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Valkyrie Profile 2 Silmeria OST Vol. 2 - Silmeria Side :: Forum Review

Valkyrie Profile Silmeria Original Soundtrack Vol. 2 - Silmeria Side Album Title: Valkyrie Profile Silmeria Original Soundtrack Vol. 2 - Silmeria Side
Record Label: Team Entertainment
Catalog No.: KDSD-00104/5
Release Date: July 26, 2006
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Written by Chris

The soundtracks to tri-Ace's latest RPG, Valkyrie Profile 2 Silmeria, were split into two largely continuous volumes to help listeners to digest them. Like Valkyrie Profile Lenneth before it, Motoi Sakuraba crafts the score, but largely heads in a new direction. The soundtrack is emotional, serious, and epic, featuring mostly orchestral tracks. Fortunately, though, Sakuraba's rocking battle themes making a return in an often twisted format. Alicia's Side was reviewed here. Silmeria's Side is the darker of the two and has a distinctly different tone overall. Let's see how it fares...

Track-by-Track Reviews

1) Moment of Distorted Casualty (Written by TheShroud13)

The dramatic orchestral "Moment of Distorted Casualty" builds on the trailer music theory Sakuraba began to develop on the Baten Kaitos soundtrack with "Nadir's Whale". From a rather competent track, Sakuraba has taken another step further and adapted that formula to fit the Valkyrie Profile universe. That translates into music through greater compositional fluidity, less brass, more choir and strings. These are all good things.

One of the things that allows this track to flow so well despite its dramatic nature is that Sakuraba manipulates his orchestration and controls register well. Even though every melodic element seems to grow from what has preceeded, Sakuraba varies register between generally high strings and very full textures to amplify his dynamic shifts throughout the piece and accompanies every move with a suitable change in instrumentation. Though the sound throughout is pretty consistently dominated by the choir and the strings, it never becomes tiresome because of those changes in register, and there's just enough use of the brass as a contrasting colour to give the string sound a rest.

As for the melodic and harmonic materials, there's not a lot for me to say. I find it all consistently engaging, and really only lose the piece at about 1:20 when Sakuraba engages his personal orchestral pulse mode that seems to lack the necessary brightness to really have the tenacity he seems to be going for. However, the big bombastic tutti that arrives at 1:50 is majestic and emotionally evocative (and also happens to sound like the "Song of Nephilim") and most of the louder orchestral writing works better than the section I singled out as disliking. The quieter stuff is universally attractive and is anchored by very strong melodic ideas. Though no single idea is really presented enough to be memorable, the tunes are of very good quality.

The only complaint here is that I think Sakuraba abuses sudden dynamic shifts such that it basically becomes expected that a loud section will disappear quickly into a soft one, and that a soft section will at some point be interrupted by loud. I don't feel Sakuraba ever exploits this expectation as he could, and it ultimately makes the piece somewhat predictable. Then again, there's only so much you can do that would make sense in the game's opening movie. This is a definite winner. (10/10)

2) A Stable Float (Written by Chris)

"A Stable Float" is comparable in nature and quality to Alicia side's "At Peace with Extinction" and "Divine View". Again, the soundscape is beautifully constructed. Sakuraba constructs the piano line to consist of fragmented chords and repeated arpeggiaic movements. His execution is superb; the line feels divine, delicate, cold, and agonising. The string lines are evocatively constructed around it to provide a smooth but lonely layer of purity. Low dynamic vocals emphasise a celestial feel and enter, grow, and depart in just the way needed for their presence to be felt. Parts of this piece give me goosebumps, particularly the chords around the 2:00 mark, while the rest is simply enchanting but agonising to listen to. (10/10)

3) Multiplexed Contradiction (Written by Kyon)

"Multiplexed Contradiction" is an unusual battle theme, in a sense that Sakuraba did not pave any melodic direction, thus making the track devoid of any recognizable melody. Instead he opted for atmosphere and tension, making full use of the strings section. The strings usage is once again top notch. He fully utilizes every single capabilities of the orchestra to its fullest here. Furthermore, Sakuraba employed "rhythm change" technique that strengthen the track's already tense atmosphere. Listening to this track just give me a lot of tension. (10/10)

