Shadow Hearts Original Soundtrack
Composed, arranged & produced by : Yoshitaka Hirota, Yasunori Mitsuda

The year is 2001, the company Sacnoth, is in dire need to make up for their first effort, which is Koudelka, which flopped unfortunately. They decide to make an rpg with a very dark storyline, that’s very good indeed, but what about the music ? They turn their attention to two men : one of them is retalively unkown, the other is quite famous. Who are these mystery men ? The lead person is Yoshitaka Hirota, the other being none other than Yasunori Mitsuda, famous for his works at Square. Now I know what you are thinking : “Who the hell is Yoshitaka Hirota ?” Let me answer that question…. Let’s just go back a while in time, around 1994. Hirota started his carreer as a sound effects creator for games like Final Fantasy 6, Live A Live, Bahamut Lagoon, Final Fantasy 7, etc… Alas, he wasn’t always a Square employee. Like Mitsuda, he decided to become a freelance composer, his first big musical score however, is this OST. And WHAT a masterpiece it is !! Hirota will certainly gain a lot of popularity thanks to this work. Now, on with the review…. I just have to note the most interesting aspect of the Shadow Hearts soundtrack, it is the first one I’ve seen bearing such a bizarre and sometimes hilarious tracklist…. Well, see for yourself !! 8D

Disc One 66:35
Main Theme - ICARO - Song of Spirits
Wind Which Blows from the Dark I
Wind Which Blows from the Dark II
Brain Hopper
Ghosts Jogging
Sphere -qu-
Destruction - Noise of Fangs
Army Mood
Rice Field of Light
Coffee with Bullet
Asian Parfailt
Heaven - Kunyang Kunyang
Sea - Highnoon Fish
Angel Heart
Manufacture - Conveyorbelt for Killers
Swindler - Shanghai Mood
Someone's Table
Much Hatred Still Rankles
Death - Zombie Party
Blow Up
Misfortune - Psycho Temple
China Ogre
Melt Down
Sacrifice - ALICE
Bloody Kitchens

Disc Two 77:07
Atmosphere - Blow Up
God Knows Bad News
Dirty Nails
The Thorn of Mind
Graveyard Moon
Coffin Fetish
nde - Near Death Experience
ssc - Special Short Cuts
Vitamin Metropolis
Sweet Pillows
Babysitter is Old Nurse
Don't Cry My Vampire
Ripper Ripper
Castle of Silence
Callback from Jesus
Bacon's Juice
Trip or Treat
ICARO Beated ver
Nobody Knocks the Door
Star Shape
Middle of Nowhere
Demon's Gig
Sicking Fucking
Sign of Him (The Creation of God)
Bate Me Bate Me
Black Cat Floating in Bluesky
Shadow Hearts
Opening Demo Mix I
Opening Demo Mix II
True Voice

Disc 1 starts off with “ICARO - Song of Spirit”, a vocal sung in Japanese, I can say that the music accompanying the lyrics is nice. “Wind which blows from the Dark” 1 & 2 are both interesting introduction tracks, the first being a mix of fusion and techno, the other being very ambient. “Brain Hopper” is one of the battle themes, it starts out with some strange grunts, then a female vocal comes in, followed by lots of percussions, and bells and other instruments, it also has a distinct Chinese feel, which is totally unexpected. “Ghosts Jogging”, however humorous it may sound, is another battle theme, you clearly notice that the beat keeps on going faster and faster, urging you to finish the fight quickly before you face death. “Sphere -qu- “ defenately sounds Chinese, I can’t describe it that much, but it sure sounds relaxing. “Destruction - Noise of Fangs”, is filled with animal grunts with some percussions thrown in for good measure, I find it an ok track. “DOA” starts off with some irritating scratching sound effects, then a quick melody builds up, this could probably be a dungeon theme or something, it’s hard to tell. “Blade” starts off pretty upbeat, followed by a beautiful harp, then more percussions, it’s probably another dungeon theme. “Army Mood” is aptly named, the drums does give off a militaristic feel, nothing more can be said… for now. “Rice Field of Light” defenately sounds upbeat and happy, this must be a town theme, the flute used in the track gives it almost a Chinese feel. “Coffee with Bullet” is truly beautiful and peaceful, probably this is used for inns or such as it seems it to say : “Welcome ! Please stay at our Inn, friend ! It’s on the house !”. “Asian Parfait” sounds obviously Chinese, there’s no denying it !! It’s certainly another peaceful town theme. “Heaven - Kunyang Kunyang” is another Chinese sounding track, I can imagine the student training with his master atop a mist-filled mountain (Think Live A Live !! 8D). “Sea - Highnoon Fish” is yet again, of Chinese influence, this is probably a world map theme, as it does sound fitting. “Angel Heart” does not seem to describe this track too well, it sounds mostly foreboding, it must be a villain’s theme or something eerie. “Manifacture - Conveyorbelt for Killers” is simply riddled with sounds, and some guitar, then some voices, it sounds really weird. “Swindler - Shanghai Mood” is another Chinese track, most probably another town theme, as it’s slightly upbeat and quite peaceful. “Syu-Ka” is another Chinese track, the main instrument seems to be a mandarin (spelling ?). “Profile” starts off sounding evil, then a gripping melody (the violin used helps to give off the feel), then followed by drums and some bells. “Someone’s Table” is again, yes you guessed it, Chinese, it sounds a bit eerie. “Much Hatred still Rankles” could be an area theme, it has a bit of organ used, giving it an evil feel. “Death - Zombie Party” is mostly comprised of a chorus and some sound effects, very spooky, then the percussion moves in, making it somewhat enjoyable. “Blow up” starts off with a flute and some piano, then percussions move in, where could this track be used ? I have no idea…. Yet. “ALICE” is one of the most heartwrenching pieces, it is just so beautiful, the music box used here really sounds nice, and the violin really makes a great job to give off strong emotions while listening to it. “Misfortune - Psycho Temple” uses some piano and some flute, as the title says, it’s a temple theme, very fitting. “China Ogre” must be a boss theme, as it spells CHAOS all the way, there is some chanting but it’s impossible to make out what they are saying, but it certainly is enjoyable. “Melt Down” is a more fast paced boss theme, it mostly has loud chants and percussions. “Sacrifice - ALICE” is an arrangement of “ALICE”, it’s equally as heartwrenching as it is beautiful. “Bloody Kitchens” sounds pretty sad, must be the game over theme.

