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The Sound of Spellcraft: Mages of Mystralia The Original Soundtrack (Review)

June 24, 2017 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook The Sound of Spellcraft: Mages of Mystralia The Original Soundtrack (Review)on Twitter


I have been listening to the Mages of Mystralia Original Soundtrack for almost a month now.  The music was composed by Antoine Vachon who we profiled on Original Sound Version back in 2015. At that time the Montreal based composer has scored the music for some short films and mini games. In the spring of 2015 he released three preview tracks for Mages of Mystralia which resulted in the soundtrack making my most anticipated scores of 2017 list. The full soundtrack was released with the game on May 18, 2017 and you can read on for my full review of the score.

The soundtrack to Mages of Mystralia contains over 50 tracks of music and features several pieces performed by the Video Game Orchestra. It has a runtime just over two and a half hours. Although I have not played the game, I know from watching some play through videos on YouTube that it focusses on the story of Zia, a young mage who flees her home after accidentally setting her home on fire with the power of magic. Her experience reminded me of something you’d expect to see in an X-men story. She flees into the woods and encounters a mage who encourages her to pursue and learn the ways of magic.

The first piece on the soundtrack “Grimoire” opens the game, it features soft chimes that lead unti a bounty of strings and woodwinds. It was originally one of the three preview tracks, and it is quite incredible to hear the differences between the demo version and final product.

One of my favorite tracks, “Mystral Woods” immediately activates your audio senses creating a feeling of wonder and what I would call the sound of magic. A vocal like resonation embodies the track which almost has a ghostly like quality to it.

In an interview with the composer on Borealys Games’ website, Antoine Vachon talks about how he gets his musical ideas. Sometimes it’s from listening to other completely unrelated genres, and other times he spends hours playing the piano. “Zia’s Theme ~ A Mage’s Path” features a lovely solo piano theme played by Vachon, and it is a theme that returns often in variations intertwined into other pieces of the score. It’s a very hummable theme, and for me always a great sign as a listener.

Other standout tracks for me on the album were “The Ice Lizard” Features wonderful brass playing against what sounds like slippery piano giving the listener the feeling that you’re struggling to fight something sinister.

Another one of my favorites was “Water Quarry – Aqua” for its crystalline high toned staccato sounds, mixed with flowing piano, and the sounds of dripping water in the background. But I think my favorite part of the track is the simple use of maraca percussion bit later into the track.

The Video Game Orchestra really brings a larger sound to the score. If you watch the video below it will take you behind the scenes of the recording sessions for the score and Shota Nakama, the Orchestra’s creator notes at times where the use of strings could really flesh out the melodies in the score.

If you want to get the best overall sense of the game score and the calibre of music spread throughout, take some time to listen to the longest track on the album “Dark Tower”. The track runs just short of nine minutes but highlights the entire magical ensemble including Laura Intravia on flute and piccolo, David Bouchard on cello, Kristin Naigus if I’m not mistaken on several woodwinds.

The soundtrack does contain some tracks that are intentionally similar, which seem to evolve with the gameplay as new elements are added. I suspect in the game the music evolves with your magical ability, or after you’ve returned to a previously explored area. Antoine Vachon has crafted a diverse and wonderful orchestral score that contains wonderful melodies that stick with you. I am still enjoying it, and I have a feeling I will be enjoying it for years to come. The music for me evoked all the great feelings I had growing up listening to video games scores.

You can purchase the score to Mages of Mystralia directly on Bandcamp for $9.99, or on Steam as an add on to the game. For more music from Antoine Vachon you follow him on twitter, or check out his Bandcamp page which includes the recently released soundtrack to the puzzle game Fat Mask.

Have you played Mages of Mystralia? What did you think of the music in the game?

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