Forze del Male
"Forze del Male" (Ita: "Forces of Evil") is a musical composition by Yoko Shimomura. It is used throughout the Kingdom Hearts series primarily as a boss battle theme against Ansem, Seeker of Darkness.
"Forze del Male" serves as a boss battle theme.
"Forze del Male" returns as a boss battle theme at the Keyblade Graveyard.
"Forze del Male" is approximately three minutes and thirty-eight seconds long and has a time signature of 4/4. In Kingdom Hearts, the piece starts with a brief introduction- roughly two measures- at a tempo of 88 beats per minute. However, after this brief introduction the piece instantly picks up tempo to 173 beats per minute. The piece maintains this presto tempo until the track's conclusion. In Kingdom Hearts III, the piece has an introduction tempo of 88 beats per minute. Following this, the tempo picks up to 172 beats per minute.
For instrumentation, the original game versions- Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, and Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX- use the same instruments, though for games not in the HD remake, some voices are covered through electronic means- such as synthesizer. In general, the instrumentation includes: a complete strings section- violin, viola, cello, and stringed bass, flute, trumpet, trombone, tuba, snare drum, bass drum, crash cymbals, timpani, organ, piano, synthesizer, and full chorus. However, in Kingdom Hearts III, the instrumentation slightly differs- likewise causing a change in arrangement. For Kingdom Hearts III, the instrumentation includes: a complete strings section, trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba, snare drum, bass drum, crash cymbals, piano, and only a female choir.
Regardless of the game, the composition's name "Forces of Evil" is easily felt and understood. "Forze del Male" is heavily orchestrated and as such has a very thick texture. Being a greater boss theme, the instrumentation favors the brass and percussion families, with keyboard and string instruments providing support.
In Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX, the composition opens with a very brief introduction with female choir and organ before moving to a considerably faster tempo and shift in tone. Although barely three measures, this introduction strikes the listener hard with an ominous chordal structure played by bass clef instruments and female choir. The overlying organ melody is domineering and serves as a brief introduction to the force that awaits. At the drastic tempo increase, the organ's melody flows seamlessly to the actual looped part of the track- and the heart of the battle. In this looped section, each instrument is constantly playing in some fashion, thus creating a heavy and powerful atmosphere. The percussion section serves primarily as the rhythmic drive of the piece, reflecting the tension and intensity of the battle. Simultaneously are the introductions of a full treble and bass chorus, and unison chord progressions played by the bass clef strings and low brass instruments. The interrupting, sixteenth-note runs of the piano, flute, synthesizer add a unique level of excitement and severity to the piece. The minor trumpet feature that happens shortly into the piece teases as both a lighter, brief reprieve of the original theme, and as a way of transitioning back to the original looped section.
In Kingdom Hearts III, "Forze del Male" follows a slightly different interpretation. Rather than having the overpowering organ and bass clef/female choir accompaniment for the introduction, the player is instead hit with a wall of sound played in unison by the brass. Following this two measure introduction is the main looped theme. Similar to its Kingdom Hearts counterpart, the section played here is equally oppressive and heavy. The main difference, however, is the role each instrument plays. The trumpet, French horn, piano, and other minor interruptive flourishes or fanfares serve as a means of both energy and increased tension. The constant bass drum and bass clef instruments on the downbeats act as both the rhythmic foundation, but also as a constant reminder of the dire situation and surely approaching evil. The main melody is passed around the orchestra, each instrument providing its own interpretation and tone on the piece. The second following theme features less instrumentation: female voices, strings, snare drum, and softer chords played by trombones and other lower voices. This "lighter" theme feels like a brief breath of fresh air before returning to the original intensity of the first theme.