4) Neighboring Infinity (Written by Kyon)

"Neighboring Infinity" is a well constructed, well developed, and nicely instrumented "dungeon" track. Once again, Sakuraba uses an acoustic guitar to provide captivating chords and an ambiguous chord sequence where progressions seems to change. The flute that plays the main melody affirming the atmosphere with its sensible performance and precise tuning to enhance the timbre of the overall track. Also, Sakuraba also did it quite right with his harp, the harp provides a nice climax for the piece before it loops and does not detract the piece at all. A smooth and well thought composition by Sakuraba again. (10/10)

5) Silent Wonder (Written by Kyon)

"Silent Wonder" again makes use of every woodwind instruments that is available in Sakuraba's arsenal. The wonderful arrangement of this piece creates a hypnotic atmosphere. And Sakuraba did very well when he allows the woodwinds to interact with each other with a different rhythmic structure to enhance in a minimal way a sinister mood. Once again, an above par composition by Sakuraba. (10/10)

6) Straying Truth (Written by Chris)

"Straying Truth" uses the cello as its solo instrument. As those familiar with the instrument's solo repertoire would realize, the instrument is capable of creating especially dark, rich, and resonant timbres. Sakuraba exploits its qualities excellently offering a sorrowful melody that reminds me of a Jewish lament. Double-crossing is used to enhance the texture and, in places, create severe but delicious dissonance. Overall, very refreshing and well done. (10/10)

7) Presumption of a Shallow Person (Written by Chris)

Much like "The Rebellious Spirit of A Serene Mind", I can't take "Presumption of a Shallow Person" particularly seriously. It's based on motifs seemingly inspired by The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker's "Forsaken Fortress" that aim for an epic sound rather than a playful sound. It just gets a raised eyebrow from me. The inclusion of some especially persistent and bombastic timpani use doesn't help matters much. The treble of the track is overshadowed and rather unmemorable, mostly consisting of harp and string interplay that doesn't know whether it wants to attain a serious or cheeky sound. At 1:20, the track improves when a deeper darker section is introduced and this leads to some fairly interesting but unfulfilling anticlimactic progressions and secondary melodies before the theme abruptly loops around 2:45. The riffs are quite catchy and the development section is decent, but the harmonies and foreground of this track are too divergent and the character created is not what Sakuraba intended. (6/10)

8) A Possession Within the Mist (Written by Chris)

A very dull track. Though Sakuraba's pizzicato string horror effect was once novel, its emphasis in the first forty seconds of the track is not interesting or effective, particularly after "The Shadow That Speaks to the Darkness". Once the pizzicato strings and industrial effects nonsense has worn off, actual melodic fragments are charmingly introduced, but they are horribly accompanied by timpani like "Presumption of a Shallow Person" and develop into yet more random pizzicato sounds. From 1:35, the track focuses on a slow string melody that resonates in a touching manner and undergoes some evocative chord progressions. Unfortunately, it is hindered by accompaniment — out-of-place tuned percussion, more timpani, and sporadically placed industrial noises — as well as overall uninspired development, resulting in repetition on a small and large scale leading to rhythmical sterility. While superficial thought went into creating its individual elements, the overall effect is a foul hybrid that is neither interesting nor atmospheric. (4/10)

9) Dancing Without Malice or Mercy (Written by Chris)

Sakuraba returns to form here with one of his prog. rock battle themes. "Dancing..." is so distinctive because of Atsushi Hasegawa's grisly stabbing bass guitar riff that opens the track and dominates it throughout. Hard drum lines, an overdriven electric guitar, and endless keyboard discords reinforce the meaty feel and, when a sinister string progression begins to repeat, the track sounds utterly deathly. At one point, Toru Iwao on electric guitar and Motoi Sakuraba on keyboards both provide heavily improvised solos that remind me a lot of Motoi Sakuraba's live albums. This adds an extra layer to the track essential for maintaining interest. (10/10)

10) Reminiscence Which Swallows Everything (Written by Chris)

