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Silent Hill Original Soundtracks :: Review by Z-Freak

Silent Hill Original Soundtracks Album Title: Silent Hill Original Soundtracks
Record Label: King Records
Catalog No.: KICA-7950
Release Date: March 5, 1999
Purchase: Buy at eBay


This is the first soundtrack in which Akira Yamaoka, now Konami's Lead Sound Director, receives recognition by fans worldwide. Silent Hill is what many refer to as "The thinking people's Resident Evil". I just can't compare it to Resident Evil at all. The Resident Evil series' music is usually orchestral with scary, creepy motifs. Silent Hill's music isn't part of the normal VGM classification, as it falls into three distinct genres: dark ambient, industrial ambient, and the style mostly used in this soundtrack, experimental noise.

The way this soundtrack works is that each piece is connected through each other. At times, you'll only hear constant droning in the background, as if a machine is running. At other times, you'll hear sounds that seem to be coming from your worst nightmares. Most of them are less than a minute long, but each piece serves its own purpose to constantly keep you on guard as you listen. Some pieces are prone to disturb the listener, if only slightly, as you try forming disturbing imagery from what you hear.

The vocal piece "Esperándote sounds obviously out of place and completely disrupts the overall scary feel of the soundtrack. Rika Muranaka tends to put themes that are completely the opposite of what the game is into it. Anyone recall Castlevania: Symphony of the Night's awful "I Am the Wind"? That song was badly composed, had absolutely nothing to do with vampire slaying and whatnot, and is one of the biggest VGM vocal flops out there. Thankfully for "Esperándote, it's actually a decent song. The Argentinan singer gives it a foreign feel, and it has a really sweet use of bandoneon, violins, and piano. But, it still has nothing to do with Silent Hill.

For anyone who's played through Silent Hill and didn't like it, then this is obviously not a good idea to check it out as it may bring back awful memories from the sickeningly freaky atmosphere of the game. For curious people who've never played the game, you might want to play the game first before checking out the soundtrack as it'll make much more sense.

All in all, this soundtrack is reccomended to those who enjoy creepy ambience and unconventional game music. It's also a perfect way to discover the genius of Akira Yamaoka. If you love this, then feel free to help yourself to Silent Hill 2, Silent Hill 3, and Shin Contra, the other soundtracks Yamaoka had a major part in creating.

Overall Score: 9/10