Akira YamaokaSilent Hill 3 Original Soundtrack
Grade
A-
 
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As a pack-in with the PS2 release, getting a hold of the Silent Hill 3 Original Soundtrack shouldn't be a real problem. Still, you (at one time) could order the soundtrack separately. This soundtrack continues the musical progression of the series away from dark soundscapes but rather than revisiting the piano-heavy feel of the second soundtrack, this one develops it's own off-kilter personality. In the context of the stories, though, it really had no choice but the be different as the two characters proved to be quite different.

Lost Carol opens with a impassioned female voice, showing off an introduction of vocals to his music. The second track, You're Not Here, is a strong rock song featuring the vocals of Melissa Williamson belting out lyrics. It won't take the listener long to notice a far different take on the way song are done now: there's more vocal elements: actual lyrics and audio samples from the voiceovers in the game. Float Up From Dream is a pulsing tone of a track that samples in a speech from Claudia. This is followed by End of Small Sanctuary, a mild track with reserved guitars, drawn out beat and low key synths.

Breeze - In Monochrome Night opens will a rolling layer of tones that flow into the piano and looped electronic beat. Along with some background keyboards, this combination permeates the core of the soundtrack. While the description may not offer much, the execution works wonderfully. After the rolling piano of this track, the bass-heavy beat of Sickness Upon Foolish Death comes across as strange. Clockwork Little Happiness opens with a wall of organ tones, followed by the lurching beat and higher tone synthesized notes.

The poignant guitars of Please Love Me... Once More flow into a steady paced beat, accented with the casual flow of synthesized tones that roll through it. This grinds to a dark halt when A Stray Child starts up with it's haunting wail that evolves into a pleasant, reserved beat. While Innocent Moon hails back to the piano heavy feel of Silent Hill 2, Maternal Heart continues the pattern of a more dark industrial/techno that casually entrances the listener, offering multiple layers to build its personality.

Letter - From The Lost Days brings back the female vocals, telling a story of the main character without being blunt in it's tale. While I'm usually not a big fan of lyrics in my game soundtracks, this one works well. Dance With Night Wind features a steady, repetitive beat that's accented by synthesized strings and a lulling piano. Never Forgive Me, Never Forget Me is yet another piano piece that hearkens back to Silent Hill 2 without being direct about it. Ironically, Prayer begins with chanting and flows into a damaged industrial beat.

Walk On Vanity Ruins opens with piano and moves into a slow looped beat with more voiceover samples. This is followed by the slow, dragging beat of I Want Love, which features more female vocals. Heads No. 2 is dark and flows right into Memory Of The Waters, a lurching piece populated by occasional bright tones. Rain Of Brass Petals has a more upbeat pace and pianos that sets it apart from a lot of the other tracks on the second half of the disc. Flow Crown Of Poppy opens with a hammering industrial beat, only tempered by keyboard tones. Sun is no more than a story told by Claudia set to a soundscape. This is followed by Uneternal Sleep, which is yet another soundscape in the vein of the first soundtrack.

While Hometown repeats the mandolin theme from the first game and ties the two games together, it's a pretty mediocre song that features the vocals of Joe Romersa, who sounds like bad David Bowie. It's one of the few tracks I readily pass right over when I have the chance. I Want Love (Studio Mix) is another rock/techno track featuring Melissa Williamson. The album ends with a remix, Rain of Brass Petals (Three Voices Edit), which takes the original track and tries to add vocals to it with mixed results. I could do without it, but some may like it.

On the whole, the Silent Hill 3 Original Soundtrack does a wonderful job at progressing the musical style of the series forward while making it more accessible. The introduction of vocals and lyrics is a mixed bag as it works in some areas and not so well in others. Still, the music is solid and establishes the game's personality as unique.

- - Kinderfeld

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