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Armored Core Silent Line Original Soundtrack :: Review by Chris

Armored Core Silent Line Original Soundtrack Album Title: Armored Core Silent Line Original Soundtrack
Record Label: DigiCube
Catalog No.: SSCX-10085
Release Date: March 26, 2003
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Armored Core: Silent Line is a direct sequel to Armored Core 3 for the PlayStation 2. For the first time in the series, Kota Hoshino took a solo composing role and firmly made the score his own. Despite not being classically-trained, he persevered to offer various orchestral elements throughout the soundtrack, but nevertheless hybridised them with the sophisticated electronic components series' collectors know so well.


The main theme, appropriately named "Silent Line", suitably captures the mood of the game with its hybrid of orchestral and electronic elements. Suitable for depicting warring corporations, the suspended strings and percussion featured here is typical of Hollywood scores. However, the gradual incorporation of fast-paced techno elements is ideal for depicting the intense mechanised combat portrayed in the opening cinematic. Overall, it's a very successful and memorable theme that builds on the series' musical foundations.

As with Armored Core 3 before it, this main theme is arranged several times throughout the game. There are different versions used for the opening, menu, gameplay, and ending each with subtle changes in mood and dynamic. This thematic integration certainly makes the game a more continuous experience and the soundtrack more memorable. However, it is less desirable for stand-alone listening, since the arrangements are this time rather similar to the opener and are sometimes just condensed variations. Overall, they fail to make a unique impact each time outside the game.

Despite the slight mistreatment of the main theme, the score for Armored Core: Silent Line fully redeems itself with the rest of the original music. Tracks such as "Initiating", "Muzzle", and "Out Like a Light" complement the dark scenery of the game beautifully with their deep blends of orchestral and electronic features. Other compositions such as "Dry Mirage" and "Monkey Likes Daddy" take listeners to surprising heights with entrancing soundscapes and dazzling vocalists. In all these compositions, Kota Hoshino references the series' origins while offering fascinating new directions.

There are plenty of excellent action tracks featured during the soundtrack. "Rise in Arms" sounds more typical of an Ace Combat track with its warlike string melodies and brooding percussive undertones; while not particularly original, it is a delightful one-time experiment that is successful in both composition and implementation. "Line of Fire" and "Artificial Line" later take listeners to the climax of the score by hybridising epic orchestrations with pounding beats. They could also fit well in a film score, but still retain the individualistic layering of the series' music.


Armored Core: Silent Line is certainly the most orchestrated and cinematic of all the Armored Core scores. However, it still stays true to the series' foundations with its incorporation of experimental electronic elements and use of dense hybridised soundscapes. Aside a few unnecessary reprises, the entire score is well-produced and succeeds both as an in-game complement and stand-alone listen. Note it is now difficult to find due to DigiCube's bankruptcy and must be purchased second-hand.

Overall Score: 8/10