Akumajo Dracula Apocalypse Original Game Soundtrack

Dracula Apocalypse Original Game Soundtrack, Akumajo. Передняя обложка. Click to zoom.
Dracula Apocalypse Original Game Soundtrack, Akumajo
Передняя обложка
Composed by Mariko Egawa / Masahiko Kimura / Motoaki Furukawa
Arranged by Masahiko Kimura / Motoaki Furukawa
Published by King Records
Catalog number KICA-7942
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 39 Tracks
Release date March 26, 1999
Duration 01:13:22
Genres
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Overview

This soundtrack has received extremely negative reaction from some gamers who completely disliked the game. The insults include "disappointing to bear the name Castlevania", "a disgrace to the series", and a whole bunch of other unfavorable comments. From hearing all this, I was somewhat skeptical upon my purchase of this soundtrack. However, after listening to it, I must tell you that I am truly quite surprised with Akumajo Dracula Apocalypse Original Game Soundtrack; it is quite good.

Body

This soundtrack charts a new direction for the game series. In every Castlevania game, Konami has relied on rocking music with a ghoulish flair for the scores. But never before has Castlevania music been known for ambient, atmospheric music or movie-score elements, until this one came along. This works extremely well for most of the tracks, such as "Wall Tower" and "Tranquil Insanity". While they're calm, they still have a whiff of evil, never betraying the feel of a Castlevania game.

There are some moments when the music gets extremely dissonant and uncomfortable to listen to, such as "Villager" and "Myserious Casket". But then comfort is hardly the purpose of those tracks. They accompany some of the more horrifying moments of the game (such as a villager becoming a vampire, skeletons rising from the ground, etc.). They're not meant for the listening experience, but they complement their scenes in the game perfectly.

Konami soundtracks have always been known for reusing songs from the previous games, and this soundtrack is no exception. The opening track is an impressive violin solo of "Bloodlines" from Dracula X: Rondo of Blood (some gamers consider this the highlight of this otherwise ambient score). In addition, two boss battle themes, "Hellish Hallucinations" and "Illusionary Dance", also return. Last but not least, there are shades of "Bloody Tears" in one track ("Mysterious Casket"). The rest is all brand new and different, but it still manages to keep just the right feeling required for the mood of the game — spooky, horrifying, and nightmarish. (In fact, I'd suggest not playing it at night!)

As dark as the soundtrack is most of the time, there are some surprisingly beautiful tracks. "The Green Gravestone" and "Reunited", in particular, are two of the prettiest theme Konami has ever done. Both are sad yet happy and have impressive ending bridges. Castlevania soundtracks have never been known for such tracks. This is definitely something new for a series that has always relied on rock and roll for music.

The album release is more than a treat. It contains most of the songs from the game (except for the dissonant interludes), all of which are true and unadulterated. The only exception is in the "Staff Roll", where an extra bridge leading to the final note (not included in the game, for some reason) can be heard.

Another treat here is the three bonus tracks. One of the bonus tracks, Motoaki Furukawa's "Invisible Sorrow", is the only piece that is rocking, but unfortunately it isn't terribly memorable. "Melodies of Castlevania", on the other hand, is terrific. It appears to be a synthetic orchestral rendition for the moody main theme of the game. It's really beautiful. But wait, there's more! The last track, "A Night in Peace and Quiet", is a duet between a piano and a violin and is one of the most ravishing pieces ever to have been written for a Castlevania game (not to mention that there's sheet music of that song in the album).

Summary

With all these great assets, it seems somewhat curious that some Castlevania fans rejected Apocalypse. All the preceding Castlevania scores could be recognizable since they follow the same rock 'n roll formula with the exception of Symphony of the Night. Some could mistake Apocalypse for being a dramatic movie score, and that's probably one of the best compliments I could give to any Konami score. Hopefully one day, this soundtrack will get a better chance. In the meantime, I applaud Konami for having the courage to create this spooky, experimental score.



Album
8/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Jon Turner

Overview

The score for Castlevania 64 (aka Akumajo Dracula Apocalypse) is generally regarded as one of the weakest of the series, especially after the masterpiece PlayStation score that preceded it. Composed principally by Masahiko Kimura, it is dominated by event, setting, and action themes written in a dark orchestral style. While the score is an interesting experiment, it is only partly successful in the game and lacks stand-alone merit. The soundtrack was commercially in both Japan and Europe.

Body

The "Prologue" reflects the new direction that Masahiko Kimura has decided to take the series. He emphasises the foreboding tone of the opening cinematic with suspended strings and heavy percussion. The result sounds even more dark and cinematic than the moodiest material on Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Yet while it is effective in context, it is far too repetitive and dull to be worth stand-alone listening. Kimura takes a similar approach for most other cinematic cues on the soundtrack, placing a focus on drab synthesised strings. He also doesn't hesitate to create highly dissonant pieces, such as "Shudder", "The Villager", and "Rhapsody of Another Dimension". These are powerful accompaniments in the game, yet again are utterly alienating on a stand-alone level. Unfortunately, these cinematic cues are so numerous that they significantly detract from the stand-alone experience.

