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Knights in the Nightmare Perfect Audio Collection :: Review by Charles

Riviera -The Promised Land- Full Arrange Soundtrack Album Title: Knights in the Nightmare Perfect Audio Collection
Record Label: Five Records
Catalog No.: VGCD-0147
Release Date: September 26, 2008
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Ah, how Atlus treats its American customers. Their overseas release of Knights in the Nightmare featured a bonus soundtrack as do many Atlus games. It wasn't a complete soundtrack release unlike some of their efforts — limited to one disc rather than two — but in some ways this is a blessing in disguise. One of the major problems of Knights in the Nightmare Perfect Audio Collection were its boring and uninspired tracks, particularly in the first disc. Fortunately, this release disbands them and gives a more concise and fulfilling soundtrack experience. Should soundtrack lovers just get the game right now?


The Knights in the Nightmare soundtrack is a crisp, dark and deep complement to a game of the same caliber. Well, it may not be as deep as the amazingly ridiculous gameplay, but it's still complementing. It seems no matter whom composed music for an Atlus game, there will always be your more typical dungeon fanfare music. This, of course, has a lot to do with the game itself. A lot of this "sticking to tried and true dungeon sound" kind of music that I just hear all the time really hinders me from fully loving it. I think it can still have likeability through superb craft and care that is usually given. With all that said, I think this soundtrack plays it a bit safe within its own Dept. Heaven family at times, but there are still some great elements to be found that I will mention in the end.

I've also noticed the other Dept. Heaven games use unlikely instruments for fantasy music like synths and rock guitars. There's a lot less of that on this album, but it's still here! This soundtrack has its own merits though. Touches like a slightly out of tune piano, such as in "Gleivnir Kingdom", or some background Gregorian chanting really give it its own feel. It definitely has a different feel than Shigeki Hayashi's first soundtrack from Riviera. The DS limits these elements really coming to life, though. It's a shame because there is a lot of background choir in this game that just has trouble being heard. The sound quality is inferior compared to the PSP versions of the early Dept. Heaven games. That, while it sure doesn't break many technical boundaries, it stands in the better half as far as DS quality goes.

The soundtrack is all very dark and haunting also, obviously — "Confrontation" is a good example of that type of sound the album has to offer. It's one of the few good themes taken from the first disc of the two disc soundtrack release while less impressive tunes like "Endless Melee" or "Battle Preparations" are fortunately disbanded. Most of the battle or clash themes are where the goods are at and, fortunately, the best ones made it over to the one disc soundtrack. Many of the energetic battle tracks use church organ for melodies. Gregorian chanting stands out in a few and there are some catchy dark upbeat melodies. In the end, I'd definitely have to compare this to Game Boy Advance Castlevania music with more synth and organ. If you like that, you will like this album. It's good that the battles are the best tracks as they play the most.


Some compilation soundtrack releases are just right while others feel grossly limiting. In my opinion, Knights in the Nightmare - Symphony of Souls falls into the former category. Atlus USA compiled the most enjoyable themes from the two disc release while maintaining the mood and diversity too. That said, it is only available with the game unless you want to go second hand. The Knights in the Nightmare Perfect Audio Collection features all these tracks and more, so it's the ideal one for completists. However, most American listeners will be fine with the more limited release.

Overall Score: 8/10