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Biohazard Remake Sound Chronicle Track Collection :: Review by Zane

Biohazard Remake Sound Chronicle Track Collection Album Title: Biohazard Remake Sound Chronicle Track Collection
Record Label: Suleputer
Catalog No.: CPCA-10107
Release Date: March 9, 2005
Purchase: Buy at eBay

July 24, 1998

We lost contact with Bravo team. This can't be good.

Alpha team has located the downed Bravo helicopter, but before we were able to fully investigate the scene we were intercepted by a pack of ravenous, ferocious dogs. They... they killed Frost, right before my own eyes. We couldn't take them down, so the only thing that could give us a chance of survival was to run.

The last four remaining S.T.A.R.S. Alpha team members — Wesker, Chris, Barry and myself — have found some sort of shelter in a nearby mansion. We ran toward a light through the forest as the dogs chased us and we ended up here. This place gives me the creeps. Long shadows fill the main hall as decorative candelabras paint distorted images on the walls; the eyes on portraits that are hung in the hall seem to follow you as you walk; although it's probably just the wind blowing and the trees rustling outside, I can hear what sounds like some sort of tense electronic dissonance, just barely audible throughout the mansion's empty and cold foyer. We just heard a gunshot coming from nearby, so we have decided to split up and search the mansion to see if we can find any clues as to just what's going on here and in the nearby woods...

While exploring I found some random notes and case files that just may be able to put this all into perspective if I can piece these together. What I am going to try to detail here is an account of what I have discovered in this mansion so far. All I know is that something just doesn't sound right here. Something sounds evil.

Umbrella's Test Subjects

I found several diaries and case studies chronicling three people that Umbrella has experimented on somewhere within in the mansion: Shusaku Uchiyama, Misao Senbongi and Matoko Tomozawa. Not much is known about these subjects other than they are affiliated with a company called "Capcom" and seem to have been game music composers before Umbrella got their hands on them. These three composers got together and wrote a soundtrack for a game called Resident Evil, which has been noted as a Gamecube remake of an original PlayStation title. Their work on this title appears to be very unsettling — the score for the game is full of creepy dissonance and claustrophobic ambiance that is frightening to listen to, both while playing the game and when listening to the game's soundtrack disc. Why someone would want to listen to such horrifying sounds completely eludes me. But, if someone actually enjoys this type of music then I'm sure they would really enjoy the Resident Evil soundtrack.

Something Sounds... Familiar

While I was searching in the music room for clues, I found an old data tape that contains the soundtrack for the original Resident Evil title. After making some careful comparisons between the works, it looks like the three composers' work on the Resident Evil remake contain some similar themes. Most notable are the beautiful harp-led "Save Theme" and the deceptively playful "Vacant Room". The strange "Cold Water" starts off peaceful but slowly morphs into something much more sinister. However, I'm sure that the keenest of ears could pick up some reused thematic elements between both soundtracks that weren't noted above.

Where the original Resident Evil record was somewhat melodically and percussively oriented, the remake soundtrack is much more spacial and cerebral. Instead of going for all-out action themes and relying on percussion to keep the momentum of the tracks going, the composers instead use horror and tense atmospheric buildups to engage the listener. Effective, indeed.

A Small Piece of the Puzzle

According to some scribbling that I found in a textbook that contained the formula for a toxic chemical called "V-Jolt", the Resident Evil soundtrack is only one piece of some sort of boxset called the Biohazard Sound Chronicle Best Track Box. In this Best Track Box are the soundtracks to several other Resident Evil games — Resident Evil 2, 3, 4, 0, and Code Veronica. While most of those other titles have seen separate album releases, the soundtrack to the Resident Evil remake is exclusive to this boxset... so if someone would be interested in checking out this album they'd have to purchase the whole box set, for better or worse. I still need to dig up more information on this collection before I can formulate an opinion, however. I'm hoping that I can find more field notes and journals detailing the other aspects of the set.

Final Assessment

After opening a desk drawer I stumbled upon a strange jewel, some extra ammo and a note from a woman named Lisa Trevor (?) complimenting Uchiyama, Senbongi and Tomozawa for a job well done on the Resident Evil soundtrack. Here is the note in its entirety:

"While the original Resident Evil soundtrack is kind of cheesy in retrospect, the remake is full of intense scares and horrifying soundscapes that make for one hell of a scary album. What's really interesting is hearing some of the preliminary groundwork for Resident Evil 4 — Senbongi and Uchiyama have some tracks here that sound like they could be B-sides to this game, such as the "Terror" tracks and "Deathtrap". On its own, the soundtrack to the Resident Evil remake is a great horror-themed game soundtrack and comes highly recommended, especially for fans of Resident Evil 4 or the more abstract and ambient compositions from the first Silent Hill soundtrack."

I have plenty more exploration to do in the mansion here, but going by these files that I have found so far it sounds like this Resident Evil soundtrack is a really enjoyable, but creepy, game music album. As I make my way through this unsettling place, I can hear the sounds of the Biohazard remake's sound team under each footstep I take, keeping my hands clenched tight and my heart pumping fiercely. This is going to be one long night...

Jill Valentine - S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team Member

PS: Note to Self - Don't take the shotgun from the office. I almost became a Jill sandwich back there!

Overall Score: 8/10