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Game Music

Silent Hill Homecoming Soundtrack Review and Contest: We Were Right!

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Frequent readers of OSV might remember our Silent Hill: Homecoming interview with Akira Yamaoka and our question about a possible soundtrack release. Since Yamaoka had mentioned that the soundtrack would be out along with the game in September in the United States, and since the game came and went with no word on a soundtrack release, we thought we might have had a misinterpretation on our hands.

But!

At the end of November, Gamestop stores around the country started receiving boxes of the soundtrack as a promotional bonus. A little late, but still very welcome! So, if you bought Silent Hill: Homecoming in the past, you may want to go bug your local game retailer for a copy before they end up as eBay fodder a year down the line.

This is, of course, great news for any Silent Hill or Akira Yamaoka fans. To celebrate the fact that we were right all along while you called us liars and slung mud at our faces, OSV is giving away its spare copy the promotional soundtrack!

Hit the jump for details on how to enter and to read our brief review.

Fans of the Silent Hill series may or may not have enjoyed the fact that their beloved Team Silent has not been involved with the creation of the last two Silent Hill titles, but what they are probably still overjoyed about is the fact that series rock, Akira Yamaoka has still been in charge of music duties. As a Silent Hill game, Homecoming did its best to emulate the narrative and atmosphere of the series, although it did seem that Double Helix, the developer of Homecoming, based major aspects of the game on the Silent Hill feature film rather than coming up with a completely original concept. Whether this was a good idea or not will probably be debated on various fan forums for years to come, but what I took out of the confusion was the music.

The Homecoming soundtrack features a similar format to recent Silent Hill soundtracks, with various ambient tracks mixed with haunting vocal rock tracks sung by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. As with previous Silent Hill soundtracks, most of my favorite tracks are these vocals tracks, which include “One More Soul To The Call,” “Elle Theme,” “This Sacred Line,” and “Alex Theme.” Aside from the uninsteresting track titles, these songs are all very solid, with my favorite being “Elle Theme.”

I think “Elle Theme” is the track that makes the soundtrack, and does the best job of capturing the classic feel and sound of Silent Hill. The lyrics detail, as the title of the track shows, the character of Elle in the game. Combined with Ms. McGlynn’s somber and soft voice, and a tinge of uncertainty, the song lulls you into the fog-enshrouded streets of Silent Hill.

As far as the instrumental tracks go, the first half of the album outshines the second. The main menu piece, “The Terminal Show,” and the amazing “Witchcraft,” “Cold Blood,” and “Snow Flower” make the album.  The rest of the tracks don’t particularly stand out on their own, but definitely do their job in the game itself. The soundtrack as a whole is quite good… not Silent Hill 2 or Silent Hill 3 good, but good enough to deliver that sought-after Silent Hill experience once again.

In summary, while Homecoming follows in the footsteps of the Silent Hill Origins and even the Silent Hill 4 soundtracks with some excellent vocal tracks, the instrumental tracks are somewhat mediocre with only a few standouts. In my opinion, nothing can top Silent Hill 2 in terms of overall greatness, but hey, as a free promotional soundtrack, this can’t be beat. So go bug your retailer and get a copy!

Oh yeah, and we were supposed to tell you how to win a copy of the promotional soundtrack in the event that you missed out. Simply respond to this post with a comment telling us in approximately 100 words (give or take 50 or so) what your favorite Silent Hill musical moment is. Tell us about your favorite track, or an experience you had while enjoying the in-game music or soundtrack. We’ll pick a winner in one month’s time to receive a copy of the Silent Hill: Homecoming Soundtrack. Don’t forget to include your e-mail address in the e-mail line so we can contact you if you win!

What’s your favorite Silent Hill score to date? Were you bothered by Homecoming’s reference to the Silent Hill feature film?

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