Ogre: Grand Repeat

Artist Credits

Tracks

38 minutes total
  1. GRAND REPEAT / Overture Neo-Overture
  2. Chivalry and Savagery
  3. Chaotic Island
  4. VENDETTA!
  5. Revolt
  6. Breath of the Earth
  7. GRAND REPEAT II / Fog of Phantom
  8. Fortune Teller 2
  9. Fight It Out!
  10. Passing Moment
  • Released Oct 25, 1996 by Datam Polystar (catalog no. DPCX-5081, retail 3000 yen).

Reviews

Rich, dramatic, intense, symphonic goodness.

Reader review by Eric Bowling

From Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata, the composers of Final Fantasy Tactics as well as Ogre Battle: Legendary Image Album, comes Ogre: Grand Repeat, an excellent orchestrated CD packed with lots of high explosive drama. All the tracks but "Fortune Teller 2" and "Passing Moment" are high powered and adrenaline pumped! You'll want to grab your partisan and go slay some demons after getting a good listen to this CD.

It all begins with "Grand Repeat/Overture Neo-Overture". This track features an excellent combination of percussion instruments such as drums, bells, and cymbals, along with trombones, trumpets, and other horns. Combined with some excellent background vocals, it puts John Williams to shame in the department of dramatic intensity. Starting out slowly, it quickly builds with the violins, then goes straight into successive percussion strikes and horn flourishes, accented with cymbal claps. Deep bass drumming provides transitions between lulls and climaxes in the movements of the song. To cap it all off, there is truly stunning trumpet solo about halfway through the song.

The musical style set down by Sakimoto and Iwata is expanded and modified throughout the ten tracks of the CD. Another highlight is "Revolt." It starts out very quickly, with a dramatic drum and brass flourish, then extends into the string sections, with an excellent upbeat harp/violin duet injected between dramatic climaxes, before rocketing back into the stratosphere with the same ol' trumpets and horns that become such a staple musical element on "Grand Repeat."

"Breath of the Earth" begins with intensifying drums and cymbals, suddenly quiets, then launches into a string version of the Neo-Overture from track 1. The drums, violins, and horns once again take over, and it's a musical roller coaster throughout the whole song.

"Fortune Teller 2" and "Passing Moment" are two very somber and whimsical songs, unlike the others on the CD. If you're into a little light fare along with your heavy drama tracks, then you'll get along with these songs just fine. I, however, find them annoying. They're really the only sustained slow-tempo songs on the CD, two out of ten tracks, and after all that adrenaline-pumping dramatic symphonic goodness, it's a bummer to be suddenly jerked down to a slower tempo, especially after getting used to the uniform musical flow of the songs. I usually skip both of them when I'm listening, as they just become too annoying.

You can definitely notice the particular musical style of Sakimoto and Iwata in this CD when compared to Final Fantasy Tactics. If you liked the first dozen tracks from the first CD of Final Fantasy Tactics, then this is very much along those lines, although an exact comparison should not be made. This hot little disc cost me 40+ dollars, and is worth every single cent of it, despite "Fortune Teller 2". If you're looking for rich, dramatic, and intense symphonic sounds, then you can't get much better than Ogre: Grand Repeat.

A rich orchestral arrangement of the music from the Ogre Battle series. About time!

Reader review by Adam Page

Ogre Battle, even after enjoying U.S. releases on two separate platforms, has still made little press in the game music scene. While there may be strong competition against the strategy game itself, Ogre Battle's soundtrack still has few rivals in its genre. Its semi-sequel, Tactics Ogre, never came over, but an updated version will soon be localized and released on the PlayStation. Several years ago, Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata, who recently scored Final Fantasy Tactics, offered up these rich and engaging soundtracks that seemed to pass right by uninterested American game music fans. Well, American game music fans, sit up and take notice.

Ogre ~ Grand Repeat is exactly what those soundtracks deserved - a full symphonic onslaught of sound and emotion. A little late in the making perhaps, but welcomed with open arms. Players of the PS version of Ogre Battle will recognize half of the first track, "Overture", from the opening of the game. I have not played through the PS edition, but it's likely they used "Neo Overture" and "Revolt" as well. The remaining melodies are from Tactics Ogre, but are so similar to Ogre Battle in theme and style that there is little division between the two while listening.

The arrangements, when compared to their OSVs, are very faithful. There is little to no embellishment of the original melodies, just a fuller and more authentic sound. The performances are fantastic - skilled, stirring, and error-free. Fans of Risa Ohki will be pleased to know that she sings in several songs, but unfortunately has no solo performances and is virtually indiscernible from the other members of the chorus.

Excellent orchestral arrangements like this one are relatively hard to come by for game music fans. I extend my recommendation even to those who are unfamiliar with the game series.

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