Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel Game Original Soundtrack


Review by · November 21, 2004

One of the most popular Anime series in Japan from 2002 to the present review date, the Fullmetal Alchemist series spawned its own Action RPG, which was published by Square Enix. This is a review of that game’s soundtrack.

Before saying anything about this soundtrack, I must admit that, at the time of writing this review, I have had no experience viewing the anime series or playing the game. Hence, my opinion is based entirely on the music itself, outside of any context the music had been written for.

I purchased this soundtrack on a whim, believing it would be a mediocre album. My expectations were generally met…BUT, I also discovered a few songs that made me think twice about pinning down this CD as “just another soundtrack.”

I’m assuming many of these tunes have been ported over from the anime to the game, and it’s not uncommon for an anime to have many well-written pieces. My favorite pieces are those I chose to make into audio samples: including the vocal tracks.

The vocal tracks are 5, 27, and 28 (each a different vocalist). I didn’t very much enjoy vocals to 27, “Emotionally” – it’s long, and it’s standard pop chord progressions with no real flair. The other two, which are both very short (each just over a minute), are quite enjoyable pieces: listen to them for yourself. I like listening to them, but I do wish they were longer.

The instrumental tracks contain a number of strange eccentricities: for example, the opening track contains the exact same, note-for-note ending as the Cowboy Bebop theme “Tank”…yet Yoko Kanno did not contribute to this soundtrack. I do not understand it! Track 7, “A Clear Evening in the Wilderness” is a beautiful piece with a wonderfully melodic guitar. As the tracks go on, the softer songs subside, and each track seems like this or that battle music: jazzy and erratic, reminiscent of Noriko Matsueda’s work on Racing Lagoon.

Speaking of the composers: I’ve never heard of any of these composers. Furthermore, the tracks that each one did do not have their own particular style: hard as I have tried, I cannot detect a running theme throughout one composer’s tracks compared to another’s tracks. I take that as a good sign, though I suppose it could be considered that every composer is just writing another “bland” track. It’s definitely got its bland tracks, of course, like any OST.

I guess a good one-word summary for this soundtrack is “solid”: it’s got vocals, it’s got beautiful instrumentals, it’s got “filler” music: and none of it is even remotely “poor”. If you can get it for $20 or less, I’d recommend it. Of course, I don’t understand the series’ following yet, and I bet there are already swarms of people jumpin’ all over this one, since the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise is so big. The soundtrack has definitely given me an interest in the series, so hopefully someday I will acquaint myself to such things.

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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.