composer review VGM

Yasunori Mitsuda – “Sailing to the World” Review

“Sailing to the World” is the title for the official release of Yasunori Mitsuda’s compositions for the game called “The Seventh Seal”. 10 tracks were chosen and re-recorded for the CD which has been quite overlooked compared to his other works, which is a great shame as its a very cohesive, well balanced and catchy effort.

“The Door” opens the soundtrack with a very mystical atmosphere lead by a distant choir sounding synth which then leads to a beautifully haunting demonic organ section – very Mitsuda but still very classy. “Sailing To The World” is what I’d assume to be the opening theme of the game, a Celtic affair with a very catchy bridge! The vocals are lightly out of tune at times but with such a strong melody and a big finish, you soon forget about the imperfections and concentrate on the song at hand.
“Melody of Aqua” is very typical of a town theme actually. Its tuned percussive elements and main melody work perfectly together and the sound quality because it’s been recorded again for the release is like that of an arranged album almost. One that grows on you more each listen. “Rhythm of Red” is an astounding piece of guitar work, flamenco percussion and some soaring spirit lifting string arrangments. If you need a reason to buy the soundtrack, its this song I think because it is just so very well accomplished in all areas. Superb!
“Path to Enlightenment” is what I refer to as the sneeky theme on the soundtrack. It has the very stereotypical waiting and hiding feel to it with some Asian tangents and twists. Nothing special but once again well concieved. “Confrontation” is one of the only battle theme on the album and it stands out just because of that fact. It has all the nobality, stature, power and anxiety that a high tension track needs and the sound quality is superb once again. Normally I’m not one to go mad over battle tracks but I really do adore this one.
“Melody-Go-Round” takes the earlier vocal theme and turns it into a beautiful wind and string arrangement and is my second favourite track on the album just for its sublime calming attributes and I feel the melody is more at home here than the vocal piece – don’t ask me why but it just feels right.

My favourite tune on this album by a long shot is “Point of No return” purely for one thing – pace signitures. Coming across like a gothic space oddysey at the beginning the song erupts into electronic tension without going majorly fast with some tension building string sections and moaning male vocalist adding to it. It carefully sways around in its prelude to the chorus and then suddenly stops and builds up into a drum, guitar, string and wind instrument elated chorus that could sweep you off your feet. Although the pace and timing does not change at all during the song it just feels like it has suddenly taken you to a new level of drama and tension. I place this down as one of Mitsuda’s best creations.
“Hope” is a lovely piano led piece that is an excerise in beauty and its highly recommended. “Reincarnation” brings back our female vocalist from the second track for a similar style track of the title track only slower, but to the theme of “Hope” which works well. It does remind me very much of the vocal themes of “Xenogears” actually which can be no bad thing.

“Sailing to the World” has never really hogged the limelight as much as it should have been as has been largely overlooked. I hope this review can enlighten some people into plumbing for this soundtrack as it deserves a home in many more VGM Collectors than it does already.

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