Azel ~ Panzer Dragoon RPG

Azel ~ Panzer Dragoon RPG. Front. Click to zoom.
Azel ~ Panzer Dragoon RPG
Front
Composed by Mariko Nanba / Saori Kobayashi
Arranged by Hayato Matsuo
Published by Marvelous Entertainment USA
Catalog number MJCA-10009
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 2 CD - 57 tracks
Release date March 2, 1998
Duration 02:12:28
Genres
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Overview

The Panzer Dragoon Saga soundtrack, composed by Saori Kobayashi and Mariko Nanba, is not exactly the dragon-themed RPG soundtrack I expected. I haven't played this game but I know I don't have to understand the music when listening to this sort of fantasy RPG soundtrack. Whether you expect great or bad music, I'm sure you aren't going to be expecting the most unique music in the world considering the dragon influence that so many games seem to have. You therefore might end up being surprised at how unconventional this soundtrack is for its time. The Panzer Dragoon RPG Azel Complete Soundtrack is the first print of the soundtrack and follows an incomplete mini soundtrack release.

Body

Panzer Dragoon relies on fantastical ambience and percussion, rather than catchy melodies, to be good. In fact, the opening track "Ecce Valde Generous Ale" (aka "Behold the Precious Wings") shows off the percussive and ambient nature of the soundtrack right away. Though much of the album is mostly composed of synthetic music, there are a few exceptions like this track. The composers even added a majestic choir line to the theme that works very well. Because of that, this is one of the few tracks with a flowing melody as opposed to a more ambient and subdued melody. And it's not cheap bargain bin "new age" either.

When listening to certain tracks, I find there's almost an exotic and immersive aspect to this soundtrack. Of course, most fantasy music is technically exotic, but as gamers, we find that style familiar if we play enough RPGs. Tracks like "Village of the Seekers", "The Forest's Scream", and "The Chaos Within the Silence", however, helps the album go above and beyond what other fantasy games tend to accomplish. The former, in particular, is definitely one of my favorite tracks with its twangy Middle Eastern instruments and subdued marimba beat. The result is pretty but haunting. A lot of this album maintains this dark sound and even the traditionally happier and relaxing music has dark undertones. Look at "Rest", for example. I'm guessing it's an inn track, but it's extremely melancholy. It is also one of the few tracks with more of a melody, which naturally makes it stand out a little more.

This album still manages to be catchy with most music lacking in strong melodies or harmonies. This may be due to the crispness and cleanliness of the tracks and the variety of instrumentation. The tribal percussive sound juxtaposed to electronic synthesizer blurbs makes for extremely interesting pieces, particularly the battle tracks. "Giant Creature", for instance, is ambient but has a beat that works for it and creates authentic tension in an individualistic way. Some pieces can still fall a little sort though. "Sestren" may be a little too ambient for my liking. It's basically a repeating ambient sound and there's not much too it. I'm sure it found its use in the game. Other tracks like "The Black Feet" may still come off a little formulaic. There's definitely still enough good to make up for the bad on this album though.

I imagine the final battle must be extremely epic when listening to "Final Battle ~Recurrence~". This track takes the ambience to the next level. There's no melody, no beat, and nothing familiar in the least. This is out of this world and I felt like I was watching Kubrik's 2001: A Space Odyssey. The synthesizer chimes in over what is otherwise "noise" and just when you think you are about to catch a melody it kind of swoops away. It's tense and plays with you head. It brings on some real emotion and I find it interesting that this track works after a tried and true set of percussive tracks before it. I try to keep in mind that this approach could have ended up as a complete bore, but it's not boring due to the brilliant execution. You may think this approach is good or bad for stand-alone listening, but I only get that feeling from a few select pieces on the album. Every piece, good or bad, creates atmosphere and that's a great feat.

Summary

In a game where riding dragons is involved, it would have been easy to just cop-out with a generic fantasy RPG soundtrack. This album is nothing of the sort. Saori Kobayashi and Mariko Nanba are brilliant for creating an immersive soundtrack that still captures the fantasy feel of the game while trying something completely new for the genre. It's not that it's different but also that it really adds to the genre. There's plenty of interesting instrumentation from classical band and orchestra instruments to tribal percussion and super ambient synthesizers and sounds. The balance is varied throughout the album and, in turn, it isn't monotonous in the least. This print run was extremely limited so this is a toughie to find, but fortunately alternatives are available in the form of the Panzer Dragoon RPG Azel Memorial Soundtrack.



Album
9/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Charles Szczygiel

Arrangement:
Hayato Matsuo: 1.1, 2.28

Lyrics:
Shirou Maekawa: 2.28

Vocals:
Eri Itoh: 2.28
Album was composed by Mariko Nanba / Saori Kobayashi and was released on March 2, 1998. Soundtrack consists of 57 tracks tracks with duration over more than 2 hours. Album was released by Marvelous Entertainment USA.

CD 1

1
Ecce Valde Generous Ale
01:34
2
First Battle
01:18
3
Nobel Rebel Army
02:07
4
A Holy Nation of Deceit
01:20
5
Solitary Battle
01:59
6
Wings
01:20
7
Separated for Eternity
01:51
8
Premonition of War
05:11
9
Metemorphosis 1
01:45
10
The Chaos Within the Silence
02:33
11
Metamorphosis 2
01:54
12
Giant Creature 1
03:08
13
Rest
01:48
14
Breath of Life
01:45
15
The Blue Ruins
00:47
16
Wandering
02:46
17
Forbidden Land
01:33
18
Pure Blood Seed
03:25
19
The Black Fleet
02:21
20
Rendezvous with Destiny
00:30
21
Atolm Dragon
04:01
22
Spirit of the Dragon
02:17
23
Forseen Encounter
00:58
24
The Empire
03:33
25
Boxship
01:58
26
Zoah
02:51
27
Paet
03:31
28
Water Ruins
02:41
29
Ancient Weapon
03:23

CD 2

1
Trapped Underground
01:25
2
Path to the Being
03:49
3
Sealed Spirit
01:25
4
Elevator Chase
01:15
5
Giant Creature 2
02:09
6
Separation
00:37
7
Source of the Protective Flame
03:02
8
Dream
02:03
9
Sleeping Iron Ingot
03:30
10
Imperial Air Force
03:43
11
Giant Warship
03:24
12
Fading Away
01:15
13
Holy Chariot
02:32
14
A Century Gone By
02:36
15
Interception
02:40
16
Awakening
01:39
17
Conclusion
02:29
18
Village of the Seekers
02:44
19
The Forest's Scream
03:37
20
The Red Ruins
01:41
21
Into the Promised Land
01:46
22
Overture to the End
03:31
23
Tears
01:44
24
Sestren
01:04
25
Vision 1
02:01
26
Vision 2
02:02
27
The Final Battle - Recurrence
02:25
28
Sona Mi Areru Ec Sancitu
04:12
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