Cardinal Gate Conclusion
Cardinal Gate Conclusion
August 30, 2007
Buy at Amazon.co.jp
Cardinal Gate Conclusion is a bonus disc that came with limited editions of the console release for beatmania IIDX 13 DistorteD. The disc contains extended versions of the five boss tracks from the special Extra Stage system of DistorteD, the Cardinal Gate, and each track is a different senior BEMANI artist under a new alias. There isn’t a ton of depth to the concept, but the imposition of the Cardinal Gate theme is a neat idea that allows the artists to explore their capabilities.
“Kachoufuusetsu” by Byakko (Tatsuya Shimizu) begins the album with a fast-paced “asian mixture”, laden with traditional instruments but a distinctly techno arrangement. The long version of the track has its share of cut-and-paste extensions, only having one short new segment midway through the piece. Thankfully, Tatsh’s composition already has enough going on so that it is not overly repetitive. It’s a shame that the ending of the extension follows the simpler [N] and [H] charts rather than the [A] chart, but it’s still a fine track.
“CONTRACT” by Suzaku (Yoshitaka Nishimura) is a “sublime techno” track, introducing some signature sounds for the alias that he would use in later songs. The long version has no new content, but rather just an extension of each section and a more gradual buildup. Given that there isn’t much substance to the track in the first place this is a bit of a disappointment. It’s arguably the weakest of the set, but the long version is not so repetitive as to be grating so anyone who enjoyed the original should be fine with this version.
“Ganymede” by Genbu (Jun Wakita) is described as “esoteric slowcore”, starting very slowly and quietly with a very gradual buildup which even at the grand dramatic peak does not lose its meditative feel. The long version of the track clocks in at a full seven minutes, and has the most new content of all of the tracks. The opening is now even more stripped down than its in-game counterpart, and is much more evocative now with each note and sound echoing into the cold atmosphere. A second break down introduces the nice touch of a tribal male vocal, and while the dramatic portions of the song remain largely unchanged, they are made more effective by the new added sections that precede them.
“waxing and wanding” by Seiryuu (Ryutaro Nakahara) is categorized under “dance speed”, a high energy dance track with a short, unintelligible high-pitched vocal sample (the words of which have been long debated) and short repeated melodies that are a Nakahara staple. He wisely extends the track with a fitting new introduction that brings the vocal sample gradually from a deep, slow crawl to the hyper chipmunk’d version that we’re familiar with, and then launches into the track as we know it. He also adds in a short piano interlude during the bridge that is tonally quite different from the rest of the track but works well enough. It is certainly one of Nakahara’s better tracks, and the extension here does a good job of making it feel more complete.
The final boss tack, “Nageki no Ki” by Kijinshi (Takayuki Ishikawa) is listed simply as a “contemporary” track, and is a dark orchestral-techno piece. Despite being the climax of the Cardinal Gate system, the extension unfortunately does not do the piece many favours. There are no new parts (other than a strange echoing sound effect that intrudes occasionally), and the techno elements are increased, taking away from some of the uniqueness of the original track. In particular, the opening piano sample is now set through a filter, lowering its impact. The song is still quite good, but changes made were unnecessary, and there is a whole missed opportunity to really develop a fantastic song.
Cardinal Gate Conclusion is a decent effort from the BEMANI team to celebrate the first conceptual Extra Stage system in beatmania IIDX. The songs themselves are fitting as boss tracks, and there is a good variety among them with distinctive influences from their respective artists. The extensions are largely superfluous with the notable exception of “Ganymede”, but they aren’t so bad as to be offensive as extensions often can be for BEMANI songs. Even if there isn’t much new stuff, it’s a nice album to have if just to be able to listen to these songs without having them fly by in a time of two short minutes.
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Posted on February 17, 2015 by Christopher Huynh. Last modified on March 2, 2015.