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Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army Complete Music Works

[back cover]
Catalog Number: VGCD-0022
Released On: April 7, 2006
Composed By: Shoji Meguro
Arranged By: Shoji Meguro
Published By: Five Records
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
Buy this CD from Play-Asia
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Theme
02 - The Oppressive Army Corps
03 - The Lazy Detective Agency
04 - On the Bridge Back in the Rain
05 - Critical Moment for Raidou
06 - Formidable Foe
07 - Level Up
08 - Gold King House
09 - Goumaden
10 - A New World
11 - A Moment's Peace
12 - Tokyo Metropolis
13 - Yatagarasu's Messenger
14 - The Art of Sending Spirits
15 - A Strange World
16 - A Suspicious Shadow
17 - Breaking Through the Wall
18 - An Old Foe
Total Time:
42'09"

Disc Two
01 - Go! Raidou
02 - The Oppressive Army Corps' Imminent Arrival
03 - Kaya's Secret
04 - What Was Taken by People
05 - Overcoming the Sadness
06 - Hiruko Invasion
07 - Cornered!
08 - And Now, The Decisive Battle
09 - Awakening of the Warship of Oppression
10 - The Fated Showdown
11 - The God of Oppression Appears
12 - Shock! The Final Battle
13 - Cutting Off the Evil Future
14 - On the Bridge Back in the Morning Sun
15 - Ending Theme
Total Time:
31'17"

Shoji Meguro is an artist that resonates with a great many people these days. Starting off as a total unknown to me, I only heard about him first through Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne, and then later heard music written and done by him for Digital Devil Saga 2. Meguro's style is different from what seems to be the norm these days and has a knack for being experimental. It's a fresh infusion of blood to the otherwise somewhat stagnant scene of the modern RPG.

Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army (yes, that's the actual subtitle) continues Meguro's style by taking his music in another direction. Where Digital Devil Saga was thick with electronica, Devil Summoner is a jazz trip. I think the best way of describing the soundtrack on the whole is by calling it heavy jazz with a touch of Meguro's now trademark guitar and electric beat. A bit of an odd moniker, but it fits. Just listen to "Theme" or "Go! Raidou" and you should be able to tell pretty quickly. It's actually rather infectiously fun to listen to. A lot of the album doesn't blow you away at first, but it grows on you really quickly.

The only thing I'd fault the soundtrack on is the length of it. There's thirty-three tracks combined, and of those thirty-three, four are under thirty seconds. At least eight aren't much longer than a minute. Surely an entire MegaTen game couldn't be expressed in only this much music. Whether this actually the entire OST for the game I'm not sure. It calls itself the Complete Music Works, so I'd be led to believe this is all there is. Quality over quantity, I suppose, but I still wish there were a little more bang for the buck.

Still, what is there is the excellence I've come to expect from Meguro. For those not in the know, Meguro has a peculiar style of guitar music. Typically in RPGs you expect guitar rock ala something more like Final Fantasy. But Meguro's cup of tea is something heavier and less boppy. It takes a few listenings to get used to at first, I have to admit. The first time I listened to music from Digital Devil Saga, I didn't really understand the ravings over it. To give you a few examples, both "Formidable Foe" and "The Fated Showdown" showcase what I mean. Formidable Foe is almost plodding, where Fated Showdown brings in a somewhat unusual piano/guitar combination that's quickly followed up by a blast of sax before rocking out at a much perkier pace.

Overall, I'd say the soundtrack is definitely worth of a listen. I wish there were more of it, but what's there is really, really good. If anything, it's a good primer for Meguro's music. Since Raidou Kuzunoha is soon to release in the States, this soundtrack will probably be fairly easy to buy for a bit. Considering the albums for both Digital Devil Saga games as well as Nocturne are becoming a little pricey since I last looked, this might be a good album to get before you consider sinking the dough on the other ones. And on it's own as a simple soundtrack, this is certainly a keeper. I'd recommend it to most anyone; you're sure to find something here to enjoy.

Reviewed by: Derek Strange



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