And, being the second playthrough, this is with Hero Mode enabled which halves your defence (which you really notice when a rock from an Octorok takes two hearts off!) and removes all health drops. Um. On the plus side, you keep all the insects and treasures from the previous playthrough, and get the fully-powered Skyward Strike as soon as you get the Goddess Sword. The insects and treasures meant that when I descended to the surface I did so with a Banded Shield (rather than the plain wooden one) and a Revitializing Potion++ in my pocket, and was happily blatting everything with a single Skyward Strike.
It's interesting, the different tactics you use on a second playthrough. On my first run through the game I treated the Skyward Strike as a gimmick, and only ever used it in the vertical overhand slash for activating Goddess Cubes (which may well be why I found the final battle as hard as I did). This time, I've discovered that you can launch it at different angles, and the higher power (and faster charge) makes it practical against, well... everything. You can even launch it as a stab at which point you don't have to try get the right angle on things like Quadro Babas anymore.
In fact, the first enemy I've found that isn't one-shotted by a Skyward Strike is the Stalfos in Skyview Temple, and even there it makes the battle a fair bit easier as you can attack it from a distance, launching the strike at the right angle to get through its defence.
Speaking of Skyview Temple itself, the music still reminds me very strongly of an eerie version of Ganondorf's Theme. I suppose in a way Ghirahim is (a less deadly, but much crazier) Ganondorf, in that he is the big bad you chase throughout the game until you get to the really truly final boss in the form of Demise.