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Naoshi Mizuta – “Final Fantasy XI Vision of Jilart” Review

Final Fantasy XI’s music is very acoustic based and extremely relaxing. After the beautiful songs from the original OST, “Final Fantasy XI – Vision Of Jirat” gives us 19 new songs from the ever-expansive Final Fantasy XI world. In the same thread, they are acoustic based and every one well-played.

“Kazham” opens the CD with a catchy guitar riff that is layered on with various wind instruments. Relaxing and bouncy it’s a lovely way to open the album. “Yuhtunga Jungle” is a monstrous 8 minute understated epic, which is very slow in evolving and goes on for slightly too long thanks to the repetitive bass line.

Things take up a step in pace with “Battle #3” that is a regal battle theme with plenty of orchestration but the main tune lacks power. It doesn’t let the track down thankfully. “Dash de Chocobo” takes things back to light heartedness with a perky yet laid back rendition of the classic song that is definitely worthy of the chocobo legacy.

“Rabao” is another laid back track that relies on melodic guitar work to lift the song successfully with a bouncy and catchy chorus. The combination of acoustic guitar and wind instruments work well throughout the album and form the basis of most of the songs. “Altepa Desert” is somewhat more clumsy and mysterious suiting its desert nature. The song is almost more suited to an infiltration mission! The song starts minimalist and adds layer after layer making for a great piece.

“Battle In The Dungeon #3” has much more oomph to it than the previous battle theme. Its militant style makes for big sense of urgency and panic and is pitched perfectly.

“Grav’iton” is very desolate and downbeat but has a beauty to it that makes it stand out. “Norg” is another clumsy song that thrives on its intrigue and its mystic. Once again the song is very understated in doing so. Many of the clumsy fun theme songs in other games are very bold, but this just tinkers away and the difference in doing so is beautiful and almost endearing to listen to.

“Tough Battle #2” is very manic with an organ giving out a tough background to result in a panic overflow until the big brass instruments come out to play in another well-done piece. “The Sanctuary Of Zi’Tah” is another excellent guitar/woodwind collaboration that has a laid back but mystic approach and it pays off superbly with one of my personal favourite lines being the opening and closing parts of this song.

“Ro’Maeve” is possibly the only song that didn’t really click with me. It’s very minimal and too bitty for me to really get hooked into it. The tune itself isn’t particularly strong either.

“Hall of the Gods” is very ethereal with voice synth’s playing out the melodies with makes for a lovely change from the guitar tracks around it before “Fighters of the Crystal” ups the ante with a more dramatic piece that is like a relaxed battle theme is ever there was one!

“Tu’Lia” is a marimba-based track that is as pretty as it is poignant which is quite a task to achieve and that’s the mood a lot of the songs portray on the album. “Ve’Lugannon Palace” is creepy and haunting with its muted sounds and dark melodies and passes it off very well. “Eald’narche” is a dramatic and dark piece that brings out the best of brass instruments. The scale of evilness and dread in this piece is conveyed perfectly with an extra sense of eeriness – superb! “Belief” is similarly very dramatic and also very fast paced, almost anxious before the “End Theme” rounds off the album in a regal and gentle fashion with a large speck of beauty and pride.

“Final Fantasy XI Vision of Jirat” is one of those albums that doesn’t offend and take over the senses. Instead it chips away with luscious melodies and catchy hooks here and there and before you know it you’ll have it on repeat simmering away in the background while you hum along. Very recommended!

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