Symphony SEED DESTINY: Symphonic Suite Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny – Review

Album Title: Symphony SEED DESTINY: Symphonic Suite Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny
Anime Title: Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny
Artist: Toshihiko Sahashi, London Symphony Orchestra
Catalog Number: VICL-61830
Release Type: Arrangement
Release Date: December 16, 2005
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia


Tracklist

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Track Title Artist Time
1. Opening – Chapter I: 運命の扉開かれる刻 Toshihiko Sahashi, London Symphony Orchestra 5:47
2. Brand New Days – Chapter II: 示された世界と約束 Toshihiko Sahashi, London Symphony Orchestra 4:01
3. Battle in the Space – Chapter III: 戦火散り咲く漆黒の空 Toshihiko Sahashi, London Symphony Orchestra 4:14
4. The Shadow of his mind – Chapter IV: 正義で塗られた罪の在処 Toshihiko Sahashi, London Symphony Orchestra 3:14
5. War – Chapter V: 蒼天に揺れる剣と叫び Toshihiko Sahashi, London Symphony Orchestra 4:33
6. SINN ASUKA – Chapter VI: 切り裂かれた想いと苦悩の瞳 Toshihiko Sahashi, London Symphony Orchestra 3:46
7. Spaceship MINERVA – Chapter VII: 聡明なる女神の艦 Toshihiko Sahashi, London Symphony Orchestra 2:52
8. ORB – Chapter VIII: 剣無き黄昏の大地 Toshihiko Sahashi, London Symphony Orchestra 3:30
9. Shyer Soldier – Chapter IX: 自由という名の孤独 Toshihiko Sahashi, London Symphony Orchestra 3:30
10. STELLAR – Chapter X: 哀しみに沈む刹那の揺り籠 Toshihiko Sahashi, London Symphony Orchestra 4:00
11. After the Glory – Chapter XI: 迷える翼に選ばれし明日 Toshihiko Sahashi, London Symphony Orchestra 4:37
12. Finale – Chapter XII: 新しき世界が知る混迷の未来 Toshihiko Sahashi, London Symphony Orchestra 7:33

Review: The stage is set, the situation such that no single person can alter the course of events that have been set in motion. War has come, and with it, the chance for one side to own the future as two competing ideologies struggle for dominance. In “Opening,” we have a grim, quiet section that quickly melds away as the trumpets’ clarion call brings to mind legions of personnel and military hardware mobilizing hurriedly. Its grand melody evokes the birth of legends born from the thickets of battle and its quieter moments bring with them the hope that by prevailing, the universe will be made a better place. The energy and the bombast packed into this opening track grabbed my attention from the start and instilled within me the eagerness to see the partnership between Gundam SEED Destiny composer Toshihiko Sahashi and the London Symphony Orchestra bear fruit once more.

Opening

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In going through the album, the themes battle and warcraft dominate most of the melodies. Though the first Gundam SEED symphonic album has its share of bombast, this album revels in it, and tracks that encourage introspection like the regal, yet tranquil “ORB” are a rarity. You’re more likely to encounter melodies that build up unease and tension or glorious fanfares. Of course, if that’s the kind of music that gets you excited, then hold on tight; there’s a lot to explore here.

ORB

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You don’t even have to listen too far to come across the inspiring tracks either. “Brand New Days” graces us with a really moving melody that’s sure to stick out in your mind if you listen to this album enough. The lower brass starts off with the really catchy motive, one that calls forth the dawn until it peaks and unleashes a breathtaking melody that serves as a perfect rallying call in the way it sweeps you up with its fervor and carries you to the battlefield.

Brand New Days

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Once there though, the tension rises considerably. In “Battle in the Space,” the grimness begins, and the piece grows more and more dissonant as the unease sets in. This piece does well in its reminder of how war is mostly boredom interrupted by moments filled with sheer terror. Furthermore, its progression instills a sense of paranoia, which carries over to the next track, “The Shadow of his mind.” “Shadow” builds upon “Battle’s” uncertainty before unleashing a pounding section that reminds me of a hammer raining blows upon an anvil. Its heavy melody sounds like the heavy hand of Fate has come down, putting its mark upon all those within its reach.

The Shadow of his mind

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In a break from all the tense and heated encounters, you have “Spaceship MINERVA” which, while short, nails the concept of the majestic launch down. Its grace and regality fills the air radiantly, setting my heart alight with awe as the music, with its Olympic-like fanfares brings forth its depiction of a machine that represents the sum total of human progress. Though short, it’s one of the most memorable tracks on the album.

