Dracula Battle - Perfect Selection is pure guitar-driven, distortion-racked, drum-pounding, organ-laden rock, all dedicated to classic compositions from Konami's Castlevania series. The haunting atmosphere, evil mood, and highly-charged melodies from various classic Castlevania themes have been juiced exponentially in this ultimate of VGM rock-arranged albums. Warn your neighbors - things could get very loud.
Although many of the melodies here were not initially familiar to me, it was still impossible to miss the distinct Castlevania style inherent in these tracks. One can almost imagine the game-synth melody behind "Requiem for the Nameless Victims", which is intense with the feeling of Castlevania's more pensive musical side. Then there are classics like "Beginning" and "Bloody Tears", featuring the better-known action-oriented side of Castlevania music composition - fast, unforgettably melodic, and with the insidious nature of Dracula behind it. Also included are more recent Castlevania additions like "Cross a Fear" and "Op. 13" from the PC-Engine classic Dracula X. Although a bit more pop-oriented than earlier compositions, they still feature that trademark intensity and action.
Konami takes these base Castlevania melodies and charges them with a classic hard rock edge. The guitars here are hard, loud, and viciously distorted in a way that will make pre-alternative rock fans proud. "Bloody Tears" in particular simply must be heard. Unrelenting lead guitar, wicked bass guitar accompaniment, and the most hard-rocking use of organs I've heard make for almost dangerous intensity.
In the few somber tracks the hard rock instrumentation is just as beneficial. "Requiem for Nameless Victims" has that classic rock ballad appeal, and "Calling from Heaven" is nearly gut-wrenching. The funeral style organ and perfectly-placed choir samples in combination with the moving lead guitar almost speak words in their sadness.
A few complaints include a disappointingly toned-down version of "Vampire Killer" and an arrangement of "Don't Wait Until Night" which seems less-defined than the slightly remixed version in Konami Battle the Best. Also it should be noted that at 43 minutes, the CD isn't exactly filled to the brink. But the tracks that are present make themselves count in a big way.
People who dislike loud rock music with wailing guitars will want to avoid this CD. Those people I can't help but pity just a bit. There's a certain vitality in such unabashed old-school hard rock music that in my opinion is good for the spirit. Those who can relate should experience Dracula Battle as soon as possible.