01 - Overture
02 - Castle Trumpeter
03 - Melody in An Ancient Town ~ Toward the Horizon ~ Casino ~ Lively Town
04 - Magic Carpet ~ The Ocean
05 - Melody of Love
06 - Monsters in the Dungeon ~ Tower of Death ~ Dark World ~ Monsters in the Dungeon
07 - Make Me Feel Sad
08 - Violent Enemies ~ Almighty Boss Devil is Challenged
09 - Noble Requiem ~ Saint
10 - Satan
11 - Heaven
12 - Bridal Waltz
Cover for the 2009 reprint, which makes explicit the "London Philharmonic" source recording.
The second of three Symphonic Suites for Dragon Quest V, this is the London Philharmonic print. Unlike many other Dragon Quest albums that had a Sony Records print for London Philharmonic in 1996 or 1997, then reprinted by SPE in 2000, DQV's London recording was released for the first time in 2000 by SPE even though some recordings took place in 1997.
Using the "Super Bit Mapping" process, the London Philharmonic's recordings sound impressive and clean. It's not like the raw recordings of the NHK, or the "soft" recordings of the Tokyo Metropolitan. And there's no question that the compositions of Dragon Quest V benefit from a cleaner recording/mixing. For example, track 6 uses a lot of interesting tonal patterns and melodic/harmonic expressions. If this data is left raw, and even one performer is a quarter-step off, you can hear it: what a jarring experience this can be! Fortunately, on this recording, the music is clean, crisp, and clear.
The tracklist here varies from the first print, because "Make Me Feel Sad" and "Melody of Love" are split, interrupted by the Dungeon medley. I think this helps each of these two memorable themes to stand out and hold their own. And, there is no question, they are able to do that quite well. "Make Me Feel Sad" is one of my favorite Sugiyama ballad-esque melodies, and it sounds great on this recording as well.
If you don't want the Tokyo Metropolitan recording because of its mixing/recording, the London Philharmonic print is still relatively easy to find. Be sure to check it out!
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann