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Beyond the Beyond Original Game Soundtrack :: Review by Dave

Beyond the Beyond Original Game Soundtrack Album Title: Beyond the Beyond Original Game Soundtrack
Record Label: Antinos Records
Catalog No.: ARCJ-33
Release Date: May 2, 1996
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Despite the original score for Camelot's Beyond the Beyond never being released, the stupidly named Beyond the Beyond Original Game Soundtrack features some extremely well-developed arrangements of the music from the game. Motoi Sakuraba is the man behind each of the arrangements on this album, and although there are only five tracks, they each exceed a playing time of nine minutes, adopt a variety of styles from electronica to progressive rock to symphonic, and are mostly medleys of the game's themes with the smoothest transitions possible. As Sakuraba's first official soundtrack for a whole five years — the consequence of Telenet Japan restricting album releases for Wolfteam albums — it's the most fruitful realisation of the Beyond the Beyond experience and reflects a whole new depth to Sakuraba's works as his first and perhaps most ambitious of a number of fully-fledged arranged albums.

Track-by-Track Reviews

1) Land of Promise

At nine minutes of playing time, the most striking aspect of this track is unsurprisingly its development. It begins with a flute melody accompanied by acoustic guitar; although very thin at first, these parts continue to intertwine with each other to produce a glorious atmosphere. The melody comes from "Title Screen," the second track to be heard in Beyond the Beyond. As a violin countermelody enters, the intensity of the track increases with a series of drum rolls as the theme move into a more triumphant passage. A choir part soon enhances the atmosphere; with the choir adding a complementing tone to the piano line, and with its addition revealing a previously unnoticed flute line, too, Sakuraba's inclusion of it seems perfectly fitting. This line soon diminishes in preparation for a recapulation of the main melody in its fullest form yet. A violin vibrantly plays the main melody once again, but this backs down to a piano which smoothly caresses the original melody until the end. (10/10)

2) Moments of Flight

A flute starts off this track, but it is the 'cello underpart that has the greater impact on the atmosphere in these early stages. Its undertones add a rich style to track, but at the same time, they also add an underlying sense of mystery. Still, this section proves to be a mere introduction to the main section of the track, as with a sudden silence and a wonderful rush after that, we are led into a section filled with movement. Soon enough, the piano begins to play an adventurous chord sequence that is only really matched by an organ solo later on in the track. With a whole mass of development behind it, a new section is introduced at the 4:10 mark where it takes a darker turn when some suspense filled Spanish guitars are added. We return to the original style offered by the track three quarters of the way through, and although this follows such a hectic section of wondrous rhythms, Sakuraba does well in implementing it successfully. All in all, in comparison to "Land of Promise," "Moments of Flight" is just as good. (10/10)

3) Beyond the World

The first minute of this track is made up from a selection of ominous instruments; a choir offers one of the first lines to be heard in the track, and it is this low, deathly, underlying part that adds a melancholy feel to the atmosphere. After this development, Sakuraba introduces a wonderful guitar solo line. The guitar is quickly played, but Sakuraba seems to hit the perfect median so that it doesn't sound hasty but rhythmic instead. A violin plays along with this too, and its high-pitched shrieks are wonderfully fitting. Sakuraba introduces the listener to yet another section at the two minute mark, and although it keeps the same tempo as before, it seems somewhat relaxed in comparison. The section after this features the return of the synth vocalists, but this time they sing in a more anguished tone. The instrumentation here is softer, too, thus giving off a sense of loss to the surrounding. This same style is maintained throughout the rest of the track, as, from now on, it stays very relaxed. This is another great track, but it is just a notch under the previous two. (10/10)

4) Heartless Wilderness

Sakuraba cuts straight to the chase with this track by introducing a developed section within the first minute. With the first section being a flute and harpsichord melody, the new section is now full of flair and vibrantly played on a piano. A violin part holds the melody for a very long time, and it even goes through an impressive solo section, too. Sakuraba builds this piece upon a mass of solos; it is the violin that initially reveals its enormous melodic range. Each solo seems to be a random conjunction of notes, but when they are accompanied by a proper harmony, there are endless emotions produced. This style carries on until the 4:14 mark where everything dies down to make way for a music box that plays the same motif over and again. In this section, the track seems to lack direction, but when a new structured section is added, everything is returned back to its melodic self. The track continues with a build up in dynamics and emotional effect as it draws to its end. This track doesn't quite reach the capabilities of "Moments of Flight," but all in all, it is an impressive arrangement. (10/10)

5) New Journey

The development featured in "New Journey" is amongst the best on the album, and it is a total diversion form the original track which goes by the same name. The initial melody is simplistically played by a violin, but soon enough, a choir comes in to take over. The choir is accompanied by a glorious piano part that adds a great harmony to the track. Still, with the piano part only being a brief encounter, the harpsichord is the next instrument to be added. The initial melody is stretched far in these early stages of the track, but it is only until 1:36 that its true potential ins realised. A slow build up on a guitar, accompanied by percussion, leads us into some piano arpeggios and an atmosphere filled with tension. The melody that is featured in this track is highly inspirational, and it even gets carried onto a violin that does it even more justice. The track returns to its origins at 4:45 when the journey starts again. The track almost climaxes at 7:12, but instead, Sakuraba lets it carry on into a fabulous piano section of quietude and perfection. (10/10)


If you love Motoi Sakuraba, this album is one of the finest albums of his you can experience. If you doubt him, this album may just change your perspective on him for the better. A truly progressive experience, paralleled in terms of inspiration and the strength of the original sources only by creations such as Secret of Mana +, and music to anyone's ears. The first track on the album has such a dramatic impact that the atmosphere created is perfect. This is one of Sakuraba's finest creations, and it should leave any eager listener in awe. Although the same dramatic impact offered by the first track isn't necessarily maintained throughout the album, Sakuraba introduces a wide variety of styles and genres to place the emphasis on the diversity of the tracks instead. The synchronicity of his melodies, the superb chord progressions in his harmonies, and the remarkable use of both electronic and orchestral elements all ensure it adds up to being a beautiful album. Unfortunately, this album is extremely hard to find, what is more, selling prices are extremely high. Still, save up your money, and if you see this gem, then buy it. You won't regret it.

Overall Score: 10/10