By the way, Dracula X ~Nocturne in the Moonlight = Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
"Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight is possibly the greatest Dracula OST yet created. In album form it doesn't quite manage the same magnificence as it does in the context of the game, but it is still another great Castlevania music experience.
Probably the most outstanding trait of this OST is that it is the most varied Dracula soundtrack yet. Older Dracula scores were too limited by their sound systems, and the original Dracula X (the only other CD-based Dracula game) seemed too pop-oriented as a whole. Dracula X NitM rivals fellow Konami soundtrack Genso Suikoden in its wide variety of well-arranged musical styles, and this in an action-adventure game no less.
Before going into what styles are represented, it should be emphasized just how important the sound system is to this OST. Although I have yet to test it out physically on a Playstation unit, the music was almost certainly streamed from the game disc as opposed to being PCM synth. Konami's sound team is apparently quickly learning to maximize this advantage. Most of the instrumental sounds here still seem to be sampled, and are not quite the quality of the best game music arranged albums and domestic new age CDs, but they are leaps and bounds ahead of typical video game synth.
Without the present quality of instrumental sounds, the multitude of music styles couldn't be conveyed with such authenticity. String and brass sections and individual instruments come across passably without drawing undue attention from sounding artificial. Choir accompaniment is appropriately dark and moody, while pipe organs bellow. And in the grand tradition of the best Castlevania arrangements, electric guitars grind through with wicked force. Dracula X NitM isn't the be all and end all of video game instrumental sound, but it is definitely another step in the right direction.
So what musical styles are present? An easier question might be, "Which ones aren't?" If it can work in a Dracula game, you'll probably find it here. Those who have played the game are well aware of "Prayer". Featuring solely the chanting of two female vocalists, with its mournful, haunting feel it is the perfect track to lead off a Dracula adventure. "Tower of Evil Fog" is purely symphonic in nature, and although somewhat mild in intensity, conveys the dark mood of the series and the vast dungeon setting of the game itself. "Requiem of the Gods" features somber high-pitched chanting eventually accompanied by epitaphial pipe organ and well-placed gongs from a funeral bell. No question about this being a Dracula soundtrack. Several tracks are supplemented by ambient sounds such as whispering wind, dripping water, and creepy forest critters to further the mood.
Of course the whole soundtrack doesn't focus solely on setting mood. This is Konami after all, one of the kings of video game melody. Take "Awakened Soul", for example. Despite my own current lack of enthusiasm toward jazz fusion, somehow it works marvelously well in this track. The steady, cymbal-intensive percussion and bassline get the groove going, while mellow guitar takes the lead melody, supplemented by jazzy horns and soft strings. If Konami ever offers a Dracula installment in the Pro-Fusion series, this track has convinced me it'll be worth checking out.
Finally, what Dracula soundtrack would be complete without some old-school Konami rock? It's present here in four or so boss themes, a couple tracks from the final stages of the original Dracula X, and the very catchy original stage BGM "Dracula Castle". However, these all pale in comparison to the hard-rocking excellence of "Young Nobleman of Sadness", which is Dracula rock at its best. Although orchestral instrumentation sets the evil backdrop and provides some well-done transitions, it's the electric guitar that gives the track all its head-banging glory. With its memorable melody, professional arrangement, and high-quality performance, the track is an instant classic.
As implied earlier, there are a few setbacks with the release of this soundtrack on CD. First of all, since it's a standard OST with a high number of tracks, most of the selections only play once a full time through, then begin to fade out on the first loop. Fortunately most of the original compositions were of decent length, but nevertheless they sometimes seem to be over too soon. Also, the wide variety of styles presented in the CD may not be appreciated by all Dracula fans. Dracula music is typically known for its hard-rocking nature, so some of the tracks in styles new to the series - especially mellower ones - may not pass over too well to some. I must say that certain tracks which worked okay as background music in the game just don't cut it on their own. A few manage to be so unmelodic so as to be offensive, while others are just too boring to bother with. Throw out these and the few under-a-minute tracks reserved for brief game events, and about fifteen tracks are left which I listen to regularly.
Potential buyers of Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight who have played the game should just give a good listen as they play through to decide whether they really want the assortment of tracks on music CD, as this is a straight OST release all the way. For those unfamiliar with the game, well, this is the best OST CD release from one of the most musically-renowned series in video games. Sounds like a recommendation to me. Despite the typical presence of forgettable tracks and the nuances of the OST format, the disc is overall a great production with some true gems."