Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- OST

[limited edition cover]
Catalog Number: CRCP-40139/40 (limited edition CRCP-40137/8)
Released On: February 15, 2006
Composed By: Masashi Hamauzu, Gackt
Arranged By: Masashi Hamauzu
Published By: Nippon Crown
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
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Disc One
01 - Flicker
02 - Calm Before the Storm
03 - Trigger Situation
04 - Prologue of "DIRGE of CERBERUS"
05 - Fragment of Memory
06 - Fearful Happening
07 - WRO March
08 - Azul the Cerulean
09 - Fight Tune "Arms of Shinra"
10 - Abhorrence Whirls
11 - Silent Edge
12 - Undulation
13 - Counteroffensive
14 - Ten Year Reunion
15 - Fight Tune "Girl Named Shelke"
16 - Fight Tune "Killing One Another"
17 - Uneasy Feelings
18 - Memories with Lucrecia
19 - Sneaky Cait Sith
20 - Darkness
21 - Lifestream
22 - Rosso the Crimson
23 - Mysterious Ninja
24 - Ninja Girl of Wutai
25 - Sudden Parting
26 - Discovery in Sadness
27 - A Proposal
28 - High-Spirited
29 - Return to the Subject
30 - Marching Tune #0
Total Time:

Disc Two
01 - Return to the Origin
02 - Marching Tune
03 - Fight Tune "Crimson Impact"
04 - Under a Full Moon
05 - Trespasser
06 - Transformation into Chaos
07 - Splinter of Sadness
08 - Deep Darkness of Shinra
09 - Lucrecia Crescent
10 - Forgotten Tears
11 - Fight Tune "Messenger of the Dark"
12 - Awakening
13 - Fight Tune "The Immaculate"
14 - Finally Reborn
15 - The Last SND
16 - Everyone's Help
18 - Terminus
19 - Quickening
20 - Death and Rebirth
21 - Chaotic End
23 - Hope of the Future
Total Time:

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII is the third installment of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. Unlike the compilation's second part, the CG movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the soundtrack of this gun action RPG was not composed by Nobuo Uematsu, but by Masashi Hamauzu. The composer's newest work is solid, but just like most other recent RPG soundtracks, definitely not awe-inspiring.

On the instrumental side, this soundtrack features eleven tracks recorded by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. One will find a good combination of slow compositions (such as track 5, disc 1), march-style music (for instance, track 7, disc 1), threatening and rock-inspired on the two discs making for a good variety of moods. The number of outstanding compositions is rather small, however. My personal favorites include the epic "Trigger Situation" (track 3, disc 1), the powerful and dynamic battle theme "Fight Tune Crimson Impact" (track 3, disc 2), the calm, yet subtly upbeat "Hope of the Future" (track 23, disc 2) and the two main themes.

According to Square Enix, the soundtrack's highlights are the two main vocal themes performed by J-Pop star Gackt. I can't say that I'm familiar with his past work, but both "Longing" (track 17, disc 2) and "Redemption" (track 22, disc 2) turned out to be solid. Unlike most RPG main themes which are ballads performed by female artists, Gackt's contributions are straight rock songs. Gackt's voice is great and, leaving aside the odd Japanglish, "Redemption" is an outstanding vocal theme: definitely much better than the Kingdom Hearts II main theme, "Passion," as performed by Utada Hikaru.

Would I recommend this soundtrack? Yes, provided you like rock-inspired vocal themes and don't expect an awe-inspiring album. As a buyer of the limited edition, I would recommend that you save 600 yen and pick up the standard release. The limited edition comes in a neat box which can hold both the game (if one opts to purchase it), the Gackt single, and the soundtrack. The latter comes in an Amaray DVD case with a nicely done, but very thin, booklet. That's all. Hence, if you don't need a box to hold game and soundtrack, you might as well save some bucks and stick with the standard release.

Reviewed by: Chris Winkler