Susumu Hirasawa – Detonator Orgun 3 / Glory Wars Soundtrack

4 out of 5

Label: Polydor

Produced by: Susumu Hirasawa

Nipping info from the wiki page for the anime, what started as a pursuit to make more ‘serious’ soundtrack music gave way to boredom; from a surface level, this means the fuller orchestration of Detonator Orgun 1 and 2 turned into more typical electronic arrangements on 3.  Interestingly, though, at least to my ears, while part 3 may not have some of the more interesting experimental highlights of its precursors, it almost seems as though Hirasawa’s mental meanderings provoked a ‘fuck it’ mentality that ended up delivering some of the series’ best tunes.  The short intro Propaganda of EDF II brings a sense of quirk to things that had absolutely been absent previously, and Dream Quest successfully recycles themes and builds on them for some proper bombast.  The following two cues are brief but memorable, with the pared down Water in Time and Space (Full Size) one of the more beautiful instrumental renditions of Hirasawa’s career to that point.  The remainder of the score is a bit too slight to make much of an impact – including the penultimate, five minute Climax track, which just kind of summarizes bits and pieces from 1 and 2 – but the former half of the score definitely makes this a worthwhile listen.

Glory Wars – included on the second half of this disc as part of the Haldyn Dome boxset – coming chronologically a year or so after DO 3, is damned fantastic.  Bringing back some P-Model jaunt and inserting it into some longer form arrangements – 6+. 7+ minute tracks full of invention – Hirasawa covers the whole mini-album in a militaristic vibe, giving it a cohesion most of Detonator Orgun lacked.  This allows him to swing between the Aurora-esque, choral Hope, the proud march of Luke, the robo-herky jerk of War Manual of “Gear”, the heartbeat attack of Viles Imperial, and on through the contemplative keys of Rulilian, with it all feeling like its one experience.  That he then lends vocals to the shifting and celebratory closer After the Wars sends the disc off with a proper conclusion.

No easily Googleable word on if Glory Wars was any less of a task for Susumu than DO ended up being, but it sure sounds much lighter on its feet, and infinitely more inspired track to track.  Seeing as how he would cite (again, coming from the wiki) the Orgun experience as being good guidance for his scorework thereafter, it could just be that Glory Wars benefited from the same.