Bio Hazard Sound Chronicle Best Track Box
|Composed by||Ayumu Murai / Хидзири Андзэ / Ichiro Kohmoto / Makoto Tomozawa / Масами Уэда / Мисао Сэмбонги / Riyou Kinugasa / Ryoue Takagi / Sanae Kasahara / Саори Маэда / Seiko Kobuchi / Shingo Kataoka / Сюсаку Утияма / Сюн Нисигаки / Takashi Honda / Takeshi Miura|
|Release type||Game Soundtrack - Official Release|
|Format||6 CD - 270 Tracks|
|Release date||March 09, 2005|
The Biohazard Sound Chronicle Best Track Box is a six disc compilation featuring music from the main titles in the Resident Evil series. It features one disc best selections dedicated to the previously released scores to Resident Evil, Resident Evil 3, Resident Evil Code Veronica X, and Resident Evil 4. In addition, it includes the exclusive soundtracks to Resident Evil's remake and Resident Evil 0, both for the GameCube. In contrast to the main scores, this album tends to omit most superfluous tracks in favour of offering best selections packed with highlights. However, it generally doesn't leave listeners longing for more like most compilations either. The box set also features a nice progression of styles, developing from the classic horror score to Resident Evil 2 to the experimental ambient soundtrack to Resident Evil 4. Unfortunately, this was a limited edition release so is now impossible to buy new, but may be worth purchasing second-hand.
The box set opens with a best selection of the Resident Evil 2 Soundtrack composed by Masami Ueda, Syun Nishigaki, and Shusaku Uchiyama. Not quite right chronologically, but a good choice since this score defined the orchestral horror sound for the series after Resident Evil only had to offer cheesy tunes. The soundtrack for Resident Evil 2 is simply a classic from start to finish. It opens with the haunting piano-based ambience featured in the police station before moving into haunting industrial music for the laboratories. Maybe the best part of the soundtrack is its chilling main theme that is heard in numerous themes on the soundtrack, including at the chilling orchestral opening and the dramatic operatic climax. The disc itself is very similar to the Biohazard 2 Original Soundtrack except with some additions like Wesker's secret theme and a nine minute orchestral medley. Aside one jarring new action track and the misplaced credits theme, it's a very satisfying selection throughout. Highly recommended!
The Resident Evil 3 Soundtrack was an example of a soundtrack that is excellent in the game but a little lacklustre on a stand-alone basis. It lacked a true main theme or many standout tracks and also suffered from being too consistent in terms of mood and instrumentation. While the separately released two disc soundtrack was an exhausting experience, the one disc compilation featured here is pretty enjoyable. It takes all the standout tracks from the game while omitting most of the interruptive cinematic and action tracks. What's left still captures the gloom, desperation, and menace of Raccoon City's inhabitants while asserting a sense of its impending martial fate. Particular highlights include the militaristic anthems during the first and last missions of the game and the spooky and morose themes for Raccoon City's uptown, clock tower, and hospital. Though Resident Evil 3's full soundtrack is one of the weakest of the series, the best selection is a far better listen. Miserable but fascinating.
It was the Resident Evil Code Veronica Soundtrack that really elaborated on Resident Evil 2's musical styles to yield excellent results. Though the game was externally developed, Takeshi Miura, Hijiri Anze, and Sanae Kasahara carefully studied Masami Ueda's approach to ambient, action, and event themes. Probably the best feature of the soundtrack are the perplexing ambient themes such as "The Palace of Insane" or "The Suspended Doll". However, the action themes are also mostly a highlight since the composers tending to channel influences from Hollywood action flicks rather than screeching horror films. The soundtrack is also more cinematic than predecessors and features some breathtaking emotional themes. Although it is just a one disc compilation, essentially all the important themes are there and the dramatic arch of the soundtrack is maintained. This is probably the most accessible and well-rounded soundtrack of the series.
