Review Summary: One of the most fully realised Silent Hill OSTs of the bunch.
Silent Hill: Homecoming was the beginning of the end for many fans of the series. As much as I agree with the consensus – hating the combat heavy mechanics and reliant fan service cameo and Easter eggs (Pyramid Head being the most perplexing and irritating of them all) – I did enjoy the simple, yet effective, storytelling. As is the case with all the other Westernised Silent Hill games, they’ve always had a firm hold on good storytelling, even if the ambiguity and cultural barriers were thrown out the window in the process. And yet, in spite of the games backlash, the soundtrack to Homecoming
is quite possibly the finest OST from the batch of post-The Room games. Filled with dank, metallic industrial air, this smog-infested sonic journey has the emotional effectiveness of Silent Hill 2 with the dour dread of its industrially charged electronic counterpart. Tracks like “Cold Blood” have that rusty metal screech embodying the piece, but the washings of beautiful melancholy associated with SH2’s masterpiece make it stand up there with the very best of Yamaoka’s work. The sinister “Attitude #70” with its ominous puffs and blows mixed with intermittent clanking metal sounds is an appreciated blast from the past and a welcome breather to the rock heavy influence of the last couple of albums. This is, indeed, the closest we ever get to the original score’s sound, and with a much bigger budget and knowledge on making soundtracks, it’s not hard to imagine this being the OST Akira had envisioned for SH1, had he been given the same tools back then.
It also stands to mention Mary Elizabeth McGlynn’s contributions here are far more integral to the album than that of her hindrances on Shattered Memories
. Her performances are excellent throughout Homecoming
; great execution, catchy melodies and she really drives the emotion and pain which typically comes from these scores. “One More Soul To The Call” is a fantastic opening number that carries all of Yamaoka’s modern day traits of anthemic hooks and well-crafted song structures, but when you get to each McGlynn marker on the album it feels like a cohesive and refreshing change of pace, one that never turns into an immersion ripping exercise. Basically, even though the game isn’t quite up to everyone’s tastes Akira’s craftsmanship here is still second to none. It’s definitely a reflectively made piece of work and one that seamlessly blends five games worth of musical progression together to make this sixth outing a unified treat. There’s a distinct feeling of isolation and warmth to this album that is quite unique but familiar at the same time, and that’s what makes it such a joy to go through. If you disregarded the game because of its artistic and stylistic choices, not giving enough time to appreciate the score, I highly suggest revisiting this aspect of Homecoming
, it won’t disappoint.
FORMAT/EDITION: SILENT HILL: SOUNDBOX///̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶D̶I̶G̶I̶T̶A̶L̶
PACKAGING: Housed in a hard-cardboard box with 10 slimline CD cases and 1-page artwork for each.
SPECIAL EDITION: Contains a Machine Head remix of “Alex's Theme” which, in my opinion, is the superior version; it fills up the vacant space of ballad piano notes with a flickering synth, which in turn suits McGlynn's performance better.
ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://open.spotify.com/album/1Jz7anFZ2f5XG1SwvIy9ma