Resident Evil -The Umbrella Chronicles- Original Soundtrack

Resident Evil -The Umbrella Chronicles- Original Soundtrack Album Title:
Resident Evil -The Umbrella Chronicles- Original Soundtrack
Record Label:
Sumthing Else Music Works
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
November 16, 2010
Buy at CDJapan


With the release of Umbrella Chronicles, Capcom decided to showcase a familiar storyline but through an entirely different lens. Umbrella Chronicles is an on-rails shooter that delivers the tension and sporadic action of the Resident Evil series but leaves out all of the elements that I personally didn’t care for in the original series. Item boxes, stockpiling ammo, save ribbons and frequent backtracking have gone to the wayside in favor of pointing a Wii remote at the TV and shooting zombies until their heads explode. Really, that’s all anyone could ever ask for.

In a very interesting and very awesome move, Capcom decided to not use the music directly from previous Resident Evil titles in Umbrella Chronicles. Instead, they hired Grasshopper Manufacture’s sound team to do the dirty work and both compose a handful of new pieces as well as rearrange a bunch of older themes from the series. Jun Fukuda and Masafami Takada, well-known for their sound composition and design on titles like Killer7, God Hand, and No More Heroes, totally rocked the casbah with their usual set-list of trancey electronic rhythms, strong melodic presentation, and eclectic stylistic fusions that make me want to point my Wii remote at the TV and shoot zombies until their heads explode. The resultant soundtrack received a domestic release in 2010 featuring all the tracks from the Japanese release in sleek new packaging.


The boys from GHM have written some great new material for the game, like the ominous “Theme of Umbrella Chronicles” and the rock track “Umbrella Lives On”, which sounds like something straight out of Killer7. “Nothing is Impossible” sets the stage for a pretty intense battle near the end of the game with its marriage of driving rhythms, symphonic clashes and distorted guitar lines, all surrounded by haunting choral vocals. And then there are Ada’s themes — the hip-hop influenced “Slight Injury” and its melodic reprise in “Oriental Woman” that accompany the scenes where we finally get to find out what happened to her after she was disposed of in Resident Evil 2. One of my personal favorites is the menu music, “Begin Here”, which features Takada’s trademark bass sound as the backdrop while synth raindrops sporadically fall across the track amidst some intermittent percussive accentuation. Great stuff.

The real meat of the album is the themes that are taken from several older Resident Evil titles and then re-arranged or completely re-imagined for this soundtrack. Songs such as “July 24 1998” (“Cold Water”, Resident Evil) and “Live Evil” (“Wreckage of the Mad Experiment”, Resident Evil 2) are both familiar and foreign. “July 24” starts out not unlike its original counterpart, but as the piece progresses Takada and Fukuda lay out a funky electronic beat behind it that give the song more of an action-oriented sound than the original version. “Live Evil” matches the foreboding vibe of its original track for a brief several seconds before changing the mood completely with an accompanying electric guitar and a driving beat.

“Blacken Sabbath” is another great track that reprises the original “Save Theme” from the first Resident Evil title and presents it in an electronic light while still keeping the calm and safe feeling of the original piece. There are some other tracks like “Endogenous Opioid” (“ZOMBIE DOG”, Resident Evil 0) that are simple synth upgrades of the original tunes, but they fit right in here on the disc and keep up the cohesive feel of the album which, if you couldn’t guess already, is a pleasure to listen to in its entirety.


While this is technically an “original soundtrack”, I’d almost prefer to label the Umbrella Chronicles soundtrack as an arrange album with some bonus tracks that show off some new material. I’m not super familiar with the older Resident Evil soundtracks, but I know enough to recognize a classic tune when I hear it. (A giant light bulb appeared over my head when I first heard “Endtroduction”.) As is, I’m sure there are a handful of other tunes on this album that are from other Resident Evil games that I didn’t pick up on. You’d have to be a connoisseur to pick up on every little reference or melody line, but I’d bet what’s left of my hairline that at least three quarters of this disc has some throwback to or is an arrangement of an old Resident Evil tune. Fukuda and Takada have not only done their job, but they have created a great work of music that hits home for Resident Evil fans and, especially now it has been domestically released, also stands alone as an enjoyable game music album to listen to on its own. You know, when you’re not pointing a Wii remote at the TV and shooting zombies until their heads explode.

Resident Evil -The Umbrella Chronicles- Original Soundtrack Tommy Ciulla

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!


Posted on August 1, 2012 by Tommy Ciulla. Last modified on August 1, 2012.

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