I thought it was about time someone wrote more in depth concerning Nier’s OSTs and elements in them, so I’ve taken it upon myself to do so.
This will very likely turn into a series, as there is actually a lot to cover in both Nier Gestalt/Replicant and Nier Automata’s OSTs.
To get started, I’ll share a Youtube comment I wrote awhile back explaining some of the basic genre features of Nier’s OSTs.
For context, the person had asked “Always wondered… what genre of music is Nier and Nier Automata’s OST?”
I wrote (the original reply is located here, by the way):
That question is actually really hard to answer! There are some songs that are definitely more influenced by early choral music/Gregorian chant (Shadowlord, Mourning, Snow in Summer), some songs that sound more stereotypically “tribal” or folksy (Blu-Bird, Become as Gods, The Incomplete Stone, Pascal, Desert Housing Battle),
but A Beautiful Song in particular really makes me think of Romantic Era songs, mostly because of its emotional intensity and because it’s well, opera. A couple of other songs also give off this same feeling, such as The Dark Colossus/The Dark Colossus Destroys All, likely due to the key changes in the first, and intensity/“attack” of the second. (Also I somewhat regard Cold Steel Coffin to be in that category, personally).
As a side note, I really think Nier (the original) is frankly unparalleled in its choral sounding songs, they all sound incredible, and I don’t really have any words to describe them.
A lot of songs are also more electronically influenced (The Wretched Automatons springs to mind), so it’s hard to nail down a specific genre.