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Ogre ~Grand Repeat~ :: Review by Zeugma

Ogre ~Grand Repeat~ Album Title: Ogre ~Grand Repeat~
Record Label: Datam Polystar
Catalog No.: DPCX-5019 (1st Edition); DPCX-5221 (Reprint)
Release Date: October 25, 1996; January 13, 2000
Purchase: Buy at eBay


To commemorate Ogre Battle's re-release on PlayStation, the Ogre series was given a brand new album to its name. This album, Ogre ~Grand Repeat~, took Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata's compositions from both All Sounds of Ogre and Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, orchestrating them in grand style. Master violinist and prolific arranger Masatsugu Shinozaki was responsible for the album's arrangement, which provides a contrast to the last Ogre arranged album, Ogre Battle Image Album ~ The Entrance, which was arranged by Ogre Battle's three composers.


In the tradition of game music symphonic suites, Ogre Battle ~Grand Repeat~ exclusively features live classical instruments. The meaning of "Grand Repeat" becomes obvious once you have listened to the first tune, "GRAND REPEAT / Overture Neo-Overture." There, the opening theme of Ogre Battle enters a new dimension when performed by a real orchestra and choir. The main theme is repeated with beautiful variations, gaining each time more power and heroism. Finally, the whole orchestra joins the melody to perform a magnificient ending. Several other tracks like "Fight It Out!" or "Passing Moment" are closer to the usual RPG music style. Thus, the orchestration makes them all the more attractive.

Two tracks stand out of the others for being less intense and more intriguing. However, they successfully contribute to the balance of the album. In "VENDETTA!," tension builds up progressively, illustrating the title of the track; here we are not provided with grand epic action, but with isolated skirmishes, quickly settled as if the main perpetrator was an assassin trying not to be spotted. The other track, "GRAND REPEAT II / Fog of Phantom," is even stranger. At the beginning, a background timpani pulse and a tinkle bell create a gloomy and unreal atmosphere. Then, the track turns into another genre with the arrival of a choir — the final sequence sounds more like an ancient pagan ceremony.

Last but not least, most of the tunes from the album do not come from All Sounds of Ogre, but rather Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together instead. Iwata and Sakimoto's epic style is very present on several tracks like "Chivalry and Savagery," where strings and brass relay each other to play a suspenseful piece of music punctuated in some parts with a triumphant theme. The appearance of a splendid orchestration of "Chaotic Island," perhaps the most famous theme of the Super Nintendo soundtrack, is also a very good surprise inside this album. "Passing Moment" and "Fortune Teller 2" finally calm down the atmosphere. These two noteworthy pieces of music constitute a peaceful epilogue to this soundtrack.


On the whole, Ogre Battle ~Grand Repeat~ is a well-balanced and cleverly orchestrated game music album. From a personal point of view, I'm used to thinking about it as the album which starts with one of my favourite orchestral arrangments ever: "GRAND REPEAT / Overture Neo-Overture." All the elements are here to grant this album an excellent rating!

Overall Score: 9/10