Spaceship MINERVA

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The depictions of the conflict then continue and the focus moves from the intensity of the action, to hints of the tragedy in “Shyer Soldier” and “STELLAR” and back to the fights with “After the glory” and its reprising of the many musical themes we’ve come across so far. Symphony SEED Destiny then closes out with a dab of something Dvorak or John Williams might have written, at least, in the way the crescendo opens up the piece. “Finale” doesn’t actually live up to its name until the 4:44 mark when the bombastic ardor of combat dies down and is replaced with a stately theme that inspires relief resulting from the reprieve from this constant warring. Once it approaches this point, you can hear another chapter close as peace sets in. For how long, no one can say, but at least the characters have earned their well-deserved rest.

Finale

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Many people have noted that Gundam SEED’s forte lies in its music (and not so much its plot or characters) and these Gundam SEED symphonic albums show that you can never have too much of a good thing. Drawn from the best pieces that the franchise has to offer and filled with a fire from all the bombast, the quality resulting from the combination of Toshihiko Sahashi and the London Symphony Orchestra is such that the rich, evocative experience it offers renders it unforgettable.

Rating: Excellent

zzeroparticle

Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

10 thoughts on “Symphony SEED DESTINY: Symphonic Suite Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny – Review

  • September 9, 2010 at 9:06 pm
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    Yay! I love this soundtrack. ORB is hands down my favourite. It’s exactly like how you describe it: regal yet tranquil. Quite awesome.

    Reply
  • September 10, 2010 at 11:38 am
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    Awesome as always. Sahashi rarely gives me reason to dislike his music.

    I do enjoy his non-Gundam related compositions more. This is probably because there are just too many movies with music in the same style.

    Reply
  • September 10, 2010 at 8:18 pm
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    @Twilightshiva
    All this album’s managed to convince me of is that more anime albums need to be given the orchestral treatment. ORB is easily one of the better tracks for the variety it offers up to the batch of outstanding stuff that’s already there for sure. I’ve been giving this album its fair shot for about a month now and it looks to be continuing for the time being.

    @Yu
    I will say that it’s nice to be able to listen to a Sahashi work that’s a bit different from the militaristic bombast that he serves up with his compositions for the Gundam franchise (and the FMP franchise for that matter) is always a warm welcome. That reminds me: I still need to give Simoun its fair shot at some point.

    Reply
  • September 11, 2010 at 4:13 am
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    I like what you wrote about Finale. For anime that packs a lot of action and war stuff, I find that the music can sometimes be too magnanimous and a bit draining for me. But the sample from Finale does indeed inspire some relief as it winds down. I really like that and this soundtrack.

    Reply
    • September 11, 2010 at 8:55 pm
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      @Yi
      Yeah, there’s only so much bombast that you can take before it starts wearing you down. That’s sort of why having a good variety of music is vital to an album being enjoyable for long stretches of time and I’d say that this one comes close to being able to achieve that. But if you’re in a mood for some action and glory, you can’t go wrong with this one!

      Reply
  • September 12, 2010 at 8:47 am
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    Music with epic proportion is something I can never have enough. Nevertheless, I often find that ost which is filled with too many war/action/battle themes can bore me sooner than ost with sweeter/soothier themes.

    Reply
  • September 13, 2010 at 6:47 pm
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    I look forward to the time when you do listen Simoun’s soundtrack. I’ll take this opportunity to make a push for the soundtrack of every other yuri-centralized show *ahem*KannazukinoMikoStrawberryPanic*cough*

    Honestly, what do they tell the composers to give them pointers while they write their scores? “There will be young schoolgirls having romantic relationships! Write something fitting!” Whatever it is, it seems to work consistently >_>;

    Reply
  • September 13, 2010 at 11:02 pm
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    @Canne
    Yeah, it’s all about channeling a good dose of diversity into the mix or else it can get tiring to listen to. From my standpoint, I also prefer softer, more soothing music, so for an album like this, it’s enjoyable in moderate doses.

    @Yu
    That’s true isn’t it? You’re not the first person to point out that music to yuri anime tends to be pretty solid and I’d probably really have to look around to find a yuri anime with bad music. I’ve also heard good things about Kannazuki no Miko and Strawberry Panic is composed by none other than Yoshihisa Hirano of Ouran fame, so I really expect him to be able to pull out all the stops like he did with Ouran!

    Reply
  • September 18, 2010 at 1:08 pm
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    Man, I love Gundam SEED music. Sigh, where’s the movie/third season? :(

    Reply
  • September 19, 2010 at 11:55 pm
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    @Reltair
    If there is a movie or third season, I’ll just focus on the music. Not sure I can stand their whiny personalities :p

    Reply

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