I always think of Seraph of the End as the moment Sawano Hiroyuki truly ‘arrived’. Of course, he’d had big hitters before, but it was with Seraph of the End and the launch of his NZK project that he seemed to become a truly essential, ubiquitous part of the current anime landscape. Inescapable, but always top class – firing out the smashes with every passing season.
And what a smash his soundtrack for Seraph was – a bestial roar at the heart of WIT’s rough and ready background art style for the show. 1hundredknight: M (utilising his trademark code-style track names) contains the core leitmotif for the series, one he would refashion in the series ED theme. Displayed here though, in the original OST, it achieves full majesty – the scale and bombast characteristic of all Sawano’s work reaching peak epic-ness. Building and building with this almost hip-hop like swagger. All brassy horns and aegis of ages – so full powered in its essence and majesty. From piano to strings, swelling and rising gently in the opening – applying gently more and more force, this track feels pliable and tactile to the extreme, so involved with the body and touch – like a flow of blood swelling and cresting in the bleakest of snow-blown nights.