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The Spirit Engine 2 OST
Catalog Number: JWMUSIC.ORG 10101
Released On: August 1, 2008
Composed By: Josh Whelchel
Arranged By: Josh Whelchel
Published By: jwmusic.org
Recorded At: N/A
Format: 4 CDs
Tracklist:


[back cover]

Disc One
01 - Fluttering
02 - Crack in Time II
03 - A Lost Dream
04 - It Begins
05 - Transcending People
06 - Finding Our Strength
07 - On Our Way
08 - Confrontation at the Shrine
09 - Misty Hollows
10 - The Capture of Elai
11 - Forgotten Humanity
12 - A Trader's Song
13 - Grassy Adventure
14 - Crimson Limit
15 - Secrets of the Aulder
16 - Battle with a Forgotten Protector
17 - Game Over (Tears of the Moon)
18 - Not Alone, Not Here
19 - Bombs in the Barracks
20 - Great Hall Longreach
21 - Dark Omen
22 - Jaghaian Wirecutter
23 - Jacques Zerau
Total Time:
42'43"


[back cover]

Disc Two
01 - Sharp Frost for an Early Grave
02 - On the Snowy Plains
03 - Echoes in the Darkest Heaven
04 - Fierce
05 - Town of Darkness
06 - Unspoken Tremors
07 - The Devil's Message
08 - Cathedral of Edges
09 - The Fiercest
10 - Bereft
11 - Porto Vale
12 - The Last Autumn's Feather
13 - Out on the Town
14 - Seaside Village
15 - Seaside Circus
16 - Urtat the Unbeatable
17 - Pursuit
18 - Some Ill Fate Turns Against Us
19 - Absence of Light
20 - Hymn of Death
21 - Icy Ash
22 - Not the Penny Arcade!
23 - Playground of those Lost
24 - Clash at the Dragon's Gate
25 - Something that Begins with 'D' (Bonus)
26 - Out from the Dark (Bonus)
27 - Total Time:
48'58"


[back cover]

Disc Three
01 - Waking up at the Inn
02 - At the Bottom of Despair
03 - The Count Descends
04 - Black Magic X
05 - The Crypt
06 - Altercation in the Crypt
07 - Falling of the Ice
08 - Institute for Higher Learning
09 - They came with Dreams of Blood
10 - Ve Haf Vays
11 - Clay 13 Saves the Day!!
12 - People of the Hunt
13 - Nature's Rhythm
14 - Nocturnal Tree Song
15 - Nature's Contention
16 - Prophecy
17 - The Darkest Truths
18 - Revelations
19 - Hell Hath no Heart
20 - It's Death that Lurks Ahead
21 - Fighting the Inner Mind
22 - On Our Way... Aren't We?
23 - Clay 13 Saves the Day!! - Alternate (Bonus Track)
Total Time:
49'38"


[back cover]

Disc Four
01 - Adjanti Heart
02 - Adjanti Warcry~~
03 - A Man's Lost Heart
04 - Melancholic Syndrome
05 - Hollow Whispers in the Deep
06 - Where Silence and Steel Never Sleep
07 - Confrontation at the Mind's Core
08 - Number of the Beast
09 - Demonic Timbre
10 - Calling of Fate
11 - The Reformation of Enshadu
12 - Into the Eye
13 - Demonic Rage II
14 - History Lies Before Us
15 - Batiste's Orders
16 - The Battle for West Ascension
17 - The World Eye
18 - The Day Chaos Died...
19 - The Final Showdown
20 - Final Cry~~
21 - Medea's Final Conflict
22 - Finale and A Lost Dream
23 - The Spirit Engine II - Closing Themes
24 - Memory
25 - The Reformation of Enshadu - Alternate (Bonus Track)
26 - My Worth (Bonus Track)
27 - We Are One People (Bonus Track)
28 - A Lost Dream - Reprise (Bonus Track)
Total Time:
71'02"

"The Spirit Engine 2" such vast improvements over its predecessor, it's almost not worth one's while to compare them. The same, it seems, may be said about the soundtrack. This mammoth four disc set provides VGM fans with over 100 tracks, all composed by Josh Whelchel. And boy oh boy, do I have a lot of praise to give to this soundtrack.

Think of some of your favorite songs from the following games/series: Castlevania, Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound, Ys, Seiken Densetsu (the "Mana" series). Put those favorite tracks together. Now, "Westernize" it a wee bit, and be sure to mix live instrument recordings with a variety of high-end and low-end synths. Now, you have the soundtrack for Spirit Engine 2. Sounds good, right? It is, trust me.

I noticed that this album is "frontloaded." Many of the best songs appear on disc one, though there's a solid collection of music on the final disc as well. As has been the pattern with many four disc OSTs, you have to scour for the best tracks on discs two and three, in case you're not interested in listening to the somewhat generic "filler" tracks that are necessary to fill the space of a large-scale RPG.

The vocal recordings for this album are amazing. Hymn of Death (2-20) blew my mind; it sounded like something from Mozart's Requiem. Also, 3-16 "Prophecy" used pipes and a female vocalist, making it sound like something produced by Yasunori Mitsuda. "The Day Chaos Died" (4-18)

Not only is the music awesome, but some of the track titles reflect the humor written into the game. You name a song "Ve Haf Vays" and it's clear you don't take yourself too seriously, which is always good. If I had composed music this good I might have gotten a swelled ego. But Whelchel seems to enjoy his position as an indie game composer, and is content to produce this excellent music for a small fee.

The only complaint I have about this soundtrack? There are a few synth choices that I would've done away with. There's this one whiny, pitch-bending synth that Whelchel seems fond of using; I think he uses it on about 8 tracks total across the soundtrack. I can't stand the sound of it. It is featured most prominently during the first 90 seconds of the "Closing Theme" track on disc four. Other than this, I think the soundtrack reaches toward indie (and even mainstream) excellence.

The bonus tracks are all worthwhile additions, especially those on disc four. It's a shame there wasn't room for them to be put in-game.

If you want to support the independent musicians among us, particularly those that are really creating excellent music, Josh Whelchel's soundtrack for "The Spirit Engine 2" is exactly what the doctor ordered. Do me a favor: get it. If you have the money to spare, it's worth the purchase, whether you get CDs in complete packaging or spring for the digital-only release. The album is available for purchase here.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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