Jan 21

Chrono Trigger Symphony Volume 2

Chrono Trigger Symphony Volume 2

Type Orchestral arrangement of music from Chrono Trigger
Artist Blake Robinson/Synthetic Orchestra
Album Chrono Trigger Symphony Volume 2
Genre Symphonic, Orchestral, Rock
Release Date September 24th 2013


This is the second instalment in the orchestral arrangements of Chrono Trigger by Blake Robinson. I previously reviewed the first volume here which scored very well for it’s great additions in arrangement and instrumentation to some of the songs, along with outstanding production. Like the previous album, all 24 tracks from the second CD of the original soundtrack have been reorchesrated. Once again there is a great variety to the tracks. Opening with “A Desolate World”, a haunting piece that appears to breathe in and out of each phrase. In contrast to this, “Bike Chase” is a high tempo, rockin’ song, while “Lavos’ Theme” has a great dynamic range and progresses through several textural and harmonic changes.

GENRE/STYLE – Most of the album can be classified as symphonic/orchestral. However, some feature different styles such as Jazz in “Johnny of the Robo Gang”, and “Primeval Mountain” even has a Bossa Nova feel to it.

ARRANGEMENT – I’m pleased to hear that (like the previous album) some of the shorter pieces have been extended and built upon such as ‘Mystery of the Past’. In the original soundtrack release it was only 7 seconds long where as now it has been extended to 48 seconds. I think that these small touches and additions here and there really go a long way. “The Last Day of the World” is another great example of this. Compared to the original version, it has an added intro section and as the main theme repeats, the texture and instrumentation of the orchestra change and evolve.

INSTRUMENTATION – Whilst most of the songs feature the instruments of a standard orchestra some have other instruments too. “Johnny and the Robo Gang” features a Jazz band, including piano, jazz drums, organ and trumpet (or possibly trombone). “Bike Chase” combines the orchestra with instruments from a rock band (distorted guitar, electric bass, rock drums). During this part of the game in Chrono Trigger the player travels back in time to 65 Million BC and so the music changes to reflect this. “Rhythm of Earth, Wind and Sky” uses percussive instruments which sound of Asian origin, combined with orchestral percussion and even vocal shouts to add to the primal nature of the song.

PRODUCTION – Not much can be said here, except that following on from ‘Volume 1’, the same high standard of production has been maintained. Expect a great dynamic range, clear sounds and all the harmonic colour from a full symphonic orchestra.

CRITICISM – It’s quite difficult to accurately evaluate an album which is mostly reorchestration, because much of the melodies/chords/rhythms used were composed by for the original soundtrack and so I cannot really give credit for that. However in terms of overall production, and development of some of the material there is very little to fault with this album.

Album Highlights

Robo’s Theme – The inclusion of Lucca’s Theme which segues smoothly back to a bold and lively arrangement Robo’s Theme takes this track over the top.
The Brink of Time – A song like this really benefits from a realistc sounding reorchestration as it captures all the finer details of the instruments. It is full of both mystery and wonder and does not disappoint
Lavos’s Theme – From loud intense chords which evoke impending doom to delicate melodies, this song has varies greatly in dynamics and mood with smooth transitions between the different parts.

Rating – 9/10

Once again comparing it to volume 1 I can’t say it’s obviously better or worse, it fares about the same, which means very good. The second volume in the Chrono Symphony scores a 9, let’s see how volume 3 matches up whe



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