NIS America presents fans of the Ar tonelico series a treat with the recent release of the sequal to the first installment. The sequal comes with a soundtrack, which helps to promote the themes that series is known for. Composers Akiko Shikata, Akira Tsuchiya, Ken Nakagawa, and Daisuke Achiwa contribute to the soundtrack, provinding a sound that is soothing, yet powerful when combined with other instruments.
The musical score centers on using the flute, keyboard, and the guitar. The flute, however, is the main instrutment that the listener hears throughout the soundtrack. A few songs lack the wooden instrument’s presence, but the presence of the flute provides a classical tone to some of the tracks. Town of the Heaven is a good example of the flute’s usage. The soundtrack is interesing, in my opinion, by how the flute conveys memorable elements of the game through the songs. The standard battle theme, “Varna,” incorporates the keyboard and the catchy techno sound in the background is boosted with the pounding of the drums.
Unfortunately, the soundtrack’s layout becomes repetitive. Many of the later tracks on the CD resemble the previous songs in terms of sound. The flute’s presence is nice, but I think it hurts the composers’ abilty to explore more options and range by not using more of the keyboard or a different instrument altogether. Ar tonelico II’s style reflects upon instruments like the flute, so it does portray the series musical elements efficiently. Overall, the soundtrack offers a new harmonizing sound, primarily through use of the flute.