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Silent Hill OST ...and a picture of Lisa Garland

Track List:
  1. Silent Hill
  2. All
  3. The Wait
  4. Until Death
  5. Over
  6. Devil's Lyric
  7. Rising Sun
  8. For All
  9. Follow The Leader
  10. Claw Finger
  11. Hear Nothing
  12. Children Kill
  13. Killed By Death
  14. Don't Cry
  15. The Bitter Season
  16. Moonchild
  17. Never Again
  18. Fear of the Dark
  19. Half Day
  20. Heaven Give me Say
  21. Far
  22. I'll Kill You
  23. My Justice for You
  24. Devil's Lyric 2
  25. Dead End
  26. Ain't Gonna Rain
  27. Nothing Else
  28. Alive
  29. Never Again
  30. Die
  31. Never End,Never End,Never End
  32. Down Time
  33. Kill Angels
  34. Only You
  35. Not Tomorrow 1
  36. Not Tomorrow 2
  37. My Heaven
  38. Tears of...
  39. Killing Time
  40. She
  41. Esperandote
  42. Silent Hill (Otherside)

Total Time: (71:48)

Composed by:
Akira Yamaoka,
Rika Muranaka (track 41)
I apologize for not including a track-by-track review of this like I do for most of my video game soundtrack reviews, but this really can't be described in such a way. With that in mind, I don't mind telling you that this soundtrack is scary as hell! Silent Hill is one truly disturbing game. Scarier, in fact, than any horror films I have seen before, and a lot of that has to do with the score. Akira Yamaoka's use of industrial rock places this disc on about the same level as John Carpenter's Halloween in terms of music that can actually scare you out of your wits. This is an interesting type of music to accompany such a game. It had me in a state of mortal dread several times. The music, like the game has little that suddenly jumps out and goes "BOO!", but creeps along at a slow and disturbing pace that will leave most listeners sweaty and nervous, and I mean that in the best possible way.

As scary as the music may be on disc, it leaves a much more incredible mark in the context of the game itself (BTW, if you like to be frightened once in a while, I suggest you play it). Not all of it is the industrial noise, however. Much of the soundtrack contains meandering strings or synth organ. One very nerve-racking track is "Far" which has floating synth strings that play soothing chords which slide into dissonant and grating chords, which has a remarkable effect. The very first track, "Silent Hill," sounds like a traditional Italian piece which utilizes a mandolin. The track is given a neat effect by adding sound effects that make it seem as if it is been played on an old record player. Most of the "normal" songs are at the end of the CD and they compliment the different endings that the game has (there a five endings in all, four of which are represented on the CD). One of these endings, the "bad" ending, is complimented by a Spanish-flavored song composed by Rika Muranaka. This song is so out of place that I wonder why it was ever included in the game or on CD at all. Muranaka has also been responsible for the other out-of-place song "I Am the Wind" from Castlevania, but also the ingenious "The Best is yet to Come" from Metal Gear Solid.

This disc is not mastered like most Japanese video game soundtracks. Instead of playing all of the tracks through once or twice, the producers decided rather than to make a soundtrack containing all of the music from the game (there is *a lot* missing) and packaging two discs or more, they would make a single and very ambient CD. I agree with their methods, but unfortunately this has left my favorite cue, "Not Tomorrow 1," sadly truncated. The music compliments a scene in the game where the truth is revealed about nurse Lisa Garland, which is easily my favorite scary moment that any movie or videogame has produced *ever*, and much of that has to do with the chilling use of a simple acoustic guitar. One thing that does confuse me about this CD release though, is the fact that it is a regular Japanese release but the liner notes by "Esperandote" composer Rika Muranaka are written in English. It's kind of funny anyway that she would be the one to write liner notes, considering how out-of-place her song is and also considering the fact that she didn't have anything to do with the score itself.

The soundtrack, like the game, is very intricate and many people did not understand the story in the game fully, but there is an excellent plot guide by BradyGames strategy guide author Dan Birlew at Game FAQs. It's rather long, but very informative (Silent Hill is one of my favorite games, in case you haven't noticed).

This disc may not be as wonderfully musical as some people like, but if you want to buy one soundtrack that will really scare you, then I could think of nothing better than Silent Hill.

Silent Hill is Copyright 1999 King Records. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.