SAKIYA=RUMEI Ar tonelico III hymmnos concert side. Blue

SAKIYA=RUMEI Ar tonelico III hymmnos concert side. Blue. Front. Click to zoom.
SAKIYA=RUMEI Ar tonelico III hymmnos concert side. Blue
Covers release: Mizutama
Composed by Akiko Shikata / Akira Tsuchiya / Ken Nakagawa / KOKIA / Yoko Ueno
Arranged by Akiko Shikata / Akira Tsuchiya / Ken Nakagawa / Masumi Ito / Yoko Ueno
Published by Gust
Catalog number GUSTCD-10001
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 11 tracks
Release date January 27, 2010
Duration 00:49:36
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Ar tonelico III Hymmnos Concert Side Blue ~SAKIYA=RUMEI~ is one of two vocal albums that accompany the Ar tonelico III ~The Girls' Song Which Triggers the End of the World~ Original Soundtrack. Similar to the Hymmnos albums for the second Ar Tonelico, this album places a greater focus on vocal themes and the majority of this album features vocal compositions by Akiko Shikata, Yoko Ueno, and KOKIA. How does this album enhance the original soundtrack, but more importantly, does it succeed in living up to its predecessor?


Similar to the first two albums, this album also features two instrumental themes, both composed by Ken Nakagawa, that open and close the album. "Legend of Ar tonelico III" features some ambient strings work, with some static sound effects, to open up the theme, however, as it progresses, a more melodic focus is present and the tune becomes more regal. The inclusion of bombastic percussion, some brass and strings work help make this theme an effective opener and the vocaloid work helps to open this similar to the first Hymmnos Blue album and provide a semi-futuristic soundscape. The other instrumental theme, "Planet Gene," opens with some ambient sounds and some water sound effects before moving into a Celtic inspired theme. The piano melody is absolutely marvelous and the woodwind melodies give it a nice vibrant nature. The mixture of these two melodies is impressive and the ethereal accompaniment helps give this a very organic sound.

Speaking of the Gust Sound Team, only one vocal theme on this album is composed and arranged by a member. "Singing Hills ~ Harmonics TILIA ~," composed and arranged by Akira Tsuchiya, and featuring Akiko Shikata as vocalist, features a similar approach to the other "Singing Hills" themes on previous Hymmnos albums. Similar to the other efforts, it's a very powerful theme and the percussion and strings work, not to mention the power in Akiko Shikata's vocals, really bring this theme to life. In fact, I find this to be the strongest of the three "Singing Hills" themes throughout the series.

Although Akiko Shikata's role as composer has diminished a bit, she still offers four themes. "EXEC_EP=NOVA/." is much, much different from her previous contributions. It's a playful, bubbly theme with some Celtic instrumentation and while I find the melody to be pretty strong, I find the vocal work to be some of the worst from Akiko Shikata in the entire Ar Tonelico series. At times, it is mousy, at other times, it sounds like meowing. It lacks the power present in many of her previous themes. Fortunately, "EXEC_FLIP_ARPHAGE/.," manages to rebound the album. Opening with some ethereal accompaniment, the layered vocals are hauntingly beautiful and are very reminiscent from her previous efforts. The atmosphere of this theme is both peaceful and dramatic. The choral sections feature some beautiful layering effects and accompany the industrial/ethnic sound quite well. In particular, the violin solo, coupled with some exotic percussion, makes for a fantastic blend. Overall, this is the Akiko Shikata I know and love.

Continuing with Shikata's contributions, "Sands of Time" features a Celtic soundscape but is more subtle in its execution. The vocals are more traditional, although there are some sections with some layered vocal work and choral work. The instrumentation, though, is exquisite. For example, the exotic percussion and accordion really help highlight a playfulness exhibited in the music, but at the same time, the accordion and violin really help solidify a more meaningful theme. Lastly, "Ec Tisia," is easily my favorite of the Akiko Shikata contributions to the soundtrack. Although it is the longest song on the album, there is just an extreme beauty to the entire piece that doesn't get old. The worldly sounds, ranging from slightly Arabian to stronger Celtic influences, match well with the vocals, which also range between traditional lead vocals and choral work. Overall, it's a well-paced theme with strong instrumentation and a variety of musical direction.

New to the Ar Tonelico series, Yoko Ueno contributes and sings one theme, "EXEC_METEMPSYCHOSIS." Her sole contribution, however, is quite good. Featuring a fusion of organic and futuristic sounds, it is a pleasant surprise. The vocals fit well in the Ar Tonelico universe and mimic those set forth by Akiko Shikata, however, at the same time, there are a few twists, like some vocal manipulation that echoes the futuristic atmosphere heard at times in the theme. The instrumentation is a blend of tribal percussion, some Celtic soundscapes, and some futuristic effects. It's an effective theme that fits well with previous albums.

The last three songs are all sung and composed by KOKIA and are all arranged by Masumi Ito. The first, "EXEC_REBIRTHIA=PROTOCOL/.," opens with a very ethereal and mysterious soundscape. The piano and its ambient accompaniment are absolutely stunning and go well with the haunting vocal work. Once the lead vocals come in, the ethereal nature of the music is retained, but at the same time, a more robust strings accompaniment helps to strengthen the overall piece. The choral accompaniment, however, is absolutely stunning and really helps set this piece apart from other themes on the album. In fact, this is my favorite theme on the entire album. The instrumental bridge is rather interesting in that it combines a bit of Celtic and Middle-Eastern flair at the same time, even though only Celtic instrumentation is used.

