Saturday, August 8, 2009
01 Burning Halloween Town - DEATH SMILES (Stage 1-A, ED)
02 Burning Heat - Gradius II (Stage 1)
03 Playback HECTOR`87 - HECTOR '87 (Main Theme)
04 Shinju Heading to the Forest - Mushihimesama (Stage 1)
05 PENETRATION - RAYFORCE (Stage 1)
06 Underworld Cherry Blossoms - Guwange (Stage 3)
07 Adam - G-DARIUS (BIG BOSS)
08 Infinity Orbit - STRIKERS 1945 II (Coal Mine Stage)
09 TWIN BEE - Twinbee (PowerUp Theme)
10 Thunderbolt - LIFE FORCE (Stage 2)
11 RAGING DEICIDE - ESP RA DE (Boss Battle)
12 Rising Sun - STRIKERS 1945 (Japan Stage)
13 FZ BOSS (Guiter Machine-gun MIX) - Fantasy Zone (BOSS)
Circle: Dangerous Mezashi Cat
I think this is one of the best doujin albums I’ve bought. It’s a collection of music from various shooters, and it’s almost consistently excellent.
The first track is the opening stage theme from Death Smiles, “Burning Halloween Town”. The arranger must’ve noticed some resemblance between the violins that open the song and the Metal Gear Solid theme, because the similarity is really played up here. The piano and guitar riffs in the expanded section are also pretty well improvised, and a similar style approach is taken towards the opening theme of Mushihime-sama, the fourth track on the disc. The renditions of “Burning Heat” (from Gradius II, scientifically proven to be one of the best themes in shooter-dom) and “Thunderbolt” (from Life Force/Salamander, also a classic tune) aren’t quite as dramatic, going for a more total synthy flavor, but both are still quite good. The remix of “Penetration” from Rayforce/Galactic Attack isn’t much different from its OST, but I like the instrumentation here a bit more – I always found the synth in a lot of Zuntata-composed games to be a bit hollow. Another Zuntata song is represented with “ADAM”, the hyper-dramatic opening/final boss theme from G-Darius, and manages to keep its bombastic tone while turning up the tempo a tiny bit.
The third track is one of the weirdest – a hyper dance remix of the main theme of Starship Hector – a catchy little ditty – with some heavily synth tampered vocals. I’m not even sure what language it’s sung on, but it’s still hypnotically catchy. One of the big surprises is “Infinity Orbit”, from Strikers 1945. I’ve played most of Psikyo’s games and the music usually just went in one ear and out the other, but this is a pretty memorable song.
“Raging Decide” is the boss theme from ESP Ra De, and while it’s a good, dance-y remix, the core song is a bit too short to justify its four minute length. “Rising Sun”, the ending theme from Strikers 1945, feels out of place since it’s so laid back, as does the Guwange stage theme, even though they’re otherwise fairly decent, Japanese-style songs. “FZ BOSS (Guitar Machine-gun)” is the Fantasy Zone boss theme, “Ya-Da-Yo”, done with two guitars. It sounds really good, even though it sounds a bit hollow without any percussion…which, to be fair, was also absent from the original version.
The only real stinker on here is the “TWIN BEE” song, which takes an abrasive trance song and sprinkles in bits of the main themes. Otherwise, it’s a standout album. Highly recommended.