Yoko Kanno
Zankyou no Terror Original Soundtrack


5.0
classic

Review

by Hogan CONTRIBUTOR (43 Reviews)
March 24th, 2015 | 22 replies


Release Date: 07/09/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hope

Say what you want about about Zankyou no Terror as a show. It may not have been perfect, but by the end I was fully engaged in the world I was watching, and by the end I even began believing in it. The gorgeous animation and strikingly realistic themes depicted throughout the show's short length were detrimental in increasing the show's ever growing popularity. Yet for me, it wasn't really the story, animation, or even characters that were the best aspect of the show. The soundtrack to Zankyou no Terror is the best part the show has going for it, and it succeeds at being far greater than that. Start to finish, the soundtrack to Zankyou no Terror contains some of the best songs composer Yoko Kanno has ever put out, and not a single song on this should be dismissed, as it is simply one of the most complete soundtrack I have ever heard.

In the anime world, Yoko Kanno is very similar to the likes of Kayo Dot or even Sufjan Stevens. She is always looking for a way to reinvent herself and express her music through different genres and no matter what succeeds at creating a composition that always deserves a standing ovation. Whether it be the critically acclaimed jazz of Cowboy Bebop or the energetic trip-hop of Ghost in the Shell. Kanno is well versed in almost every genre she has approached. With Zankyou no Terror however, there really isn't a specific genre. It is layered to the brim with piano tracks, hard hitting rock, and even minimalistic and lo-fi indie. However, all songs are centered around the general theme of progression. Yet, not only does this work at providing interesting harmony, it showcases the beauty behind the central theme of the anime in the brightest way possible. The music is the essence of hope, blended and refined into magnificent sound.

For how distant and cold everything feels from the start, the uplifting presence of each climactic build up and release just breaths hope. Even in the softer tracks where the progression is simple and smooth, it all comes together in these gorgeous soundscapes. The music progresses slowly throughout the album into more heavy hitting tracks such as the progressive rock of "Nc17". The track starts out faster than others, with a dancing piano until an acoustic and electric guitar join the mix. Just moments later the song explodes into a joyous rock climax.The best example of the progression comes in the form of "Ess", a short yet Godspeed You! like track that has soaring horns and an incredible climax that sounds like something right off of F#A#. There are times where the album takes a break from the progressive formula, but even succeeds to create meaningful Lo-fi indie tracks such as Pop ETC's "Is" which is littered with heartfelt lyrics and solid instrumentation.

The true beauty of the album comes in the form of a single instrument, the piano. Yoko Kanno is gifted in transforming seemingly simple melodies into vast and expansive harmonies as the song progresses. The soundtrack's two best songs both contain a piano that follows the same melody throughout the entire song, but never strain from being just wonderful to hear. The best of the two being "Von", a breathtaking six minute track where Kanno's piano leads Icelandic vocalist Arnor Dan through a cold, surreal, and uplifting track. Starting off with a slow and peaceful piano, three words are repeated through the entire song that add on to the complexity until the eruption of strings towards the middle of the track. The song is a lyrical masterpiece, and should be listened to by any fan of music; even if the vocalist speaks a different language.

The album ends with Bless, another track with vocals by Arnor Dan, and honestly the soundtrack couldn't have ended better. It's short, yet leaves a heavy impression on the listener through its beautiful vocals and dreamlike atmosphere, with the word "beautiful" really being the best word to describe the soundtrack as a whole. It's evident from start to finish that Kanno poured out all of her emotions and drenched every track. There isn't a single dull moment, not a single song to skip or do away with. Zankyou no Terror simply has one of my favorite anime soundtracks of all time, and I advice everyone to give this a listen at some point in the near future.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 23rd 2015


2540 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Had no internet for a while now, so I decided to write something up quickly on my phone. Really been listening this to a lot lately, and really I can't believe that I don't skip a single track and insist on listening to this thing as a whole continuously. Anyway, the anime is good, but the soundtrack is just phenomenal.



Zamora
March 24th 2015


325 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amazing Soundtrack. Great review also dude.



fugl and walt are the songs i usually play from this, but the whole ost is really solid.

iamamanfromspace
March 24th 2015


1030 Comments


I feel like this soundtrack is so good because of the emotion it evokes through bringing you back to moments on the show certain tracks are from. Either way it would be amazing

Just a couple of things; I'm fairly sure Kanno had nothing at all to do with the soundtrack of Samurai Champloo, and in your last sentence 'advice' should be 'advise'

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2015


2540 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

You are right, must've read something inaccurate cause I did think she was a part of Champloo. Will change it, and thanks Zamora! Both of those songs are also pretty amazing

ashcrash9
March 24th 2015


2679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review, this soundtrack is spectacular



"von" in particular is just plain beautiful

FadedSun
March 24th 2015


1722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This soundtrack is incredible! I forgot I had it. Going to go listen to it again.

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2015


2540 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Von is one of my favorite songs that I heard this year.

iamamanfromspace
March 24th 2015


1030 Comments


walt is my favourite

Soundtrack #2 was a pretty big disappointment after this

ComeToDaddy
March 24th 2015


1575 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Can't believe I missed this review. Great review for a phenomenal soundtrack, elevated the show well above what it otherwise would have been. I didn't even know a second ost existed, but I probably wont check it out given the way everyone's talking about it.

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2015


2540 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Soundtrack 2 isn't too great lol, but this is just wonderful. And thanks daddy! This made the show so much better, without it I don't the show would be nearly as good.

iamamanfromspace
March 24th 2015


1030 Comments


I'm glad soundtrack 2 isn't that great cos the reason is they decided to put all the most moving and important tracks on here, which makes for this one fantastic overall album

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2015


2540 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

If the anime was longer and more logical, it could have probably been one of the best. And yeah, but I'll probably never listen to 2 again, even though some tracks on it are kinda good.

ashcrash9
March 24th 2015


2679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The only song I really loved on the 2nd soundtrack besides the full-length OP and ED was the second song by Yuuki Ozaki. There's a version of that on the Trigger single along with a third great song, so I just listen to that when I want more ZnT stuff. If you haven't heard it, it's definitely worth a listen.

sixdegrees
March 24th 2015


24348 Comments


immediately thought of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcRXIQiPGn8

great soundtrack

Digging: Alcian Blue - Translucent

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2015


2540 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

The motorcycle and Ferris wheel scenes are probably my favorite from the anime, just chills all around.

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 24th 2015


2540 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

And Ash, I'll check that out as soon as i get home.

AlexTM510
November 14th 2015


1450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great review, this is one of the best animes/soundtracks i've experienced in the past year.

Digging: The Contortionist - Clairvoyant

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
November 15th 2015


2540 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, honestly one of her best.

Thanks man

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
November 6th 2016


2540 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

The three 1's for this make me beyond sad

AlexTM510
November 6th 2016


1450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol yea what's up with that



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