The Genesis – Persona 4

Listen to the end. Trust me; you won’t regret it.

This is such a fascinating song that I had to write an entire article about it. Maybe not a long article, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on this song and why it’s personally one of my favorite tracks in the whole Persona 4 soundtrack. People talk about it being boring, and while they’re allowed to have their own opinions, I couldn’t agree less than I already do.

Maybe it’s because of this following fact. I’m not the biggest fan of Persona 4‘s soundtrack in general, at least, in comparison to the other games’ soundtracks. (My personal favorites are the soundtrack of P1, both the PSP and PS1 versions, P2: Eternal Punishment, P3, and P5.) People talk about it being too slow for the “true final battle” theme, and yes, it is a little slow, but it’s incredible. This track just stands out to me more than most songs in the P4 soundtrack do because of its intimidating and ominous nature. The true final boss is most certainly a formidable foe, and this song is probably the most fitting song Shoji Meguro could have composed for it.

In a game with music that gives off a pop/rock vibe, a song like this, with a classical orchestra feeling, really just provides that atmosphere change that really shows you you’re in the endgame now. Even The Mist, another one of my favorite tracks from P4, doesn’t scream “final boss” like this song does. At least to me, anyway. All of this is my own opinion, and I can absolutely see why people would disagree with me. But I’m coming from the perspective of a former choir/music theory major. In the years I performed in choir and have studied music theory, I learned to be able to feel what music was saying through the timbre of the instruments, the way the time signature is utilized, the cadence of the melody as it combines with the background harmonies, the list goes on.

My point is that just about every song out there tells a story, and it doesn’t need lyrics to tell that story. You can understand what it’s saying through close listening and truly immersing yourself in the song. This song gives off the perfect foreboding aura such an intimidating final boss deserves. It sort of reminds me of the song “Transient Butterfly” from the PS1 version of the first Persona game, at least in its structure and what sort of feeling it’s giving off. Except unlike that song, “The Genesis” has that bit of hope at the end of the game where it brings things back full circle with the melody of “Reach Out to the Truth”, another one of my favorite tracks from this game. That ending always gives me chills.

Long rant short, I personally think this song is absolutely incredible, and it’s the perfect track for the true final battle. Also, the instruments give off very heavy Strange Journey vibes. I know that both games’ soundtracks were composed by Shoji Meguro, but still. Strange Journey is one of my favorite games of all time, and I absolutely love that Meguro threw some of that game’s music style into a Persona game. Goes to show it’s true that every Persona game’s final battle theme has some Shin Megami Tensei inspiration.

“One More God Rejected”

Believe it or not, there are lyrics in the garbled vocal mess in this song.

The more I listen to this song, the more fascinating it becomes. I’ll start off by saying that unlike many others, Nocturne was not my introduction to the series. I actually started off with Shin Megami Tensei I and IV at the same time and quickly became obsessed with the series. I fell in love with the intro of this theme, and wondered what in the world the vocal craziness in the background was all about.

A few of the battle themes in this game have the same garbled vocals in them, and one day when I was looking through the YouTube comments on one of the songs, I found out that they aren’t just demonic-sounding chants. They’re legitimate lyrics, and most interpretations of them say they’re from high angelic figures speaking out against the Demi-Fiend, which is the main character of our story. In this particular song, I’ve seen interpretations saying that it’s the highest angel Metatron trying to frighten and intimidate the protagonist, and honestly, I just find that so fascinating.

People have all sorts of interpretations as to what the lyrics actually are, and perhaps that’s intentional on Shoji Meguro’s part. It’s meant to be heard differently, other than the most famous lyrics: “One more God rejected.” Here is what I hear:

I’m heaven above outside you
I have your back to the wall
Survived the fall from grace
Drink of the wine of the wrath of God
One more God rejected
I’m heaven above outside you
One more God rejected
I have your back to the wall
One more God rejected
Survived the fall from grace
Thou shall not oppose the wrath of God
Fear
Fear God and give glory to Him
For the hour of His judgement has come to you.
Now
When a thousand years have expired,

Satan will be released
Judgement has come to you.

When you look at it like that, it definitely sounds like it’s Metatron or another angel of some sort trying to intimidate the protagonist. I’ll admit that I am of faith (even though I don’t consider myself part of any religious group), but I still find this so fascinating to listen to. Feel free to leave a comment about your own interpretations! I’d love to discuss further meanings of the song and see what you guys think.