Death Under the Labyrinth Special Soundtrack

deathunderthelabyrinthrescan Album Title:
Death Under the Labyrinth Special Soundtrack
Record Label:
Compile Heart
Catalog No.:
IF-0074
Release Date:
December 17, 2015
Purchase:
Buy Used Copy

Overview

The Death Under the Labyrinth Special Soundtrack is a pack-in that comes with the PS Vita game of the same name (MeiQ no Chika ni Shisu in Japan). Composed by Tenpei Sato and Satoshi Kadokura, it features a range of styles. How does the overall soundtrack come out as a whole with this collaboration?

Body

The album is split in half, essentially, with Tenpei Sato’s compositions featured first, while Kadokura’s compositions round out the end of the soundtrack CD. The opening tune, “Meteor Ribbon,” features a beautiful, Disgaea-like melody, with an orchestral rock sound and some operatic vocal backing while the main vocal performance is fairly enjoyable. There is also an instrumental version of this tune titled “Meteor Ribbon ~P.F~ and offers a warm piano and strings instrumental version. The other vocal tune on the album is “Starry Night,” which is a fairly straightforward pop ballad, but does feature an excellent vocal performance and a beautiful melody. The rest of Tenpei Sato’s contributions range in style. The dungeon theme, “White Tower,” is an ethereal piano driven tune with haunting vocals, cello, and harpsichord that help support a beautiful melody and a very Phantom Brave style sound. Equally ethereal is “Black Requiem” with its vocal and strings tune that gives off a somber tone while “Dream ON” provides some additional ethereality with its piano, strings, and vocals that have a waltzy nature alongside its melancholy and beautiful soundscape. “Crescent” is a somber and pensive tune done in a classical style that really adds a nice touch to the album. Of course, there are other styles that Tenpei Sato utilizes on the soundtrack. “Lovely Twinkle” is an upbeat rock tune with some rustic flair, thanks to the harmonica, while “Miss.Terious” offers an exotic soundscape with some Middle Eastern flair thanks to the fun melody and woodwind focus. In addition, “Secret Spring” is a very mysterious piece with its Japanese inspired shakuhachi led melody. In terms of battle themes, “Flash of Light” is a fun melody, great energy, and orchestral rock tone while both “Dark Groaning” and “Goddess Wars” offer a bit more of a dramatic flair. All three are quite enjoyable.

The other half of the equation is Satoshi Kadokura, whose style is quite different than that of Tenpei Sato’s, but not without their place. “The Three Shadowed Ones from the Darkness” exhibits some dance influence with its synth/retro based approach, giving it a very mysterious atmosphere, but also one that would fit well into a Streets of Rage game. “Dark Thaumaturge,” presumably the villain theme, is a brass dominated militaristic inspired piece. Unfortunately, the brass is a bit off putting in its implementation in conjunction with the accompaniment. “A Female Thief and a Thief’s Underling” is a quirky calypso/tropical piece with a decent melody, but doesn’t stand out as much. His dungeon themes also offer a variety of sound. “Black Tower” is an atmospheric synth-driven tune with a gorgeous piano melody. “Red Tower,” on the other hand, is more electronic/industrial in style. It is a much more intense affair and offers some orchestral influences as well. Lastly, “Blue Tower,” with its exotic vocals, ethereal atmosphere, and piano make for a beautiful listen. Satoshi Kadokura’s battle themes definitely add a bit more edge to the soundtrack. “Battle” definitely features some heavy metal influence, with its powerful riffs, high energy, and blend of synth and rock. It’s a bit repetitive, but enjoyable. “Battle of the Twelves” is a rock meets dance tune with fun synthesizer tones that complement the intense, mysterious, and sinister atmosphere. Lastly, “Battle of the Guardians” is an orchestral tune with both rock and electronic elements. It’s not as melodically focused compared to his other tunes, but it really manages to create a great tension in the air.

Summary

While having two different composers with very different styles working on a soundtrack, it does make for a somewhat disjointed listening experience stylistically. However, the overall quality of the production is pretty good. Both composers offer some memorable tunes as well as a blend of styles. While it is currently difficult to obtain for a Western listener, due to it being a pack-in, if the game is localized and also comes with the soundtrack, fans of either composers work might be inclined to purchase it. Fortunately, it does seem to be a complete package so if you are able to purchase it from a third party, that might be the best option at this time.

Death Under the Labyrinth Special Soundtrack Don Kotowski

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

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Posted on March 2, 2016 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on March 2, 2016.

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About the Author

Don Kotowski

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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