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Skyborn OST
Catalog Number: N/A
Released On: February 17, 2012
Composed By: Phil Hamilton
Arranged By: N/A
Published By: Phil Hamilton
Recorded at: Unknown
Format: Digital
Tracklist:

01 - Skyborn Theme
02 - Claret's Theme
03 - Ancient Secrets
04 - Adrenaline Rush
05 - Urban Decay
06 - Cute Recluse
07 - Traveler
08 - Glory to the Skyborn
09 - Childhood
10 - Encroaching Industry
11 - Beautiful Flora
12 - Battle of Vengeance
13 - The Dominion
14 - Winged Warriors
15 - Final Battle
16 - Nostalgia
17 - Cinematic Trailer
18 - Eternal Bond (Bonus Track)
Total Time:
36'25"

Skyborn is a steampunk-fantasy RPG by Dancing Dragon games, and although one would expect a steampunk soundtrack to be filled with percussive industrial sounds like gears grinding or smokestacks puffing, Skyborn defies those expectations with a primarily classical-inspired soundtrack, albeit with a few subtle nods to modernism. When you're playing a good quality SNES-inspired JRPG, this is the kind of music you want in it.

One example of that subtle nod is the track Encroaching Industry, whose percussion takes a rhythmic influence from standard steampunk sounds. But the dominant flavor here is bold, brassy, symphonic, classically-styled RPG music. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album. What I like about the album is that whether a piece is deliberate like Encroaching Industry or more sparse like Traveler, they all have a sense of gravity and make Skyborn's "Saturday Morning Cartoon" type adventure feel that much more robust.

The composition software used for the music makes the classical instruments like winds, strings, and brass sound good, but the few hints of modern instrumentation (i.e. the electric guitars in the battle themes) fall flat for me. The compositional parts themselves are fine, but the synthesized guitars sound too thin and tinny to my ears. Maybe because I'm passionate about heavier styles of music such as heavy metal and punk, synthesized guitars leave me craving the sound of Les Pauls with high-output humbuckers run through a Marshall or Mesa/Boogie stack for searing leads and roaring rhythms.

I was also left wishing that some of the shorter (read: under 2 minutes in length) tracks would loop one more time. Just as I was starting to absorb a track, it ended. I also felt that each track ended abruptly, even with fade outs. At the very worst, no songs wore out their welcome, and the longer 2-3 minute songs were sufficiently chewy.

I know it sounds like I've nitpicked the soundtrack more than praised it, but the truth is that this soundtrack is very good. The compositions are enjoyable to listen to, elevate the game, are nicely varied, and never become slaves to the game's motif. I could talk more extensively about the music, but I'd end up spouting fluff, so I'll leave it at, "You know what, just listen to it."

Editor's Note: The soundtrack can be purchased here, via CDBaby.

Reviewed by: Neal Chandran



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