With the Resident Evil Remake Soundtrack, Shusaku Uchiyama, Misao Senbongi, and Matoko Tomozawa composed an unsettling score for the game. It not only pays tribute to the original Resident Evil soundtrack with remade tunes such as "Cold Water" and "Vacant Room", but is also full of fresh, creepy dissonance, and claustrophobic ambience that wasn't present on the original game's soundtrack. The remake's soundtrack is much more spacial and cerebral; instead of going for all-out action themes and relying on percussion to keep the momentum of the tracks going, the composers instead use horror and tense atmospheric buildups to keep the mood going for the disc. While the original Resident Evil soundtrack is kind of cheesy in retrospect, the remake is full of intense scares and horrifying soundscapes that make for one hell of a scary album! The soundtrack to the Resident Evil remake is a great horror-themed game soundtrack and comes highly recommended, especially for fans of Resident Evil 4 or the more abstract and ambient compositions from the first Silent Hill soundtrack.
You can't purchase the Resident Evil 0 Soundtrack separately outside of the Biohazard Sound Chronicle box set, so you're basically paying for five great CDs and are getting one not-so-great one for free. And given the quality of the other discs, the price is oh, so right for this album. What's here is short-lived and often generic, especially when compared to the classic Resident Evil 2 and Code Veronica discs in the set. The first issue with this disc is that the six composers of the album tried to mimic previous Resident Evil styles but did not exactly succeed in the ways that one would have hoped. And secondly, the themes here are way too short to have any sort of staying power. I guess that's what happens when you cram seventy-one songs on one disc. This soundtrack is best reserved for the hardest of the hardcore Biohazard fans or for people that are looking for a generic survival horror soundtrack that will keep their interest for seventeen seconds at a time!
Like the Resident Evil remake's soundtrack, Senbongi and Uchiyama took a more cerebral approach for Resident Evil 4 instead of going down the familiar roads of the haunting and action-packed Resident Evil soundtracks that came before it, for the most part. For those that like their Biohazard music scary as all hell, you're in for one intense ride with this album. The Resident Evil 4 disc from the box set is a "best of" selection from the two-disc Soundtrack Book set that was released separately. What you're mainly missing here are the unreleased tracks and the minigame themes, and in retrospect I'd have to say that while the soundtrack book is an excellent, complete experience for casual fans of the game, this disc is the go-to definitive version of the Resident Evil 4 soundtrack given its non-stop tension and accurate representation of what happens in-game. From beginning to end there are no stinkers and no tracks that I would have chose to omit from the album... so, Capcom, you've done good with this one in my eyes, both in composition and presentation. High five!
Every once in a great while, a box set comes out that's actually worth its weight in gold and gasoline, and the Biohazard Sound Chronicle Best Track Box is one of these box sets. It omits some classic parts of the series' history, such as the original Resident Evil soundtrack, Resident Evil: Outbreak soundtrack, and the arranged albums, but with all of the goodies packed into this little black box, the other albums are practically superfluous. What you have here is a great representation of the series' musical history and progression, and outside of the less-than-stellar Resident Evil 0 disc, the entire package is well worth your time and hard-earned cashola. The discs here really are the best tracks from each respective soundtrack, and as such I'd have to say that there's no reason to hunt down the other albums if you have this set. So, kudos, Capcom, on a job well done.
Chris Greening & Tommy Ciulla
Hmm. See, this is interesting. Some dude that I met at a bagel shop once told me that good things come in small packages, but he must have heard some incorrect info. What I have here is the soundtrack to Resident Evil 0, which is comprised of seventy-one small packages, yet not all of these are good things. In fact, a bunch of these are bad things. I am confused and need someone to rub my back and tell me that everything's going to be OK once this is all over. My entire belief system has been stood on its head and all the blood is rushing to places where it shouldn't be rushed. Help.
Weighing it at just about 63 minutes, Resident Evil 0's soundtrack, the fifth disc of the Biohazard Sound Chronicle Best Track Box, is completely jam-packed with a bunch of tracks that really aren't that great. There's no doubt that this disc is the weakest of the bunch, based on two main reasons. Numero uno is that the composers of the album tried to mimic previous Biohazard styles but did not exactly succeed in the ways that one would have hoped. Tense, generic boss music? Check. Peaceful, generic save theme? Check. Creepy, generic exploratory ambiance? Check. It all sounds thrown together in the way that a shoddy knockoff of a ugly designer handbag looks. And to add to that, the list of unknown composers is longer than my weekly grocery list and the pieces start to come together a little more clearly. The lack of coherence throughout the disc is no doubt attributed to the amount of copycat cooks in the kitchen. Seriously, you're all burning the casserole.
