Langrisser Re:Incarnation -Tensei- Soundtrack Plus

 langrisserplus Album Title:
Langrisser Re:Incarnation -Tensei- Soundtrack Plus
Record Label:
Sweep Record
Catalog No.:
SRIN-1128
Release Date:
November 26, 2016
Purchase:
Buy at CD Japan

Overview

The Langrisser Re:Incarnation -Tensei- Soundtrack Plus is a four-disc celebration of the Langrisser series by Sweep Record. The release contains all the music for the Nintendo 3DS game of the same name, principally scored by series’ mainstay Noriyuki Iwadare. In addition, it also includes the music for the enhanced PC-FX port Der Langrisser FX composed by Noriyuki Iwadare and Isao Mizoguchi.

Body

Unlike much of the earlier games in the series, the music for Langrisser Re:Incarnation -Tensei- takes on a more modern militaristic tone, although there are moments where nostalgic melodies do come into play. The album opens with “Character Creation,” a very regal, almost religious sounding tune, driven by harp and organ. However, despite the intense tone of the piece, it doesn’t really develop much. “Briefing” carries a heroic melody with its militaristic march, but also carries with it moments of tension. The first hint of a retro flair is “Shop” with its bubbly synth melody that is quite memorable.

Of course there are also some other miscellaneous tunes that manage to stand out. “Stage Result” is a rock arrangement of the classic “Ally (Neo Holy War) and is quite invigorating while “Album” is a chill, electronic oriented piece that feels out of place on the album as a whole, but as a standalone listen, is quite beautiful with its ethereality. “Confession” is a piano driven tune with a very love theme-esque approach, but is a bit saccharine overall. “Title” is another nostalgic piece due to it being a down tempo dramatic orchestral rendition of the “Theme of Langrisser.” The end result is quite beautiful.

The various armies in the game also get their respective themes. “Army of Light” theme is heroic in nature with sweeping strings, brass, and woodwinds and sports a beautiful melody as well. “Imperial Army Theme” is a much darker, militaristic orchestral march that is very brass-oriented, but comes off sounding a bit cliched. “Forces of Darkness Theme” also features a militaristic air, but with a darker, more somber and dramatic approach. Lastly, “Independent Forces Theme” also adopts a march approach with a very determined soundscape and a brass forward melody.

While most of the battle music comes in the form of various “Simulation Part” categories, there are some standalone themes. “Fight” blends quirky melodies with a heavy rock accompaniment. The end result is sinister at times, but also frenetic, to create an overall excellent listen. “Normal Battle” definitely brings up that feeling of the classic Langrisser games with its catchy synth driven melody. It’s an absolute highlight of the album. “Disadvantage Battle” is a dramatic, intense  tune with a melody that just oozes desperation, but comes off as a bit generic. “VS Emperor Battle” is a much more subdued theme that leans on the dramatic side. However, it, too, feels slightly generic, keeping it from standing out among the others.

The first set of “Simulation Part” tunes is related to the “Advantage” suite, all featuring various soundscapes and lengths. “Advantage 1” is a short heroic ditty, while “Advantage 2” is a rock rendition of “Own Army BGM (Holy Sword) that really does the original justice. “Advantage 3” is a more dramatic tune, but still keeps the rock focus while sporting a tense synth melody. Lastly, “Advantage 4” is a heroic rock tune with a great melody paying tribute to earlier games in the series. Despite its varied approach, this suite certainly manages to stand out, thanks in part to its sound direction and its nostalgic leanings.

The second set of “Simulation Part” tunes is related to the “Normal” suite. “Normal 1” through “Normal 4” are all quite short in length with the first being a short militaristic ditty, the second being more sinister in atmosphere, the third being more dramatic and utilizing synth choir to that effect, and the fourth being dramatic with its orchestral approach. “Normal 5” is a fully developed tune that also incorporates a lot of the dramatic soundscape heard in some of the other “Normal” tunes, featuring heavy brass, choir, and an intense militaristic vibe. Due to the nature of this suite, it comes off as feeling a bit underwhelming.

The third set is dedicated to “Simulation Part -Disadvantage-.” “Disadvantage 1” is a dark, tense, orchestral tune, while “Disadvantage 2” is a more subdued, yet tense tune with a very dramatic melody. “Disadvantage 3” is an energetic rock tune featuring a great melody. In some ways, it has a Shin Megami Tensei feel to it and is certainly one of the highlights on the album. Unfortunately, “Disadvantage 4” is a generic militaristic piece that doesn’t really excite. Overall, this suite is quite hit or miss and tends to be forgotten, save for the rock tune.

Lastly, “Simulation Part -Decisive Battle-” rounds out the rest of the battle tunes. “Decisive Battle 1” is slow, dramatic, and militaristic in approach. It features a decent melody with a brass focus and also has a somewhat melancholic feel to it. “Decisive Battle 2” is also quite dramatic featuring a tense orchestral melody that is serviceable. “Decisive Battle 3” is similar to “Decisive Battle 1” but carries a more determined sound in its melody while “Decisive Battle 4” is a generic, heroic march that doesn’t really stand out. “Decisive Battle 5” is quite beautiful, compared to much of the battle music, with its somewhat romantic approach, light march percussion. The end result is another highlight of the album and certainly a surprise.

The music dedicated to Langrisser Re:Incarnation -Tensei- ends with “Ending,” clearly an Iwadare piece, and “Staff Roll.” The former is a synth rock tune which references classic Langrisser melodies with its peppy and upbeat nature, giving it a familiar Iwadare vibe. The latter is another upbeat synth/orchestral tune that also boasts a strong melody.

The rest of the release is dedicated to Der Langrisser FX. It features music mainly featured on Langrisser II, but with the enhanced samples of the PC-FX computer. All in all, the tracks keep the nostalgic and retro flair of the series, while benefiting from a fresh coat of play. Previously a digital exclusive, this score is a nice addition to the release and helps to counter some of the generic qualities that some of the other soundtrack on the release tends to suffer from.

Summary

In the end, the Langrisser Re:Incarnation -Tensei- Soundtrack Plus will certainly be hit or miss for most folks. While there are certainly some highlights from the Nintendo 3DS game, with a mixture of new compositions and classic tributes, a lot of the music comes off as generic or merely serviceable. However, the addition of the music from Der Langrisser FX helps bring a bit more character to the release and helps lift the rest of the release up. However, those who already have Supersweep’s release of the first three games’ soundtracks might not find much enticing in comparison on this release.

Langrisser Re:Incarnation -Tensei- Soundtrack Plus Don Kotowski

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Posted on January 24, 2017 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on January 25, 2017.

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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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