Silent Hill Original Soundtrack
- "A true classic in the horror music field!"
- "Brilliant, and I don't know why."
- Release date: 1999-03-05
- Catalog number: KICA-7950
- Retail price: 2243 yen
- Publisher: King Records
- Akira Yamaoka (composition, arrangement)
One disc (72 minutes)
- Silent hill
- The wait
- Devil's lyric
- Rising sun
- For all
- Follow the leader
- Claw finger
- Hear nothing
- Flesh kill
- Killed by death
- Don't cry
- The bitter season
- Never again
- Fear of the dark
- Half day
- Heaven give me say
- I'll kill you
- My justice for you
- Devil's lyric
- Dead end
- Ain't gonna run
- Nothing else
- Never again
- Never end never end never end
- Down time
- Kill angels
- Only you
- Not tomorrow 1
- Not tomorrow 2
- My heaven
- Tears of...
- Killing time
- Silent hill (otherside)
A true classic in the horror music field!
Reader review by Daniel K (2002-04-04)
Ever since "Silent Hill" was released, it has been a cult game; maybe not as big a success as series like Final Fantasy or Resident Evil, but the game has its loyal supporters. I think that it has a lot to do with not only the game play or the extreme, disturbing scenery, but also the music.
The music for Silent Hill, composed by Akira Yamaoka, is not exactly mainstream VG music. The composer strived to create an atmosphere that would fit the game like a glove. Therefore the Silent Hill OST is very different from other "survival horror" music. There are no grand orchestral themes (like in Resident Evil), and there is no use of strings or piano, or other "conventional" horror sounds as most people know them from movies and games. Instead Mr. Yamaoka uses two genres of music that are far more capable of producing fear: industrial and dark ambient.
There are also some "normal" tracks. These are played during the intro movie and the various endings, and are, as many people already have noticed, very similar in style to Angelo Badalamenti's excellent music for the TV series "Twin Peaks". The instrumentation is simple: guitar, bass and drums; but it still manages to create a feeling of upcoming danger and anxious anticipation.
When I say "dark ambient" I don't mean the strings and piano-segments of Psycho or Resident Evil. The ambience of Silent Hill is, with only a few exceptions, entirely electronic. Sometimes the music can sound like a small humming noise, like a faraway breeze. Other times it can sound like someone sharpening two butcher knives against each other, or an entire hive of bees buzzing, or someone breathing, etc. It is very hard to explain, especially to someone used to more "common" game music, because to many people this doesn't even sound like "music" at all. The only other VGM soundtrack I can compare it to is the "Parasite Eve 2 OST", but Silent Hill is much better made and scarier. One second it can be a low buzzing, and the next second it is a thundering wall of industrial noise that has a far more disturbing effect than any symphony. It may sound awkward, but the CD is structured so that it tells the tale of Silent Hill - tracks flow into each other very naturally. The Silent Hill OST is probably the most graphic soundtrack I have ever heard. It captures the mood of the game very well, and you just can't stop your inner eye from forming (often disturbing) pictures. Being a fan of the Industrial scene for a very long time, I can say that tracks like "Over", "Ain't Gonna Run" and the final boss theme "My Heaven" are among the best pieces of music I've heard in the genre. But the very best must surely be track 14, "Don't Cry". Words escape me when I try to explain the intensity and powerful malice of this track - it just *has* to be heard to be believed!
There is also a track that is significantly different than the others: "Esperandote". This is the track that plays during the credit roll when you get the worst possible ending. It is an Argentinean tango with vocals! This is something really different, and even though it is very well made, it really doesn't fit in and creates a disruption in the flow towards the end of the CD. It's nothing major, though. This soundtrack has one big problem that you will probably notice if you listen to it after finishing the game. The song that plays during the final scene with Lisa (yes, that great, sad song!) is missing! It starts on track 35, but then it fades away after just a few seconds! This was a big disappointment for me (and surely for many others), who really wanted to hear this song, and it is the only bad point of this CD.
In conclusion I would like to say that this soundtrack, despite the fact that one great song is missing, is a true masterpiece. You should avoid this CD only if your musical horizons are narrow, and you can't take original (or scary) music, or if you really hated the game. Those of you that can appreciate unconventional music, or just want variation from the normal Japanese VG music, should give this awesome soundtrack a chance. I can promise you that if it's horror music you're after - this is it. Resident Evil and other horror games have very good music, but if we're talking about scary music, nothing even comes close to the darkness of Silent Hill. And if you, like me, even like this genre of music and listen to it often then there is no question - get the Silent Hill OST now!
Brilliant, and I don't know why.
