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Biohazard Sound Chronicle Best Track Box :: Review by Chris and Zane

Biohazard Sound Chronicle Best Track Box Album Title: Biohazard Sound Chronicle Best Track Box
Record Label: Suleputer
Catalog No.: CPCA-10104/9
Release Date: March 9, 2005
Purchase: Buy at eBay


The Biohazard Sound Chronicle Best Track Box is a six disc compilation featuring music from the main titles in the Resident Evil series. It features one disc best selections dedicated to the previously released scores to Resident Evil, Resident Evil 3, Resident Evil Code Veronica X, and Resident Evil 4. In addition, it includes the exclusive soundtracks to Resident Evil's remake and Resident Evil 0, both for the GameCube. In contrast to the main scores, this album tends to omit most superfluous tracks in favour of offering best selections packed with highlights. However, it generally doesn't leave listeners longing for more like most compilations either. The box set also features a nice progression of styles, developing from the classic horror score to Resident Evil 2 to the experimental ambient soundtrack to Resident Evil 4. Unfortunately, this was a limited edition release so is now impossible to buy new, but may be worth purchasing second-hand.


The box set opens with a best selection of the Resident Evil 2 Soundtrack composed by Masami Ueda, Syun Nishigaki, and Shusaku Uchiyama. Not quite right chronologically, but a good choice since this score defined the orchestral horror sound for the series after Resident Evil only had to offer cheesy tunes. The soundtrack for Resident Evil 2 is simply a classic from start to finish. It opens with the haunting piano-based ambience featured in the police station before moving into haunting industrial music for the laboratories. Maybe the best part of the soundtrack is its chilling main theme that is heard in numerous themes on the soundtrack, including at the chilling orchestral opening and the dramatic operatic climax. The disc itself is very similar to the Biohazard 2 Original Soundtrack except with some additions like Wesker's secret theme and a nine minute orchestral medley. Aside one jarring new action track and the misplaced credits theme, it's a very satisfying selection throughout. Highly recommended!

The Resident Evil 3 Soundtrack was an example of a soundtrack that is excellent in the game but a little lacklustre on a stand-alone basis. It lacked a true main theme or many standout tracks and also suffered from being too consistent in terms of mood and instrumentation. While the separately released two disc soundtrack was an exhausting experience, the one disc compilation featured here is pretty enjoyable. It takes all the standout tracks from the game while omitting most of the interruptive cinematic and action tracks. What's left still captures the gloom, desperation, and menace of Raccoon City's inhabitants while asserting a sense of its impending martial fate. Particular highlights include the militaristic anthems during the first and last missions of the game and the spooky and morose themes for Raccoon City's uptown, clock tower, and hospital. Though Resident Evil 3's full soundtrack is one of the weakest of the series, the best selection is a far better listen. Miserable but fascinating.

It was the Resident Evil Code Veronica Soundtrack that really elaborated on Resident Evil 2's musical styles to yield excellent results. Though the game was externally developed, Takeshi Miura, Hijiri Anze, and Sanae Kasahara carefully studied Masami Ueda's approach to ambient, action, and event themes. Probably the best feature of the soundtrack are the perplexing ambient themes such as "The Palace of Insane" or "The Suspended Doll". However, the action themes are also mostly a highlight since the composers tending to channel influences from Hollywood action flicks rather than screeching horror films. The soundtrack is also more cinematic than predecessors and features some breathtaking emotional themes. Although it is just a one disc compilation, essentially all the important themes are there and the dramatic arch of the soundtrack is maintained. This is probably the most accessible and well-rounded soundtrack of the series.

With the Resident Evil Remake Soundtrack, Shusaku Uchiyama, Misao Senbongi, and Matoko Tomozawa composed an unsettling score for the game. It not only pays tribute to the original Resident Evil soundtrack with remade tunes such as "Cold Water" and "Vacant Room", but is also full of fresh, creepy dissonance, and claustrophobic ambience that wasn't present on the original game's soundtrack. The remake's 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 keep the mood going for the disc. 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! 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.

You can't purchase the Resident Evil 0 Soundtrack separately outside of the Biohazard Sound Chronicle box set, so you're basically paying for five great CDs and are getting one not-so-great one for free. And given the quality of the other discs, the price is oh, so right for this album. What's here is short-lived and often generic, especially when compared to the classic Resident Evil 2 and Code Veronica discs in the set. The first issue with this disc is that the six composers of the album tried to mimic previous Resident Evil styles but did not exactly succeed in the ways that one would have hoped. And secondly, the themes here are way too short to have any sort of staying power. I guess that's what happens when you cram seventy-one songs on one disc. This soundtrack is best reserved for the hardest of the hardcore Biohazard fans or for people that are looking for a generic survival horror soundtrack that will keep their interest for seventeen seconds at a time!

Like the Resident Evil remake's soundtrack, Senbongi and Uchiyama took a more cerebral approach for Resident Evil 4 instead of going down the familiar roads of the haunting and action-packed Resident Evil soundtracks that came before it, for the most part. For those that like their Biohazard music scary as all hell, you're in for one intense ride with this album. The Resident Evil 4 disc from the box set is a "best of" selection from the two-disc Soundtrack Book set that was released separately. What you're mainly missing here are the unreleased tracks and the minigame themes, and in retrospect I'd have to say that while the soundtrack book is an excellent, complete experience for casual fans of the game, this disc is the go-to definitive version of the Resident Evil 4 soundtrack given its non-stop tension and accurate representation of what happens in-game. From beginning to end there are no stinkers and no tracks that I would have chose to omit from the album... so, Capcom, you've done good with this one in my eyes, both in composition and presentation. High five!


Every once in a great while, a box set comes out that's actually worth its weight in gold and gasoline, and the Biohazard Sound Chronicle Best Track Box is one of these box sets. It omits some classic parts of the series' history, such as the original Resident Evil soundtrack, Resident Evil: Outbreak soundtrack, and the arranged albums, but with all of the goodies packed into this little black box, the other albums are practically superfluous. What you have here is a great representation of the series' musical history and progression, and outside of the less-than-stellar Resident Evil 0 disc, the entire package is well worth your time and hard-earned cashola. The discs here really are the best tracks from each respective soundtrack, and as such I'd have to say that there's no reason to hunt down the other albums if you have this set. So, kudos, Capcom, on a job well done.

Overall Score: 8/10