KOKIA's second theme, "EXEC_COSMOFLIPS/.," is another winner. The vocal work reminds me a bit of something you might hear on an Enya album. It's absolutely stunning. The layered vocal work adds so much power to the theme and the bombastic percussion and strings help accentuate this. However, at the same time, there are portions of the song that harbor an eerie atmosphere with some operatic vocal work, sinister strings work, and bagpipe. This is easily my second favorite on the entire album. Lastly, "Within the Light" serves as the ballad for the album. It's a stunning theme featuring some ethereal accompaniment, some exquisite piano accompaniment, and some strings and percussion work. The melody is absolutely poignant and really leaves a mark on me. The vocal work is definitely that of a traditional ballad and in the end really manages to convey the beauty and power of the melody. I'd even go so far as to say this is my third favorite theme. Funny how I think the best themes on the album aren't even by Akiko Shikata, even though I adore her work so much on the previous albums.


Although there is a lack of Gust Sound Team vocal compositions, as they are relegated to the two instrumental themes and the main "Singing Hills" theme for the game, their offerings are still quite powerful. Both Ken Nakagawa and Akira Tsuchiya open and close the album superbly. Moving on to the main vocal contributions, despite Akiko Shikata's lack of dominance on the album, it still manages to impress. Most of Akiko Shikata's themes are beautiful, save for "EXEC_EP=NOVA/.," and really bring that classic Ar Tonelico sound to this outing. However, the two new contributions, Yoko Ueno and KOKIA are what really make this album shine. There themes are absolutely exquisite and it is clear they understand the world of Ar Tonelico. This manages to surpass the first two Hymmnos Blue albums with powerful themes from Akiko Shikata, Yoko Ueno, and KOKIA.


Music in game


Don Kotowski

  Composed & Arranged by Ken Nakagawa

  Lyrics by Akira Tsuchiya
  Composed & Arranged by Akira Tsuchiya
  Vocal & Chorus by Akiko Shikata
  Chorus Arranged by Akiko Shikata & Akira Tsuchiya

  Lyrics by Akiko Shikata & Tomoko Shinoda
  Composed by Akiko Shikata
  Arranged by Akiko Shikata
  Vocal by Akiko Shikata
  Chorus by Akiko Shikata
  Acoustic Guitar & Electonic Guitar by Hiroki Ito
  Accordion by Hirofumi Mizuno
  Violin by Seiko Onuki

  Lyrics by Akiko Shikata
  Composed & Arranged by Akiko Shikata
  Vocal & Chorus by Akiko Shikata
  Irish Bouzouki & Bouzouki by Koichiro Tashiro
  Acoustic Guitar & Electonic Guitar by Hiroki Ito
  Violin by Akihisa Tsuboy

  Lyrics by Akiko Shikata & 波乃渉
  Composed & Arranged by Akiko Shikata
  Vocal & Chorus by Akiko Shikata
  Acoustic Guitar & Electonic Guitar by Hiroki Ito
  Accordion by Hirofumi Mizuno
  Violin by Seiko Onuki
  Recorder by Takashi Yasui

  Lyrics by Ikuko Ebata
  Composed & Arranged by Yoko Ueno
  Vocal & Chorus by yoko
  Hurdy Gurdy by Yoko Ueno
  Keyboard by Yoko Ueno
  Programming by Takeshi Yamanaka

  Lyrics by KOKIA
  Composed by KOKIA
  Arranged by Masumi Ito
  Vocal & Chorus by KOKIA
  Strings by Hiroyuki Koike Strings
  Acoustic Guitar by Tetsuro Toyama

  Lyrics by KOKIA
  Composed by KOKIA
  Arranged by Masumi Ito
  Vocal & Chorus by KOKIA
  Strings by Hiroyuki Koike Strings

  Lyrics by KOKIA
  Composed by KOKIA
  Arranged by Masumi Ito
  Vocal & Chorus by KOKIA
  Strings by Hiroyuki Koike Strings

  Lyrics by Akiko Shikata
  Composed & Arranged by Akiko Shikata
  Vocal & Chorus by Akiko Shikata
  Irish Bouzouki, Acoustic Guitar, Cura & Bouzouki by Koichiro Tashiro
  Electonic Guitar by Hiroki Ito
  Percussion by Marie Ooishi
  Violin by Akihisa Tsuboy
  Whistle & Recorder by Takashi Yasui

  Composed & Arranged by Ken Nagakawa
Album was composed by Akiko Shikata / Akira Tsuchiya / Ken Nakagawa / KOKIA / Yoko Ueno and was released on January 27, 2010. Soundtrack consists of 11 tracks tracks with duration over about 50 minutes. Album was released by Gust.

CD 1

Legend of Ar tonelico III
Singing Hills ~Harmonics TILIA~
Sands of Time
Within the Light
Forgive Everything
Planet Gene
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