Disc 2 starts out with “ Atmosphere - Blow Up ”, it sounds pretty quiet, must be another town theme. “ City ” is obviously a town theme, and quite enjoyable indeed. “ God knows bad news ” sounds like a cutscene theme, it sounds a bit sad. Now it gets interesting, “ Dirty Nails ” is one of the really creepy tracks, the way the chorus is echoed gives off a very eerie feel, I can imagine exploring an old haunted castle with this music, very fitting. “ The thorn of mind ” is one of the more ambient boss themes, it can’t be a normal battle theme, it’s just too slow and brooding, while normal battle themes are more upbeat. “ Reckless ” is another boss theme, although having a quicker beat than the previous, the sound effects used here really make the track even creepier. “ Graveyard Moon ” starts off with some female chant, then a bit of drums, and well placed sound effects make this track an enjoyable listen. “ Coffin Fetish ”, while bearing an odd name, sounds both beautiful and creepy, I’m pretty sure it’s a dungeon theme. “ Near Death experience ” is another battle theme, the voices used here sounds like they are laughing at you, the melody and beat is excellent, certainly is the best battle theme in the soundtrack. “ Special Short Cuts ” sounds really odd with it’s technoish sounds, I have no idea what this is…. “ But-Dad-Dead-Bed ” is yet another strange title, must be a cutscene theme or something…. It’s just too quiet to be a dungeon theme… “ Vitamin Metropolis ” has a modern sound, this has to be a town theme of sorts, it’s light and happy. “ Sweet Pillows ” is… you guessed it ZZZzzzzzzz :P “ Babysitter is old Nurse ” sounds really good with the chorus it uses, this could be a castle theme or a dungeon theme, it’s just nice. “ Don’t Cry my Vampire ” starts off with a sweet melody, backed up by a music box, it’s cute ^_^ . “ Ripper Ripper ” starts off with a bit of percussions and sound effects, it sounds slightly spooky, so I’ll take a wild guess and say it’s a dungeon theme. “ Castle of Silence ” is one of the more interesting tracks, it starts off with windy sound effects, then some bells, and finally a violin, then we hear distorted sound effects, followed by a tick-tock like sound, then the track repeats. “ Callback from Jesus ” is a nice and peaceful track, although it’s a very funny title. “ Bacon’s Juice ” is certainly a humor theme, due to the hilarious melody and sound effects that are used. Makes me laugh ! 8D “ Trip or Treat ” is another peaceful theme, this sounds though like something of Mitsuda’s style…. Did he composed this one, I’m wondering :P “ ICARO Beated Ver ” is an arrangement of ICARO, although it bears no lyrics, very nice. “ Tanjou ” sounds also like something by Mitsuda, it sounds somewhat hopeful, must be another peaceful town theme. “ Nobody knocks the Door ” starts off with a drum beat, then a bit of sound effects and chorus are used, I’m pretty certain this is part of the final dungeon. “ Star Shape ” sounds odd, although it still carries a hint of menace, mostly when the chorus and wind effects join together. “ Middle of nowhere ” must be the final spot right before the final boss, it just exhudes evil thanks to the organ used, the chorus and yelling sound effects also give impression that the ultimate evil is near. “ Demon’s Gig ” is certainly a boss theme, but not the last, but it sure has a great beat to it. “ Sicking Fucking ” is THE most bizzare track title I’ve come across so far. The beat keeps on going faster, has to be another boss theme. “ Sign of Him (Creation of God) ” is the first part of the final boss themes, it sounds really good, especially when the rocking guitar makes its entrance. “ Imbroglio ” is the second phase of the final boss, there is a lot of bells used here, and at some point, it sound eerily to FF7’s “ Jenova Absolute ”, no joke ! And the final phase, we get “ Bate me Bate me ”, it starts off with loud chorus-like sounds, and uses a very quick drumbeat, making it both memorable and enjoyable. “ Result ” is the victory theme, it sounds like Vagrant Story’s a bit, and I like it. =) “ Black Cat floating in Blue Sky ” is obviously the ending theme, very lovely and up to par with FFX’s. “ Shadow Hearts ” is another ending track, just awesome :) “ Opening Demo Mix ” 1 & 2 are (d’uh ! :P) remixes of the opening themes, I love the rocking guitar used in it. “ True Voice ” is a bonus track, really vocal track.

Well that is pretty much it, if you’re looking for something different than Square’s usual, then this OST is highly reccomended. And hey, it features Mitsuda in it, so that should be reason enough to purchase it. :P