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Touhou Gensou Shiten 5 -Fable- :: Review by Don

Touhou Gensou Shiten 5 -Fable- Album Title: Touhou Gensou Shiten 5 -Fable-
Record Label: Sound Sepher
Catalog No.: SEPR-0008
Release Date: December 30, 2010
Purchase: Buy at Sweep Record


Released during Comic Market 79, Fable is the most recent Touhou arrange album from the Sound Sepher label. It focuses a lot on the most recent game, Great Fairy Wars. Featuring primarily members of SuperSweep, with doujin artist Sorabu as a guest contributor, is the overall listening experience affected due to the lack of many artists on the album?


Sorabu, the sole doujin artist on the album, contributes two very different remixes. The first, "Because Princess Inada is Scolding Me," features an interesting progression that focuses on rock with an Asian soundscape due to the wonderful woodwind work in the melody line. However, as the theme progresses, the rock is replaced with more classically-oriented instrumentation and it is given a bit of a gothic touch, if only slightly, before moving into some rock undertones and back to the more rock-oriented approach. It's a fun remix that fuses two different soundscapes quite nicely. The second theme, "Charming Domination ~ Who Done It!," on the other hand, is a wonderful European influenced remix with some touches of Spain and France. The accordion melody combined with the flamenco guitar manages to create an excellent pair and really brings out the best in the melody.

Shoichiro Sakamoto contributes most to the album. "Wind God Girl" is a very nice remix, I feel, that manages to capture some great energy. I really like the heavy rock focus with some charming woodwind, piano, and synthesizer melody lines. In particular, I really like how the majority of the melody line is usually the focus of the melody before moving into the synth focused B section. It helps reinforce the name of the theme. In addition, although a bit muddled in the mix, there is some beautiful Hammond organ sounding work that really harmonizes with the more predominant synthesizer and rock work. "The Fairy's Adventurous Tale" is an upbeat synth rock piece that really helps improve upon the original synth. It's an intense remix and quite enjoyable, for sure, but I find it to be one of the weakest on the album in terms of actual execution. "Youkai Mountain ~ Mysterious Mountain," the shortest remix on the album, is a synth rock focused piece with some more organic elements from time to time. For example, the intense synth sections are broken up by some calmer woodwind derived melodies with more of a pop focus in the drum work.

Three of Shoichiro Sakamoto's remixes come from the latest game to be released, Great Fairy Wars. "The Refrain of the Lovely Great War" is an upbeat remix with a trance-like melody accompanied by some fast paced electronic beats and drums. There are some piano sections on occasion that add contrast to the majority of the remix, as these are mellow in approach and often carry a hint of etherealness. The increased tempo and the synth focused approach of the arrangement really improves upon the original, in my opinion, which I felt was a bit clunky, despite its intriguing piano work and strings focused atmosphere. "Ruse Rain" opens up with some visual kei inspired gothic toned elements, such as some suspenseful organ work and some choral work, both of which resurface from time to time in the theme. From there, it moves into a more dance like theme with some wonderful synth work. Throughout the remix, Sakamoto manages to keep that suspenseful air while also making the arrangement a treat to listen to due to his signature synth and variations in the melody and harmony.

The last remix by Sakamoto, "Magus Night," is probably the most sinister in approach. Opening up with bombastic choral chants before moving into an upbeat rock piece with some extremely ominous sounding synthesizer notes, it's a remix that definitely has a very gothic nature to it. There are some synthesizer sections that sound a bit more upbeat and, in a way, inspire hope, especially during the sections that are given a key change. The more gothic and choral sections though, despite their brevity at times, manage to reinforce the idea of an extremely powerful entity. It's one of my favorite remixes from Sakamoto on the album.

The rest of the Supersweep presence on the album consists only of Yousuke Yasui and Takahiro Eguchi. Contributing one remix, "Satori Maiden ~ 3rd Eye," Yousuke Yasui offers a fantastic rock theme. While I think his "Fires of Hokkai" remix is much better, I do enjoy this updated version of the original. The powerful rock riffs, keyboard harmonies, and electric guitar melody make for a very exciting version of my favorite Touhou boss theme in history. The piano inclusion is also extremely beautiful; however, I wish it developed longer. In the end, it's definitely an entertaining remix.

Takahiro Eguchi opens and closes the album with his three remixes. The opening remix, "An Ice Fairy in Spring," manages to convey the mellow nature of the original, while at the same time, adding a nice twist to it. Eguchi manages to make it a very groovy, disco inspired arrangement with some great electronic beats that help add the funk while the strings help craft the retro dance soundscape. The addition of a very unexpected, but fitting, saxophone solo really helps to bring the track to a close. My favorite track on the entire album is definitely Eguchi's rendition of "Year-Round Absorbed Curiosity." It is a fantastic trance remix with exquisite piano leads and beautiful electronic harmonies. It really manages to throw a variety of synthesizer sounds and occasional melody as well as provide a bit of an Asian influence in terms of the piano melody. The key change later in the remix also manages to provide a very beautiful effect, making the overall sound a bit more jovial and heavenly. The album closes with Eguchi's take on "The Earth Spirits' Homecoming." It's, for the most part, a very calming track with some beautiful ethereal synthesizer and exotic percussion accompaniment and a stunning sitar-like melody. Some other notable additions include some heavenly vocal accompaniment from time to time as well as the addition of electric guitar as the remix progresses that give the remix a bit of edge but retaining its beautiful soundscape. It's a wonderful way to close the album.


In the end, I think that Touhou Gensou Shiten 5 -Fable- album is a fine addition to the Sound Sepher label. I think that Sorabu, Yousuke Yasui, and Takahiro Eguchi help craft themes that contemplate Shoichiro Sakamoto's musical style. However, at the same time, while I find Shoichiro Sakamoto's remixes very enjoyable, they may not add enough diversity to the album for some listeners. Many rely on variations of his style, but none transform the originals into something off the beaten path, like some of the remixes on his older albums or the other remixers featured on the album.

Overall Score: 7/10