Wow, it's been a long time since I've headed up a thread on these boards. . . haven't had much of a reason to in terms of the quality of video game music these days, but Masashi Hamauzu's score to 'Dirge of Cerberus' has me incredibly excited. After the semi let-down with Sakimoto's music to FFXII (although I'll reserve final judgement for the official release), I really wasn't expecting a lot out of Hamauzu's solo entry into the series.
I've listened to it in its entirety once now, and to anyone who hasn't heard this soundtrack yet, I have to highly recommend it! Its everything I wished Final Fantasy XII would've sounded like and is really a grand culmination of Hamauzu's output thus far, musically. More of the fantastic solo work we've come to know and love from the composer, but in terms of overall sound, this is quite the break from the colorfully dazzling and sweetly melancholy nature of Hamauzu's work. 'Dirge of Cerberus' is alive with the unique orchestrational choices of Hamauzu yet rich in dark overtones of which the composer has only explored lightly in the past.
Wow. . . quite the score. And not a moment too soon as I was beginning to lose faith in the music of the Square-Enix team.
P.S. For those who haven't heard Jeremy Soule's latest offerings in 'Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion' and 'Guild Wars: Factions', I would also recommend those quite highly. Beautiful, sumptuous works. . . oooo, speaking of which, so is Dragon Quest VIII Symphonic Suite.