Through simplicity, Sakuraba crafts this piece to be one of the most touching in the soundtrack. o me, it lies somewhere between one of Lord of the Ring's reflective themes and a 'new age' track, but manages to be individual even independently of its hybridised nature. It mostly features contemplative string-based chord progressions that are just right to create a sense of being engulfed by emotion. It develops into a line of detached woodwind and chorus chords that both create a sense of the heavens singing. Gradually, the track thickens with another dramatic string progression before a fragile bell melody leads the track towards its loop. This track might bore you if you're not touched by it, but was probably the piece on the soundtrack that inspired the most sadness in me. I think it's gorgeously executed and hence worth another top mark. (10/10)

11) Turning Back is a Mistake (Written by Neo Locke)

This crisis piece starts off fast and furious, and works it's way into an instrumental frenzy of... wait... what? Yes, this is probably the most misleading title for a piece of music, ever. If you even want to call it a piece of "music". Technically, anything can be considered music, and in the right sense, this one can easily be called music too. However, it's mostly comprised of a bunch of seemingly random instrumental chords to produce atmospheric effects of mysticism and awe. It's comprised of exactly what you'd expect from such an atmosphere, lots of whispy sounding string chords and a light chime sound here and there... nothing too fancy. It does work wonders to create the appropriate environment in-game, but out of game it's not that appealing unless you're a fan of new-age atmospheric albums. (4/10)

12) Spinning the Thread of Creation (Written by Inigmatic)

This is one of those "signiture" Sakuraba pieces. Beginning with an organ and some male choir voices in the backround, the piece then drops some of the oomph and allows the choir to show though a bit more. After a bit of that, the organ picks back up in speed, all while the choir still chants gothic Latin in the backround. This starting and stopping of the organ and choir continues for a bit more, then the piece repeats. Overall a pretty good piece, but it just doesn't even try to go anywhere other than loud organ and choir. (7/10)

13) Terrible Assault (Written by Inigmatic)

If you thought the last track didn't go anywhere, wait till you hear this. The main melody (if there is one) is played by a jagged piano, while another jagged orchestra is in the background backing the piano up. This is a typical Sakuraba "hurry" theme, and is overly dramatic yet uninteresting. On a final note, the track clocks at a mere 1:52. However, in this track's case, that is a good thing. I am quite disappointed in this one, as I normally like Sakuraba's "hurry" themes. (4/10)

14) Flickering of Deep Eternity (Written by TheShroud13)

This generally gentle, serene track is quite a beautiful accompaniment for a very brief and inconsequential dungeon. The main problem with the track is that until 2:05 the piece is just a bit too understated. It is difficult to sort out the melodic material from the harmonic material, and it just doesn't do much of anything. It creates a nice mood, but that's about it. For a dungeon as brief as Dragonscrypt, 2:05 is also a bit late for the peak to show up. The crescendi that tend to end sections are also somewhat irritating, as they foreshadow an emotional event that never occurs, and really don't add much to the piece for me. Very pretty, but not a special track. (6/10)

15) No Knowledge of Wisdom (Written by TheShroud13)

This is one of Motoi's chamber orchestra/rock band experiments that have been so frequent on the album, and this is one of the best. Accompanying the world tree Yggdrasil, the acoustic instruments do a very good job of representing the 'natural' side of the great tree; and the rock instruments handle the emotional pulsation of the party pushing toward a critical moment in the story.

This track has a fantastic melody and it is treated with a few nice settings throughout the piece, but transitions from section to section tend to be quite awkward. Particularly whenever the piece arrives at the section first introduced at 1:01. Sakuraba spends too much time establishing a new groove before getting into any actual musical material. The transition back to the main theme is also plagued by the same problem. The music in these sections is interesting, but the groove establishment is not. If those had been trimmed, this would get a better score. Still a good track, but not what it could have been. ((7/10)

16) The Enlarged Soul (Written by Totz)

A good track which could have been better if someone would turn down the friggin' bassoon. It is there, grating, in almost the entire duration of the piece; from the tense beginning to the ominous choir part to the, well, other tense section, the damage the overly loud bassoon causes is unbelievable. It detracts your attention from the the development of the piece, because you're trying to ignore that awful, awful sound, but you can't. The track does have its moments, though: despite a horrible transition, the 2:19 section features low strings, choir, and a timpani, and the combination gives off a very eerie vibe. All in all, a little tweaking would have worked wonders, but if you can ignore the bassoon, you'll get a good track. (7/10)

