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Granado Espada OST Volume 1

[back cover]
Catalog Number: N/A
Released On: 2006 (reprint August 30, 2007)
Composed By: soundTeMP, Osamu Kubota, Junsung Kim, S.F.A
Arranged By: soundTeMP, Osamu Kubota, Junsung Kim, S.F.A
Published By: Hanbit Ubiquitous Entertainment (reprint IAH Games)
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 4 CDs
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Beyond the Mountains
02 - Beyond Hope
03 - Nexus
04 - Odyssey
05 - Calmi Cuori Appassionati
06 - Endless Battle
07 - Granado Espada
08 - Violin of the Death
09 - Siren's Scent
10 - Narcissus
11 - Cite de Reboldoeux
12 - Iris
13 - Forget-me-not
14 - Amaranth
15 - Zebre de La Clave
16 - Barracks (Original)
Total Time:
66'05"

Disc Two
01 - Barracks
02 - Trancephobia
03 - JinD'Ale
04 - Agujero inmundo
05 - Temptation
06 - Overdose
07 - The G appears
08 - InigMatic
09 - Al Quet Moreza
10 - Voyage to you
11 - Aria de Coimbra
12 - Me in the battle (with BK)
13 - Granado Espada (Acoustic)
Total Time:
50'15"

Disc Three
01 - mUsk Alliance
02 - Captain Immortal
03 - Only did my duty
04 - Esa Promesa
05 - Hilaris
06 - Fantacy
07 - A Witch On A Diet
08 - Oporto Partita
09 - DarKno
10 - Touch-me-not
11 - Grassado
12 - Laboro nomen
13 - Honor winds
14 - El Rosa Alba
15 - Toko
16 - Andalusian Rhapsody
17 - Esa Promesa (Korean Vocal Version)
Total Time:
66'57"

Disc Four
01 - Supercooled Girl
02 - Notorious 1380
03 - die Fuge
04 - Vyshegrad - Valse d'Auch
05 - M.I.S.A
06 - Zinnia
07 - Populus Alba
08 - Old Speckled Reel
09 - Toccata and Fugue in D-
10 - Violet
11 - Notredame de course
12 - You Are Not Supposed To Be Here
13 - Involute
14 - Urtica
15 - Nangman Trance
16 - Rising Sun
17 - Rosa Rosado
18 - Nangman Waltz (Original)
Total Time:
70'21"


[back cover]
The album was reprinted in 2007 as a promotional item for East Asian and Australian customers.

A lot of the MMORPGs in the last few years, particularly those from Korea that have saturated the market, have very generic soundtracks. But Granado Espada is an entirely new and different animal. Released in North America as "Sword of the New World," this MMORPG features developers from Korea, Japan, and all over the world, making it a truly international effort. You'll notice the cover artwork is the same style (and, I believe, the same artist) as some of the Romancing SaGa / SaGa Frontier character art.

From the musical end, this four disc soundtrack (for volume one) features composers from Korea and Japan. Note that a digital-only "Volume 2" soundtrack was released, and it featured techno artists from Europe. So, again, international effort is the key to this game's production. But let's talk about the composers.

The first composer is technically a group of composers. Similar to Falcom's "Sound Team JDK," we can't be certain who's responsible for which tracks, but we know that they're an awesome team of musicians. That's right: it's SoundTeMP! This group was first recognized for Ragnarok Online, and while this is still their most recognized score, they've done plenty of other soundtracks in the last five years. Their songs are very techno-influenced, but with traditional game/RPG melodic structure to tether in the music and keep it from getting too abstract. The SoundTeMP contributions on this album are top-notch. If you liked Ragnarok Online's score, you'll love what SoundTeMP has for you on this album.

The next composer is a former member of SoundTeMP that went solo, but still decided to work with SoundTeMP on this particular soundtrack. He goes by the moniker "S.F.A," and his style is (unsurprisingly) similar to the rest of SoundTeMP. Of all the composers represented on this album, I think S.F.A was most willing to use nontraditional synths to carry the melodies he composed. Many of his songs are intentionally artificial, and do not attempt to emulate "real" instruments. This surreal sound really helps add to the diversity of the soundtrack.

Next up Junsung Kim. Kim may be understood as the "face" of this soundtrack's crew, as he was the one who composed many of the important themes for the game, including the beautiful, piano-centric title track "Granado Espada," and the final track "Nangman Waltz." Junsung Kim adds the most real, traditional sounds to the score. He is the polar opposite of S.F.A, at least for this soundtrack.

And then there's the wildcard composer, Osamu Kubota. Kubota-san is the Japanese member of the crew, and he's also the most flamboyant by a longshot. This guy makes Tenpei Sato look normal. Kubota, known best for his Bemani is celebrated as VGM's greatest transvestite composer. And his sense of fashion and identity carries over very well into his strange, lovely music. The opening track "Beyond the Mountain" is one of Kubota's additions. In this track, the ethnic flair of the strings combined with the consistent march of the percussion, and then the surprise electric guitar jumping in, sounds like something that Rachmaninov, Liszt, and Chopin would have put together after a wild night of drinking, using psychadelic drugs, and hopping in a time machine to be granted the technology we have now. Happy times.

Techno, jazz, traditional European orchestra, traditional Asian ethnic ensembles, and pop-style vocal ballads can all be found from each of the four composers here. The sheer amount of music composed for this MMORPG is fantastic, but the fact that it's good makes it even more worthwhile. But now it's time for the bad news: this soundtrack was published as a limited edition, promotional item. That goes for the original (Korean), and the reprint (East Asia and Australia). You can't find it in most online stores. Perhaps that will change over time, but for now, this four disc set can only be found through used shops, and venues like Yahoo! Japan Auctions. I highly recommend it. To all the collectors out there: good luck!

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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