Soundtrack Review: Silent Hill: Downpour (2012)

Reviewer: JØrn Tillnes
Silent Hill: Downpour Soundtrack Review

Silent Hill: Downpour Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the video game score Silent Hill: Downpour by Daniel Licht.

"I think that Silent Hill: Downpour is a big step forward for general soundtrack listeners, I would say a full-blown revolution"

Silent Hill: Downpour is a survival horror video game and the eight installment in the Silent Hill series of games. It is developed by Vatra Games and published by Konami Digital Entertainment for Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360. You play as the convict Murphy Pendleton ho has been incarcerated for several years at Ryall State Corrections Facility for stealing a police cruiser. Being transported, the bus happens to pass by Silent Hill and is driven off the road and rolls down a hill where the game begins. The score is composed by Daniel Licht.

Track List

2. Intro Perk Walk****
3. In the Ravine***
4. Bus to Nowhere****
5. Meet JP****
6. Stalking for Dinner***
7. Don't Go in the Basement***
8. Railcar Ride****
9. Downpour Intro****
10. Jump Monster****
11. Monastic Tendencies***
12. Clowning Around With Monsters*****
13. Welcome to Devil's Pit***
14. Basement Fight**
15. Cablehouse Blues***
16. Town Rain***
17. The Caverns***
18. Monastery Otherworld***
19. The Downpour****

Daniel Licht, who you probably know as the composer of Dexter has teamed up with Konami to create the score for their latest game in the Silent Hill series, Downpour. Silent Hill is one of the longest running horror game series and I don't even know which number Downpour is, actually I do, 8. Previously the games have been scored by Japanese composer Akira Yamaoka. What I liked about them are the atmosphere they create while playing the games, although when you listen to them outside of the games themselves, it's very hard to actually grasp what Yamaoka was thinking. It's a very thin line between sound effect and ambience and Yamaoka crosses that line frequently. Jeff Danna got the honor of scoring the film with Yamaoka and that was slightly more melodic, yet it contained too much sound effects and ambience.

With Silent Hill Downpour, veteran horror composer Daniel Licht takes a more thematic approach to the scoring which is certainly a breath of fresh air although it might not work for the game itself, making it less scary because of it. Nevertheless, Downpour is certainly the best Silent Hill score to listen to outside of the game itself (although I confess not listening to every Silent Hill score there is). The cues don't impress me much, but there's one creepy cue called 'Clowning Around With Monsters' which has a sinister evil laugh as an effective sound effect while the track is playing.

Conclusion

I think that Silent Hill Downpour is a big step forward for general soundtrack listeners, I would say a full-blown revolution. It still doesn't quite satisfy me though, and that's probably because it doesn't scare me nor does it impress me with the themes. It sits a little above middle ground which to me is actually a positive surprise, but knowing Licht I probably shouldn't have been surprised, he always deliver a good score. There's another Silent Hill score coming from him as well so I am curious to see where he is going with it.

CUE RATING: 68.8

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