Border Down Soundtracks

borderdownvol1 Album Title:
Border Down Soundtracks
Record Label:
Sweep Record
Catalog No.:
SRIN-1009
Release Date:
September 25, 2003
Purchase:
Buy at Sweep Record

Overview

G.rev’s Border Down is regarded as the spiritual successor of Metal Black. In addition to featuring similar gameplay and presentation, it shared the same composer: Yasuhisa ‘Yack’ Watanabe. The musician matched the peculiar shooter with a range of smooth synth-jazz music.

Body

The opening theme “Last News” starts off with a mellow pace, while not following the norm of most shooter soundtracks — a hyperactive techno-ish melody. Some of the level themes like “Upon the New Raid”, “Girl of Power” and “Snow Fox” feature Yack’s own “electro-jazz” style, which mixes jazz elements with rock, fusion, ethnic, etc. You name it, he’s got it! You get this sense of adrenaline rushing through you as you hear the music, which makes it easy to visualize an epic battle as your ship zooms into enemy territory and destroys everything in its path.

Boss themes are a bit different — most are very misleading and don’t sound epic. For example, “Prot #1 Eyes” is a bit too light in sound and feel and it would rather fit the area theme criteria rather than a boss theme. Others like “Prot #5 Blade Action” get the point that you’re fighting a stronger foe; I especially enjoy the electric piano’s “hammering” throughout this track, as it progresses. One which is unusual, but highly addictive, is “Last Prot Bloom”. Despite the title, this is not the last boss theme for Border Down, but rather the penultimate. An ominous start is quickly followed by electronic effects, and then we’re treated to several string and brass passages which bring the piece to an amazing climax which would have made it very fitting for final boss theme.

At the end of the soundtrack, we are treated to several arranged versions of what I consider the three best area themes. Ayako Saso transforms the already excellent “Girl of Power” into a rockin’ synth-fest. At one point, Saso even references classic prog rock music. Shinji Hosoe remixes “Snow Fox” with his usual electronic approach, but also makes good use of guitar samples. Yousuke Yasui, then a newbie at SuperSweep, arranges “Upon the New Raid” in a techno fashion. It is enjoyable, but is a bit lacking compared to Saso and Hosoe’s arrangements.

Summary

Fans of Yack will surely want to purchase this soundtrack as it contains the feel he nurtured while with Zuntata. Shmup fans will also find a lot to enjoy here, even if it is slightly unconventional material. Be sure to grab Volume 2 of the soundtrack too.

Border Down Soundtracks Luc Nadeau

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!

4.5


Posted on August 1, 2012 by Luc Nadeau. Last modified on January 23, 2016.


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