Chaos Legion Original Soundtrack

Chaos Legion Original Soundtrack Album Title:
Chaos Legion Original Soundtrack
Record Label:
Suleputer
Catalog No.:
CPCA-1072
Release Date:
July 16, 2003
Purchase:
Buy at CDJapan

Overview

Chaos Legion is a game similar in style to the Devil May Cry series. It’s a highly action-oriented game. Unsurprisingly, the soundtrack features the same sort of stylistic fusions heard in the series. Composed by Hideyuki Fukasawa, it features a focus on dark gothic styles mixed with a variety of other elements. Does it turn out to be a success?

Body

The first thing you’ll notice when listening to this soundtrack is that every major piece features a staple concept. Every major piece features vocals, usually in the form of choir. While this might get repetitive after a while for some, there is a good deal of variety in the execution of the vocals. This usually falls in the realms of the stage and boss themes.

The boss themes in this game are usually quite epic in nature. The first, “Curse of Choir,” features Gregorian-inspired chanting over top an electronica / rock infused bass line. Throw in some string accents throughout the piece and you have a very motivating, energetic piece. Unfortunately, there is really no melodic development, so the monotony of the composition might take effect after listening to it frequently. Another boss theme, “The Drones of Hell,” is stylistically similar to “Curse of Choir”. Fortunately, this one is a bit more tolerable. The choir sounds much cleaner and helps to produce a more fitting atmosphere to the gothic nature of the accompaniment. While the beat remains electronic in nature, it fits well with the instrumentation in this one. Melodic development is still a bit subpar, but I find this piece to be more entertaining than the former.

Another two battle themes revolve around the character of Delacroix. The first, “Bloody Truth,” although featuring vocals, has a much greater focus on the tone and melody of the piece. It’s a very dark piece featuring brass and strings over an electronic beat. The deep choral work only adds to the sinisterness and makes for quite the entertaining listen. The second Delacroix theme, “Be Killed Again,” as you would suspect, is similar in nature. The sinister nature of the piece is brought out by the striking string accents and the choral work. Throw in some organ and you have a bona fide gothic opera piece. It’s a pretty good listen with a ton of energy and atmosphere. It’s a highlight of the soundtrack for sure!

If “Be Killed Again” is the highlight of the battle theme front, for sure, the first stage theme “Welcome to the Darkness” is the highlight of the stage themes. It’s a very nice fusion of orchestral, choral, and electronica and it really helps to set the tone for the remainder of the soundtrack. Each part of the composition really adds to the overall experience. The electronica provides a nice rhythm, the strings provide that classical atmosphere, while the chorals provide that hint of evil. It’s one of my favorite area themes on here! In the same vein, “Solemn Voice” is another composition that fuses these elements together quite nicely. While the focus of this piece is more on the choral work rather than the other elements of the piece, the brass and string accompaniment helps accent the energy of the piece while the accompanying bass line only serves to enhance it further. It’s a great piece full of energy, and although pretty straightforward, is quite fun.

There are other styles present as well. “Pledge” is similar in style to what one may hear listening to a Devil May Cry soundtrack. It’s another fusion of styles with the orchestral section being the focus here. In addition, there are some nice electronica and rock elements to help retain the energy heard throughout the soundtrack. While the chorals aren’t the focus for this piece, by any stretch of the imagination, their subtle inclusion helps to accentuate the great melody heard in the orchestral sections. Another piece with a similar style is “A Way to Nowhere”. Unlike “Pledge” the focus is more on the choral work here. The rock and electronica accompaniment helps to accentuate the power heard in the choir. There is also an orchestral section, but it only helps accentuate the melody in the choral line. There is a nice melody, although a bit less developed than in other pieces, and the bass line is catchy. In the end, it makes for a very nice listen.

Lastly, there is another style not heard often in the stage themes and that is one of ambiance. “Ravine of Silence” is such a piece. The overall composition is comprised of string and choral combinations that provide a very melancholy and somber sound. There is a feeling of haunting throughout the piece to help accentuate the somber sound with a bit of darkness. Perhaps the most striking of all things in here is the addition of a subtle electronica beat to help add a nice textural flavor to the piece and prevent it from being too ambient. Finally, the second disc is a mini-disc featuring two tracks. The first piece is a length drama featuring Japanese drama, some atmospheric sound effects, and occasional piano work. The second piece is a melancholy piano arrangement of “Now I See” performed by Wild Arms veteran Masato Kouda. This bonus disc is a nice addition. Even though the drama will only appeal to Japanese speakers, the extended piano arrangement makes up for it.

Summary

If you are a fan of the music to the Devil May Cry series, odds are you will most likely enjoy this. While not nearly as diverse as the compositions heard in that series, the overall focus on this gothic opera style really helps to paint a similar picture. I love the fact that every piece is a nice stylistic fusion of ideas. In addition, I’m glad that the choral work isn’t in the forefront all the time as that would really make this album hard to stomach on a regular basis. It’s great for an occasional listen, but I still can’t imagine listening to this album on a regular basis due to the lack of development within it. I think that Fukasawa does a great job here capturing the essence of the game, but it may suffer a bit while listening on a stand-alone basis as some of the pieces might start “running together”.

Chaos Legion Original Soundtrack Don Kotowski

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

3.5


Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.


About the Author

Currently residing in New York, I spend my days working in antibody therapeutics and dedicate some of my spare time in the evening to the vast world of video game music, both reviewing soundtracks as well as maintaining relationships with composers overseas in Europe and in Japan.



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