01 - Main Theme
02 - Himiko
03 - Sword of Fate
04 - Labyrinth Graveyard
05 - Rim ~Indomitable Goddess~
06 - Crystal Reef
07 - Resurrection
08 - Demon Shrine
09 - Misa
Wow. This album is perfect in almost every way.
Kenichi Okuma is now a veteran composer for games and anime. But at the time of this release, Okuma was still building his repertoire. And what an excellent addition! Götzendiener (translated "Servant of God" from German) was an RPG for the PC Engine, and both the game and its soundtrack are rarities these days. Indeed, collectors who specialize in the PC Engine era should be interested in this one.
Okuma's music for this game is simply fantastic. A smooth blend of real instrumental performance and synthesized chiptunes, this OST/arrange album is exactly the sort of music that I loved from mid-90s VGM. That said, it is very different from the soundscape of another mid-90s favorite: Falcom. Okuma's style is closer to Tenpei Sato than anything else, but it is far less "cheesy" or outright gaudy than Sato's work from the 1990s.
There is a strange, ethnic influence to this album. The first seconds of the album set the tone using instruments traditional to China, India, and even the Middle East. String, percussion, and wind instruments compete for attention on this opening track, and the melody is lovely. I am at times reminded of Yoko Kanno's "Uncharted Waters," and at other times of Mitsuda's score for Tsugunai. Either way, the opening track is brilliant, and Okuma sets the bar high for himself with this opening song.
The album remains soft and, at times, enigmatic for the next three tracks. But on track 5, we hear a song with strong synth, similar to the music Joe Hisaishi composed for the dragonfly sequence in Nausicaä. Those who have heard the song know what I'm talking about. It's good stuff. However, alongside this synth, there is a lot of violin work. The whole composition is something akin to a live performance from Motoi Sakuraba.
The remaining tracks are all beautiful, and they all make use of other Eastern/Oriental ethnic instrumentation. The whole album is, as I said at the beginning, perfect in almost every way. This is a great album to own, and I recommend it to anyone looking for something different from mid-90s RPG soundtracks (i.e. not a Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest clone). It's a fairly valuable album, though, so be sure to save up a pretty penny or two before beginning the hunt for this CD.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann