Shin Megami Tensei -Devil Survivor- Original Remix Soundtrack
Shin Megami Tensei -Devil Survivor- Original Remix Soundtrack
January 11, 2009
Buy at CDJapan
Welcome back to Megaten land! Entertaining us in Megaten land is a new turn based strategy RPG called Devil Survivor and a composer named Shoj… whoops, sorry, it’s Takami Asano. Yes, Meguro is not here to spread his J-Rap and signature quirkiness. Does Asano have the chops to take over for the main man himself? The Megami Ibunroku Devil Survivor Original Remix Soundtrack features all the tracks from the DS game, but enhanced and remixed to attain better quality. Well let’s take a gander…
With the intro theme “Reset”, it’s back to J-Rock for the series and it is nice to finally see the style make a reappearance. It’s unfortunate that that the vocals in this song are so grating that most would be inclined to skip this song completely. The song rocks out, but the singer drags it ultimately into a ditch. “Dead Night” sounds like a instrumental version of the opening theme sans pop. This is really all rock. The tune just continues to get louder, but the build up really doesn’t give all that much of a pay off. It sounds very dense and it is a little hard to enjoy when every force is competing rather than forming something together.
There are a few tracks that channel a typical gothic rock influence similar to the Castlevania series. “Demon of Darkness” features an ominous organ introduction. However, the guitar soon takes over and its melodic voices ring throughout. You can really sense the evil oozing from this one. The only problem is that it’s a bit repetitious, but it’s otherwise enjoyable. Featuring more organ and chanting, “Demoniac Fusion” will be heaven to the ears to some ears too. The melody is strong and, while not particularly creative, the arrangement is very good. It’s almost up there with Symphony of the Night.
“Action” is one of the best examples of the rock style Takami Asano attempted for this album. Drums open up this piece with a very simple beat before synth and bass are added to start the mix. After a while, more and more instruments come in to make the remix more complex and even more enjoyable. At no point does the track become too cluttered as a result unlike others on the album. Once again completely guitar-driven, “Battle Beat” has a very sinister tone. It features a very crunchy sounding guitar that adds a certain villainy that is not heard often. A second guitar is added to support the melody and it does so with flying colors. Later both guitars collaborate with each other to create some awesome riffs.
There seems to be a common features in this album for guitars just to do things in the background while one main sound just repeats it self. “Aggressive Tune” feels like hair metal in that is kind of catchy and likeable, but lacks depth. The arrangement goes on for a loop and the composer basically says to the guitar, “Hey, just do something cool”. That does not make for awesomeness. There is more boring chuggy rock in “Coldheartedness”. It features generic guitar solos atop rhythm guitars repeating the same old riffs. If there was more variation and less chaos, this track could work very well, but alas it doesn’t. I was slapped across the face with “Coldheartedness”, but somehow “Last Decision” really makes up for it. The theme has all the ingredients from the previous track, but it is more coherent and has none of the jumbled up confusion. Very catchy, imposing, and well done.
“Pinch” has that kind of uncomfortable edginess to it. Techno beats are really prominent here here while some guitar work introduces some classic Megaten rock. Unfortunately, the track seems a bit too convoluted for its own good — there is so much going on that it’s hard to sit down and enjoy it. It doesn’t really pump adreneline and just creates a little element of surprise in the game. “Pinch Battle” meanwhile is a guitar soloing for about two minutes. It’s chuggy and boring with almost no inspiration within whatsoever. “Rival Battle” is a mixture of the aforementioned 70’s rock and some synthy pop. It’s more of a grating remix that really doesn’t do that much for my ears. The best way to explain it is that I felt like I was going to the Evil Love Hotel. Oh yes, it’s like that.
“Sunset” deviates from the typical sound of the album to solid results. A multi-chorus guitar rings throughout this arrangement and adds a sense of serenity. The guitar ensures the overall mood is very mellow for a second guitar to present the melody. After two dubious efforts, everything works very well here. Another surprising composition is “Sad Seeing”. An acoustic guitar provides the serene focus for the arrangement while a second guitar provides back up. The simple core of the track is ideal and lovely to listen to, while the multi-chorus guitar and chimes thickens the track. Bongos very gently tap throughout and provide the air of calmness.
Moving to the closure of the album, breakbeats, organ, and guitar are all fused in “Garuda” in an attempt to bring all the best elements of the soundtrack together. At times, it does verge towards the overly cluttered area, but overall it does a good job of conveying all different styles that are present in Devil Survivor. Ominous is a very good word to describe “Deep Darkness”. There is an ever-present string section and the guitar jams every few seconds sporadically. The arrangement has gaps in it, but it is very interesting in composition. The multi-chorus guitar in “Eternal Life” back to lay down some calming grooves. Some tapping in the background adds some much needed texture to the arrangement. A very clean sounding guitar takes the melody and makes a really majestic stand. It doesn’t come out as cheesy or troublesome as some of the other solos found earlier. The album closes with a surprisingly good instrumental version of the vocal theme.
This album is a very mixed bag. Some of it is horrible with tracks that kill themselves with overly complicated arrangements and poor sound decisions. The other parts of the album have some truly memorable moments that should be repeated in future Megaten games. If you like Megaten rock or you want something a little different than standard Persona fare, pick this album up. However, if you’re not a fan of the series, be wary since only a few gems are contained within.
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Daniel Jackman. Last modified on August 1, 2012.