Death Mark by Naoaki Jimbo
“This story creeped me out earlier. Want to hear it?”
Grab a flashlight and venture forth into your darkest nightmares this week with Death Mark by Naoaki Jimbo. Pressed on black vinyl by Aksys Games comes the soundtrack to this haunting visual novel from Experience Inc.. Will you have what it takes to make it out of this journey alive?
Naoaki Jimbo is a composer and musician based out of Tokyo, Japan. Known for his works on various Japanese RPGs such as the popular Demon Gaze and many visual novels, Death Mark is without a doubt some of his best work to date. Haunting and chilling in his compositions, Naoaki's work here is a beautiful journey through the maws of death and back.
While this album is your standard horror affair with all the trappings that come with it, it’s far from generic. With syncopated percussion mixed with accented strings, it draws the listener into its endless corridor of grooves. The depth and range that the piano creates here mixed with looming sound effects manifests an almost visual experience that really adds to the depth of Naoaki’s score. The mixture of classical instruments, namely the Harpsichord, blends beautifully with various electronic pulses and murmurs that adds a unique and ghastly layer to these compositions. Much like the divergent pathways and choices of the game it comes from, this album is wrought with tension in each and every groove that makes for a short yet harrowing experience.
As Aksys Games’ first ever vinyl release, I have to say the presentation and quality is well done here. The way in which they have captured the feeling of the game in vinyl form is really great and simple through the artwork provided by the Experience Inc. art team. The stylistic depiction of the main characters creates an awesome visual accompaniment to the music held within its single sleeve packaging. The mastering has a rich tone to it that is very clean and allows for all the little nuances of Naoaki’s work to shine. Compared to the CD version from the Limited Edition, I definitely prefer the tone and feel that the vinyl has in comparison. All in all, I think that while short, this release has its moments and fills a perfect spot in anyone’s collection who is looking for a short yet memorable horror experience.
I want to give a huge thanks to the Aksys Games team for providing me with a copy of this vinyl for me to look at for this review!
Remastered for vinyl by:
Vinyl produced & distributed by:
Where to Buy?
This album is still readily available directly from Aksys Games’ online store. However, it may not last long, as it is limited to 500 hand-numbered copies, so take that into consideration when looking to add this album to your collection.