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Makai Theme Song Collection Devil Label :: Review by Chris

Makai Senki Disgaea 3 Makai Theme Song Collection Devil Label Album Title: Makai Senki Disgaea 3 Makai Theme Song Collection Devil Label
Record Label: Nippon Ichi Software
Catalog No.: BLJS-10009_EX
Release Date: January 31, 2008
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Packaged with the Japanese release of Makai Senki Disgea 3, the Makai Theme Song Collection Devil Label is a collection of the opening themes from the three games of the Disgaea series. Like the arranged albums, it offers full length themes and enhanced sound quality. Is this bonus item worth seeking out? Let's explore the individual components.


From Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, "Lord Laharl's Hymn" introduces the castle of the undisputed Overlord of the Netherworld with a magnificent concoction of devilish female vocals and jubilant jazz instrumentals. With its peculiar blend of haunting and fun material, it brings back memories of Danny Elfman's "This is Halloween", but is also true to Sato's own musicality. It sustains its 4:52 playtime well, incorporating some stunningly lyrical instrumental sections without losing its fluidity or atmosphere. This version develops identically to the original, but is given even more crispness and bite thanks to the very slightly enhanced sound quality here.

The full version of Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories's introduction theme "Sinful Rose" is also provided here. The shortened version on the Original Soundtrack mixed an uplifting pop singer with extravagant violin work, but felt over just after it had begun. Over a 4:29 playtime, this version of the theme gets a chance to really breathe and develop, offering a more elaborate introduction, a more soulful interlude, and of course a fantastic flamenco-influenced coda. It fits the musical style of the game perfectly, focusing less on Halloween and more on a more mature jazz- and pop-influenced sound. As a result, it stands out brightly when featured next to "Lord Laharl's Hymn".

The full version of Disgaea 3's "Demon Academy" is written in the spirit of "Lord Laharl's Hymn" from the original Disgaea and even integrates a few snippets from the classic theme. However, it takes a youthful twist given the school setting of the game, dominated by menacing females singing alone and as a chorus. Unfortunately, it lacks internal rationale — offering a jazz big band introduction seemingly unrelated to the rest of the composition and frivolously introducing vocal parts to the point of overwhelming listeners. However, the extended version is a significant improvement given the second half incorporates a few enjoyable sections and helps to unite all the divergent elements.


Overall, the Makai Theme Song Collection Devil Label is a nice bonus item for Japanese listeners. It really demonstrates the creativity and intricacy of Tenpei Sato's Disgaea vocal themes and the themes work surprisingly well together. This single might be worth hunting down if you're really after full versions of "Sinful Rose" and "Demon Academy" but don't want the rest of their respective arranged albums. It will also suit those who prefer to buy vocal singles rather than official soundtracks, but warned that eBay or Yahoo! Japan Auctions is your best bet finding it.

Overall Score: 7/10