Tag Archives: Organ

Review: Dark Souls III Soundtrack

The Dark Souls II soundtrack was one of my favorites of 2014. So I was excited to see Yuka Kitamura and Motoi Sakuraba teaming up once again for the third, and presumably final, installment. Fans of the series should know the drill by now, no music outside of key hub areas and boss battles. That lends to score a pretty action-heavy lean, but the variety of moods presented does prevent much of the fatigue you’d expect.

The opening “Premonition” is rightfully somber and smoldering, giving a hint at what’s ahead. The titular “Dark Souls III” sports foreboding bell tolls and choir before exploding into dark and tragic strings with beautiful harmonies, while “Prologue” brings in the guttural male choir and buzzing strings that have been used throughout he series. Finally, “Firelink Shrine” is bleak and desolate with droning bass, a female choral section, and a soundscape that doesn’t feel at all safe.

As far as the boss themes go (always the highlight), “Iudex Gundyr” doesn’t disappoint with its slow build, powerful strings, rustic harpsichord, and call and response male and female choir. “Vordt of the Boreal Valley” is somewhat of a death march with chugging bass, “Curse -Rotted Greatword-,” is sweeping and frightening with its gurgling choir and sense of corruption, “Crystal Sages” is appropriately wise¬†and methodical, and “Deacons of the Deep” sports a massive and regal organ. There’s the tense and bombastic “Pontiff Sulyvahn,” the beautiful and graceful “Dancer of the Boreal Valley,” the deep brass tones of “Old Demon King,” the small hints of beauty hidden behind a deep brooding male choir in “Oceiros, The Consumed King,” the slow and contemplative “Abyss Watchers,” the wonderful dark waltz of “Yhorm the Giant”, and the epic and tragic “Lorian.” Finally, the grandiose and elegant “Soul of Cinder” sports some references to themes of the past, which is a nice touch, and the ending themes are melancholy and somber, and not at all triumphant.

Fans of Dark Souls music will appreciate this score just as they did the others. While it’s hard to capture the same magic the third time in, Kitamura and Sakuraba have done a fantastic job with this installment, and I’m looking forward to hearing what each of them do next.

The soundtrack was¬†available with pre-order editions of the game, so it may be difficult to find at this point, but I’m sure you can find the soundtrack CD online through various outlets.

Review: Re:Birth II -Ren- “SaGa” BATTLE ARRANGE

Square Enix’s Re:Birth series featuring Kenji Ito and several jdk band alums has been immensely popular. What was meant to be a single album paying tribute to the battle themes from across the SaGa series turned into a second album, which was even more amazing, and has now resulted in a third albym. They must be getting close to being out of battle themes to arrange at this point, but I’m not complaining!

Expect more authentic metal with chugging, shredding, and wailing guitars, rock organs, laser-like synth leads, and explosive percussion. There are also several exotic female vocal performances throughout. I love the retro synth sounds in the opening track from SaGa 2, the back-and-forth between guitar and synth in a track from SaGa 3, the hugely epic synth strings and choir in a track from Imperial SaGa, the softer Romancing SaGa 3 track, the additional of vocals to several SaGa Frontier tracks, and the romantic flamenco-flavored tracks from Minstrel Song. In the final track, each performer gets their own solo section, which is nice.

If you liked the first two Re:Birth rock albums, you’ll probably like this one too. I was less familiar with the track selections this time around, but still enjoyed the album from start to finish. You can grab it on CD Japan if you want more!