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Silent Hill 3 Original Soundtracks :: Review by Kero Hazel

Silent Hill 3 Original Soundtracks Album Title: Silent Hill 3 Original Soundtracks
Record Label: Konami Music Entertainment
Catalog No.: KOLA-038
Release Date: December 18, 2002
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


This soundtrack and that of its immediate predecessor, Silent Hill 2, are two proverbial peas in a pod. The similarities are obvious — they both use a blend of ambient tunes and "other" music, a lot of which is rock. The nice ordering of the tracks prevents either genre from abusing the listener's ear from repetition. And it's just some damn fine music.


But there are always changes that come with each new Silent Hill soundtrack. The most noticable addition to this album is the addition of narrative tracks. I'm not speaking of those annoying filler tracks that consist of some old dude speaking Japanese. No, these are in English, and accompany real music. They tell mysterious stories about gods and paradise, and in general they're some of the best pieces. One in particular I like is "Clockwork Little Happiness", which opens with some echoing organ notes, then settles into a rhythm that does indeed sound like clockwork. Haunting voice-like sounds float in and out, and then the female narrator does her thing. Some of the speeches aren't all that interesting, but others are pretty deep. Take "Letter - from the Lost Days", for example. Rather than having a musical part and then a narrative, the narrator sings most of it. It's a song that she sings to her future self, and despite the sad tone of the music, the lyrics are pretty optimistic. I especially love these lines: "No matter how hard it gets, you have to realize we weren't put on this earth to suffer and cry... We were made for being happy." Quite a difference from the despair and horror I usually associate with Silent Hill.

Aside from the narratives, there is a good selection of vocal pieces. After the first track's prelude, track 2, "You're Not Here" is the sort of poppy rock song that was very prominent in Silent Hill 2. "I Want Love" is sort of a sentimental alternative song, not that great until you hear the studio mix version at the end of the disc. That version features a genuine band feel, with good guitar and drum work, and the vocals are just awesome. Just when you think you've soaked in all the good stuff, about halfway through you hear something vaguely familiar... could it be, maybe...? Yes, it's a twist on "Laura's Theme" from the prequel! As if that's not enough nostalgia, the preceding track, "Hometown" is a remake of Silent Hill's first theme with vocals. A strong opening and strong ending tracks... that's Silent Hill in all its glory.

One of the things I've loved about Silent Hill since the second game is the blending of ambient and more traditional musical styles. There are several pieces that demonstrate this really well, such as "Rain of Brass Petals". It begins without any ryhthm or melody at all, but then shifts to a steady beat with an Eastern string instrument playing the melody. "A Stray Child" is another good one, and one of the longest songs on the CD. It has a well-defined rhyhtm, but the melodies and harmonies are anything but well-defined. At least, that's how it starts off... it evolves until it's more of a haunting string symphony. The most unique track in my opinion, is one of the best but unfortunately one of the shortest. It's called "Uneternal Sleep", and it's like a lullaby and a blast of noise at the same time. It's mournful yet bright and happy, atonal and yet contains some beautiful harmonies.

There's too much to talk about, so I'll have to stop myself short. Be sure to listen to the great piano pieces, such as the very dark and deep "Walk on Vanity Ruins" and the ambient-ish duet "Innocent Moon". Also look out for some Parasite Eve-esque opera singing in "Maternal Heart" and tribal chanting in "Prayer".


If you liked Silent Hill 2's soundtrack, you'll love this one nearly as much, or even more, depending on your taste. I honestly can't decide which I love more, as they are both fantastic but still have their own character. If I were to call the Silent Hill 2 Original Soundtrack the "interesting" series soundtrack, I would have to call this one the "beautiful" one.

Overall Score: 9/10