Reader review by Gwilym Wogan (2000-06-13)
Silent Hill OST is a really good example of an album which shouldn't work, but does. I ordinarily would *not* like this type of music (if it can really be called music) at all, but there's something about this album that makes it appeal to me. It's probably the fact that it perfectly portrays the atmosphere of the game (which is brilliant, even though it didn't make any damn sense).
The album starts out with the self-titled track "Silent Hill", the intro tune. While not being overly impressive, the track portrays a real sense of anxiousness and, despite not being at all indicative of the rest of the music, makes a good prelude to the album (as well as making good use of a mandolin - an instrument that I'd always considered to be purely useless).
Then we're in to the thick of it. There are no gaps between tracks 2-37, so it's like a really long, very disturbing track. What does this long track sound like? It's quite hard to explain. If you've already played the game, you're probably thinking, "Umm, the game didn't really have music." And you're right. And most of the little bits of music that were in the game aren't even on the soundtrack. Yes, this soundtrack has less music than the game did. But it's no poorer because of it. For the long time between tracks 2 and 37, we're just buried in industrial noise - like someone's conducting in a giant factory that manufactures evil. There are small sections where music sheepishly rears its head, but it is usually only for a short while, and is usually killed by more industrial noise. And, strangely, it works.
After this long ordeal of evil sound, there's sort of a wind-down period, where we get the various ending themes of the game, as well as two tracks that I'd never heard, "She" and "Esperandote", the latter of which is mentioned in the end-game credits, despite not being heard in the game. These tracks are all of very high quality (even though, like all the "real music" tracks of the game, they are designed to sound like they are being played on a worn-out LP player), and She does a good job as the end of the album (whereas Esperandote mars the album with it's unsuitability). There's even a secret track; track 42 seems like it's just going to be silence (gee, this isn't suspect at all, is it?), but if you go to 4:44 on that track, you get to hear the amusing music used for the bloopers/credits movie at the end of the game.
All in all, it's a real love-or-hate album. Even if you don't like the industrial tracks, most people should be able to enjoy tracks 1, 38, 39, 40, and 42, but they aren't really good enough to warrant the purchase of the entire CD.
Oh, by the way, if you are disturbed by psychotic song names (and if so, why get the soundtrack of the most evil and disturbing game this side of the border) such as "Flesh Kill", "I'll Kill You", "Kill Angels", "Killing Time", and "Killed by Death", then I would suggest you burn the tracklisting the moment the CD arrives.
Very good, but not for everyone.
Reader review by Robert Steen (1999-12-16)
This is the OST from Konami's horror masterpiece, Silent Hill. Did that game have a soundtrack? Yes it did, but everyone might not have noticed. Except for a few "normal" songs, played mostly during the movies, this soundtrack consists of industrial noise and dark ambient music. First I'll adress the "normal" songs.
The few normal songs on the Silent Hill OST sounds like something out of "Twin Peaks", eerie and foreboding. A good example is the track "Silent Hill" (played during the opening movie). With its simple melody and simple instrumentation (guitar, bass, drums) it manages to convey a feeling of anticipation and anxiety. The added hiss in the background that makes it sound like it's an LP played on an old worn-out player only adds to the tension. The other normal tracks are the songs "Tears of...", "Killing Time", "She" (the theme from the demo), "Esperandote", and "Silent Hill (otherside)". The first three continue to build on the eerie Twin Peaks feeling, and I'm especially fond of "She". However, the unofficial ending theme "Esperandote" is something else... it's a tango with vocals! I really don't like this track. It's well made, but it doesn't fit in with the rest at all.
Well, that was six of the 42 tracks. What about the rest? Track 2-37 are intertwined into one gargantuan, 45 minute long, industrial/ambient piece. Each track (I hesitate to call them songs) is played through once and then the next one takes over immediately, meaning that tracks 2-37 really sound like they're just one super-long track. But what a track! This is mood-setting music at its best, eerie and haunting like your worst nightmare. One moment it's soothing and calm and the next it's a total inferno of industrial noise. The game scared me several times, and this music also managed to scare me with its sharp twists and turns from soothing to chaotic.
The sound quality of the normal pieces is very good, as one might expect from Konami. With the industrial pieces sound quality isn't that big of a question, but it's really good here too. They have the right cold feeling, like they were just manufactured in some big, dark, looming factory filled with unspeakable horrors.
For fans of this kind of music (people who enjoy bands like Skinny Puppy, Neurosis and The Swans), this is a must-have. However, those that consider industrial music to be nothing but noise (that might fit in a game but not a stereo) should stay away. Konami really should have released a single containing the normal songs, because they are so good that no one should miss them, yet it's not worth shelling out money for an entire CD when you only want six of the songs.
But for us who enjoy this kind of music, turn off the lights, lay down on the sofa and play this OST... loud. Welcome to Silent Hill.