17) Gushed Gloom (Written by Totz)

Oh no, Sakuraba ambience. Some bells, a timpani, a piano and, obviously, suspended strings, are all part of the package. But too bad it's a travel package all the way to the nearest corner, because it goes nowhere. You're expecting it to develop, to be creepy or something, but it's just annoying. (3/10)

18) How Wicked Ruler (Written by Chris)

Oh, Wicked Ruler, how you entertain me after that string of inconsistency. The track starts off dubiously in Sakuraba's signature brassy style except about two octaves lower than normal (hence making it tolerable for me). The violin crisis motif introduced is moderately compelling, though weakened by a hilarious interrupted cadence over a root arpeggio. Never mind, though, for the track actually gets good after the introduction once a compelling bass enters at 0:36; it's quite techno-influenced, reminding me a lot of some of "Integral Body and Imperfect Soul" from the Star Ocean The Second Story Arrange Album. To add variation, there are breaks between the utterings of the melody in which the bass really roars and the violin becomes even more integral to the track as it starts to subtly improvise on the melody. After 1:50, the track has an extended interlude before approaching its loop in epic style. Overall, while the melody isn't amazing in "How Wicked Ruler", it works excellently in conjunction with its deep accompaniment to create a classic villain's theme. A great closer to the penultimate disc. (9/10)

Disc Two

1) Start Up from the Prolonged Darkness (Written by Don)

Sakuraba starts off the second disc with his signature electric piano and rock guitar use. The addition of the brass and strings helps to tie together the overall compositional style of the album. While this track is quite catchy, it seems too cluttered. Sakuraba tries to do a lot of things and sometimes it just doesn't work. In particular, I wasn't a big fan of the rock, percussion, and electric piano together because each has quite a dominant aspect in the track and meshing them together made it seem like three lions were fighting to become leader of the pride. Despite all this, the track is still a nice addition to the soundtrack, just one that I wouldn't listen to that often. (7/10)

2) Climax Coming from the Abyss (Written by Chris)

This track feels like a very tired attempt at a climactic overall. In the foreground, there is a trumpet playing a typical Sakuraba motif, already providing the track with little character. Harmonically, the track is even less appealing. There is a stabbing low string that sounds repetitive due to adherence to a single note yet also cluttered due an obnoxious rhythm its plays. As the track continues along, it becomes clear that there won't be a saviour; the unconvincing doubling of the melody by a feeble chime emphasises the superficiality of the piece and the addition of some frenetic but derivative up- and down- scale runs and arpeggios from middle strings just adds to its unpleasant aura. As the melody begins to develop, it becomes more epic in the foreground, yet there's still a quagmire below. After a lot of announcement from stabbing chords from 1:15, the track eventually enters a secondary section at 1:35. It tries to reconcile sentimentality with epicness, but is horribly decorated by random chime arpeggios and is very shortlived. Just 10 seconds later, more stabbing strings return and the track takes a long-winded but still jarring route towards a loop. This track just feels like a robot malfunctioning. There's no good basic ideas and the rest is just a random assortment of rubbish Sakuraba has accumulated over the years. Simply detestable. (2/10)

3) Confidence in the Slumber (Written by Don)

This track impressed me surprisingly. I'm not the biggest fan of Sakuraba's slower tracks on this album, but this one definitely moved me. The melody is extremely touching and the variation in the instrumentation, between woodwind and string, helps to keep interest. There are a few harp motifs that help to accentuate the nature of the track, but I'd be happy without those. In the end, the peaceful nature of this track, in conjunction with a very moving melody, makes this worth a listen. (8/10)

4) The Pile of Griefs (Written by Chris)

The piece starts out as slow-paced, drawn-out, obnoxious, brassy, and depressing as the title indicates. Fortunately, it redeems itself by the middle since it develops in a way dictated by emotions rather than for the sake of it, tangential or not, for a change. The powerful crescendos to the initial epic peak, the endearing quiet interludes, and the eventual climax are all enjoyable here. Although the sheer majority of the piece is good, the initial part of the piece just typifies everything bad about Silmeria for its presence on the soundtrack to be refreshing. Still, I felt touched and enpowered by it. (8/10)

