Resident Evil -Revelations- Original Soundtrack
Resident Evil -Revelations- Original Soundtrack (Biohazard -Revelations- Original Soundtrack)
February 22, 2012
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Resident Evil: Revelations is the most impressive Resident Evil game to be released in recent times. Returning to the series’ roots, the game was more reminiscent of the series’ classics Resident Evil 2 and Code: Veronica than the action-packed disasters Resident Evil 6 and Operation Raccoon City released in the same year. The musical score was especially impressive, an incredible blend of horror, gothic, and Hollywood elements. Penned by three veterans of the series, Kota Suzuki (Resident Evil 5), Ichiro Kohmoto (Resident Evil 0), and Takeshi Miura (Code: Veronica), the score manages to pay homage to the roots of the series while offering stellar production values and plenty of the surprised. A two-disc official soundtrack was released by Capcom’s internal record label Suleputer and, while already out-of-print, can be found at various auction sites.
Kota Suzuki captures the Resident Evil sound right from the start of the soundtrack from the soundtrack with two stunning tracks. “Deep Sea” captures the scope of the experience about to unfold with its rising and falling orchestral cascades, while “Lost” captures the psychology of the protagonists with the contrast of its fragile piano and violin leads with its dark, haunting surroundings. Originally composed for the 3DS, the entire soundtrack is sampled; however, this won’t be evident from the mainstream listener for the most part, with the production values of the likes of “Deep Sea” rivalling Hollywood with its resonant violin leads and lush orchestral cascades. In addition to its implementation, the composition of these tracks is sublime, with excellent harmonisation, orchestration, and development. “Lost” only lasts for 1:53, but it takes listeners on quite a journey through this playtime. As with most of the tracks on the soundtrack, it doesn’t twice-loop, which may disappoint those used to the classic tradition of game soundtrack presentation. However, the cinematic, turbulent presentation of the music makes the stand-alone experience all the more intoxicating. There is barely a dull moment in the 137-minutes ahead…
As listeners and players delve deeper into Revelations, it becomes apparent that the compositional team were deeply inspired by the series’ musical tradition. Many tracks here are highly reminiscent of those from the series’ crowning jewels, Resident Evil 2, Code: Veronica, and REmake. Whether the warped distorted soundscapes of the two-part “Ghost Ship”, the gothic organ-laced invention “Hall”, or the peaceful save room theme “Rest & Intensity”, the majority of the setting themes here have obvious counterpoints in other Resident Evil scores. Two particular highlights (incidentally occurring in succession) are Kohmoto’s “Cruel Marks” and Miura’s “Red Place”. “Cruel Marks” is a very tasteful example of prepared instrument usage (unlike the majority of the Revelations 2 soundtrack), subtly distorting familiar instruments such as the piano in a way that educes obvious imagery. Miura’s track is considerably more complex, marrying Baroque, Modernist, and electronic elements together into a timbral and tonal masterpiece. It is also a delight in context, capturing all the atmosphere and imagery of the sequence it is used in. Between such experiences, rhythmically-focused, almost-funky additions such as “Dischord”, “Bleakness”, and “Last” contribute to the direction of the soundtrack, always on-edge without ever going all-out.
The action themes of Resident Evil: Revelations are again reminiscent of those of the earlier entries in the series. ‘Call to action’ anthems such as “Abyss” and “Ride on Sea” are reminiscent of Code: Veronica‘s “A State of Emergency” and Resident Evil 2’s “Escape from the Laboratory” with their edgy orchestrations and militaristic melodies. While such tracks are certainly inspired by stereotypical Hollywood action fare, they stand above the average thanks to their unforgettable melodies. “Ride on Sea”, in particular, is one the catchiest tracks ever released for the series and one day deserves full-orchestral treatment. Others such as Kohmoto’s “Unknown Sign”, “Tightrope”, and “Envelopment” are more rhythmically-driven tension tracks; they’re unlikely to rank as people’s favourites on the soundtrack, but they’re moderately enjoyable on-disc and excellent in-context. Miura’s “Ship Battle”, “Panic!”, and “Seismic Activity” rely a little too much on tried-and-tested methods, packaging descending string crisis motifs into edgy militaristic orchestrations. However, they make up for it with vast development sections and robust, emotional developments. Just as “Seismic Activity” starts to seem like ‘all build-up, no action’, for example, it enters a tremendous pre-loop section at the 3:00 mark that leaves quite a mark melodically and emotionally. While blatantly inspired by Resident Evil tradition, Revelations manages to continually surprise listeners with almost every track.
But what makes Revelations stand out as the very best of the series is its consistent quality compared to other entries. Even the much-revered soundtracks Resident Evil 2 and Code: Veronica featured plenty of filler tracks (the former in fact had an entire B-sides album to them). By contrast, Revelations has practically no excess baggage (“Broadcast”, “True Beginning”, and the Eyecatch jingles being the few exceptions). The majority of the cinematic tracks feature such emotional progressions that they’re still enjoyable on-disc, right from the enigmatic “Raymond” through to the melancholic “Dear my…”. Even tracks as supplemental as the jazzy piano postlude “Beyond the Seas” prove artistically styled and tastefully implemented – a far cry from those clichéd afterthoughts that riddled previous Resident Evil soundtracks. As is almost inevitable for horror soundtracks, there are some highly discordant orchestral cues here such as “Terror from the Water”, “Liquefaction”, and “Behind”. However, these tracks are suitably styled and integrated that they manage to make quite a punch without overstaying their welcome. Such tracks are far less dominant than they were on Resident Evil 4 and Revelations 2, which makes the experience all the more accessible without losing the underlying ‘horror’ vibe.
The soundtrack hits its peak in its final quarter, when all three composers offers their masterpieces. Ichiro Kohmoto’s “Terragrigia Panic II” is the greatest setting track on the soundtrack, an electro-orchestral track that constantly shifts between silence and motion; the piece encapsulates the term ‘hauntingly beautiful’ and the spacey synth lead from the 2:10 mark is incredible (Kohmoto seriously deserves a shot at sci-fi scoring). Channelling influences once again from Code: Veronica, Takeshi Miura brings the soundtrack’s gothic elements into fruition with “Falling Chorus”, a two-part chorale that is as emotionally compelling as it is finely crafted. For the final battle, “O vendetta di Dio” proves an action-packed orchestra and chorus piece that rivalling even that of Darkside Chronicles. Finally, Kota Suzuki presents the full incarnation of the main theme “Revelations -Full Ver.-” first exposed way back in the very first track in the soundtrack. This track goes all-out Hollywood complete with anthemic melodies, cinematic progressions, and a heavy reverb sound. But with its heartwarming piano parts, sonorous string leads, and melancholic interludes, the track still captures the personality behind the Resident Evil series. What’s more, incorporating three-tiers during its long playtime, the track is full of variety, not to mention replay value.
The Revelations’ soundtrack is the very best addition to the Resident Evil series’ discography, rivalled only by the Darkside Chronicles. It ticks all the boxes: capturing just the right blend of horror and humanity throughout the game; offering a great assortment of styles, moods, and themes on a stand-alone basis; proving consistently polished on the compositional and production front; and providing just the right balance of familiarity and surprises. An astonishing amount of work went into this soundtrack by all three composers, Kota Suzuki, Ichiro Kohmoto, and Takeshi Miura; each manage to bring a unique voice to the experience and offer multiple standout tracks while still capturing the overall tone of the experience. For fans of classic Resident Evil scores or orchestral horror music, the soundtrack to Revelations is certainly worth hunting down.
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Posted on April 27, 2015 by Chris Greening. Last modified on April 27, 2015.