Adrian Von Ziegler – Odyssey

By Ken Wai Lau

This album is called Odyssey and it is composed by Adrian Von Ziegler. Many of the tracks on this album would make good Dungeons & Dragons background music, depending on the campaign you are running.

All the songs on this album are based on music from different parts of the world. The first six songs are ideal if you are running a Japanese themed campaign. A few other songs are suitable for Arabian/Persian campaigns and the last three takes their inspiration from Chinese culture.

Some noteworthy tracks for this purpose are:

  • Immortal – works well as theme music for a samurai destined for great things.
  • Peace of Mind – great when you’re walking through a forest of cherry blossom trees.
  • Into Solitude – if your oriental campaign takes place in the winter, this is the tune to use.
  • Bushido – great tune to use before a massive conflict, especially between armies.
  • Kanpai! – time to celebrate after a well earned victory against corruption and darkness.
  • Kojiki – appropriate track to use when your D&D party camps for the night
  • Treasure Cove – might be useful for any seafaring/pirate campaigns.
  • Guardians of the Lost Tribe – atmospheric tune for when you visit a tribe.
  • Dust and Shadows – be on the move in your epic Arabian style campaign or adventure.
  • A Red Sun Sets – a sombre tune appropriate for tragic events.
  • Enchanted Palace – general exploration or adventuring downtime in Arabian settings.
  • Garden of the Gods – suitable for action sequences, including combat.
  • Silent Sentinel – undertake missions of stealth and subterfuge during those Arabian nights.
  • Dawn of Wonders – explore an ancient ‘Chinese’ city, palace or a similar setting.
  • Panda Power – good for those humourous moments in your oriental campaign.
  • Qi – meditation music for when you find yourself parleying with warrior monks in the monastery.

As an aside, the Japanese themed tracks also remind me of the first game in the Total War series, Total War: Shogun. In particular, ‘Bushido’ would have been a perfect substitute for the music that plays when you start marching your troops forward to battle in the game’s 3D view. ‘Kanpai’ would have made a great victory song.

The rest of the tracks are probably best for general listening only – unless your campaign is about relaxing in the beach, in which case the Caribbean/Mediterranean/Latino tunes could be useful.

It also contains a couple of tracks from Adrian’s other album, The Celtic Collection, but I will look at these individually when I review that album.

Verdict

So there’s a real mix, here. From a purely musical point of view, I think this is a nice album. I feel Adrian Von Ziegler has captured the feel and flavour of the cultures the tracks are derived from.

The tracks that stood out for me were the Japanese style tunes, Balada and the Arabian/Persian themes, with the latter being my pick of the bunch.

Despite that, there are tracks that I would consider to be filler, like Melodia Do Sol. Panda Power was fun for a while, but it is not a song I’d put near the top of my playlist. Ditto for Dawn of Wonders and Qi, though these two tracks aren’t actually too bad – merely unspectacular. Nevertheless, they make decent background or relaxation music.

Overall, the quality of the music is top notch and refined, unlike some other Indie Albums out there. The music is well produced and the results sound polished and professional.

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