The second main issue with the disc (numero dos, if you will) is that these tracks. Are. Too. Damn. Short. As I listen to the 23 second long "Nightmare" and the various jingles sprinkled throughout this disc I am scratching my head while one of my eyebrows is raised. If I had a monocle and a tight brown suit on I would look like a scholar from the 1920's. Even the really good themes, like "Chapel Main Theme", don't have enough time to make their mark because by the time the track develops and starts to stick with you, it fades away. What could have been a seriously cool throwback to the style of Resident Evil 2's police station theme is a kind-of cool song that maybe reminds you of something you've possibly heard before but by the time you start to think about it the CD has already progressed through a bunch of other short tracks, two of which are named "LEECHMAN-1". And then you are confused, just like me.
Now, don't get me wrong. This album is not awful. I have heard much worse, and if you have ever heard any music that I've composed you would most likely tell me that I have absolutely no right even thinking about critiquing other people's music because I must be deaf and have a broken keyboard. But there are some good themes on here, even if they're extremely short. The sorrowful piano and string duet in "Marcus's Memories" really resonates with me, providing an emotional hook to hold on to as the album spins on. The short "Lullaby" tracks are splendidly unsettling, and the opener, "advertize", is super energetic (yeah, crazy violins!) but is over way too soon. What is not over way too soon is the massive "END-ROLL", which recapitulates some themes from the album and compiles them all together into a great credits medley that is, without a doubt, the cornerstone of the entire disc. I'd recommend listening to this single track instead of the whole album because it captures a few great melodies and themes from the soundtrack and presents them as something that actually lasts longer than a minute and a half.
But, really — going on at length and complaining about what the Resident Evil 0 soundtrack is not any more than I already have is like forsaking a box of cereal because the toy inside sucks. You can't purchase this album separately outside of the Biohazard Sound Chronicle Best Track Box, so you're basically paying for five great CDs and are getting one not-so-great one for free. And given the quality of the other discs, the price is oh, so right for this album. What's here is short-lived and often generic, especially when compared to the classic Biohazard 2, 3, and Code Veronica discs in the set, but it's not without merit. Just be prepared to dig through seventy-one short, obtuse and disorienting tracks to find that merit. Godspeed. Now, I am off to find that dude from the bagel shop. Wish me luck.
July 24, 1998
We lost contact with Bravo team. This can't be good.
Alpha team has located the downed Bravo helicopter, but before we were able to fully investigate the scene we were intercepted by a pack of ravenous, ferocious dogs. They... they killed Frost, right before my own eyes. We couldn't take them down, so the only thing that could give us a chance of survival was to run.
The last four remaining S.T.A.R.S. Alpha team members — Wesker, Chris, Barry and myself — have found some sort of shelter in a nearby mansion. We ran toward a light through the forest as the dogs chased us and we ended up here. This place gives me the creeps. Long shadows fill the main hall as decorative candelabras paint distorted images on the walls; the eyes on portraits that are hung in the hall seem to follow you as you walk; although it's probably just the wind blowing and the trees rustling outside, I can hear what sounds like some sort of tense electronic dissonance, just barely audible throughout the mansion's empty and cold foyer. We just heard a gunshot coming from nearby, so we have decided to split up and search the mansion to see if we can find any clues as to just what's going on here and in the nearby woods...
While exploring I found some random notes and case files that just may be able to put this all into perspective if I can piece these together. What I am going to try to detail here is an account of what I have discovered in this mansion so far. All I know is that something just doesn't sound right here. Something sounds evil.
