I’m a big fan of the Persona and SMT3 OSTs, so I was excited when I heard that Shoji Meguro had taken up the Digital Devil Saga. I got my first taste of the music in DDS when I heard “Hunting Field” (track 9) in a promotional trailer. After hearing that song, I had to have this OST. There was something about that song that told me the music in DDS would be fantastic. I was both right and wrong. This is a decent album, but certainly not better than SMT3.
Digital Devil Saga’s OST is somewhat of a mixed bag, really. Kenichi Tsuchiya, who has often worked with Meguro, is absent from this album. So if you’re familiar with his work, you’ll instantly notice that something is missing. But if you’re a big fan of Shoji Meguro’s mellow rock style, then you’re in luck here. Nothing on this OST is extremely heavy, but tracks like “Hunting-Comrades” and “Big Battle” use a lot of electric guitar and bass. If you prefer something softer, “Spider’s String” and “Sahasrara” will float your boat (these two remind me of long walks on a dark night). And for you oddballs (like me) out there, you might take a fancy in some of the jazzier tracks like “Svadhistana” and “Manipura.” However, if you’re expecting the dark, mysterious, techno-influenced styles that were used in SMT3, then you’re going to be disappointed—this OST is rock-driven. But that’s not to say that this is a bad album. In fact, it’s nowhere near bad. Some of the songs on this OST have an eternal spot on my playlist, such as “Man’s Tomb,” “Hunting Field,” and “Hunting Field – The Second Movement.” And to add, the vocal track, “Pray,” is no less than inspiring, to say the least. Houko Kuwashima’s beautiful voice brings this song to life.
The album’s thematic creativity gets a lot of points in my book, too. Many of the songs on the OST have a ‘Second Movement’, which is a faster, more intense version of the original song, giving the listener a sense of danger and urgency. The only downside to these ‘Second Movements’ is that they’re pretty short. It’s a shame, because these are some of the best tracks on the OST.
My only problem with this OST is that some of the tracks tend to sound the same. I like Shoji Meguro’s rock, but only in small doses. The album itself won’t be very memorable years to come, but it’s got some great songs that make the experience worth it.