird/interesting rhythmic stuff happens along the way.
Though I'm assuming all of these sounds are originally synthesized, some of the percussion sounds very life-like. Take a listen to track 27: don't those drums sound great? As the song builds, the drums take on more complex rhythms; it's simply glorious. Many songs work in this same pattern, I am just using this one as an example.
The Acoustic version of Reborn at the end of the album was a bit of a letdown for me: it's slow and boring, not at all what I was expecting.
I know there's a small circle of From Software fans who already picked up this album. For the rest of you, it's definitely something worth checking out. So, go ahead and check it out! If you like what you hear, go get it. Play-Asia and CD Japan both stock it.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann