01 - Deep Dreams
02 - Bible Master
03 - Second Seal
04 - Startling Match
05 - El-Ved Theme
06 - Fantastic Zone
07 - Character Makers
08 - Winning Match
09 - Wanday Street
10 - Super Battle Actors
11 - Legend of the Twin Towers
12 - Aglia's Tragedy
13 - For a New Life
14 - Approach on Final Stage
Tenpei Sato is well-known for his work on a number of recent Nippon Ichi titles, including Puppet Princess (Rhapsody), La Pucelle, Phantom Brave, and Disgaea. Long before these games had their fifteen minutes of fame, Sato did work with a fairly obscure company named "Glodia", who released a number of traditional and strategy RPGs in the early 90s for various consoles and platforms. One of their later games was Bible Master 2: The Chaos of Aglia (perhaps better translated as "Aglia's Tragedy", see track 12).
I couldn't for a moment tell you anything about Bible Master 2, but I have plenty to say about its music, found on this very obscure soundtrack. Generally, I enjoy this music a lot. To help you understand how I feel about this CD, follow along as I describe the tracks that are sampled.
Track 3 is a somber and expressive piece, having all the same force and impact as some of Uematsu or Mitsuda's greater works (FFVI, Chrono Trigger). Take note of the higher-quality synth string samples, or the occasional tambourine hit. This song is one of my favorites on the CD.
Track 5 is a vocal piece, and I know it might not be MEANT to be silly, but it really is. The lyrics are in English, and they are some of the most ridiculous garbage I've ever heard. "I hope you realize what you mean to me, I need your love right now to keep me safe." Of course, the creepy piano-based background with a female rap and an even creepier chorus...who is this? What is this? I don't understand, but I know that it's different: I've never heard ANYTHING like it. Sato's genius shines again this rather awkward vocal piece.
Track 10 is a straight-up rock-your-socks-off battle theme. Honestly, this song rivals with some of the better Falcom battle tracks (I enjoy this piece as much as any Ys IV battle track, just to give you an idea). The sample doesn't do this track justice, you need to hear it in its entirety.
Aglia's Tragedy is another expressive song, much like a ballad, this time featuring the piano. The range of emotion in this piece is far-reaching: sad and somber, then imaginative, then surprisingly happy: it all flows together nicely as well. When I first heard this piece, I had to say to myself, "Sato really is that good!"
Track 13, a four minute piece, features a woman singing "ooh" to a catchy and somehow familiar melody. The electronic piano synth gives the piece that much-desired neo-80s feel which keeps your spirits bright through a boing 9-to-5 workday. This song leaves me with all praise and no complaints.
The other tracks are also well-done: there is another vocal piece, some epic orchestra-esque pieces, more rock tracks, and Sato's trademark "happy-time bouncy goodness" music makes an appearance on track 9. The whole album was a bit of a surprise for me; it has given me a strong desire to find more Tenpei Sato music. The only letdown is that this CD is not even hitting the 40 minute mark: imagine how many more awesome tracks could've been on this CD!
One more thing, be sure NOT to miss the back cover image. Who is this Tenpei Sato character anyway? There are even more humorous pictures found in the insert, including one of Sato sitting on a chair with legs crossed, looking pensively into the sky: I laughed for fifteen minutes over that one!
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann