CD: Daibosatsu Pass - Original Soundtrack

 

Daibosatsu Pass - Original Soundtrack


Japanese CD Title

大菩薩峠 オリジナル・サウンドトラック
[Daibosatsu Toge Orijinaru Saundotorakku]

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Masaru Sato
Cinema-Kan
July 2016
47:24
CINK-10

Based On:

Sword of Doom

CD

Review

By: Anthony Romero

Beginning Cinema-kan's lengthy run of Masaru Sato scores comes the score to this gothic samurai film. The Sword of Doom feels like an early Sato score, long before the composer even started to show signs of his later day big band influences. As a result, it's on the less engaging side and lacks in theme highlights.

The score as a whole is more subdued. It works for what the movie is going for, telling a dark story. One of the few tracks to break the mold is "Omatsu" and "Reunion" which are the same melody and are more on the soothing side. However, even this style was done better a few years later for the similar music found in Kill! (1968). In general, there is a lot of music here that tries to hark back to the time period of the film, such as "The Death of Hama", through using traditional Japanese flutes. Interestingly, at least to genre fans, will be "The Capital Town" track. The reason for this is the horn work, which is unmistakably similar to the island theme that Sadao Bekku created for Matango (1963).

Bonus content wise, there are five extra tracks to this disc. Interestingly, and contrary to other Cinema-kan releases, only one of these tracks is an outtake. The others are a combination of source music, such as the drum at Mitake Shrine, and singing for the most part. The problem is that these two singing tracks are eight minutes long combined, and it's really repetitive, traditional chanting music. On the plus side, the closing track is "Snowstorm Death Battle" that was left out of the main score. The reason for this is because the theme is technically stock music from Red Beard (1965), although it's being played in reverse. What results is a very creepy theme, but one that sounds just like the "Godzilla vs. Ebirah IV" theme from Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966). It would seem likely that Sato experimented with this technique for Sword of Doom, was pleased with the results, and then at the end of that year reused the technique for the 1966 Godzilla movie.

Overall, sadly this soundtrack just isn't that engaging when digested as a stand alone experience. The film is great, and the subdued score works in that context. However, removed from the movie, there just aren't a lot of things to get excited over beyond the interesting history behind the "Snowstorm Death Battle".

As a side note, the track titles have a few odds ways of wording things. For example, Omatsu's grandfather is referred to as an elderly pilgrim (老巡礼) or calling Kyoto "The Capital Town". These were left, though, to try and translate close to the intent of the track titles.

Rating: Star Rating

Tracks

  1. Main Title - Daibosatsu Pass (M1)
  2. Slashing the Elderly Pilgrim (M2)
  3. Hama Visits (M3)
  4. A Man's Bushido, a Woman's Chastity (M4)
  5. A Contest of Dedication (M5)
  6. Squatting Eyes (M6)
  7. Divorce Letter (M7)
  8. The Death of Bunnojo (M8)
  9. Returning (M9)
  10. 1862 (M10)
  11. Living or Dying (M11)
  12. Breaking Stance… (M12)
  13. Omatsu (M13)
  14. Nostalgic Flute (M14)
  15. Love for Omatsu (M15)
  16. Father's Will (M16)
  17. Bamboo Shoot Play (M17)
  18. Enraged Ambush (M18)
  19. Kiyokawa Raid (M19)
  20. Toranosuke Shimada (M20 Basic Elements)
  21. Fear of Ryunosuke (M21)
  22. Give Me Sake (M22)
  23. State of Achievement (M23)
  24. Nightmare (M24)
  25. The Death of Hama (M25)
  26. The Capital Town (M26)
  27. Reunion (M27)
  28. The Ghost in the Bamboo Blinds (M28)
  29. The Winds of Daibosatsu Pass (M30)
  30. People's' Voices A (M31A)
  31. The People Rise (M31)
  32. Finish Without an End (M32-T2)

    Bonus Tracks
  33. Wa Taiko at Mitake Shrine (PS Drum)
  34. This is Shimabara (Budo)
  35. This is Shimabara No. 2 (Budo)
  36. People's' Voices B (M31B-T2)
  37. Snowstorm Death Battle (Red Beard M3B "Mantis Woman" in Reverse Rotation)