Rebus OST & Classical Arrange

[back cover]
Catalog Number: KICA-5011/2
Released On: June 5, 1998
Composed By: Hidehito Aoki, Kenichi Tsuchiya, Masaki Kurokawa
Arranged By: Shinichiro Mizobuchi
Published By: King Records
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs

Disc One
Original Soundtracks
01 - Landscape
02 - Revelation
03 - Lively Knight
04 - Knight
05 - Shout of Victory
06 - Attractive Legend
07 - Divine Protection
08 - Misty's Confession
09 - Phantom Beast I
10 - Expectation
11 - Troublesome Hero
12 - Phantom Beast III
13 - Impatience
14 - Kartia
15 - Degenerating Society
16 - Crisis
17 - Salindart
18 - Toxa Take Off
19 - The Grounds of a Different World
20 - Dance of Words
21 - Theme of Toxa Classico
22 - Knight of Liberty Toxa
23 - Thanks to Toxa
24 - Holy Woman
25 - Goddess
26 - Feel Uneasy
27 - Vigilance Committee
28 - Inquisition Committee
29 - Taking Up Arms
30 - Ominous
31 - Tragedy
32 - True Investigator
33 - Collapse
34 - Phantom Beast II
35 - Lengthy Campaign
36 - Lacryma Take Off
37 - The Fire Side
38 - Reunion with Father
39 - Venerable Tree
40 - Decisive Battle
41 - Theme of Lacryma Christi
42 - Procession of Saints
43 - Thanks to Lacryma
44 - Portrait
Total Time:

Disc Two
Classical Arrange
01 - Overture "Divine Protection ~Weapons~"
02 - Symphonic Poem "Saladinart ~Hatred~"
03 - Symphony "Toxa ~Knight~"
04 - Symphony "Lacryma ~Holy Woman~"
05 - Piano Quintet "Sad Situation ~Sorrow~"
06 - Symphony "Decisive Battle ~Battle~"
07 - Guitar Suite "Dance of Words ~Dance of the Soul of Language~"
08 - String Quartet "Conversation ~Rapport~"
09 - Piano Variation "Silence ~Bloodstained Silence~"
10 - Symphonic Poem "REBUS ~Reality and Illusions~"
Total Time:

For those of you who are Atlus fans, you may remember one of their PlayStation strategy RPGs entitled Kartia. Originally called Rebus in Japan, the game featured mediocre gameplay, but it did have excellent artwork by Yoshitaka Amano and a surprisingly good score. I didn't really get too far into it, myself, but I've had the album for quite some time, and lately realized just how good it is. That coupled with pressure from Pat (our soundtracks editor) to review it, and I couldn't say no.

Rebus' soundtrack was composed by the trio of Hidehito Aoki, Kenichi Tsuchiya, and Masaki Kurokawa. Some may recognize those last two from some of the Shin Megami Tensei games, including Persona 2 and SMT 3. While the Rebus soundtrack is a far cry from MegaTen, I noticed a few similarities here and there.

One thing I have noticed about many Strategy-RPG soundtracks is their reliance on a particular melody upon which most of the other tracks are built. Rebus is no different, building upon the motif set up in the opening track, Landscape, which features drums, horns, and that fantasy strat-rpg staple, bells. It's an epic battle theme that is solid enough to build around, yet flexible enough to encourage diversity. The melody reappears throughout the soundtrack, in places such as Revelation, the main battle theme Knight, Divine Protection, and Toxa Take Off.

Don't worry, though; Rebus contains more than just variations of the same motif. There are some excellent battle themes that don't build on the main theme, such as Phantom Beast I and Phantom Beast III, both fast-paced battle themes with solid bass drum beats. Then there's the slightly slower Saldinart which manages to be dark, but which does rely on the main theme to some extent.

While most of the album is done in an orchestral style, there is some variation here, including the folksy Dance of Worlds and both Feel Uneasy and True Investigator, which invoke images of stealth and manage to capture a bit of the MegaTen feel.

While the soundtrack would stand well on its own, Atlus decided to bring in Shinichiro Mizobuchi (Submarine Super 99) to do a second disc featuring classical arrangements of some of the tracks. This second disc manages to shore up the one big shortfall of the OST, namely the short lengths of the original tracks. There are some interesting arrangements on this disc, including Symphony "Lacryma ~Holy Woman~," which manages to incorporate the three Lacryma themes from the OST.

Another nice part of the second disc, is that some of the arrangements are performed on live instrumentation, such as the piano and strings Piano Quintet "Sad Situation ~Sorrow~" and Guitar Suite "Dance of Words ~Dance of the Soul of Language~." I must admit that I'm a big fan of acoustic guitar, and Sad Situation is probably my favorite track on the whole album. Piano Variation "Silence ~Bloodstained Silence~" does a great job as a slow, sometimes sad, sometimes ominous piano solo, while String Quartet "Conversation ~Rapport~" with its sorrowful violins is absolutely beautiful, and manages to capture a feeling of despair and sadness.

I wholeheartedly recommend this album to any fans of classically-inspired game music, or those who enjoy an epic feel to their soundtracks. If you enjoyed the FFT soundtrack, I think you'll find Rebus Original Soundtracks & Classical Arrange to be right up your ally.

Reviewed by: Damian Thomas


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