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Azel -Panzer Dragoon RPG-

[back cover]
Catalog Number: MJCA-10009
Released On: February 4, 1998
Composed By: Saori Kobayashi, Mariko Nanba
Arranged By: Hayato Matsuo
Published By: Marvelous Entertainment
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Ecce Valde Generous Ale (Behold the Precious Wings)
02 - First Battle
03 - Noble Rebel Army
04 - A Holy Nation of Deceit
05 - Solitary Battle
06 - Wings
07 - Seperated for Eternity
08 - Premonition of War
09 - Mutation
10 - Chaos Amongst the Silence
11 - Mutation II
12 - Giant Creature
13 - Rest
14 - Breath of Life
15 - The Blue Ruins
16 - Wandering
17 - Forbidden Land
18 - Pure Blood Seed
19 - The Black Fleet
20 - Rendevous with Destiny
21 - Atolm Dragon
22 - Spirit of the Dragon
23 - Forseen Encounter
24 - The Empire
25 - Shellcoof
26 - Zoah
27 - Paet's Theme
28 - Water Ruins
29 - Ancient Weapon
Total Time:
66'10"

Disc Two
01 - Trapped Underground
02 - Path to the Being
03 - Sealed Spirit
04 - Elevator Chase
05 - Giant Creature II
06 - Separation
07 - Source of the Protective Flame
08 - Dream
09 - Sleeping Iron Ingot
10 - Imperial Air Force
11 - Giant Warship
12 - Fading Away
13 - Holy Chariot
14 - A Century Gone By
15 - Interception
16 - Awakening
17 - Conclusion
18 - Village of the Seekers
19 - The Forest's Cry
20 - The Red Ruins
21 - Into the Promised Land
22 - Overture to the End
23 - Tears
24 - Sestren
25 - Vision
26 - Vision II
27 - The Final Battle ~Recurrence~
28 - Sona Mi Areru Ec Sancitu (Art Thou the Holy One)
Total Time:
66'22"

I've had the album for about 3 years now, and it continues to be a favorite of my collection. I really don't know how to explain what it is that makes the music so endearing to me. I never played the game, having only bought the soundtrack on a whim. I'd watched bits and pieces played by a friend, but that's it. Yet how can I be so incredibly enthralled by it? Perhaps it was the innovative vision of the composers, Saori Kobayashi and Mariko Nanba, that drew me in and refused to let go.

Panzer Dragoon Azel contains some of the most beautiful and diverse ambient music I've heard in a soundtrack; the game is epic, and so is its soundtrack. Kobayashi and Nanba perfectly set the mood of the almost primitive world with these compositions. Their heavy use of tribal drums combined with flowing melodies gives an ethereal quality to the music that was, and continues to be, groundbreaking for its time. By combining many different musical influences, including African, South American, and Celtic, Azel manages to create a unique sound of its own. This perfectly compliments and adds to the dramatic mood and atmosphere of the game; the music transports and immerses you into an entirely different world. Having listened to this album, especially "Pure Blood Seed," I almost felt like I was riding dragons along with the main character.

For some reason, this music evokes an emotional catharsis within me each time I listen it. I find it especially amazing that I feel this strongly about it even though I'd never played the game. It's incredible how the composers used unconventional instruments and samples and still managed to create beautifully stirring pieces. However, the most intriguing of the themes are those of the boss battles. With their heavy use of tribal drums and fast-paced rhythms, these heart-pounding pieces are charged with the energy and emotion of a raging battle. "Atolm Dragon" and "Giant Being 1" are excellent examples of this.

Track length is very important to me. Fortunately, most are adequate, completing two full rotations and lasting 3 to 4 minutes on most songs. There are quite a few tracks from the FMV cut-scenes. Although many of them are very good, rivaling some movie scores in my opinion, I often found myself flipping past them to listen to the more riveting level and boss themes. I feel I must make mention of the ending vocal, "Sona Mi Areru Ec Sancitu." It's a breathtaking piece, dramatically orchestrated, performed with the perfect amount of emotion, and lyrics in a fictional language, which adds to the exotic and foreign feel of the game. In short, it's an incredibly composed closing piece to an incredible game.

If you've played Panzer Dragoon Saga, odds are you have been looking for this soundtrack for a long time. Even if you haven't played it, word among the game music community probably has you more than a little curious. With an excellent team of composers creating wonderfully engrossing music, you'd be crazy not to get your hands on this album.

Reviewed by: Lucy Rzeminski

Arguably the best RPG for the Sega Saturn system, Azel: Panzer Dragoon RPG, a.k.a. Panzer Dragoon Saga, was not only a work of art in terms of graphics and story, but also in sound. With a unique style of its own, the music features a variety of new age, some classical, and many other types of tracks that really don't fit into any category. A lot of the songs are the pieces that play during any one of the numerous cinemas in the game, each being orchestrated. The rest are all chip-generated music produced by the Sega Saturn, with the exception of the title theme 'Ecce Valde Generous Ale', and the beautiful ending credits vocal song, 'Sona Mi Areru Ec Sancitu', which has lyrics written in the game's own language, often referred to as the 'Panzer Language'. The meaning of the lyrics is still unknown.

This soundtrack isn't really complete, however, because a few themes, such as the beautiful camp music played with a guitar in one of the key cinemas, and the awesome Guardian Dragon Theme, are not on the soundtrack which is rather unfortunate, but it's definitely still worth picking up.

Reviewed by: Jason Walton



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