Ace Combat 04 ~Shattered Skies~ Original Soundtracks

Artist Credits

  • Tetsukazu Nakanishi (composition)
  • Keiki Kobayashi (composition)
  • Hiroshi Okubo (composition)
  • Katsuro Tajima (composition)
  • Agustin Barrios Mangore (composition)

Tracks

129 minutes total

Disc 1 (64 minutes)

  1. Shattered Skies
  2. ISAF (Kobayashi)
  3. Gateway
  4. Operation
  5. Stardust
  6. The Hangar
  7. Scramble
  8. Sitting Duck
  9. Imminent Threat
  10. The Northern Eye
  11. Blockade (Kobayashi)
  12. Lifeline (Okubo)
  13. Aqulia
  14. Invincible Fleet (Okubo)
  15. USEA National Anthem -Hymn of Liberty- (Nakanishi, Kobayashi)
  16. Echo
  17. Deep Strike (Okubo)
  18. Stonehenge's Attack
  19. Comona
  20. Operation Bunker Shot (Kobayashi)
  21. Tango Line
  22. Escort
  23. Stonehenge
  24. Requiem

Disc 2 (65 minutes)

  1. Second Strike
  2. Prevail
  3. Safe Return
  4. Enemy Attack
  5. Breaking Arrows (Okubo)
  6. Breaking Arrows #2 (Okubo)
  7. Emancipation
  8. Whiskey Corridor
  9. Farbanti
  10. Silent
  11. Mobius
  12. Rex Tremendae (Kobayashi)
  13. Megalith -Agnus Dei- (Kobayashi)
  14. Heaven's Gate (Kobayashi)
  15. Victory
  16. Blue Skies (Okubo)
  17. North Point
  18. Megafloat
  19. Prelude (Mangore, Tajima)
  20. Sadly (Tajima)
  21. ZIGZAG (Tajima)
  22. Una Limosnita Por Amor de Dios (Mangore, Tajima)
  23. The Bird Spread its Wings (Tajima)
  24. Session (Mangore, Tajima)
  • Released Dec 19, 2001 by Scitron (catalog no. SCDC-00146~147, retail 3360 yen).
  • All tracks composed by Tetsukazu Nakanishi except where otherwise marked.
  • Track 2.16 "Blue Skies" lyrics and vocals by Stephanie Cooke.

Reviews

A splendid symphonic shooting suite.

Reader review by Kei Morii

Ace Combat 04 Shattered Skies boasts a serious narrative where the relationship between events and characters comes to the front intricately. Every scene is supported by the game's realistic setting, and certainly the music contributes with its dense soundscape.

The soundtrack leads with a fierce yet cool harmony that Tetsukazu Nakanishi, the AC04 sound director, establishes. It consists of determined brass and tense strings supplemented by various distorted beats with a steady tempo. (It conjures almost no image of the futuristic techno in the previous game, Ace Combat 3 Electrosphere, even though the same man was behind it.) "Tango Line" begins with an uneasy hybrid of wiggling sounds and ethnic effects. In "Safe Return", high-pitched strings fade in like birds elevating to the sky. "Emancipation" offers a hopeful yet sad melody offset by cracked percussion. The opening track "Shattered Skies" establishes the soundtrack's leitmotif, melding different melodic lines ingeniously. But the most impressive are the tracks that use wailing guitar to add spice to the soundtrack. In "Sitting Duck" the guitar creates a lively contrast to a glowing trumpet, while "Farbanti" boasts a killer guitar solo.

Some of the collaborators' compositions are just as masterful as Nakanishi's tracks. Keiki Kobayashi focuses on the orchestral aspect much more. In "Operation Bunker Shot", a bristling baseline and marching drums combine before a climax that introduces surprisingly powerful harps with loud cymbal and gong. It's a purely symphonic experience. He even brings in a mixed chorus in four voices in "Megalith -Agnus Dei-". This final stage track presents almost oppressive passion with absolute dignity. It's one of the most decisive-sounding and marvelous battle themes I've ever heard from any game.

Hiroshi Okubo's compositions are emphasized by strong percussive statements. "Lifeline" opens with a moody harp phrase that gradually brings in a stolid layer of strings beneath heavy, syncopated beats. "Breaking Arrows" accelerates midway through via ethnic percussion while deftly interweaving the leitmotif into some passages. The exception to Okubo's mostly kinetic works is the ending theme "Blue Skies", in which a cheerful guitar guides a mild piano at calm tempo, a soothing arrangement to accompany Stephanie Cooke's slinky, gentle vocals.

This acoustic feel is further progressed by Katsuro Tajima's "side story" tracks, which via live instrumentation establish a warm yet sorrowful atmosphere. Using an acoustic guitar duo, "Prelude" weaves a lamenting melody, while "The Bird Spread Its Wings" creates a slightly brighter sound. Both performances strike a sympathetic chord. The six tracks by Tajima give a subtle shading to the album's main component.

With only a couple of slightly dull exceptions, Ace Combat 04 Shattered Skies Original Soundtrack offers magnificent compositions and imaginative sound combinations. Make no mistake that at its core this is militaristic movie music, but its elaborate narrative quality befits independent listening just as well as it does its use within the game.

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