Mimana Iyar Chronicle Complete Soundtrack :: Review by Don
A few years after the release of the game, Hiroto Saitoh decided to publish the full soundtrack to Mimana Iyar Chronicle. Lackluster bonus albums were released with the Japanese and US versions of the game, leaving many tracks out. Is the 20 track full release worth picking up instead?
The album opens with "The Shining Arrow," a theme that opens up with somber choral work combined with some Celtic influence, particularly in the woodwind, before adopting a more worldly sound. It features a fantastic atmosphere and an engaging melody. I'm a huge fan of the violin lead combined with the ethereal choral work heard in the background. "Venture into a Field," continues with the worldly sound. Featuring some exotic percussion work, some flamenco guitar, and some Spanish inspired strings, it manages to throw in a bit of a spicy atmosphere to the soundtrack. There is a stunning B section featuring some melodious strings work that really helps add to the overall atmosphere of the piece. "Refreshing Wind" also carries a bit of this atmosphere, although there is more of a Celtic influence thanks to the woodwind work.
"House of Lamplight" and "Tenderness" are beautiful and melancholy tones that really work well in terms of tugging the emotional strings. "The Song of a Prayer" features some vocals and features a very uplifting, almost angelic sound. The vocal work can be a bit grating at times, though the instrumentals definitely helps offset this a bit with its peaceful atmosphere. More of note is "Inside of Silence." It features the melody of "The Shining Arrow" and manages to create a very engaging atmosphere through its use of pensive strings, bright woodwinds, melancholy harp tones, and stunning piano accompaniment.
"From the Darkness" is a battle theme that focuses on bombastic choral tones and militaristic percussion. I think this is quite successful in captivating the attention of the listener, especially with the woodwind and brass melody lines. "Formidable Enemy" is an ominous boss theme. It features some fantastic choral work that really helps bring a sense of tension to the overall theme. Combined with the electronic accompaniment, exotic percussion, and orchestral work, it manages to create an engaging listen, even if it doesn't really develop much. "Brave Sword" meanwhile is an orchestral theme that is pretty standard in terms of execution. There isn't really anything gripping about the track, but I do enjoy the melody quite a bit. I just find the track to be a bit generic, but I do like the heroic atmosphere that it conveys as well.
The presumed final dungeon theme, "Spiral Echo" features an interesting blend of tense, ominous tones as well as some more peaceful tones. The oppressive drumpad works well in creating the tense atmosphere initially before moving into a peaceful woodwind melody with some crystalline synthesizer and xylophone accompaniment. "Circulation," the final battle theme, is quite impressive. It manages to combine the electronic elements of previous battle themes, some choral accents, an uplifting and heroic strings and brass melody, and while it may not be the most threatening ominous final boss theme in the world, it really manages to engage the listener thanks to its overall mixture of elements. The ending theme, "Memory of the Sky," is a nice way to the end the soundtrack. It features a stunning woodwind melody, a rustic feel with a slight pop touch, and some more heroic elements as well.
In the end, I think that the full soundtrack is a much better investment than the bonus albums. While some of the tracks come off as a bit generic, there are many gems on the album, namely the longer, more developed tunes such as "Venture into a Field," "Memory of the Sky," and "The Shining Arrow." If you are a fan of Saitoh's more orchestral works, this one might be worth a purchase.
Overall Score: 7/10