Evergrace Original Soundtrack


Review by · December 11, 2004

Evergrace was an action RPG released during the PS2’s earlier days by “From Software.” This game is regarded as one of the worst games ever to be released on the console: I have played the game myself, and I agreed that the game felt rushed into an early release. To its defense, the game was originally planned for PS1, and the port over to PS2 may have done a lot of the damage.

But, regardless of the game’s content, the soundtrack is one of the most outstandingly original CDs I have ever listened to. Without a doubt, the one thing that mark’s Kota Hoshino’s strange musical score is the insane use of vocal synths. There are three good “e” adjectives to describe the vocal synth on this OST: exotic, eccentric, and erratic (no, erotic didn’t make the list). The first time I gave this soundtrack a thorough listening, my general response was annoyance. “What is this supposed to sound like, because it doesn’t sound any good to me!” – I recanted my initial impressions later.

Take a listen for yourself of the samples: note the strange, almost ethnic sounds of the male and female vocal synths. Listen to the traditional Asian instrumentation happening in the background. Try and keep up with the wonderfully complex percussion on “Stab the Heavens.” For a softer sound, check out the sample of the last track. There is really something special about this soundtrack.

Special or not, there are some sounds that simply are not pleasing to the human ear. Listen to track 4: do you hear the bending of pitch on what sounds like a sitar synth? It is not the result of RealPlayer encoding. When I first played the game, I thought it was an error in the disc reading the music: as if it was slowing down somewhat. However, listening to this OST proves that it was designed to sound that way. It’s a neat idea, but it also seems to be the mark of an amateur: no melody-loving human being could really withstand listening to that pitch-bending for too long without going insane.

It is a shame that Evergrace’s sequel, known as “Forever Kingdom”, never had an official soundtrack release; I have heard it, and Forever Kingdom’s music is basically a much more epic and refined version of these style of songs. However, those who are interested in taking a gamble and willing to listen to something new really ought to give this soundtrack a chance. I found myself choosing this CD over a selection of many others when I went on long road trips: I didn’t know why, but I did know that it felt good to put down the windows, drive just over the speed limit, and blast music that people simply weren’t used to. I beg you to open your ears to this strange new sound produced by Hoshino: you may end up liking it in the end.

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Patrick Gann

Patrick Gann

Therapist by day and gamer by night, Patrick has been offering semi-coherent ramblings about game music to RPGFan since its beginnings. From symphonic arrangements to rock bands to old-school synth OSTs, Patrick keeps the VGM pumping in his home, to the amusement and/or annoyance of his large family of humans and guinea pigs.