CD: Shin Godzilla vs. Evangelion Symphony


Shin Godzilla vs. Evangelion Symphony

Japanese CD Title

[Shin Gojira tai Ebangerion Kokyogaku]

Music By:
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Masamichi Amano, Shiro Sagisu, Akira Ifukube
King Records
50:21 / 62:59 (2 discs)

Based On:

Shin Godzilla / Evangelion Series [Rearrangement]



By: Anthony Romero

First, thanks goes to Jessica Stan for sending this in for review.

This release contains the recording of a live symphony performance that joins Shin Godzilla (2016) with the "rebuild" Evangelion series. This is one of several tie-ins to that concept, predating the "Shin Japan Heroes Universe" branding. In terms of bringing the live performance to life, it's conducted by Masamichi Amano, a personal favorite composer for his work on Super Atragon (1995). This two disc set very much captures that live performance feel, complete with audience clapping and even some light chatter after the encore as the crowd is gathering stuff to leave. As for the quality of the music, there are some great tracks and even more great segments from tracks, but there are a lot of moments that miss their mark and drag down the overall enjoyment.

Now this performance can best be described as a tag team. What I mean is that you'll get a track from Shin Godzilla (2016), a few from Evangelion, a few from the 2016 Godzilla film, then some from Evangelion, etcetera. If you walked into this thinking there would be a mashing up of the two properties, well that really only happens twice. Once is in the first minute of "Les Betes", which briefly transitions between that Evangelion theme and another rendition of "Persecution of the Masses" from Shin Godzilla (2016). The other instance is in the final track: "A Cruel Angel's Thesis ~ Misato ~ Next Notice". This last track in some ways is a good summary, or thesis if you prefer the pun, for the performance as a whole. It starts off amazing, with a great rendition of "A Cruel Angel's Thesis". It's very lively, with some solid vocal work for the song. At about three minutes in, an unnecessary 20 second drum solo begins. After this we get a back and forth of people chanting Godzilla to the tune of the Godzilla theme, to then back to a snippet of "A Cruel Angel's Thesis". Each increases the tempo as the track goes on, kind of embracing that idea of them competing with each other. It's cheesy and not particularly great, but at least it does mix the two properties together.

As mentioned, that last track does work as an overall summary of the performance. That means some good moments alongside some not so good moments. In terms of highlights, it's probably not too surprising that the two Akira Ifukube tribute tracks are among them. The second tribute, starting with the main theme for Battle in Outer Space (1959), is the best off the disc in fact. "Operation in Taba" is another fantastic track off this disc. It's not as good as the original version from the 2016 film, but still very effective.

On the scale of misses, the "Sin From Genesis Medley" is at the top of the list. This takes a collection of well known Evangelion themes, including the famous "Decisive Battle/EM20". In fact, that motif is almost infamous for how many times it's been adapted by Shiro Sagisu, with modified versions even appearing in Shin Godzilla (2016). Anyway, the track kicks into a riveting rendentation of the theme after about a 90 second build up. That lasts for 70 seconds before it moves into a slower, less engaging theme. That then fades into a really rousing version of "Decisive Battle" for a minute… that then fades into a really awkward trumpet solo with stray drum work. Maybe it worked for being there in person, but hearing someone being able to blare their trumpet for a long time just doesn't work on a CD. Also, did I mention this goes on for four minutes? So from an eight minute track, half is devoted to this. It's awkward and frustrating, since this track should have been a highlight from the set given "Decisive Battle" is the best theme from Evangelion.

Looking at other tracks, I guess someone really liked that trumpet player as there is a similar trumpet solo found in "Les Betes~Instabilite' Orchestre Medley". Here it goes on for 45 seconds, before the trumpet work is mixed with some light chorus work that doesn't help make the music sound anymore pleasant. It's sad because the music before and after this segment is enjoyable.

Speaking of the chorus, another area that the live performance often misses is when it comes to the vocal work. It's overdone and often overshadows the otherwise nice music playing underneath. A perfect example is the "Showdown" part of the second medley, which sounds great for a bit until the chorus work kicks in. Granted it's not all bad, both versions of "Who Will Know" from Shin Godzilla (2016) sound pleasant for example.

Overall, this live performance is okay. It does a nice job of breathing a different life into the music, which is what you want for rearrangements. However, it makes some frustrating choices, especially due to the fact they drag down what would have been otherwise enjoyable medleys.

As a side note, I do want to address the track titles. It includes the original track numbers from the music, excluding Ifukube's work. While it makes the tracks look messy, it does make it easy to find out the exact theme being performed. This is helpful since the sources are sometimes obscure, for example track three on the second disc is related to outtakes. What it doesn't provide, though, is clarity on where the first track from disc two came from, as the number doesn't appear to align with the 2016 Godzilla film or any released Evangelion music that I could find.

Rating: Star Rating


    Disc 1
  1. Persecution of the Masses (1172)
  2. Contre Les Agressions ~ Showdown Medley (EM04A + EM05A)
  3. Angel of Doom (EM21)
  4. Les Betes ~ Instabilite' Orchestre Medley (EM05B + 2EM29_E5 + 2EM17KK_A08)
  5. Rhythm ~ Black Angels Medley (11174 + Fob_10_1211)
  6. Operation in Taba (Fob_01)
  7. Defeat is No Option (1197)
  8. Who Will Know (OST)
  9. Early Morning From Tokyo ~ Bonus Medley (EM20_alterna01 + EM20_alterna03 + EM20_alterna04)
  10. Akira Ifukube Tribute 1: Godzilla Landing ~ Godzilla's Resurrection ~ The Appearance of Godzilla

    Disc 2
  1. The Final Decision We All Must Take (0902)
  2. Cruel Dilemme ~ Des Cordes Medley (EM09A + KK_C01)
  3. God's Message ~ Dark Defender ~ The Anthem Medley (C17 + C16 + C15)
  4. It Will Mean Victory ~ The Wrath of God in All its Fury Medley (SD2_01 + Nu09)
  5. Under a Burning Sky (11174)
  6. Conclusion (Omni_00)
  7. Sin From Genesis Medley (E16 + EM20 + EM10_Q + EM20)
  8. Akira Ifukube Tribute 2: The Great War in Space ~ Godzilla Title
  9. Who Will Know (Furusato)
  10. A Cruel Angel's Thesis ~ Misato ~ Next Notice (F02 + Encore)