Creepy, dark, industrial and largely ambient, the original
Silent Hill soundtrack is by and large the base upon
with further soundtracks in the series are created. While
later albums have featured more mainstream tracks, most shows
signs and elements of the audio created by Akira Yamaoka for
the original videogame.
While the music does offer an infusion of "folkiness", especially
with the wavering Mandolin of the opening title track, a lot
of the core of the music is lulling soundscapes and synthesized
industrial beats. Screaming tones and uneasy pitches continual
assault the listener, making the experience a bit uncomfortable
at times. Rarely has such an offering of music created such
a palatable sense of unease on it's own.
After opening with the all-too-familiar Silent Hill,
the soundtrack rolls about with various short soundscapes.
A lot of the tracks on this soundtrack clock in below the
two minute mark, but still manage to drive their theme home.
All starts slow but pulses to life near the end. Until
Death is loud, abrasive and intense with it's pulsing
tones and metal on metal beats. Over begins slowly
until it roars into the high pitched wailing and grinding
repetitive beat. This kind of slow-build pattern is found
throughout a lot of the tracks, such as For All and
the aforementioned All.
Even with a lot of the dissonant tones that push a sense
of panic and urgency, there are a lot of low-toned tracks
that just float along until their end. The likes of Rising
Sun, Follow The Leader, Hear Nothing and
Heaven Give Me Say all work to balance the flow of
the album. These songs may not stand out among the more brutal
offerings, but work as a nice segue to keep the whole album
from being overbearing.
Killed By Death is one of many tracks that are creepy
all on their own, just by the haunting delivery of the music.
A number of the tracks feature a repeated metal on metal beat,
like Die, which pounds at you fast and hard, but still
retains a catchy beat. This is also found, even if to a lesser
degree in Dead End. Don't Cry is built of different
tones but runs along the same thematic concept.
As you can tell by the comments in the review, this soundtrack
really does break down into a couple sets of tracks, but on
the whole works wonders, especially alongside the actual content.
There are still tracks that buck the trend, like the overpowering
Half Day and Ain't Gonna Run, which attack you
from the open.
Towards the end, you run into Not Tomorrow, an acoustic
guitar piece that lulls you into a false sense of security.
Why would I say that? Well, because Not Tomorrow 2
follows up with some of the creepiest tones possible. And
then, there's My Heaven, a dissonant, unnerving experience
that grates at the nerves.
The last few tracks are probably the most casual friendly
as they feel more like traditional instrumental. Tears
Of... is a somber acoustic track (with electronic drums
and synths) that works nicely as a bridge between the darkness
the proceeded and the ending tracks. Killing Time is
a swagger-heavy track and She is a rock/acoustic hybrid
that was obviously fun for Akira Yamaoka to play.
For fans of the game series, this album is a must own. It
establishes so much groundwork that one can not ignore it.
If you enjoy soundscapes or dark ambient industrial, then
the experience offered here is quite excellent. Good luck
locating a copy.