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Shadow Hearts II OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: KDSD-00030/1
Released On: March 24, 2004
Composed By: Yoshitaka Hirota, Yasunori Mitsuda, Kenji Ito, Tomoko Kobayashi, Ryo Fukuda
Arranged By: Yoshitaka Hirota, Yasunori Mitsuda, Kenji Ito, Tomoko Kobayashi, Ryo Fukuda
Published By: Team Entertainment
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
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Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Prelude~ ~ Advertise I
02 - ~ICARO AGAIN ~ Advertise II
03 - Deep Meditation ~ Title
04 - Old Smudged Map ~ Map of Europe
05 - Death Is The Great Leveller ~ Tower of Atonement
06 - Vicious 1915 ~ Battle in Europe
07 - Swoop! ~ Running Wild in Europe
08 - Suffocation ~ Grim Atmosphere
09 - Flame Of Strain To Blaze ~ Tension
10 - In Darkness of a Labyrinth ~ Dungeon
11 - Town of Twilight ~ European Town
12 - Memories Of Melodies ~ Peace
13 - Dear, My Dressmaker ~ The Tailor
14 - The Name's Grand Papillon!! ~ Pro-Wrestler
15 - Soul Comet ~ Spirit of the Wolf
16 - Glint Of Light - orchestral arrangement - ~ War of the Hungry Wolf
17 - OohLaLa! - Long Version - ~ The Beautiful Girl from Firenze
18 - The Real Intentions
19 - Glint Of Light ~ Mid-Boss in Europe
20 - Crack Your Body ~ Mid-Boss Running Wild in Europe
21 - Veronica Vera ~ Her Majesty, the Queen
22 - Call Back From Jesus - Mysterious Monastery - ~ Underground Ruins
23 - Holly Mistletoe ~ Graveyard
24 - Take Off! ~ Airship
25 - Anastasia ~ The Imperial Princess's Anxiety
26 - Relaxation Mood ~ Relief
27 - Anastasia -Going Her Way- ~ The Imperial Princess's Adventure
28 - Spiritualization ~ Holy Land of God
29 - Sadness Mood
30 - Never Ending Sadness ~ A Lament
31 - Defeat And Death ~ Game Over
32 - Rasputin ~ Mysterious Monk
33 - Evil Gate Opener I ~ Arrival at the Stronghold I
34 - Evil Gate Opener II ~ Arrival at the Stronghold II
35 - Evil Gate Opener III ~ Arrival at the Stronghold III
Total Time:
72'49"

Disc Two
01 - Pulsation Fortress ~ Pulsating Stronghold
02 - Strain ~ Assault
03 - Astaroth ~ Battle with the Fallen Angel
04 - Crack Your Mind ~ The Fallen Angel Runs Wild
05 - Grey Memories ~ Map of Japan
06 - Rising Sun ~ Japanese Town
07 - Deep In Coma ~ Battle in Japan
08 - Concon Ticktin Con Ticktin ~ Running Wild in Japan
09 - Gathering God ~ Thrill
10 - Impatiently Mood
11 - Serious Mood ~ Unrest
12 - The Past ~ Personal History
13 - Crisis
14 - Hatred ~ Toudou Research Institute
15 - Field Of God-Dog ~ Village of the Dog God
16 - Fountain Of Saint Evel I ~ Spring of the Holy Demon I
17 - Fountain Of Saint Evel II ~ Spring of the Holy Demon II
18 - Hardcore To The Brain ~ Mid-Boss in Japan
19 - Getting Nasty ~ Mid-Boss Runs Wild in Japan
20 - Faith Or Fate ~ Kato
21 - Transience ~ The Miracle
22 - ALICE - piano arrangement
23 - Kallen
24 - The Fate ~ Cluster Amaryllis
25 - The 3 Karma ~ Decisive Battle
26 - Come On ~ The Decisive Battle Runs Wild
27 - Result ~ Victory
28 - ICARO - piano arrangement - ~ Main Theme
29 - Love Moon Flower ~ Ending
Total Time:
71'57"

The day I heard that a sequel to Shadow Hearts was in the works, I immediately began to think about the original's brilliant musical score, and how I'd now be able to hear more of that same great style. Upon getting my grubby little hands on the OST, I was incredibly hopeful that I would find that same style, reminiscent of the original Shadow Hearts. Well, I asked, and I did receive; however, I did not receive as much as I would have liked. Now don't get me wrong, this is an excellent soundtrack, but it pales in comparison to the original in some respects.

The first two tracks, "Prelude: Advertise I" and "Icaro Again: Advertise II" work in tandem to open the first disc of this OST in a very memorable way. "Prelude" opens with a dark, suspenseful arrangement that is strongly percussive, and is then followed by "Icaro Again"'s addition of guitar and voice, creating a very effective combo. Most of the 62 tracks contained on the two CDs are characteristically dark, especially in the various battle themes, where this OST truly shines brightest. They're all more or less fast paced, and most contain some degree of incomprehensible voices, keeping to the original Shadow Hearts style. However, the best feature about the in-battle tracks are the way they make you feel pumped-up and excited, like you're battling alongside Yuri and company. "Astaroth: Battle with the Fallen Angel" is a prime example of this, as it gives off an incredibly epic feeling, and despite it being a slower-paced track, it is one that makes me want to listen again and again.

Unfortunately, some of the other tracks just don't live up to the Shadow Hearts name. One such track, "Town of Twilight", is actually a pretty good song, but is just incredibly overused in the game, leading me to becoming tired of hearing it. Luckily, these types of tracks are few and far between. However, the opportunity cost for including and overusing this type of track is that they could have been replaced in some points by some more diverse tracks.

The second disc closes out with a wonderful vocal piece entitled "Love Moon Flower" which I believe even surpasses the ending theme of the original Shadow Hearts in terms of beauty. Overall, I'd have to say that the Shadow Hearts II OST is both very dark and beautiful, and is a soundtrack suited for fans of the original Shadow Hearts. This soundtrack could have even risen above its predecessor, if it did not just feel as if it were missing something. Due to it being a fairly new soundtrack (at the time of this review's being written, anyway), the Shadow Hearts II OST is readily available, and can be found at otaku.com.

Reviewed by: Jesse Jones



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