Armored Core -Last Raven- Original Soundtrack

armoredcoreraven Album Title:
Armored Core -Last Raven- Original Soundtrack
Record Label:
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
July 27, 2005
Buy at CDJapan


In 2005, Armored Core: Last Raven concluded the storyline explored between Armored Core 3 and Armored Core Nexus. Yuki Ichika took the lead composition role for the first time on this title and was joined by newcomers Hideyuki Eto and Ayako Minami. The trio diverted from the hybridised sound featured in earlier scores of the storyline in favour of a purely electronic soundscape reminiscent of the founding titles in the series. The result is one of the most audacious scores in the series, though also the least accessible.


The soundtrack’s opener “Fact” reflects the dark setting of the game with some slow cinematic soundscaping and increasing industrial sound effects before listeners are sprung into the action. There are a few other more ambient entries on the album. For example, “Visions” inspires abstract imagery with its soothing beats and treble distortions. “Vague Smoke” meanwhile is one of the few additions to the album to incorporate an acoustic force, specifically a heavily manipulated trumpet, though it soon becomes overpowered by heavy electronic beats like practically every other addition to the album.

The first of the harder tracks, “5 point Five” creates a very edgy sound by virtue of its irregular time signature (11/8). Though the track opens with some acoustic guitar chords, it gradually overwhelms them with increasingly complex and intense breakbeats. The pounding climax at the 0:47 mark is abrasive yet liberating, though the craziness doesn’t end there and some chainsaw sound effects are even heard later on in the composition. It’s a great way to immerse gamers into the action, although it will probably only appeal to a subgroup of electronica fans on the stand-alone level.

Experimental rhythmical elements take centre stage on a range of other additions to the soundtrack too. “Works, Clocks, Signals” is, as the title implies, filled with various industrial percussion and synth that create an increasingly vivid sound. “Pause Mind” meanwhile reflects the discreet motion of a mecha, interrupting the chaotic mechanical synth with numerous sudden breaks. “Great Regularity” goes one step further with its racing overdriven beats and is among the most hardcore game music ever created. Its effect in context gives another meaning to the word ‘intense’.

Put simply, this soundtrack is relentless and uncompassionate. Following on from over 20 other intense tracks, even the soundtrack’s penultimate item “Six” is pumped full of irregular rhythms, hardcore beats, and voice samples, befitting of the fast-paced mechanised action. It takes a very brave listener to sustain 70 minutes of this madness on the album and most will find the music simply too repetitive, aseptic, or downright abrasive. Some brave or masochistic listeners will feel otherwise, but they represent a small minority in the overall population.


Overall, the soundtrack of Armored Core: Last Raven once again takes a completely different approach to those for earlier titles in the series. It represents the mechanised nature and intense combat of mechs better than other soundtracks, but lacks the deeper emotions and richer imagery associated with the soundtracks led by Kota Hoshino and Tsukasa Saitoh, so probably isn’t the best model for the series’ music. For stand-alone listening, this soundtrack has its creative merits, but is very difficult to stomach due to its unrelenting intensity and repetitive elements. Only those who loved the game or enjoy industrial and hardcore electronic music should pick this up.

Armored Core -Last Raven- Original Soundtrack Chris Greening

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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on January 22, 2016.

About the Author

I've contributed to websites related to game audio since 2002. In this time, I've reviewed over a thousand albums and interviewed hundreds of musicians across the world. As the founder and webmaster of VGMO -Video Game Music Online-, I hope to create a cutting-edge, journalistic resource for all those soundtrack enthusiasts out there. In the process, I would love to further cultivate my passion for music, writing, and generally building things. Please enjoy the site and don't hesitate to say hello!

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