A few years back, Atlus released (in Japan) a late-era PS1 title called Eithéa. The soundtrack was released soon after, and then faded into the background. No one really seemed interested in it.
So I figured I’d pick it up.
You’ll note that we have “Atlus Sound Team” for composer information. That means we don’t really know who composed it. Yes, that’s right. I’ve searched the internet high and low, and it seems even Japanese sites list the composer as unknown. The minimal packaging does not list the album’s composer either. It is as though the composer wanted his/her identity to remain a mystery. So be it.
Whoever it was that did this soundtrack: kudos to you. This soundtrack would have been better off as a two disc compilation so that the tracks could loop; but even as a set of 68 one-minute RPG town/event/battle/character themes, the soundtrack is quite enjoyable. I would compare its softer sounds to that of the PS1 “Tales” titles, and its harder themes (if you can call them that) to the PS1 RPG “Neorude.” There is something special about the music to this soundtrack. I feel that it successfully defines and summarizes how VGM sounded on the PS1, much like Terranigma did for SFC.
The other impressive thing that Mr./Ms. anonymous composer(s) did on this soundtrack was include musical styles and instruments from different parts of the world. The ethnic variety makes the soundtrack feel very “world” style, though the obligatory “Celtic” style is oddly missing. We get some Middle Eastern, Indian, East Asian, European, and plenty of more modern sounds to boot. Nice!
I recommend this soundtrack to anyone looking for VGM that can be enjoyed simply as VGM. And to anyone who could hunt down the name of this blasted composer, good luck. I suspect that the only place one might find the name is in the game’s end credits, and as it is, I’m not importing a Japanese PS1 RPG and beating it to locate this bit of information (which may or may not be there).
EDIT (November 2009): composer Shintaro Hirakawa credits himself for having worked on this game. However, we still don’t know if he is the sole composer, or if he was part of a larger team.