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Dirge of Cerberus: Redemption - Gackt :: Review by Black Mamba

Final Fantasy VII Dirge of Cerberus: Redemption - Gackt Album Title: Dirge of Cerberus Final Fantasy VII: Redemption - Gackt
Record Label: Nippon Crown
Catalog No.: CRCP-10130
Release Date: January 25, 2006
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


In all honesty, I was never expecting anything great from Dirge of Cerberus Final Fantasy VII, however this single has completely flipped me around. This album is a superb mix of outstanding vocals, rock, and sound effects that aren't awkward. As a matter of fact, everything blends together nicely and is nearly perfect. Gackt is a true musician composing and performing both "Redemption" and "Longing", adding lots of variety and emotions to such a small album.


I believe in judging creations, especially musical ones, with the principle of quality over quantity. True, the single has only two original pieces, but both are so unique and well thought-out that the quality greatly shines over the quantity. The first of which, the title track "Redemption" itself, opens with an electric guitar melody that really grabs your attention. After the opening, the rock comes to a standstill as the vocals move in. I cannot express how amazing the vocals on this album are, Gackt having such a control over his voice. In the case of "Redemption", the combination of his voice and various contrasting accompaniments creates an amazing atmosphere and adds so much texture to the overall piece. This a must listen, as all the small effects that really make it stand out cannot fully be described and are much easier to appreciate by using your ears, not your eyes!

Surprisingly, the second track, "Longing", doesn't disappoint either, and, in my opinion, lives up to the precedent set by "Redemption". I hate to, but I have to bring the majority of the attention to Gackt's voice. The first time you hear him, he sounds dark and gothic, with the various filters and sound effects employed not taking away the impact of the original vocals. Following the introduction, Gackt transitions to a tone that seems to perfectly fit the emotion that the feeling of 'longing' would emit. Are you starting to think that Gackt's voice is the only thing that he has got going for him? Wait until around 1:30 when he shows his composing and arranging skills. At first I found the instrumental passages out-of-place; however, after listening through them thoroughly, I realized how this unique little sections adds even more variety to this track. Indeed, "Longing" seems to be defined by variety. The organ, strings, and "Halloweenish" screams are definitely the last things expected and create a nice surprise.

To conclude the track analysis, tracks three and four are simply karaoke versions (i.e. no vocals). They're not the best listen, as you may have guessed after I discussed Gackt's voice up so much, but hey, they're there. So if you're fluent in Japanese (or listen to the tracks enough times to have them memorized), you should find a use for these. They're in most vocal singles published for Square Enix, and, though they seem a little pointless, someone must have use for them.


How taken by surprise I was! Never have I expected Dirge of Cerberus' single to be so great. Gackt's voice is simply — I can't stress it enough — amazing. Redemption really makes me want to check out his other solo albums. No matter what genre you float towards (never was a big rock fan myself), I strongly suggest giving Redemption a listen. Judging quality over quantity, therefore...

Overall Score: 10/10