Anime, Reviews

Terror in Resonance Original Soundtracks (REVIEW)

Terror in Resonance Original Soundtracks (REVIEW)

February 11, 2015 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Terror in Resonance Original Soundtracks (REVIEW)on Twitter

A soundtrack that works outside the realm of anime, Terror in Resonance is a must listen for anyone who enjoys ambient music

Terror in Resonance  (残響のテロル Zankyō no Teroru) was my favorite anime series last year and aired a total of 11 episodes from July 10, 2014 –September 25, 2014, and was available streaming from Funimation with English subtitles.  The plot of the series followed a pair of young men who are members of a self created terrorist group called Sphinx who use riddles as a means to hint at the targets of their attacks on Tokyo. A young woman encounters the pair during their first major attack and becomes intertwined in the events that unfold throughout the rest of the series. The series was directed by Shinichirō Watanabe who co-directed Macross Plus, and directed Cowboy Bebop, and Samurai Champloo.

Where the series struck the most chords with me was the beautiful and haunting music composed by legendary anime and video game composer Yoko Kanno.  The music was released in two volumes, and the first volume is a much stronger release than the second.

I began listening to the first volume before watching the series, and could not stop revisiting it. At this time I had also recently discovered the comic series Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and listening to this volume as I devoured the first three volumes of this series and to me it has become the unofficial soundtrack for the series. I find that Yoko Kanno music has such a range that it can be applied to other mediums and enhance them.

The first volume of Terror in Resonance runs 69:12, and contains a total of 18 tracks. The opening track “lolol” is almost chaotic with a blend of electric guitar and a low menacing bass track and could best be described as tension inducing. Immediately following is a soft piano track “von”accompanied by distant haunting high pitched male vocals provided by Arnór Dan. This transition immediately draws you into the album and gives you the sense the story of this series is complex, and emotional. As the album goes on it only gets better. The next track “ess” evokes images of a train rumbling down the tracks interlaced with a high electronic instrument, followed by track 4 “saga” which has the sound of a jazzy piano, with a quick bass melody bring back memories of a chase scene fresh out of Cowboy Bebop. Track 5 “fugl” once again is a soft struggling piano melody that it later joined by an accompaniment of strings which is  warm and comforting. Track 6 “hanna” is quintessential Kanno, female vocals by Hanna Berglind with a light guitar melody and electronic sounds. Track 7 “veat” is unique and when I was reading Saga I imagined this tune as the theme song for Prince Robot with a sounds of distant pulsing sonic beeps, electronic sounds, and a repetitive bass track and pulsing synth sound. Track 8 “lava” is almost psychedelic. The variety in the album is astounding and some repetition that comes in some of the later tracks is welcome.  Since I started listening to this album, I have not been able to stop, it has become a personal favorite and now essential for my future readings of the Saga series.

The second volume titled ‘Crystalized’ was released roughly a month after the series completed its broadcast, and I eagerly anticipated it. However, the second volume is by far the weaker of the two albums. The highlights are the opening and ending tracks from the anime series in their extended formats. The opening title “Trigger”is a pulse inducing track, and runs 5:05. Track 3 “crystalized” is featured regularly in the bgm of the series and is a fast paced digital crystal sound blended with base and digital percussion. Many of the tracks on this album represent the darker tones of the music. Track 6 “Wilhelm” sounds like something taken right out of Hans Zimmer’s Dark Knight Score and brought back memories of the opening bank heist in that film. Track 16 “vial” is another one of my favorite tracks as it is a nerve racking melody, evocative of a video game. Track 17 “elan” has a glorious use of  bells and crystalized sound as well and is the music played near the end of the series. A very beautiful track. Track 18 is the extended version  of the ending theme “Somebody, the Ocean”. I find the track to be a bit dark for my taste, but it does capture some of the darker themes presented in the series.

The music of Terror in Resonance is Yoko Kanno’s latest work on an anime series since Macross Frontier. The music compliments the anime series, and brings it to a higher level. The first volume I wholeheartedly recommend, as it is versatile and fits not only the series it was created for but can work for other works, in my case the unofficial soundtrack to the Image series , Saga. The second volume has its highlights, but I can only recommend it to those that have seen the series in full, and have an appreciation for darker tones and melodies.

Have you ever found an album that you consider the unofficial soundtrack for something else?

Both albums can be streamed on Soundcloud are available for purchase from CD Japan.

 Listen on Soundcloud

 CDJapan

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