The latest in a growing number of live orchestral recordings for the Final Fantasy series, Distant Worlds was recorded at the Stockholm, Sweden concert. Arnie Roth selected a handful of pre-arranged tracks from FFVIII Orchestra, 20020220, and More Friends. That is to say, little of what’s offered here is original. In fact, the only new content is the album’s title track. “Distant Worlds” is a beautiful vocal theme for Final Fantasy XI‘s second expansion, Chains of Promathia. The “voices” DVD released by Square Enix features a live performance with the original Japanese opera singer. On this version, however, a different vocalist takes on this very powerful piece of music. The result of this performance is slightly subpar, but ultimately, it still sounds pretty good.
Indeed, the same can be said of much of this performance. This is the European, nay, the Scandinavian version of Final Fantasy orchestrated. I had my doubts about listening to yet another live recording from Arnie Roth and crew (it’s getting to be like Sugiyama with Dragon Quest), but generally, I am pleased. The recording quality is decent, the performance is standard, and it’s all the classic Final Fantasy you’ve come to love.
I have little else to say about the album, because so much of it is rehash material from other performances. But if you’re living in Europe, this album has been made available just for you! So check it out. Note also the Japanese reprint from Square Enix in 2009 that you can purchase.