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Drag-on Dragoon 2 Original Soundtrack :: Review by Simon

Drag-on Dragoon 2 Original Soundtrack Album Title: Drag-on Dragoon 2 Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Sony Music
Catalog No.: AICL-1628
Release Date: July 20, 2005
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Drag-on Dragoon 2 is the completely orchestrated soundtrack from Yoshiki Aoi. The 22 tracks are a complete attack on the senses as an entire orchestra and full sized choir rampage as much power and tension on you as possible.


"Symphonic Poem 'Forbidden Prelude'" opens the soundtrack in a huge way. Everything is thrown into the mix in this tense and powerful piece. It is perfectly balanced and very well-produced losing none of its grandeur at any stage. The timpanis, low brass, and stabbing strings really bring out panic in the listener and it is honestly one of the best orchestral pieces I have ever listened to. "Fate" is a classically-oriented piano-based piece with sweeping woodwind and strings that eventually push the piano to the background. This is one of the few tracks which shows grace, pride, and empathy and really stands out because of that. There is a beautiful melody for most of the piece. "Plains of Pity" is a strange one because it uses an orchestral dance-paced beat and war chants over a brass tune which gives it a completely unique sound. Once again, it's full of drama and tension and completely hams it up. "Reminiscence is Madness" follows a similar line of thought and melody but is more string-based.

"Old Tombstone" brings in what sounds like ancient Erhus and Guzhengs for a maddened piece of dissonant chord progressions and some beautiful piano interludes. It took me a few listens to get this piece, but it became a favourite for me. Almost like an evil fairground ride theme. "Valley of Blindness" is a downbeat sorrowful string piece with what sounds like a guzheng improvisation in the distant background. This track is welcome as it's paced slower than all the other tracks really go for it; this is needed to stop the soundtrack becoming too much for the listener. "Formidable Enemy" returns to orchestra and choir who go all guns blazing into this triple metre battle theme. "Vein of Grief" uses a military beat to stand out from the others with waves of strings and discordant wind instruments to create more tension and confusion. While some of the tracks on this soundtrack sound dissonant, its never to the point of it being unlistenable — it's always like it for a reason.

"Sadness" is sombre piece as the title suggests, but it doesn't sit still with ambient strings and harps to a mechanical drumloop. "Exhausted ~On the Sacred Ground~" continues with the harp as a calming instrument for a beautiful piece underscored by piano and later given a voice by flutes and strings. In contrast, "Exhausted ~The Broken Past~" has a much more sharper tone to it, using the previous melody to affirm what has become a main theme on the soundtrack. "Abysmal Earth" once again cranks things up to the max. If you don't like pounding over the top orchestration then I suggest you don't buy this soundtrack because the same premise is then used in "Furious Earth" and in the much slower but still overscored "Twilight Hill" (all about the strings here). "The End of the Conclusion", however, gives us guitar and what sounds like a computerised bass! It's certainly different to the others and it has a wickedly dark melody.

"Impatience" starts off with furious keyboard-led ambience before going into a completely abstract piece of orchestral ambience (much like Clock Tower music) and random, almost comical, sections (ala Voodoo Vince). "Exploration" is more of a background track with experimental percussion loops thrown over it. "Breakthrough" returns to the all singing all dancing full orchestration for another rousing piece that goes at well over 100 miles an hour with some stunning musical work. "Unrest" gives us another ambient experiment using that faithful horror movie glass moving noise before "Final Battle" goes percussion mad to conclude the in-game music section. The final track on the soundtrack is "Hitori", sung by Mika Nakashima. It is a soft jazz song with sultry smooth vocals and a nice tune. Not a personal favourite of my vocal tracks but definitely a good song.


Drag-on Dragoon 2 is all about power and orchestration. While it does do other things the majority of the soundtrack is about pounding out as much as you can as grandly as you can. This does for orchestras what The Black Mages did for stadium rock so, if you think you can stomach it and are prepared for a tension filled ride, go for it!

Overall Score: 9/10