Resident Evil: Retribution Original Soundtrack
I'm catching up on my soundtrack reviews and found a lot of them seemed to fit nicely together to feature as grouped reviews, so I'm kicking things off with a double bill of soundtracks from films that started life as video games. The first of these is Tomandandy's soundtrack to Resident Evil: Retribution. Now I must admit I haven't seen any of the Resident Evil films. The weak reviews always put me off even though I'm a fan of action movies in general, whether they're deemed 'worthy' or not. I think one thing that bothered me was the fact that I did know the games, in particular the incredible Resident Evil 4, and the clips I'd seen of the films didn't match the tense, dark, horror atmosphere that I experienced with the games.
Well the soundtrack mirrors this change of tone (although the last couple of games have shed their horror roots anyway) with very little in the way of tension or shocks, but of course you can't criticise the soundtrack for this, as it's designed to fit the films. The soundtrack does what it needs to do very well though. Employing a largely beat-driven, electronically produced style (with orchestral elements in the mix), this fits the sleek, action sci-fi feel (I imagine) you get from a Resident Evil film.
It's not a mind-blowing score by any means, it's not doing anything new with the genre and is largely a one-note affair, with little downtime between frenetic drum-heavy cues. It is quite an infectious listen though largely due to this non-stop energy and when walking down the street with headphones in, listening to this score makes you kind of feel like taking on anything blocking your way.
As well as the decent score from Tomandandy, the opening track 'Hexes' (the only one featuring vocals) is from Californian Producer/DJ Bassnectar. This has an incredibly catchy, big, throbbing bass hook that makes it easily the most memorable track on the album and probably my favourite.
Overall it's a very slick and listenable score. It's not particularly groundbreaking or varied but it makes for an enjoyable and exciting listen.
Resident Evil: Retribution Original Soundtrack is out now on CD and digital download.
Listen to a track from the album below:
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D – Original Soundtrack
My relationship with the Silent Hill franchise is a bit more complicated than that of Resident Evil. I've not played the games and I've seen most of, but not all of the first film. Strangely though, I have heard the soundtrack to the second game. The Silent Hill 2 soundtrack by Akira Yamaoka is regarded as one of the all time greatest video game soundtracks so, being a fan of video game soundtracks I got hold of a copy not too long ago and can tell you that yes, it is an impressive piece of work.
The producers/directors of the Silent Hill franchise obviously agree as Yamaoka and his previous work on the game series has been brought back to score the films. As with the first film, his work has been included and mixed with that of Jeff Danna (Resident Evil: Apocalypse, The Boondock Saints, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus). They seem to work well together, with Yamaoka's eerie drones balancing nicely with Danna's more classic film score elements.
It's a moody affair, with tracks like 'Master of the Order' creating a twisted sense of unease with its abstract, piercing elements and quieter moments of impending doom. There are a few out and out disturbing tracks too such as 'Red Pyramid/The Nurses' which pummels you with inconsistent beats, industrial sounds and evil chanting.
There are a number of poignant and rather beautiful moments too such as 'Early Birthday Present' early on in the album, but even this has its dark edges and there is always an air of sadness and fear to proceedings. 'Vincent and Heather Open the Box' also brings in the beautifully catchy piano melody from Silent Hill 2's 'Promise' which is a welcome addition.
The only weak point for me is 'Silent Scream', a Yamaoka track near the end which is a sort of metal-tinged power ballad. It really isn't my kind of thing and doesn't settle too well aside the classier, more abstract score tracks. The other vocal track, 'Rain of Brass Petals Three Voices Edit' isn't bad though. Again, I prefer the instrumentals on the album, but this is moody enough to work.
If you stop the album before the last two tracks this is a top class horror score though. By literally incorporating what made the game soundtracks work and adding a little more poignancy and structure this is a must buy for atmospheric soundtrack aficionados.
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D – Original Soundtrack is out now on digital download (US only).
To buy the soundtrack in the US click here to get the MP3 version at Amazon.
You can preview the soundtrack below: