Guilty Gear X Heavy Rock Tracks – “Awe of She” (Daisuke Iwashitare)February 8, 2010
“Awe of She” is a fine, fine guitar-driven piece from Guilty Gear X – Heavy Rock Tracks (2001) to end the week. Guilty Gear is a fighting game series by SNK, featuring well-drawn characters with detailed backstories. Dizzy, the character whose theme this is, is a Gear (a living weapon of mass destruction) who somehow survived a war of annihilation. As such, she is hunted down to prevent another war. She is possessed by both a dark and light angel, and I feel both sides are represented through her song. You can read more about the series here.
The track opens with a nice synthetic gothic choral line, referencing Dizzy’s vast power and destructive ability as well as hinting at her enigmatic past. The piano then kicks in, which is delicate, but also provides a sense of tragedy. Finally, we have the guitar, which kicks in for the main melody, providing some fine call-and-response. The main guitar line is supported by organ and strings to give it a symphonic rock quality. The choral piece at the end is a fantastic finish, but also provides nice pauses in the action at 1:45 and 3:10. “Awe of She” gives a good sense of this fighter’s personality – and is also a joy to listen to.
“Awe of She” was remixed in Guilty Gear XX. Here, it is mostly guitar, with strings removed. The choral line is used sparingly, and bells have been added for effect. The emphasis on guitars, particularly their strength over that of the original, makes me like this version of the song more. The choral line at the very end of the piece is also a nice touch, and unlike the original, is punctuated by a dramatic guitar riff. I can’t recommend this soundtrack enough.
Both versions were composed by Daisuke Iwashitare, who did most of the entire Guilty Gear series. His recent work, BlazBlue, isn’t as impressive to me, as it does not have the strong melodic feel and composition style of the Guilty Gear X music. Guilty Gear also references plenty of heavy metal music in the names of its characters and their moves (one boss, I-No, fights using music from her rock guitar). Yeah, these guys both know and make good music.