Review: GMK Soundtrack from Perfect Box

Movie: GMK
Composer: Ko Otani
Record Label: Toho Music
Running time: 75:48Discs: 1
Released: 2010
Reviewed By: Matti K.

Review: ****/*****
The second disc in the sixth Godzilla soundtrack box contains the soundtrack of GMK, composed by Ko Otani, who previously worked with Shusuke Kaneko on the Heisei Gamera trilogy. This score is not quite as good as his work on the aforementioned trilogy, but it is really entertaining nonetheless.
The fact that Otani utilizes a lot of synthesizer effects in his music may turn some people off. However, a lot of fans have shown appreciation for this score. Otani has created a number of memorable themes for the movie, and that does lead to some repetition, although not to an irritating amount of it. The new theme for Godzilla is really foreboding. The tracks "Main Title", "The God of Destruction Appear", and "A Desperate Crisis" are among the ones where the theme gets the most effective use. The second primary theme is the one of King Ghidorah, which is usually accompanied by an eerie male chorus, especially in "The Sleeping Three Headed Dragon". Mothra also gets her own short theme motif, which is actually a new variation of her original song, as you often hear, "Mosura ya, Mosura ya" being sung. Otani has composed a new military march too, which seems to be a tradition for him as he created a different military march for each of the Heisei Gamera movies. The final new theme is usually referred to as the track it’s used the most in: "Determined to Protect the Future". This theme is really beautiful, and the track itself is one of the highlights of the score. Other brilliant cues are "Confrontation of the Two Giant Monsters", "God of Sky: King Ghidorah" and "Godzilla’s Rage", which are among my favorites. Akira Ifukube’s classic Godzilla theme and "Great Monster War March" are used in the "End Roll".
Now, the disc is quite a big improvement over the previous release of this soundtrack. The entire score is finally available for the first time on CD. All the cues that weren’t previously included are here. The bonus tracks are also brand new. Most of them are edits of certain cues as they’re usually heard in the final movie. The first edited version of "God of Sky" King Ghidorah" (track 46) is perhaps the most significant of these, as the middle section uses the Godzilla theme instead of the Ghidorah theme, like the original version does. Unfortunately, the quality of these tracks isn’t the best, as the volume level goes up and down constantly in most of them, when is most likely because the tracks were pulled from a 5.1 channel film source according to the booklet. The last three bonus tracks are demos from Otani. They’re all interesting to listen to. Two of them contain early versions of Otani’s themes for Godzilla and Ghidorah, and he even uses a bit of Ifukube’s Godzilla march in the third demo.
The booklet as a pretty "frightening" picture of Godzilla’s face on the front cover, if I may say so myself, and pictures of Chiharyu Niyama, Kaho Minami, and Ai and Aki Maeda. Aside from the usual track notes and other stuff, there’s also a profile of Ko Otani and an interview with him.
In the end, the GMK disc is one of the primary reasons to get the sixth box. It doesn’t contain the separate Ifukube tracks and the sound effects that were included on the previous CD release, those can be found on other discs. The complete score and new bonus tracks really make this one a winner.
Further pictures of the GMK CD can be viewed by:

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