Thankfully, the setting themes are generally more carefully constructed pieces of ambience. "Quiet Madness", "Maze Garden", and "Science Tower" offer particularly remarkable timbres, thanks to their excellent mixing and synthesis. However, they are still somewhat let down by their repetitive elements and premature loops. They're listenable on a stand-alone basis, but not as rich or developed as, say, Resident Evil 2 released around the same time. A more accomplished example is "Invisible Sorrow" which, while mostly focusing on fragile harp arpeggios, undergoes an immersive progression with evocative chord progressions and sporadic synth additions. Serving as both an atmospheric accompaniment to the underground tower and an excellent stand-alone listen, this collaboration between Furukawa and Kimura somehow manages to be unsettling yet soothing at the same time.

There are thankfully some more expressive tracks to break up the experience. Following a dark introduction, the core of "Mark of Blood" is actually deeply personal; it creates a sense of lamentation with successive violin and piano solos, written in the spirit of Michiru Yamane. Other more intimate brevities include "Rosa", "Planetarium", and "Brief Tranquility". Yet while there are comforting moments, listeners should not expect any upbeat themes and rock anthems on the soundtrack. In fact, the only direct references to past scores in the series are provided by a fleeting appearance of "Bloody Tears" and two brutal modernist orchestrations of "Dancing in Phantasmic Hell" and "Illusionary Dance" for the action scenes. Even the "Staff Roll" theme is a subdued and conflicted affair, hinting that the Castlevania saga is far from over.

The soundtrack release concludes with three bonus tracks. "Melodies of Castlevania" reflects the melancholy underlying the soundtrack with a synthetic orchestral rendition of the main theme, before moving into a much-needed brighter passage at the 2:11 mark. Guest composer Motoaki Furukawa interprets the score's main ambient highlight, "Invisible Sorrow", in his character jazz fusion style completely with semi-acoustic guitar work and relaxing tropical beats. Those who enjoy this style will like this piece, though it lacks the subtle beauty of the original. The score concludes with an arrangement of the ending theme "A Night in Peace and Quiet" for piano and violin. The intimate writing here is beautiful and the studio-recorded performances bring out the most of Kimura's part-writing.

Summary

It's admirable how Masahiko Kimura attempted to intensify and modernise the Castlevania 64 with dark cinematic, ambient, and action elements. However, his approach to creating such themes generally lacked the subtlety and variety needed to compare against most mature scores at the time. What's more, it is certainly alienating for those who have grown up with the mostly uplifting music of the Castlevania series and a middle ground similar to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night may have been a superior direction. Both flawed in concept and execution, the Castlevania 64 score is an interesting addition to the series, but a mostly unappealing stand-alone listen.



Album
6/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Chris Greening

Album was composed by Mariko Egawa / Masahiko Kimura / Motoaki Furukawa and was released on March 26, 1999. Soundtrack consists of tracks with duration over more than hour. Album was released by King Records.

CD 1

1
Introduction
01:46
2
Setting
01:11
3
Prologue
01:05
4
Shudder
01:07
5
Intrusion
00:48
6
Watchtower
01:57
7
Annex - Silent Madness
02:49
8
Hamlet People
01:04
9
Rose
01:12
10
Maze Garden
01:37
11
Mysterious Coffin
00:52
12
First Struggle
01:06
13
Underground Waterway
02:47
14
Underground Tunnel - Invisible Sorrow
04:59
15
Lamented Rose
00:46
16
Dungeon - Main Theme
02:48
17
Malus Reappears
01:17
18
Actrise
00:58
19
Sypha
00:48
20
Planetarium
00:44
21
Unexpected Encounter
00:47
22
Duel Tower
02:18
23
Tower of Science
02:40
24
Tower of Execution
02:07
25
Tower of Sorcery
02:12
26
Second Struggle
01:18
27
Toothed Wheel
02:01
28
Stairway to the Clouds
01:19
29
Third Struggle - Dance of Illusions
01:36
30
Moment of Silence
00:56
31
Castle Escape
00:44
32
Fourth Struggle - Concert of Another Dimension
01:39
33
Carrie's Good Ending
01:52
34
Bad Ending
01:51
35
Schneider's Good Ending
02:46
36
Credits
04:20
37
Melodies of Castlevania (Bonus Track)
03:39
38
Invisible Sorrow (Bonus Track)
04:53
39
A Night of Peace and Quiet (Bonus Track)
02:43
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