Game Music, Reviews

The “ex” Is Left Out Intentionally: Deus Machina Demonbane Soundtrack (Review)

April 24, 2010 | | 2 Comments Share thison Facebook The “ex” Is Left Out Intentionally: Deus Machina Demonbane Soundtrack (Review)on Twitter

I have a friend, an “online acquaintance” if you will, who simply adores soundtracks to Japanese graphic adventures on PC (where eroge reigns). Games like Animamundi and Tears To Tiara are the top of his list. For years, he tried to sell me on the idea of collecting these soundtracks. I had little interest, and I also had little money.

One soundtrack he’d always recommend to me was Nitroplus’s Deus Machina Demonbane. The full two disc soundtrack apparently held a lot of promise. But again, importing the soundtrack would be a costly affair.

All that changed when JapanFiles signed a deal with Nitroplus and a few other Japanese developers to have their soundtracks released digitally for a fair price. When that happened, I couldn’t argue with my friend anymore. It was time to trust his recommendations.

Was his recommendation worth it, or was I suckered into downloading a soundtrack that was in no way worth my time or money? Full answers to be found after the jump.

In short, he was right. My friend was right. This is a great soundtrack.

Now, let’s start by clarifying what it’s not. This isn’t a frisky, new-age-ethnic-tribal pile of sound. I had expected this to sound something like the opening themes to the Atelier and/or Ar tonelico games. But this isn’t a Gust soundtrack. This actually feels much more like a really good Motoi Sakuraba score. Or maybe a Sakimoto score. Basically, it’s a big, powerful, totally memorable RPG soundtrack. Shocking!

Much of the music takes on a full orchestral setting. Brass/strings/wind/percussion, it’s all there. Many event and battle themes use this soundscape. But there is a lot more than that to be found on the disc as well. The male J-pop vocal track “Shine” (feat. Masatoshi Ono) and the female track “Teni Yuukyuu” (feat. Kanaka Ito, who also worked on Song of Saya) stand in sharp contrast to the orchestral stuff, but they are absolutely memorable. Seriously, I’d put them on par with some of my favorite Tales themes.

This game, among other Nitroplus titles, borrows heavily from the world and work of H.P. Lovecraft. There’s even a town in the game that is Arkham City (yes, Batman borrowed from Lovecraft as well), and the music for this town is a lovely jazz theme that pits stand-up bass against a reed organ.

If you’re ready for a fantastic blend of the last four centuries’ worth of musical styles, tailored to a dark and strange Japanese graphic adventure, you may be the ideal candidate to enjoy the Deus Machina Demonbane soundtrack. Both discs are available digitally via JapanFiles.

Any and all comments about this soundtrack are welcome. Particularly, I’d love to hear from anyone who knows the music and disagrees about the soundtrack’s quality. I was very much impressed, more so than with any other soundtrack from Nitroplus, and with most PC-based graphic adventures. Those of you who would care to agree or disagree, voice your opinions! Also, any guesses to who the “friend” is that recommended this soundtrack to me?

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