Umbrella's Test Subjects
I found several diaries and case studies chronicling three people that Umbrella has experimented on somewhere within in the mansion: Shusaku Uchiyama, Misao Senbongi and Matoko Tomozawa. Not much is known about these subjects other than they are affiliated with a company called "Capcom" and seem to have been game music composers before Umbrella got their hands on them. These three composers got together and wrote a soundtrack for a game called Resident Evil, which has been noted as a Gamecube remake of an original PlayStation title. Their work on this title appears to be very unsettling — the score for the game is full of creepy dissonance and claustrophobic ambiance that is frightening to listen to, both while playing the game and when listening to the game's soundtrack disc. Why someone would want to listen to such horrifying sounds completely eludes me. But, if someone actually enjoys this type of music then I'm sure they would really enjoy the Resident Evil soundtrack.
Something Sounds... Familiar
While I was searching in the music room for clues, I found an old data tape that contains the soundtrack for the original Resident Evil title. After making some careful comparisons between the works, it looks like the three composers' work on the Resident Evil remake contain some similar themes. Most notable are the beautiful harp-led "Save Theme" and the deceptively playful "Vacant Room". The strange "Cold Water" starts off peaceful but slowly morphs into something much more sinister. However, I'm sure that the keenest of ears could pick up some reused thematic elements between both soundtracks that weren't noted above.
Where the original Resident Evil record was somewhat melodically and percussively oriented, the remake soundtrack is much more spacial and cerebral. Instead of going for all-out action themes and relying on percussion to keep the momentum of the tracks going, the composers instead use horror and tense atmospheric buildups to engage the listener. Effective, indeed.
A Small Piece of the Puzzle
According to some scribbling that I found in a textbook that contained the formula for a toxic chemical called "V-Jolt", the Resident Evil soundtrack is only one piece of some sort of boxset called the Biohazard Sound Chronicle Best Track Box. In this Best Track Box are the soundtracks to several other Resident Evil games — Resident Evil 2, 3, 4, 0, and Code Veronica. While most of those other titles have seen separate album releases, the soundtrack to the Resident Evil remake is exclusive to this boxset... so if someone would be interested in checking out this album they'd have to purchase the whole box set, for better or worse. I still need to dig up more information on this collection before I can formulate an opinion, however. I'm hoping that I can find more field notes and journals detailing the other aspects of the set.
After opening a desk drawer I stumbled upon a strange jewel, some extra ammo and a note from a woman named Lisa Trevor (?) complimenting Uchiyama, Senbongi and Tomozawa for a job well done on the Resident Evil soundtrack. Here is the note in its entirety:
"While the original Resident Evil soundtrack is kind of cheesy in retrospect, the remake is full of intense scares and horrifying soundscapes that make for one hell of a scary album. What's really interesting is hearing some of the preliminary groundwork for Resident Evil 4 — Senbongi and Uchiyama have some tracks here that sound like they could be B-sides to this game, such as the "Terror" tracks and "Deathtrap". On its own, the soundtrack to the Resident Evil remake is a great horror-themed game soundtrack and comes highly recommended, especially for fans of Resident Evil 4 or the more abstract and ambient compositions from the first Silent Hill soundtrack."
I have plenty more exploration to do in the mansion here, but going by these files that I have found so far it sounds like this Resident Evil soundtrack is a really enjoyable, but creepy, game music album. As I make my way through this unsettling place, I can hear the sounds of the Biohazard remake's sound team under each footstep I take, keeping my hands clenched tight and my heart pumping fiercely. This is going to be one long night...
Jill Valentine - S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team Member
PS: Note to Self - Don't take the shotgun from the office. I almost became a Jill sandwich back there!
The evil eye
The Front Hall
The Beginning Of Story
The Front Hall
The First Floor
The First Floor
The Second Floor
Leon With Claire
The Basement of Police Station
"T" - A
The First Malformation of "G"
The Marshalling Yard (The First Half)
The Marshalling Yard (The Second Half)
The Second Malformation of "G"
The Underground Laboratory
Is Ada Spy!?
Wreckage of the mad experiment
Good Bye, Leon...
One More Kiss
Escape From Laboratory
"T" - B
The Third Malformation of "G"
Normal End Title
Special End Title
Credit Line of Whole Staff
And After That...
Fearful is no word for it
Maximize your survival instinct
"The ultimate bio-weapon" Medley