Silent Hill 2 Original Soundtracks
Silent Hill 2 Original Soundtracks
Konami Music Entertainment
October 3, 2001
Buy at CDJapan
The Silent Hill 2 Original Soundtrack is yet another collection of Akira Yamaoka’s brilliantly bizarre ambient creations and trademark rock works. Some tracks are catchy, melodic rock through and through, whereas others are pure eerie ambiance. No matter your preference in music, there is something to catch your ear on this album. Those that you may not be too fond of can still be appreciated as solid pieces of music.
First, let’s cover the trademark Yamaoka rock pieces. Probably the finest on the entire album and arguably the gem of the entire Silent Hill series is “Theme of Laura”. Catchy chords lead into a very strong and bold melody about two minutes in on this rock track very well known in the video game music world. Skipping ahead to track number twelve, “Angels Thanatos” is the next composition to catch your ears with a distorted guitar and heavy drums. This time around, however, we’re treated to a very hard, less melodic rock. The same catchy rift repeats over and over, which makes for some traditional head banging. The next rock track, number 18’s “Love Psalm,” is similar to “Theme of Laura” in construction, however sounds a bit more like “Angels Thanatos.” There’s a memorable two minute build up to a very bold and powerful melody with great rock synths. “Love Psalm” is one of my personal favorite tracks on the album, mainly because I find it very underrated. Track number 28, “Overdose Delusion”, is an ambient piece, however its still very much rock. The piece has a subtle melody and a consistent sound that makes for a great atmosphere. And finally, the slow rock ballad “Promise” wraps up the traditional rock pieces. Very untraditional to what we’re heard thus far, Promise uses varies synths and a slow tempo to create a beautiful piece that redefines rock and roll.
Next, we’ll be moving on to the instrumental tracks and ambient pieces with clear melodies. Your first taste of what I mean can be found on track number 3. “Forest” uses a soft electric piano and strings to create a piece that’s very free and dynamic; for the best listening experience possible I recommend listening to it on a windy day. Following right up next is “A World of Madness,” a more ambient piece with random string chords. Not my favorite track, however it does create quite an unexplainable atmosphere. Up next is “Ordinary Vanity,” an eerie piece that uses a blow glass synth to give off an atmosphere that can only represent Yamaoka’s twisted view on vanity. “Promise (Reprise)” is a very beautiful piece of music; it is a simple piano melody accompanied with a string synth that fades chords in and out. It’s a perfect example of Akira’s range as a composer. Another perfect example is track number 24’s “True,” another one of my personal favorites. A very catchy piano all back up with a cello and celestial bells. A very strong melody makes this track a real gem. Another personal favorite, wrapping up the recommended three piano tracks, is “Theme of Laura (Reprise)”. A beautiful piano loops as a cello plays the main melody, soon followed by very emotional bells.
Moving on with instrumental tracks, “Null Moon” uses a bright piano and strings to add some ambience. Adding more ambience are the subtle distortments. It’s getting harder and harder to label Akira Yamaoka with a particular strength or weakness. Track number 15, “Magdalene,” begins promising however quickly disappoints with its development into nowhere. Now into something more exciting, “The Reverse Mill”. Probably the most experimental on the entire album, Yamaoka utilizes real voices and effects in such a way I’ve never seen before. “Laura Plays the Piano” goes back to the typical the piano style accompanied with odd ambience; it’s not bad, but there’s certainly better. Similar in sound is “Pianissimo Epilogue,” however it has a much more classical feel and is constructed in such away that makes you appreciate the background ambience. Now back to an experimental track, “Terror in the Depths of the Fog” is yet another amazingly catchy ambient track. It takes awhile to get into, but I promise you won’t be disappointed as the 2nd half rolls in. I’m going to end with section with the final track, “UFO Ending Track”. It begins with the recognizable flying saucer sound effect, however soon moves into a brilliantly distorted and brass section.
I would like to apologize ahead of time. Up next are the pure ambient pieces, a genre I have difficulty covering. Among them are “White Noiz,” “Ashes and Ghosts,” “The Darkness that Lurks,” “The Day of Night,” “Blacked Mind,” “Fermata in Mistoc Air,” “Prisonic Fairytale,” “Silent Heaven,” “No One Loves You,” “Betrayal,” and “Black Fairy”. All are pure ambience and are directly sampled from the game. Odds are, if you’ve played and enjoyed the game, these tracks are going to have a deeper meaning. However if not, it’s going to be difficult to get into them. Don’t get me wrong, most are brilliant; some of the best ambience I’ve heard. However, musically, they are just not up to par with the tracks already covered. If you’re debating about buying the album, odds are none of the above will convince you. I just am not able to put them in words good enough to do justice.
The Silent Hill 2 Original Soundtrack is a great soundtrack. Akira Yamaoka is a good composer with a wide variety of styles, this album containing a lot of them. From rock, to amazingly eerie ambience, there a little something for everyone. Buy it if you’re a Silent Hill fan, or buy it to discover more about one of video gaming’s most talented composers.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Black Mamba. Last modified on August 1, 2012.