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Ogre Battle Image Album ~ The Entrance :: Review by Zeugma

Ogre Battle Image Album ~ The Entrance Album Title: Ogre Battle Image Album ~ The Entrance
Record Label: Datam (1st Edition); Datam Polystar (Reprint)
Catalog No.: DPCX-5019; DPCX-5220
Release Date: November 26, 1993; January 13, 2000
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Ogre Battle Image Album ~ The Entrance: the title of this album sounds mysterious and attractive when you've never heard about it before. Composed by Hayato Matsuo and Hitoshi Sakimoto, it exclusively contains synthetic arrangements, and strangely enough, has very little in common with the original music from Ogre Battle. Here is my detailed review of its seven tracks:

Track-by-Track Reviews

1) Constellatus

The first track of the album starts in an unorthodox way, with a ridiculous synth brass section playing the overture theme. Meanwhile, a clear male voice starts narrating "The Legend of Ogre Battle." You might think that this would sound decent, in fact, right after the introduction, a messy background music pops up and loops while the voice continues to talk. One minute later, another person starts singing, and thus strikes the last blow to this track, turning it from strange to ludicrous. "Constellatus" is definitely a bad start for this album.

2) Spectrum

This instrumental track could have been the world map theme of Ogre Battle. The leading theme, caught somewhere between an epic and a happy atmosphere, is performed by an electric piano. An effective reverb effect is applied to each of the background instruments, and this gives an impression of space and freedom. I consider "Spectrum" as an original and pleasant piece of music; a kind of surprise inside this album.

3) Innocence

"Innocence" is the second vocal track. But don't panic, this one features no less than Lisa Ooki, who sung on both Final Fantasy vocal collections. Once again, the tune doesn't remind me of any Ogre Battle theme, but the whole effect sounds very nice. Even if you're used to listening to Lisa Ooki's voice over real instruments, this synthetic arrangement won't disturb you at all.

4) Textures

The word 'experimentation' would better fit this piece of music. While a bass goes wild throughout, a synth lead, an organ, and a fiddle relay each other and improvise a melody. The overall atmosphere is strange and quite close to the funk genre. I personally don't like it because of this, but it is a track to listen to.

5) Megalo Syntaxis tes Astronomias

In case you were wondering where the Ogre Battle spirit has gone, this long medley is for you. It is not only a simple 'copy & paste' medley, but a real remix of many of the Ogre Battle tunes. Starting with a slow-paced melody which quickly gains intensity, the first theme bursts suddenly into an astonishing synth lead improvisation. The following sequence is much calmer, and fades progressively into the well-known "Revolt" (aka "Thunder") theme, which is then performed with a funky and surprising style, until it fades out to give place to a second serene sequence. The real battle only starts in the middle of the track, after a suspenseful snare roll. Unfortunately, the major part of this action music sequence consists of unpleasant piano and brass roars. After a while, the "Revolt" theme comes back, but the atmosphere stays the same; quite chaotic and uneasy to listen to. The second theme ("Go Go March"), however, marks the return of real and rousing battle music. It is all the more pleasant as it is preceded by a somehow disturbing passage. The fadeout to the next sequence is slowly operated, so that one can hear another, darker theme emerging step by step. This boss-like music has some points in common with the first part of the battle sequence, while being more appropriately arranged. Finally, after a last burst of action, the overture theme closes this track in an epic and funky way.

6) Shade Over

This is another vocal track, performed in Japanese and English by Moto Hara. I cannot see the purpose of this track, apart from highlighting the terrible English accent of the singer. The melody is not particularly appealing, and the arrangement behind the voice is quite poor. To put it in a nutshell, this is an unworthy track.

7) Neo-A Planet's Death

The final track of the album is a new, dramatic tune that sometimes sounds too much like the central part of "Megalo Syntaxis tes Astronomias." The main melody is led by flutes and strings, with tribal drums and piano in the background. "A Planet's Death" probably refers to the atmosphere of despair and destruction that is supposed to come out of this track, and although this can be felt, the arrangement is not convincing.


The first, and biggest, flaw of this album is the obvious lack of original Ogre Battle themes (featured on only two out of the seven tracks). The second problem is the low quality of the two male vocal performances. In my opinion, this album has too many average tracks to be considered as a must-have. The exception here is the medley ("Megalo Syntaxis tes Astronomias"), which is a really interesting track if you like synth-only arrangements.

Overall Score: 5/10