CD: Spriggan - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

 

Spriggan - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Japanese CD Title

スプリガン Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
[Supurigan Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

Music By:
Record Label:
CD Release:
Run Time:
CD Number:

Kuniaki Haishima
Columbia
1998
44:20
COCP-30017

Based On:

Spriggan

CD

Review

By: Anthony Romero

Released in 1998, this soundtrack from composer Kuniaki Haishima, familiar to Toho genre fans for Hypnosis (1999) and Infection (2004), is fairly experimental. Despite the clash of styles, the soundtrack does feel mildly gothic. Perhaps a hint at the direction Haishima's career would go in. Regardless, this anime soundtrack is lacking. While diverse in its styles, the score desperately needs a few solid themes to make it something that could be recommendable.

As mentioned, the score comes off as experimental and has a wide range of styles. From electronic beats, to chorus work, to almost jazz-like saxophone work and then finally more traditional orchestration. This experimentation isn't seen just between tracks either, but sometimes within the same theme. Shifting from light chorus to electronic or chanting styles isn't uncommon for example. A few settings, like "Drive in Istanbul", allow the composer to really play things up too, crafting a theme that is on one hand modeled after the Asian/European nation and on the other hand heavy with synth and other effects. It's probably not too surprising, given the composer's later penchant for horror movies, that some of the cues here feel horroresque. The latter half of "fff·Cross" is a great example of this, sounding menacing before it builds up over time. "Projection Life" is also another example, which sounds atmospheric with light piano work to make it a little creepy.

In terms of highlights, the soundtrack is pretty light on them. This is especially surprising given the more action heavy styling of the film itself, which would lend itself to some energetic themes. "One Occurence" is probably one of the better themes from the CD, starting first with chorus work before embracing a more action oriented approach that feels like it would go well in a superhero film. "Sink" is also a nice track, being violin led and coming off as soothing. It's a shame the track is very short, though. The track for "Jean" is also decent, being a bit more slow and distinct… but it's also so short at 27 seconds. A few tracks have decent moments, due to the mixing of styles. For example "Spriend" has a nice soothing start, but it gets bogged down in cheesy trumpet work and overly synth instrumentation that makes it feel cheap and lacking before having a great chorus finisher.

As for the vocal track from the disc, this is "Jing Ling" by Saju. The song is… different. Saju has a great voice and shows some nice range at times during the five minute song. However, her performance is overlapped with vocals by Dennis Gun and Nitza. Dennis' part is particularly cringy, more spoken than sung. The lyrics actually overlap as well, with all three sometimes signing different things at the same time. The end result feels not just disjointed but like they were trying for sensory overload. As a whole it's just not really pleasant to listen to.

Overall, this soundtrack is a miss. There just isn't much to recommend here while Hashima styling, much like the song by Saju, feel disjointed. While I'm often one to praise diversity in a score, in this instance the soundtrack would have benefited from feeling more cohesive.

As a side note, the track titles for this CD are listed in English on the actual release. They are presented here as is, with a few odd ones like "Reliefing" which was likely supposed to be "Relieving".

Rating: Star Rating

Tracks

  1. Jing Ling
    By: Saju
  2. Guard Circle
  3. Spriggan
  4. Reliefing
  5. Ancient Plate
  6. Coding Jungle
  7. One Occurrence
  8. Drive in Istanbul
  9. Ararat
  10. Streiger Arcam
  11. Macdougal
  12. Nation of Will
  13. Scale Box
  14. Sink
  15. fff·Cross
  16. Projection Life
  17. Noa
  18. Galset Maar
  19. Dark Bag
  20. Orbit
  21. Meysel
  22. Jean
  23. Amusing Jean
  24. Snow Field
  25. Noa Noise
  26. Air Lost
  27. Spriend