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One Hundred Monks [MP3]
by Ben H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/19/2012 18:10:35
Enjoyable piece of music, the oriental flavor is good throughout. As it says on the page it is well suited as background for any of the Oriental flavored genres mentioned. I also liked it just in its own right.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
One Hundred Monks  [MP3]
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Moonstung [Ambient MP3]
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/13/2012 17:35:30
If Lyra Ambient was aiming for “creepy” with this track, they pretty well hit the mark. Some listeners might find parts of the track too “plucky,” but the overall effect is one of mystery and a creeping discomfort. In fact, the juxtapositions in the piece are what help it feel creepy. This track would work well if played under scenes or encounters where the player characters are learning mysteries that are likely to drive them insane. Play this while Call of Chtulhu investigators are working in the rare books section of the local university library (which, of course, has a copy of the Necronomicon, but I digress), for example.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Moonstung  [Ambient MP3]
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Gears of Time [Ambient MP3]
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/13/2012 14:05:09
“Gears of Time” might be my favorite of the tracks released by Lyra Ambient in late 2011. It features a plucky rhythm that really does evoke the feel of time tick-tick-ticking away. However, since the track doesn’t use an actual ticking clock, it can fit into any role-playing genre. When you’re tempted to drop the “Jeopardy!” notes into the background of your game, perhaps while the PCs are working under time pressure to solve a riddle or puzzle, use “Gears of Time” instead. The track doesn’t loop as well as I’d like, but since it runs for more than ten minutes maybe your players won’t notice.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gears of Time  [Ambient MP3]
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Inn of the Dragon [Ambient MP3]
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/13/2012 00:32:26
The picture in the product description reminds me somewhat of the Mos Eisley cantina from Star Wars, though the name implies a fantasy setting. This points out one of the track’s strengths: it easily transcends any particular genre. You could use this for fantasy, Victoriana, pulp, modern, and sci-fi—perhaps even horror under the right conditions. Except for the laughter (which does not succeed at sounding unstaged) near the very beginning, there are no crowd noises to speak of. The track is mostly down-tempo throughout, with a vaguely Middle Eastern feel. I would use this track for an exotic tavern or inn where the PCs are welcome as customers but might not feel completely secure, not for the PCs’ familiar tavern back home or for a raucous tavern in a big urban area. The track loops reasonably well, but not as well as some of Lyra’s other tracks.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Inn of the Dragon  [Ambient MP3]
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Smoke and Shadows [Ambient MP3]
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/13/2012 00:04:12
The image used in the product description for this track shows a foggy winter forest (or at least a forest with bare trees), and the juxtaposition of long, smooth tones with percussion make the audio work really well for such a setting regardless of genre. I could also imagine the track making a great score for something like a breaking-and-entering scene in a heist scenario, again regardless of genre or setting. Use this track to create a sense of mystery and urgency without implying immediate danger.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Smoke and Shadows [Ambient MP3]
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Planewalker [Ambient MP3]
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/12/2012 23:38:52
There’s lots of synth, reverb, and repetition in this ten-minute track. That, and the occasional sound of wind, give a pretty good feel of traveling through some ethereal or astral plane. In some respects, this track is very “New-Agey,” although it’s just spooky and up-tempo enough to avoid sounding like something you’d listen to while meditating on crystals. The track loops perfectly. In my opinion, it’s one of Lyra Ambient’s less appealing offerings—keeping in mind that I’m evaluating this from the perspective of a DM looking for background music for fantasy gaming.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Planewalker [Ambient MP3]
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Earth Magic [Ambient MP3]
by David B. S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/04/2012 02:06:23
This track has a Meditative feel to it, due to the organic effects and semi-chants that echo throughout. It evokes thoughts of a peaceful jungle environment. Truthfully, I can't see using it during a gaming session, but the 9+ minute track is very pleasant, nontheless.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Earth Magic  [Ambient MP3]
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Clocks and Secrets [Ambient MP3]
by David B. S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/04/2012 01:54:09
Very nice piece that is non-obtrusive enough to be used in the background of a modern or futuristic gaming session, but unique enough to convey a tense mood. I really like how clock sound effects/samples are woven into the track!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Clocks and Secrets  [Ambient MP3]
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Earth Magic [Ambient MP3]
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/18/2012 20:10:40
After a beginning that seems to be going—not entirely successfully—for a sort of staccato didgeridoo, “Earth Magic” settles into a smooth, repetitive pattern that reminds me of New Age massage soundtracks. The reverberating notes are very pleasant, and the natural sounds (birds, crickets, that sort of thing) add nice accents. However, the primary tones seem to me too synthetic to imply any sort of geomancy. I think you’d be better off using this music during peaceful outdoor scenes in a modern game. I can’t rate this one among my favorites in the Lyra Ambient catalog.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Earth Magic  [Ambient MP3]
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Clocks and Secrets [Ambient MP3]
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/14/2012 12:36:22
As the “secrets” part of the name implies, this track does a great job of evoking an air of mystery. As the “clocks” part implies, there’s just enough percussion in the piece to suggest the operation of some large machine. I could see this piece working well from fantasy to cyberpunk and everything in between. As I listen to it, I picture PCs searching through a mysterious, vaguely threatening, mechanically-themed space like a gnomish laboratory, a cultish clockmaker’s shop, or a supervillain’s abandoned factory hideout. The only negative to this track is the “burst” of percussion at the very beginning, which could cause a distraction after the first time through if you’re looping the piece under your game (as I usually do). But I can overlook that one minor hiccup, given that the track weighs in at a whopping 12:48 for only $0.99!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Clocks and Secrets  [Ambient MP3]
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