Friday, October 22, 2010

Nitro+ - Saya no Uta OST (2003)


Another creepy offering in keeping with this month's theme (whenever I feel like it anyway), this album's companion game Saya no Uta was a Visual Novel released for the PC in Japan in 2003 by Nitroplus, a company who are known for incorporating surreal atmospheres and Lovecraftian influences into their dating sims. The story follows a young medical student named Fuminori whose mind & senses becomes permanently warped after going through experimental surgery in the aftermath of a car accident that killed his parents and left him in a near-death coma. Upon waking up in the hospital at some point later though, Fuminori finds that the world is a Hell of flesh and refuse; ordinary people appear as monsters to him, the sky is twisted, and even ordinary food now appears, smells and tastes terrible and stomach-churning beyond imagination.

Everything in the world has become a nightmare to Fuminori's mind, which would normally drive anyone to suicide. One thing, however, keeps him sane and functioning: a seemingly innocent young girl named Saya who appears before him in his hospital room one night and asks to help her find her father. Entranced by her beauty and purity in contrast to the world that he sees, he quickly agrees. But of course, something is very wrong here: we are seeing this girl through the distorted eyes of Fuminori after all...

Intriguing Lovecraft-esque story aside, the soundtrack is quite special in and of itself too, reminiscent of some of Buckethead's side projects, but with a more eclectic yet straightforward composer's hand at play. Throughout it's fifteen tracks we cover a helluva lot of ground despite initial expectations: cloying stretches of ambience that invoke dread and calm alike ['Song of Saya I' and II, 'Sabbath'], Industrial tinged Alt-rockscapes that evoke this maddened setting with a certain manic clarity ['Schizophrenia', 'Savage'] electronic movements en-masse [Spooky Scape, Sunset] and even a bit of J-Pop to seal the deal [Shoes of Glass].

I dunno about the rest of you, but it is actually rarer than you'd think to find a memorable soundtrack that creeps one out in the cerebral sense, beyond the usual antics of putting your nerves on edge or flooding your speakers with dissonance. I revel in these oddened soundscapes, keeping an ear out for the occasional bright figment that rises from the dark before vanishing back into the night for the mirage that it is. It keeps me mindful of what lies beyond.

A toast, then, to those phlegm sputtered horrors in their eldritch chambers, to the rising of the new order (or lack thereof) and to great creepy-as-fuck music to make it Halloween at the click of the mouse. *Drink*

Listen Here - "Sunset"


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