5) From Diffusion to Induction (Written by Chris)

An eerie minimalist piece akin to "The Shadow That Speaks to the Darkness" and "A Possession Within the Mist". Nothing is offered here that hasn't been done already... there is just a pile of novelty or clichéd featured such as echoing vocals, tremolo strings, ascending chromatic chord progressions, and weird glissandi. This track is effective in context (just as would be, say, half of the awful Parasite Eve II score), but creative in the most superficial sense. It offers a boring and irritating three minutes on the final disc that delay the climax just like that string of bad tracks on Disc Three. (4/10)

6) An Upsetting Emotion (Written by Chris)

Using Star Ocean The Second Story as a reference, this track lies somewhere between "Stab the Sword of Justice" (an awesome rockin' battle theme) and "Desert Island" (a deafening repetitive hurry theme) on the scale of Sakuraba's action themes. There are good rhythms and some sweet Sakurabian keyboard use, but also horrible melodies and way too many repeated discords. Fortunately, it's not one-dimensional, as the track develops a lot and enters a few good sections. Unfortunately, though, most of the development is random and disorientating just like far too many other pieces already heard. A peculiar mix of good, bad, ugly, and inappropriate. (6/10)

7) Tragic Scene of Doom (Written by Chris)

One of the several contemplative themes on the soundtrack, "Tragic Scene of Doom" uses the familiar but unconventional ensemble of a piano, harpsichord, violin, and glockenspiel to achieve a gorgeous soundscape. The beautifully performed wails of the violin draws one into the piece, though it's the instrument's progression from 0:48 that feels almost tear jerking. Another example of where Silmeria shines for its emotional qualities. (9/10)

8) Weakness (Written by Chris)

A multifaceted theme that tugs at the heart prior to the final showdown. The introduction feels mystical thanks to some magical use of tuned percussion and bowed and pizzicato strings. The scene set, Sakuraba represents the importance of the final encounter with a brass melody already heard elsewhere in the score. Fortunately, its presented sombrely and is short-lived, as the track returns to its initial idea to reemphasise the setting with heavenly use of vocals. There is quite a bit more development revolving between the two main ideas that achieves more of an insight into the feelings of the party. A deep interesting creation. (9/10)

9) In Order to Acquire the Light in That Hand (Written by Don)

In my opinion, "In Order to Acquire the Light in That Hand" is one of those tracks where it feels like the first time every time you listen to it. While the instrumentation is the same thing we've heard all soundtrack, Sakuraba showcases that he is one of the better battle theme composers in the business at the moment with this track. The pace of the track, the intoxicating jagged string melody, the rhythmic percussion, Sakuraba's signature electric piano, and even a hint of some Celtic flair (or it seems) makes this track a definite keeper in a sea of sub-par tracks. (10/10)

10) Ascend into the True Faith (Written by Chris)

A triumphant theme that is blaringly brassy for its first 30 seconds or so. Fortunately, it develops into an unusual but likeable melody and tones down the pomp a fair amount. At 1:26, a retrospective section features that makes victory seem even more worthwhile at the 2:02 climax. The rest of the piece is mostly quiet, but there are two surplus peaks that are appropriate in context but somewhat obnoxious on a stand-alone basis. Sakuraba insists on recapitulating that overbearing brass melody but fortunately the interesting melody too. Not always tolerable, but only occasionally obnoxious so I don't tend to skip it. (7/10)

11) Unrestrained Struggle (Written by Don)

"Unrestrained Struggle" serves as the final battle theme. While in my opinion, it's not as good as the previous battle track, it is still very epic in nature. Chorals, strong percussion, and furious string work together to create a very fitting final battle track. I love the melody the strings produce and, in conjunction with the accompanying chorals, add a hint of softness to the brute force of the vocals and percussion. Overall, this isn't another track to skip over and is reminiscent of some of his more epic Baten Kaitos series tracks (mainly "Ruinous Commander" from Baten Kaitos II). (9/10)

