Baroque Original Soundtrack

Artist Credits

Tracks

43 minutes total
  1. Great Heat 20320514
  2. Into Our Trespasses
  3. Sanctuary
  4. Iraiza
  5. Confusion
  6. A Style Of Baroque
  7. Namu Ami
  8. Little
  9. One Foot In The Grave
  10. Alice In
  11. One
  12. Neverending Cycle
  13. Multiplex
  14. Hold Baroque Inside
  15. Deep Interludium
  16. Baroque 204 Forest
  17. Baroque 205 Blue
  18. Baroque 206 Black
  • Released May 21, 1998 by DigiCube (catalog no. SSCX-10021).
  • All tracks composed, mixed and produced by Masaharu Iwata except track 15 (produced, arranged and mixed by John Pee) and 16-18 (produced, arranged and mixed by Toshiaki Sakoda).

Reviews

A strong solo project from Masaharu Iwata.

Reader review by Kenny Peeples

Baroque is a game I've never even seen before, but Baroque Original Soundtrack is an album I'm very glad (and fortunate) to own. The soundtrack itself is, for the most part, "noise" (as some people like to call it). But I'd say that Baroque fits somewhere between the Silent Hill and Resident Evil scores - less "noisy" and more melodic than Silent Hill, and a few notches "noisier" and less melodic than Resident Evil. Baroque's score has carved a perfect niche in my opinion. It'll appeal to those who take a liking to "noise", as well as those that thrive on melody.

The opening track, "Great Heat 20320514" is a hard, edgy, industrial piece that really comes together nicely. A similar track, "Baroque 205 Blue", is a pounding track with a few wailing electric guitar riff samples. But "Sanctuary" (track 3), is more akin to what most of the music in Baroque is like - dark, brooding ambience, with many sound effects (such as dripping water, wind, and even a locomotive in one track) added in. The music is never really scary, but it does create a feeling of uneasiness. There are even some choral tracks, "Into our trespasses" and "Multiplex", both of which are really nice and maintain that dark, "uneasy" feeling.

What really holds the soundtrack together to me is the main theme. It's hinted at or played time and time again in most of the songs before you hear the full playing of it in "Hold Baroque Inside". I think Baroque's main theme is a gorgeous song. "Hold Baroque Inside" maintains the edgy qualities of the rest of the soundtrack, and even has hints of the first track ("Great Heat 20320514"), which pop up a few times at the beginning of the song. The remainder of the piece features the main theme performed on a piano with a nice, surreal underlying rhythm. It's a beautiful song, and I hope someday to find sheet music of it.

Masaharu Iwata is one of my all-time favorite composers, and I'm glad to hear that he can do other types of music, instead of the classical/orchestral style of music he's created for the Ogre Battle series. His Baroque OST has really become a favorite of mine. I usually listen to it when I'm going to bed, and let it play on throughout the night. I can't help but wonder sometimes what type of game Baroque was, or what was happening in the game during the time some of the tracks are being played. I would encourage everyone to give Baroque Original Soundtrack a try.

Baroque = Unique

Reader review by Daniel K

Baroque OST is one of those CDs that defies mere classification. You could, very simply, say that it is a mix of dark techno and ambient, but that would still be an inadequate description. This music was composed by Masaharu Iwata, well known for his work (often alongside fellow wayfarer Hitoshi Sakimoto) on games like Final Fantasy Tactics, Treasure Hunter G, and the Ogre series. And with a little help from John Pee and Toshiaki Sakoda on some tracks, Iwata managed to create one of the most wondrous and strange game music experiences I've ever had the pleasure of listening to.

One very weird thing that I noticed about the general make-up of the music on this CD is that it almost seems like it's arranged to be like two chapters of sorts. Both chapters open up with a fast, furious piece of techno/EBM (first "Great Heat 20320514" and then "One Foot In The Grave"). These pieces are very cool, electronic ones that sound somewhat industrial-inspired.

These aggressive openers are followed by a couple pieces of quiet ambience. Not "ordinary ambience", but more like arrangements of different sounds, like the various noises you might hear in a factory. Some of these sound almost like the ambience heard in Silent Hill, most notably "Sanctuary" and "Confusion". And while they don't reach up to SH's level in fright factor, they still sound spooky and deliciously dark.

After this follows the melodic bit. These pieces are also electronica-sounding, but they also sound inspired by more cinematic/orchestral works. Tracks like "Multiplex" and "Iraiza" are incredible. Even though they sound far more "normal" than the rest of the album, they still emit the same feeling - that of being in another world, a strange and dark, but also beautiful, world. The prize here surely goes to "Hold Baroque Inside". This track is just awesome; it feels truly overworldly. I can't even begin to explain it - one has to hear it to understand.

Even though I really like the Baroque OST, I must put forth a warning; it's not for everyone. A majority of the tracks are set deep in the territory of abstract experimentalism. I've even heard negative criticism from fans of that kind of music (well, it is after all a very broad field), so I strongly recommend sampling the music before purchasing. Baroque OST is one album where it is important to know what you're getting before coughing up the money.

So, this is a really different CD. Further complaints one could forward against it would be that it's a very short album at around 40 minutes. And if you're just into VGM for the sake of melodious music, don't bother wasting time on this. But if you like moody, dark, brooding, and strange music, then this is a true treasure. I really feel sorry for all those who will go through their lives without hearing the wonderful "Hold Baroque Inside". Before hearing this CD, I wasn't that big a fan of Mr. Iwata. He just seemed like another decent game music composer in the bunch to me. But it seems that his long career as a sound manipulator/engineer has paid off well, and this CD certainly opened my eyes to the different aspects of his composing abilities. While the Baroque OST doesn't topple other dark oddball soundtracks like Silent Hill OST or Shadow Hearts OST in the "darkness aspect" or in sheer brilliance, I still recommend it to anyone who's into dark electronic/industrial music. For fans of classic 1980s industrial like Skinny Puppy (especially their "Bites" album from 1985) or Klinik, this album, despite its few shortcomings, is a must-have. From the classy, beautiful packaging and the whacked-out tracknames to the dreamy, scary, beautiful, noisy and cool compositions and the strange sound manipulations, this is one CD no one can call generic or commonplace. Strongly recommended to open minds!

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