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Siren Sound Collection :: Review by Raziel

Siren Sound Collection Album Title: Siren Sound Collection
Record Label: Sony Computer Entertainment
Catalog No.: PCPX-96208
Release Date: July 24, 2008
Purchase: Buy at eBay


In 2003, Sony Computer Entertainment released a survival horror game named Siren (also known as Forbidden Siren). To convey the horror and xenophobia of the rural hell Gary Ashiya, a composer mostly known for his work in Japanese horror movie industry, and Hitomi Shimizu were asked to create an unsettling, oppressive backdrop devoid of melody. In 2008, the title was reimagined for the episodic PlayStation 3 title Siren: New Translation. Hitomi Shimizu offered a very different score for the title, dominated by arrangements of the series' main theme. The Siren Sound Collection was a pre-order bonus with the game that compiled eight of the series' finest themes. This served as a promotion for Team Entertainment's subsequent trilogy of soundtrack releases.


Gary Ashiya made multiple contributions to the Siren score, two of which are featured on the promotional album. "Mana River Construction Site", one of the first pieces on the soundtrack, starts out a lot like his ominous tunes on Ju-on with low, barely hearable but still hostile strings. As the track progresses, haunting voices of Shibito and bell-like sounds come to forefront. "Inferno" meanwhile is one of the culminating tracks where chants are both louder and meaner and the texture of sounds thicker, maximizing the xenophobic impact.

Hitomi Shimizu's work is generally softer. But make no mistakes, in the case of Siren this only means a different face of evil. "Arato" starts out similar to Ashiya's tracks, but soon introduces prayer beads, frog croaks and dripping water. "Karuwari I" is one of the best tracks on the album and showcase Shimizu's skills. With different voices mixed together, especially noticeable being the sounds of a girl breathing and the overtone singing of a woman, the latter being the driving force of the composition.

The majority of the Siren: New Translation selection is dedicated to arrangements of the theme song of the series, "Hoshingoeika (Ondes Martenot Edit.)". This was originally featured on the Siren score, but receives multiple arrangements for the reimagining. The album opens with a shortened edit of the theme. There is also a edit featuring the early French electronic musical instrument, the Ondes Martenot. In this version, the chant stays to the background and the unique instrument is used to convey the main bulk of the song. More impressive is "Hoshingoeika New Translation", which combines the best elements of the theme's arrangements to create a cohesive whole.


This promotional album showcases some of the better themes from the Siren series. It features some of the best contributions to the original Siren by Gary Ashiya and Hitomi Shimizu. It also provides a link with the reimagined Siren: New Translation score in the multiple arrangements of "Hoshingoeika". Those who enjoy this enclosure should seriously consider purchasing the series' soundtracks.

Overall Score: 7/10