12) Circumstances Leading to the Conclusion (Written by Chris)

The first half of this epic track is piano-led. Deep suspended chords open the track and are eventually decorated by some random treble notes, giving an ominous and otherworldly feel to the piece. At 0:37, it becomes led by a slow suspenseful arpeggiated ascending chord progression and a few additional forces enter for emotional effect. The piano line grows more elaborate once again after a break at 1:51 as the melody from "A Stable Float" is beautifully reprised. At 2:25, chimes briefly but eerily accompany a new piano progression reminding me of how they were treated in "Overture of the Destiny". They excellently precede a sudden luscious buildup of orchestral forces as the track radiates epicly and triumphantly. The buildup is excellently done and the ending of this track is wonderful, making it one I regularly revisit. (10/10)

13) Each Lullaby (Written by Chris)

Hinted at in the previous track, "Overture to the Destiny" is fully reprised in the first part of this ending theme. This time, the chime melody becomes supported by a piano and dabs of choral forces to add a feeling of resolution. At 1:18, choir and violin gorgeously revisit the "To the Eternal Land", but, instead of the theme being shockingly suspended, violins radiantly continue the theme's progression at 1:55 with extravagant piano arpeggios adding to the romantic feel.

The direction of the piece is uncertain after this, as the Overture theme again returns on bells and, later, vocals. At 2:40, the piano ominously returns and, just as it seems to wish to conclude the tension, it enters another dark progression and, by 3:26, things indeed seem dire. As orchestra and later chorus reenter, the conclusion seems no less closer and every sign of hope ends in disappointment... though this thankfully makes the track all the more satisfying in the end.

Sakuraba gratifyingly puts us out of a mystery with a progression starting at 5:16. There is an overriding ascending chord progression, the timbres become exceptionally thick, and the dynamic level rises to its highest on the soundtrack. The track ends with a few piano chords and decorations, symbolising the instrument's importance to the track. This piece wonderfully wraps up the two main motifs on the soundtrack and manages to be an emotional rollercoaster in its own right. Highly recommended. (10/10)

14) Unimaginable Fortune (Written by Kyon)

"Unimaginable Fortune" is a piece that is primarily focus on atmosphere than anything else. In this track, Sakuraba primarily uses woodwinds, and woodwinds are good for atmosphere, the fainting melody is effective, and the cello is used at the right time. Still, I found one instrument seems to loud, disrupting the harmony. (7/10)

15) A Thoughtful Strategy (Written by Kyon)

Ah, another prog-rock piece. I don't happen to remember this piece is used or not, but this is some nice treat from Sakuraba, especially when he uses full live instruments. Although I have to complain that he does not develop his harmony to its fullest. (9/10)

16) Time Brings About Retrospection (Written by Chris)

The final piece played in Silmeria indicates the Valkyrie Profile saga may not be over. A deep harpsichord lines give way to a series of retrospective murmurings from woodwinds and strings. The track wanders and even the dark chromatic progressive around the 2:00 minute leads to nowhere decisive. The atmosphere created here is beautiful, though many will dub it an 'ambient track' in the worst sense of the word. It's an accomplished composition, but not material intended for regular revisits. (8/10)

17) An Improvisation with "Confidence in the Domination" (Written by Chris)

Vol. 2 ends, like Vol. 1, with a messy jam section. This time, as the hilarious title indicates, the melodic material is based on the tri-Ace classic "Confidence in the Domination". The jagged interpretation of the melody is actually 36 seconds in length, led by Sakuraba on the piano, but interrupted by Nakamura's heavy drum work. What follows is an incredible jam session in which pianist, drummer, and bassist alike tackle rhythmically and technically demanding material that diverge considerably between parts. This improvisation creates some virtuosic performances, but the tangent will be too oppressive for some, especially when the melody isn't so much as even reprised. This track will split opinions, though I personally enjoyed it. (8/10)


Written by Chris

The Valkyrie Profile 2 Silmeria soundtrack is a parodox to me. The majority of the composition is really accomplished and about half the themes here are really enjoyable. However, it is also one of the most tiring soundtracks I've ever listened to. Generally, I turn the soundtrack on at a random point, appreciate the musicality and atmosphere of what is being presented to me, then have a tendency to press 'stop' two to ten tracks later. At first, I thought this was because of unfamiliarity with the material I was approaching, but gradually I realized that it's a more general problem.

