Soukaigi’s music is as beautiful as it is overwealming. From a game I know nothing of, sometimes there can be a small barrier if you don’t know a thing about the game itself but here the music speaks for itself.
The album opens with “Ancient Power” which is beautifully sinister track with sweeping strings that have short stabs of urgency and danger to them. Combined with jangling bells it has a nice to the touch – bad to the bite tone to it. Followed by the flowing guitar and piano beauty of “Angel’s Fear Again”, which is far too short, the album really gets off to a blinding start.
“Quake” reveals one of the versions of the main theme. Sung in a variety of keys at the same time to a pumping drum sets, bass and piano it really kicks out a punch and with the tune itself being very catchy it soon highlights how exquisite this album really is. “Fire Wire” is much along the same lines only more frantic with pace and tune with some superb string works and magical piano pieces put in for good measure! It is pure heaven on the ears.
“Strange Promise” showcases an echoed Spanish sounding guitar and reminds me of what could be a labyrinth song. The guitars are then ad libbed on by Rhodes for a beautiful middle section while still having stomping drums. “New Day” continues the Spanish hybrid of music with some stylish laid back jazz guitar and piano playing. It goes at a fair pace so you can really do the salsa with this one!
“Absolute Lady” keeps the drums rolling with some fun vocal sample and editing is what is a busy but slightly overdone track at times. Still good fun though and by no means bad at all and it all comes together just right at the end. “Riot Emotion” starts off like a 1980’s Megadeth or Metallica song with the basis on bass! This song runs much like the previous track, taking separate tunes before breaking them down and then elaborating on them. My favourite part is when all but the piano and some demonic sounding bells are left. Good dark music!
“Sign” brings the tempo down a bit with a desert-esque song with little guitar embellishments that snake around the strings and percussion in a menacing way. “Frequency” uses the guitar in the same way as well as the piano to make for some impressive displays of musical talent. It’s almost like a stand off between the two instruments at times, excellent playing and well thought out.
“Labyrinth” is a wind instrument led song which reminds me of a mirage. This is one of the weakest songs for me as it didn’t really capture me as all the others did although to say its a poor track is a great injustice. “Broken Memory” however does so with panache. The first real slow song since track 2, the orchestral piece is a real tearjerker as its very serene but downbeat – like a graceful fall to death. There’s a real elegance to it.
“Energy” uses an electric guitar in what reminds me of the old early 1990’s arranged soundtracks that most games were given! There’s also a nice Hammond organ solo for kicks in what’s a very lively song indeed. “Die On Destiny” drifts further off into the 1980’s with every instrument for a nostalgic trip which is good or bad depending on your view of that era before “Regret” finishes off the back to the 80’s section with a lovely electric guitar and organ led song which comes across like a rock oddity and sweeps you away.
Its all change with the superb main vocal track of the album called “Lovely Strains”. Its a beautifully layered orchestral number with a soft vocal with reverbs that bounce around the speakers. Its very lush before it calmly goes into a orchestral solo! Different instruments play a little bit of the tune – some happy and playful, others full of grandeur. It all comes together for a grand finale with strings and vocals working in harmony. Its a superb piece and one that is played out in a twinkly fashion for the closing track “Silence” which cutely petters out the tune with bells.
“Soukaigi” is a piece of beauty. Some of its slightly dated sound may put people off but look beyond it and you’ll find a truly outstanding album that deserves a place in everyone’s collection. Well done Hiroki!