01 - Theme
02 - Yearning
03 - Tranquility
04 - Advancing Army
05 - Ruriko
06 - Misao
07 - Kaoru
08 - Reiko
09 - Jun
10 - Fei
11 - Yukino
12 - Francine
13 - Emergency Takeoff
14 - Quiet March
15 - Reminiscence
16 - Invader
17 - The Approaching Terror
18 - The Zeromen of Shadow Mountain
19 - Victory
20 - Times of Decisive War
21 - Occult Power
22 - Romance
23 - Sadness
24 - Private - Tategami High School
25 - On the Southern Island...
26 - The Decisive Battle
27 - Despair
28 - A.E.G.I.S.
29 - A Sense of Duty
30 - Eyeglasses
31 - Loneliness
32 - Winter Sleep
33 - Darker Than Darkness, More Dazzling Than the Snows
34 - The People Not Yet Known
35 - As a Shield to Protect the Earth
36 - Like a Blue Hurricane
37 - Psychedelic de GOGO! (inst.)
38 - Now, the Graven Shadow of Destruction
39 - The Miracle is Always in My Hands
40 - The Soaring One Who Pierced the Heavens
41 - The Endless Calamity
42 - The Grotesque God Alights Upon the Earth
43 - One and the Same Future, One and the Same Life
44 - A Dream Scattered Amongst the Rubble
45 - And So, the Sunshine Gleams Once More
46 - Beach Memories~End Title
Gatekeepers, originally an anime series, had a quick gaming stint in the form of a PlayStation RPG. This would be the soundtrack for that RPG.
I have a deep respect for Kouhei Tanaka, the man who composed one of my alltime favorite soundtracks (Alundra) and is known as a veteran in the fields of VGM and anime music. I am generally willing to purchase anything released with his name on it; hence, this soundtrack review.
Like my favorite album, "Alundra," Tanaka's music for the PlayStation struck me as particularly fitting. The synths used, the way he writes: it all seems to mesh perfectly. When you have an album with over 40 tracks, we know that they can't all be hits, but there are plenty of songs to enjoy throughout the album.
After some simple introduction pieces, the album kicks off with the character themes, which were all transformed to vocal tracks in the Gatekeepers Vocal Album. These in-game versions, the originals, are every bit as good as the vocal versions, perhaps even better (as some vocalists tend to spoil a good thing).
Tanaka's style is best shown in songs like track 13, "Emergency Takeoff." Wow. The pulsing pace of the piano and the synth orchestra will easily remind listeners of "Destati," one of Yoko Shimomura's best battle themes from Kingdom Hearts. Anyone who is able to successfully compose pieces this enjoyable and memorable is worthy of praise.
Very few of these songs are lacking in style or quality, and I could easily give a track-by-track if I wanted to devote the time. Honestly, I was surprised at the amount of effort Tanaka put in an album for a game based on an anime. It's rare to find such quality for these sorts of soundtracks.
The last fifteen tracks, I'm guessing, are musical numbers used particularly for FMV cutscenes in the game. The higher sound quality and the descriptive track titles would seem to suggest this. They are mostly impressive, bombastic numbers that hit the listener hard but do not necessarily leave a lasting impression.
The final track, the credits music, contains a quick vocal track ("Beach Memories") and then a lovely full orchestra piece that lasts about 5 minutes. Tanaka does an excellent job at blending the strings, wind, and brass; orchestra is really his best place to work, and it shows on this end credits theme. It's one of my favorite Tanaka pieces to date.
Final verdict? It's not Tanaka's best, but there are a few albums that it is clearly superior to (Granstream Saga, Alundra 2), and I'd be quick to recommend it to people looking for a really unique artifact in their VGM collection.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann