On April 19, HoYoverse released The Unfathomable Sand Dunes (Original Game Soundtrack) featuring in-game music from the desert region of Sumeru from Genshin Impact. The music, which Hoyoverse or HOYO-MiX produces, is one of the game’s best features, so what is the best track of this album?
Each region has a masterfully crafted soundtrack that falls into a few categories. There is open-world music that provides ambiance for travelers while they explore the regions, and then there are soundtracks for normal combat, boss battles, and domains.
Altogether, HOYO-MiX has released twenty albums for Genshin Impact, and similar to the previous versions, this new soundtrack is certainly packed with great tunes. This current soundtrack features three CDs: “Sandstorm Remembrances,” “Desert Exodus,” and “Battles of Sumeru 2.” Altogether, the album has 108 tracks.
One thing I personally love about these albums is how although some tracks sound similar, they actually play off each other to evoke different ambiances. The best examples I can think of from the current album are the songs “Settlement of Exiles,” “Inscription of Dreams,” and “Vow of a Thousand Generations.”
These three pieces all follow similar guide melodies, however, the first piece has the clearest instrumentation with the listeners hearing the plucking of strings and the breaths flowing through the woodwind instrument being played. “Inscription of Dreams” focuses primarily on the plucking, letting the vibrations of the strings hum in the background alongside the harsh plucks to carry the tune. The final piece is a combination of the two. It heavily uses plucking a stringed instrument but has a second, much deeper plucking alongside it, playing off the first instrument. When these plucks quiet, a much stronger-sounding woodwind instrument takes over to play the melody before fading back into the plucks.
There are so many pieces that deserve a nomination for being the best soundtrack on this album. I personally found the piece “Shadow in Ruins” to be spectacular with its soundscaping. This piece used more electronic sounds to build up a slow tension, transforming into these majestic strings that faded in and out, rising higher and higher until the strings dominated the song. Before long, the strings faded, returning to the beginning electronic sound.
Another notable mention would be the “Pairidaeza” and “Her Wishes” combo that play off each other, the first focuses solely on echoing vocals and the second with clearer vocals and light instrumentations in the background. It’s one of the few songs with vocalizations and holds a dear part in my heart for its connection with the lore and story of Genshin Impact. It’s certainly a must-listen-to on this album.
Speaking of vocals, the other notable mention of the best song on this album would be the “Scaramouche Boss Theme,” which falls into three different songs: “Rhapsodia Roscida,” “Quintempus Niteastetae,” and “Polumnia Omnia.” It is another theme that has vocals and greatly builds up the tension of the fight while also conveying a lot of story and lore through its melody, including familiar tunes that play a part in Scaramouche’s identity. It’s a phenomenal piece that should definitely not be overlooked.
However, my favorite track out of this album, after much deliberation, is “Swirls of Shamshir.” It’s one of the main tunes that play during combat. I love the different instruments used in the song, playing a variety of different melodies at once into a cohesive unit. I love the initial first few seconds of two stringed instruments playing against each other like two enemies pitted against one another. They play off each other and then build up into a faster, more intense battle theme.
The bass of the song comes in and out of the song, acting like waves of an ocean, a sweeping tide of intense battle before fading out like two enemies needing to take a breath before lunging back into combat.
I loved the inclusion of other instruments that, in a more vocalized song, seemed to be included like ad libs. Their sound, such as the horn played at one moment, was so disconnected from the main melody of the song but added so much flavor to the soundscape as if one of the fighters made an unexpected move in combat that changed the flow of the battle. The final climax of the song utilizes all of these instruments together like a last hurrah, a final use of strength as the fight draws to an end.
I loved this album just like I loved all the other ones. If there’s one thing Genshin Impact never fails on, it’s the music.
Have you listened to The Unfathomable Sand Dunes soundtrack yet? What was your favorite track? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or in our Boss Rush Discord!
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