I think the problem I have is the soundtrack is too serious and too samey. The 'epic meets melancholic' approach of the entire soundtrack makes it quite an effort to listen to in bulk. Some tracks are long-winded, not helped by often dull main melodies and tangential development sections. Particularly bad suspects are the portrayals of darkness — whether it be the novel minimalist creations, obnoxious brassy pieces, or laughable efforts like "The Rebellious Spirit of the Serene Mind". Even with a string of wonderful tracks, though, the soundtrack seems repetitive. It's partly because of Sakuraba not varying his harmonies on a demanding schedule, though the soundtrack is usually very elaborate on the exterior.

In the end, I appreciate most of the soundtrack but tend to revisit only about half of the themes having now compiled a 'best of' for myself. Especially enjoyable are 'rock meets orchestra' battle themes, Germanic town themes, and, above all, the various emotional themes. There are no shortage of amazing epic compositions here either — "One Error Begets Another", "Movement of Distorted Causality", "Multiplexed Contradiction", and "Circumstances Leading to the Conclusion" all come to mind. The main melodic material introduced in "Overture to the Destiny" and "To the Eternal Land" is also very strong. A lot of effort has been put into many parts of this score and the effect is often phenomenal emotionally and musically. I just can't always stomach the saminess, seriousness, and inconsistency. (8/10)

Written by Don

Valkyrie Profile 2 Silmeria is a soundtrack that isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. I feel that it will impress the listeners who like cinematic and dramatic music, with a splash of progressive rock. However, for listeners of Sakuraba who don't necessarily like his dramatic compositions and prefer things such as his Star Ocean or Baten Kaitos compositions, I suggest they look elsewhere. While I think the that use of ambience is a bit extreme in this album, it really fits the game quite well, so for that, I commend Sakuraba. I also feel that Sakuraba shines once again with his battle themes, with "Motion of a Finishing Blow," "In Order to Acquire the Light in That Hand," and "Unrestrained Struggle" taking the spotlight in my eyes since each offers a different style of battle theme flavors.

My hands down favorite piece on the album, however, is "To the Eternal Land." It just oozes amazement and really creates a nice motif that is featured throughout the soundtrack. This moves us into dramatic territory. The tracks that successfully pull off a very dramatic feel are a treat to the listener, such as "How Wicked Ruler," and the aforementioned track above. In the end, this soundtrack is a mixed bag, but it definitely has many fantastic tracks that are sure to captivate the interest of at least the casual listener. While not Sakuraba's best effort, it definitely is standout soundtrack. (7/10)

Written by Kyon

The Valkyrie Profile 2 Original Soundtracks is a mixed bag. For starters, it was Sakuraba first ever attempt on using the string orchestra as the main force. Aside from that, Sakuraba also attempts new rock styles, such as the slow hard rock like "Junk Modulation" and "Dancing without Malice and Mercy", symphonic rock like "In Order to Acquire that Light in Hand" and "A Motion with Finishing Blow". Furthermore, Sakuraba had put a lot of self control since Baten Kaitos, focusing more on emotion and color into his tracks, like the town themes and notably "Confidence in the Slumber".

However, due to his schedule, he also churned out lots of tracks that are either bland or, to be blunt, disposable garbage. The notable examples are the ambient themes and those brass heavy tracks. Particularly Volume 2, despite being the more dramatic soundtrack, is also horribly uneven in quality. Not to mention his tracks are sometimes overly lengthy or they have lengthy names that simply makes no sense.

Still, it is worth checking out because this is a different Sakuraba, despite its notable flaws. But let me warn you that this soundtracks are not for daily listens, as they were quite tiresome. (7/10)

Written by TheShroud13

Buy Valkyrie Profile 2; love this soundtrack. Buy the Valkyrie Profile 2 Original Soundtracks; have your best experience with them while they're being shipped overseas. This is a moments soundtrack for certain. (7/10)

Average of Summary Scores: 7/10