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Sacred Blaze Complete Soundtrack

[back cover]
Catalog Number: FCCT-0099
Released On: April 24, 2009
Composed By: Takashi Okamoto, Tomohiro Sumikama
Arranged By: Takashi Okamoto, Tomohiro Sumikama
Published By: Frontier Works
Recorded At: CONTINUUM -musicians atelier-
Format: 2 CDs
Buy this CD from Play-Asia
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Intro
02 - Main Theme
03 - daybreak (Opening Theme)
04 - God Sight
05 - Oracle
06 - Rough Waters
07 - Gentle
08 - Peace
09 - Faint smile
10 - Overmatch
11 - barrier
12 - Medieval
13 - Sum
14 - Magical Forest
15 - Cave
16 - Phantom ghost
17 - Desert
18 - droplet
19 - showdown
20 - Improve
21 - conquest
Total Time:
56'49"

Disc Two
01 - Human
02 - Enlistment
03 - Delight
04 - Minstrel
05 - Fun Funk
06 - Clownery
07 - Chrysalis
08 - Heartbeat
09 - Pathetic
10 - overturn
11 - Tragedy
12 - Forward
13 - Faith
14 - cage
15 - Radiant Crystal
16 - gift
17 - Abyss
18 - Stillness
19 - Close
20 - A Special
21 - A Returnee
22 - Reach for the sky (Ending Theme)
23 - daybreak ~reprise~
24 - A Bit of Happiness
25 - Garden of Peace
26 - daybreak ~Another Pray Remix~
Total Time:
62'10"

Takashi Okamoto was on a roll with Flight-Plan for a bit there. His score for Dragon Shadow Spell was fantastic, and his contributions to Poison Pink only made him seem like that much better of a composer. With Flight-Plan's latest Strategy RPG, Sacred Blaze, we find that perhaps Okamoto is running out of steam. But fear not! It seems a new challenger has stepped in to prove his skills.

In fact, Okamoto composed less than half of the tracks on this OST (he did exactly 18 of the 47 tracks). The rest of the work fell upon a complete newcomer, Tomohiro Sumikama. What little I could find about this composer suggests that he's new to game music, and he's definitely a young guy. What's surprising is that, for the most part, Sumikama outshines Okamoto on this soundtrack. The tracks that Okamoto contributed seem like the weak "filler" music that I'd occasionally find on his other works. Thus, Sumikama doesn't have much in the way of competition. And as his debut opus in VGM, he doesn't do half bad!

I suspect Sumikama takes a lot of inspiration from Okamoto's score for Dragon Shadow Spell. Though the music is ever-synthesized, there's an impressive blending of orchestra and dance pop rhythm found throughout this OST. I first heard it, most clearly, on track 16 of the first disc. "Phantom ghost" sounds like something straight off of Dragon Shadow Spell. It's catchy, it's fun to listen to on repeat; it works great for a battle theme. This same trend follows clear through the end of the first disc. After hearing the first few tracks of disc one (all composed by Okamoto), I was worried I wouldn't find what I wanted to find on this soundtrack. But Sumikama didn't let me down.

As for good Okamoto tracks? Disc 2, tracks 11 and 15, both come from Okamoto-san. And they're not half-bad. I get bored with them before the track is even over, but on a technical level, the compositions are strong.

The game's opening and ending vocal tracks come from the same vocalist, and her delivery of the English lyrics are...well, they're pretty bad. Her tone of voice is dark and deep, and I can appreciate the performance for the most part. But the annunciation is weak. Well, sometimes it's weak, and sometimes it's strong while yet being wrong in technical terms.

Overall, Sacred Blaze will probably remain a largely forgotten work, even among faithful fans of the small Japanese developer Flight-Plan. But I think what we see here is a new composer coming into the light and learning how to fit into a mold. Perhaps, down the road, we will see him come into his own.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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