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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

CD REVIEW - Hellsing - Original Soundtrack Best Of

Hellsing - Original Soundtrack Best Of
Music by Yasushi Ishii
Colosseum CLJ 8601.2 (EU)
22 Tracks 66:40 mins

Just occasionally I'm surprised by something dropping through my door that I know absolutely nothing about. Such an occasion was when I was confronted by this album, with its garish cover and very little clue to what the music was or what it was composed for. The track titles being in Japanese certainly didn't help; and the composer's name was completely unfamiliar to me.
Well, I put the disc on and was blown away, almost literally, by the music's hard rocking sound. Now normally I'm more of a symphonic score fan, but overall I would say I'm a fan of good music, whatever form it takes, and this is good music.
As for Hellsing, well a quick search of the internet found that it is a 2002 Japanese TV anime series, known there as "Herushingu," set in modern-day England and featuring Van Helsing's daughter, aided by a couple of vampires, battling against supernatural forces. Unfortunately however, another search turned up nothing on its composer.
With Japanese track titles that are beyond my understanding, I would just guide you by telling you that the music is, as I said, of the hard-rocking variety, suitably guitar-driven for the most part, though keyboards occasionally take the lead. Some cues are straight instrumentals, whilst others are rock ballads, with Ishii's whispered vocals being somewhat drowned out by the backing. I think he's singing in English, but straining my ears as I might, I just can't understand him. Whatever, it's all good foot-tapping stuff.
Some tracks dare to be different. Track 6 for instance, has a Flamenco feel, with acoustic guitars added to the mix, and Track 15 also features a flowing acoustic guitar solo. Tracks 16 and 18 are melancholy whistled themes, whilst Track 19 is a brief honky tonk piano source piece, like one finds in any Spaghetti Western you can name. And Track 21 features a child-like tune, with added childrens' laughter.
So, to conclude, if you're in the mood for some hard-rocking music, this might well fit the bill, though, as you can see from the last paragraph, there is more to the score than just that. Not all the surprises that hit my doormat are pleasant, but this one was quite acceptable, thank you.


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