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Suite Wizardry V ~ Heart of the Maelstrom

[back cover]
Catalog Number: APCG-4031
Released On: December 16, 1992
Composed By: Kentaro Haneda
Arranged By: Tamiya Terashima
Published By: Apollon
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - Wizardry V Opening Theme
02 - Preparing for Battle
03 - Going Into the Labyrinth
04 - Information Gathering
05 - Battle and Victory
06 - Time for Rest
07 - Road to Total Destruction
08 - Cant Temple and Castle
09 - Deep Into the Heart of the Maze
10 - Sohn's Theme
11 - Wizardry V Ending Theme
Total Time:
48'40"

Was Haneda burnt out after 6 years of composing for the same series? I can't say for sure. But I do imagine that he was tired of making the arranged albums. Though the first three were well done (in my opinion, the third was excellent), no album (arranged or otherwise) would be released for Wizardry IV. And then, for Wizardry V, the arranging was picked up by another VGM/anime veteran, Tamiya Terashima. Terashima is a master of synthesized orchestration, as proved by his soundtracks for animes such as Key: The Metal Idol. After this album, he would go on to arrange many synth-orchestra albums for Falcom.

Heart of the Maelstrom was, at its time, the darkest and boldest musical entry in the Wizardry series (though others have since trumped that title). Terashima does these deep, moody pieces justice with his arranging style. One place to take a listen is track 3, "Going Into the Labyrinth." The arrangement boosts the original composition in a way that makes it sound like one of Hisaishi's scores to a Ghibli film (particularly Mononoke).

It's not all doom and gloom, of course. "Information Gathering" is a lighthearted piece, probably in the vein of the Gilgamesh Tavern songs in terms of gameplay setting. "Time for Rest" is the new inn/camp theme, and it would be irresponsible of me to review this album without at least making mention of the song. It is light, simple, and brilliant. Terashima doesn't flex his muscles; rather, he would strike a graceful pose.

All in all, Wizardry V's arranged album is another excellent entry in this series of tonally classical albums. If the Haneda-only style wasn't doing it for you, maybe the addition of Terashima will make your ears perk up. Give the audio samples a listen to decide what you think.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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