Total Time: (71:48)
Rika Muranaka (track 41)
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.