Baroque Music from the OST
Catalog Number: STMC-118
Released On: July 12, 2007
Composed By: Shigeki Hayashi
Arranged By: Shigeki Hayashi
Published By: Sting
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD

01 - Pulse of Steel
02 - Sinful Eyes
03 - The Crimson Sky
04 - Endless Redemption
05 - Crazy Prayer
06 - Advanced Angel
07 - Stagnating Flow
08 - Spilling Tears
09 - Mysterious Forming
10 - Floatage Girl
11 - The Wriggling One
12 - In the Plot
13 - Frenzy and Noise
14 - Innocence
15 - Groan of Metal
16 - The Divine Perpetuator
17 - Voice From Abyss
18 - Transmigration of the Sin
19 - Echo of Infinity
20 - Conflict
21 - Howl
22 - Recollection
23 - Melody of Tarantella
24 - Chaos
25 - Wish
26 - To One
27 - Invitation to the Future
Total Time:

Shigeki Hayashi, a long-time member of Sting's music team and composer for such games as Riviera and Yggdra Union, stepped in to compose the PlayStation 2 / Wii remake of Sting's classic RPG "Baroque." It must be noted that this soundtrack shares virtually nothing with its original counterpart, whose score was handled by Masaharu Iwata. With this remake, Sting was going for all-new everything: gameplay, graphics, and even music.

Despite the change in composer lineup, the style of the two soundtracks are remarkably similar. The industrial/techno grinds are here, as are the creepy, ambient tracks. They even did another track involving samples of childrens' voices to scare the daylights out of us (track 14, "Innocence"). If anything, Hayashi was definitely faithful in his rendition of the game's score even as he composed entirely new music.

The challenge with reviewing an OST of this nature (that is, the ambient/techno style) is that it's difficult to judge. Traditional concepts of melody and harmony are thrown out the window, and as a reviewer, I am then left with very little to say about its pros or cons. Did I enjoy listening to the album? Yes. Is it memorable? No, not really; there are a few tracks that stand out though, including the opening track and track 16 "The Divine Perpetuator." It's very clear that the music was written for the express purpose of accompanying the highly stylized and macabre RPG. As a stand-alone experience, I don't know what to say about it. It gave me chills when I closed my eyes and listened to it in bed. Surprisingly, the repetition and the grinding percussive sounds never gave me a headache. So I suppose that's a sign of good composition on Hayashi's part.

When you consider the type of music Shigeki Hayashi has composed in the past, this is quite the departure. But for what it is, I suppose that it is top-tier music. Unfortunately, the album was printed and released directly by Sting, and is not found on most English-friendly online shops. To those interested in the acquisition of such an album, it looks like Yahoo! Japan Auctions will have to suffice (again).

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann