Yasunori Mitsuda is no stranger to celtic influenced music with eastern undertones so with KiRite, an album of music to accompany a 52 page story by Masato Kato (which is provided but is in Japanese so sadly it’s lost on me), Mitsuda once again delves into what he does and knows best.
“Is Kirite Burning Up?” opens the album with an acoustic guitar gently playing to the vocal delights of Eri Kawai. After the beautiful introduction we are treated to a militarian paced celtic charge lead by an electric guitar and echoing vocals. It all reminds me of how I pictured the Chrono Trigger Arranged CD should have been had it not tried to straddle ten genres all at once. An excellent opener and all the instruments are live. “The Market in Volfinor” passes celtic by at the start for a more middle-eastern feel to open with – very Turkish. A whistling intro gives way to beautiful percussive bells and more acoustic guitar chords. Once the drums and violin break
out however it reminds me very tradionally of a typical village theme to a game. However instead of using loops, because the instrumentation is live – the songs can move and flow freely like water and not just do two repetitions and end. This song never sits still and is an amazing piece of composing.
“Promise with Winds ~ Petals’ Whereabouts” sounds like a downtempo rock ballad. Eri Kawai’s vocals shine on this track as she sings with little reverb to distort her unlike the first track. It’s a difficult song to pull off because of the various chord changes in the chorus but the end result is a very pleasing one.
“The Forest of Lapis Lazuli” uses one of my favourite instruments, a hammered dulcimer to lay the background tune out with a guitar while the violins and tin whistles carfully soar the main tune out for everyone. This song could have came straight from Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles for its use of more ancient instruments. Similarly it also reminds of the style Mitsuda adopted for “Haka No Niwa”. “The Azure” is another vocal song but this time is a celtic influenced uptempo folk piece. The chorus is particularly catchy. “Scorning Blade” however for the first time takes a darker route in music. Using various ambient percussion and very low tone and low key monk style hummings for the first half before suddenly transforming into a solomn piano piece which aches the heart. A song of two halves and quite unusual at that.
“Upon the Melodies of the Moon” is an accepela version of the main theme heard in several songs which is beautifully presented. “Fated Encounter ~ The Fall of Darkness” now reminds me of the Shadow Hearts Arranged Tracks album (although Kirite came out first) because of the way how the guitar pounds out riff after riff with vocal moanings and piercing bagpipes all competiting for your attention. Previously it reminds me completely of a band called “Secret Garden” and it still does to this day. Another excellent piece again.
“Nocturne” is a beautiful piano and violin piece which gives warmth before “As Autumn Passes Away” ups the pace with an uptempo number with a slightly mysterious but compelling twist to it. “The Snow Howling” is a strange piece – the main violin is very much in the foreground of the speakers but everything seems to be very much distanced and almost in slow motion. Once the drums join the violin it makes more sense as you are giving the effect of a tough stamina reducing journey.”Prayer Tree” is a piano and acoustic guitar led piece with various other instruments making up the percussive line which is nice before “The Name of Our Hope” gives us our final vocal song. Choosing another upbeat song (I assume the
story has a happy ending!) Eri Kowai once again shows her strong vocal talent to what is a full band version of the piano piece from “Scorning Blade” it sounds completely different but you can still hear the link which is great. “Circle of Infinity” is a short piano reprise of the previous track to end a stunning album.
This whole soundtrack is classic Mitsuda. There is not one poor track on this collection and it has quickly become one of my favourite soundtracks. I liken it in style and music composition to “Legaia: Duel Saga” in the way how the songs are written and the instruments used. If you enjoyed that soundtrack – think of an arrangement of that with real instruments and your some way to describing “Kirite”. A superb classic – and a must buy for all music fans.