Shadow Hearts From The New World OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: KDSD-00078/9
Released On: August 24, 2005
Composed By: Yoshitaka Hirota, Tomoko Imoto, Ryo Fukuda
Arranged By: N/A
Published By: Team Entertainment
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
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Disc One
01 - From The New World ~ Advertise
02 - Et Unam -Chant of ICARO- ~ Title
03 - Great Ghost Dance (With ICARO) ~ Opening
04 - Ala Of Sacrum ~ Sacred Power
05 - Garland Office ~ Detective's Office
06 - The Mother Earth ~ World Map
07 - Delusion Of Death ~ Dungeon
08 - Dead Fingers Talk ~ North America Battle
09 - Gestalt Collapse ~ Out of Control in North America
10 - Thunder Bird ~ Spirits
11 - Oh smania! oh furie! ~d'Oreste e d'Aiace ~ A Mysterious Person at the Opera
12 - La Gran Luxe ~ North America Mid-Boss Battle
13 - A Silver Smile ~ North America Mid-Boss Out of Control
14 - The Kiss Of Malice ~ Another Encounter
15 - Professor Gilbert ~ Puppet
16 - Muy Malo ~ A Confrontation
17 - World Of Spirits ~ Grand Canyon
18 - Light Crossing Border ~ Spirit Battle
19 - Holy Body ~ Spirits Out of Control
20 - Ta Tanka ~ The Land
21 - Moon Shine ~ City
22 - Adios ~ Mariachi
23 - Impatience Scale ~ Impatience
24 - Living Sacrifice ~ Grief
25 - Alcatraz ~ Prison
26 - Heat Haze in the Distance ~ Desert
27 - Laboratory ~ Research Lab
28 - Stealthy Heart ~ Ninja
29 - Pirates of the Caribbean ~ Pirates
30 - Close Call For a Moustache ~ Pirate Girl
31 - La Sirene ~ The Sea
32 - Whispers Of The Wind ~ Arkham University
33 - Heavy Density ~ Pressure
34 - nada ~ Nothingness
35 - Dry Flower ~ Edona
Total Time:

Disc Two
01 - ICARO -acoustic arrangement- ~ Main Theme
02 - Chichen Itza ~ Ancient Ruins
03 - Rum and Tequila ~ Mysterious Southern Countries
04 - Moana ~ Moana Town
05 - Temper Of An Angel ~ Mystery
06 - Mauve ~ South America Battle
07 - Bailar? ~ Out of Control in South America
08 - Vilcabamba Ruins ~ Sacred Valley
09 - Electric Hallucinations ~ South America Mid-Boss Battle
10 - Auditory Hallucinations ~ South America Mid-Boss Out of Control
11 - The Gate ~ Gate
12 - Dream Catcher ~ Determination
13 - Galvloi ~ Galvoi
14 - Tirawa ~ Sun
15 - Malice ~ Confusion
16 - Deposition Of Memories ~ Garland
17 - Fragmentation ~ Memories
18 - Will ~ Reality
19 - Talking About You ~ Thoughts
20 - The Wheel Of Fortune ~ Fate
21 - Bythos ~ The World Within
22 - Lady Tears I ~ Tears
23 - Lady Tears II ~ Decisive Battle
24 - Astral Tears ~ Decisive Battle Out of Control
25 - Much More Together... ~ Love
26 - SPREAD MY WINGS ~ Ending
27 - Result ~ Victory
28 - Un gemito dell'estinto ~ Game Over
29 - SABBATH -Devil's Banquet- ~ Insane Blood
Total Time:

After my initial listen, I was disappointed with Shadow Hearts From The New World. It sounded empty and vague, and the Native American overtones felt out of place. But, as is the case with every Shadow Hearts soundtrack, it has grown on me with time, and I can speak for the minority and say that I am pleased with the direction Yoshitaka Hirota, Tomoko Imoto and Ryo Fukuda have chosen to take the series.

This Shadow Hearts soundtrack is of a different flavor: whereas SH and Covenant were dark and broody, FTNW is a little brighter and more ethnic. The locations of the United States and South America provided fresh new ideas for the composers to build from. I was disappointed to see that Yasunori Mitsuda and Kenji Ito did not return, but the new addition of Tomoko Imoto more than made up for the both of them combined. I'd personally like to see her play a more dominant role in the next Shadow Hearts soundtrack, because she's very talented. Hirota and Fukuda do a great job as well.

The album starts off quite dull, but Hirota's skills blossom as it progresses, particularly in "Heavy Density," which features a dissonant strings, heavy percussion, and a dark chord progression. He also brings back the trademark Shadow Hearts theme, "ICARO," in both a chant and an acoustic version. Until now, "ICARO" never struck me as anything spectacular, but these two arrangements bring out its beauty, and they are not to be missed. Hirota has also shown that he can compose from the other side of the spectrum, too; "Will" is a beautiful piano ensemble that embodies sadness and determination. This song turned me into a true believer of his talent. I had liked him before, but now I love him.

I have grown fond of Tomoko Imoto as well. She is new to the series, but she has already proven that he has what it takes to match Hirota's talent. Her tracks tend to appeal more to the emotions, and she knows how to invoke sadness and intrigue. "Fragmentation" is a delicate piece with a piano that could bring even the strongest person to their knees. "The Wheel of Fortune" has gorgeous strings mixed together with indigenous percussion and flute that instantly reminds you of South America. Each and every one of Imoto's compositions is unique, and it gives the album substance that I haven't seen since the rise of Masashi Hamauzu.

Ryo Fukuda is also worth mentioning, although he only has three tracks featured. He could be considered the luckiest composer of the three, since his songs are based on two of the most beautiful and elusive ruins in the world; the Vilcabamba ruins and Chichen Itza. As a composer myself, I would have killed for the opportunity to write about these two places. Fukuda did a great job, especially with "Chichen Itza" which starts off the second disc with a folk beat and a catchy melody that really does make you think of Chichen Itza at night.

Now that I've finished my praise, it's time to address one serious issues that the soundtrack faces; it gets off to a horrible start. Almost half of the first disc is boring and uneventful. The same generally goes for the second disc. If you can do yourself a favor and sit through the first few tracks, you'll be handsomely rewarded.

All in all, Shadow Hearts From The New World is a worthy answer to its predecessor, Shadow Hearts II (or "Covenant" in the US), and it is much better. It's still not quite as landmark as the first Shadow Hearts, but it is definitely worth your money. I'm giving it a 8.5/10.

Reviewed by: Mike Wilson


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