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Chaos Seed ~ Fuusui Kairouki GM-Progress-6
Catalog Number: MGCD-1017
Released On: March 25, 1996
Composed By: Yasunori Shiono, Katsuhiro Hayashi, Yukio Nakajima
Arranged By: Yasunori Shiono, Yukio Nakajima
Published By: Media Rings
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

3D Arrange Version
01 - CHAOS ~ Chaos
02 - CHINESE SOLDIER ~ Meihon's Theme
03 - ASSAULT ~ Alex's Theme
04 - OUTER WORLD ~ Turtle! Turtle! Turtle!
Original Version
05 - Daily Training
06 - Training Enchanted Cave
07 - It's Recount Time!
08 - Doutenpuku
09 - Creating the Enchanted Cave ~ Dousen's Theme
10 - The Foolish Douten Army
11 - Raikan's Theme
12 - Small Tactics
13 - Bar
14 - Reiran's Theme
15 - Causing a Turning Point
16 - Douten Mountain Cave ~ Dousen's Theme
17 - Meihon's Theme
18 - A Fiendish Enchanted Cave
19 - Soujin's Theme
20 - A Friend's Sudden Visit
21 - Wan's Theme
22 - Shasta's Theme
23 - Optimistic Girls
24 - Izanagi's Theme
25 - Heroine's Happiness
26 - Kevress' Theme
27 - Chaos
28 - Star Drop
29 - Alex's Theme
30 - Turtle! Turtle! Turtle!
31 - Heroine's Sadness
32 - Dragon-Sealing Enchanted Cave ~ Dousen's Theme
33 - The End of the Death Match
34 - Closing to the Infinite Encounter
Total Time:
74'08"

Yasunori Shiono, a former colleague of Motoi Sakuraba's, and a composer of some renown during the Super Famicom era, is best known among Americans for his music to the Lufia (Estpolis) games. But he also worked on two other games around the same time: Chaos Seed and Energy Breaker. A full multi-disc OST would be printed more than a decade after the game's release (alongside Estpolis and Energy Breaker). Until then, all we had was the sixth album in the GM Progress series.

Each GM Progress album, along with (usually) containing some original soundtrack material, has its own distinct arrangements. Sometimes they have drama tracks, or vocal arrangements, or live bands, or synth arrange. In this case, Shiono went with a synthesized arrangement (some "real" instruments are in there too). The special trick with these four arranged tracks is that they also include a boatload of sound effects mixed in. Unfortunately, all these sounds do is distract us from the music. It doesn't help add emotional power like Sakuraba's "Voice Mix Arrange" albums do. These sound effects really do kill the arrangements for me.

The OST portion of the album (which is...the rest of it, after the first four tracks) is wonderful. The soundscape is reminiscent of any Square RPG (Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, that sort of thing). The three staples for Shiono are the trap-set-style drums, the bass, and the orchestral strings. It makes for a fantastic combination. Shiono works in plenty of "ethnic" sounds as well, particularly in the percussion and wind departments. The Super Famicom did a good job handling these sounds... not in the sense that they were lifelike, but in the sense that they weren't at all irritating.

Some of the strongest tracks to be found are the character themes. Meihon, Soujin, and Reiran all have fantastic character themes. That's not to say dungeon/event music isn't on par, at times. But the consistently decent and memorable melodies come from the character themes. All is as it should be, and Shiono did a great job with these themes.

Because of this album's long out of print status, I would have to say that interested parties would do better going after the full OST, and let go of any hope of getting this album. All you'd be missing are the four arranged tracks, which aren't that great (mostly because of the sound effects). In any case, whatever form you find it, I do recommend getting the music to Chaos Seed. Shiono and crew (Hayashi, Nakajima) made great music back in the '90s. So don't miss your chance to own this piece of VGM history.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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