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Dragon Quest Brass Suite :: Review by Ersatz

Dragon Quest Brass Suite Album Title: Dragon Quest Brass Suite
Record Label: TELARC
Catalog No.: PHCT-211
Release Date: October 6, 1993
Purchase: Buy at eBay


First, I must say that there are WAY too many Dragon Quest albums out there. The sheer number of albums you can obtain reaches into the eighties, and this is only off for EIGHT games! But with that said, I tried my hand with another set of Dragon Quest tunes with the Dragon Quest Brass Suite. While Koichi Sugiyama's music headlines this album, the arranger is actually Western artist J. Samuel Pilafian. The music is for a brass section of the horn variety and that's the only thing you'll find on this album aside the occasional drum roll. So, if you want to hear a sweeping string ensemble, you might want to look elsewhere.


Basically, if you've heard any of the Dragon Quest tunes, then you know what to expect from the pieces on the album. This is straight classical music with the same tunes that have been done to death already. In traditional fashion, the "Overture" opens the album just as it does every Dragon Quest game. It's arranged in a mighty fine way here as well; it does sound quite different with just the brass section and no strings behind it, although arguably a little empty too.

At the centre of the disc is the "Comrades" suite split into seven tracks. Probably the catchiest arrangements are for the "Gypsy's Dance" and "Gypsy's Journey", which recapture the spirit of the Dragon Quest IV originals. The final entry of the suite, "Intermezzo", is the "fun" Dragon Quest piece I've become used to over the course of Dragon Quest's fame. Too bad it's so short on this album — 30 seconds long — but it's fun while it lasts.

"Wagon's Wheel March" is a pretty boring arrangement. Hearing that same drum line being repeated over and over again gets annoying after a while. Having the brass section play the slow melody is brave, although it works due to Sugiyama's skilful crafting of the original melody. "March of the Capricious", part of the "Comrades" suite, is pretty dull as well and could be done a lot better. Then again I don't think you can do much when trying to keep to a classical theme with nothing but a brass section. The section that performs the melody is somewhat annoying at times as well.


People are bound to feel mixed feelings while listening to this whole album. Hearing these rehashed themes over and over again on all these various albums gets old and tiring quick. Since this brass suite album offers nothing new but the prospect of making all the themes sound.brassy, I can't really offer too much praise for slight originality. If you like brass and you like Dragon Quest, I say go for it. This is heaven for you. The rest can just go and buy a normal Dragon Quest album and be happy.

Overall Score: 7/10