Above: Sickness Unto Foolish Death by Akira Yamaoka
Welcome to a special week of Game Music of the Day! All week we'll be sampling some of the creepiest tunes I've ever heard, beginning today with a track from the wholly excellent Silent Hill 3 soundtrack. Known for his moody, disturbing use of audio, Akira Yamaoka created several standout songs that managed to be beautiful, haunting and catchy all at once , so picking just one is rather difficult.
But if the primary criteria are weird and spooky, "Sickness Unto Foolish Death" has to take the cake. The name alone conjurs up some scary images, and when combined with that oppressive, industrial beat it starts to take on a life of its own. By the time the keyboard and other weird-ass SFX kick in, I honestly get a little creeped out. Even that echo-y rattling noise near the beginning curls my toes, like it's some kind of inhuman monster giggling in the dark. And yet the song is so listenable and melodic, even when played in a game filled with skin walls and pools of fleshy gore.
Above: Though this would have to be my favorite song from the game, You're Not Here, which was also used in the 2006 Silent Hill movie (and named one of gaming's most rocking intros)
Above: End of Small Sanctuary plays early on, and acts like a friendlier version of Foolish Death
Moving stuff, right? Even if you're turned off by Silent Hill as a whole, its music is irrefutably awesome. We so rarely get in-game compositions that both sound like legit music but keep that "videogame" feeling that makes it unique. Usually the balance is one way or the other - that is, super fast bleeps like Mega Man or sweeping yet impersonal scores like so many modern titles.
I actually interviewed Yamaoka a couple of years ago when Homecoming was first announced. Check it out for more on his style and past works, and then maybe crank Foolish Death one more time.
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