I had high expectations on Biohazard CODE: Veronica Original Soundtrack. I wanted to hear the synth abilities of the Dreamcast. I wanted to hear another good Capcom soundtrack. But first and foremost I was looking for a new horror game soundtrack. Something to break the monotony of Squaresoft's fantasy RPG soundtracks. I wasn't disappointed.
First of all I have to say that I have never ever heard a game OST that sounds more like a movie score than this. Anyone not familiar with the game will wonder which movie the music is from. It sounds very realistic, much thanks to the synth capability. This OST will be a godsend to the relatively large group of people who are getting tired of lousy game synth.
There are 70 tracks on the main disc! Naturally, the tracks are very short, which normally would bother me. But since this isn't a RPG soundtrack, it's actually okay. The tracks flow into each other relatively smoothly. One thing that would have made this CD much better is if the tracks were woven into each other, like on the Silent Hill OST. But it still works fine, and like Silent Hill, the music changes from atmospheric, ambient music to heart-pounding action and escape music. Just like good Biohazard music should.
Most tracks range from good to very good. A few could be skipped, but they really are a few, if you count the fact that the CD has 70 tracks. And unlike other soundtracks, where you have your favourites and skip the rest, horror soundtracks are more focused on the whole experience than just individual tracks. Capcom knows this, and it shows in the music. Every time I think about it, I find it hard to mention specific tracks that I like, so logic would say that this OST is bad. But every time I finish this CD I'm amazed at the quality of the music! Some may find this weird, but I think it's a great effect.
If I should try to mention some highlights anyway, I have to start with what I presume is the main theme of the game. It first shows up in track 04, and then makes many appearances (especially towards the end). I am certainly no fan of the over usage of main themes, a thing that has cursed game music enough the few last years. It seems to me that this is just a cheap way for lazy composers to use a melody over and over again, instead of composing new tunes. For instance I loved the FF9 score, but the main theme was used way to many times. Does this phenomenon occur in CODE: Veronica? No! The main theme is repeated many times, but because it's short (and sweet) it doesn't do any damage. The best tracks on the OST are the majestic "Prologue", "First Contact", the very disturbing "Putrid Smell", the beautiful and calm "A Moment Of Relief" and "Curiosity", the great and almost funky (!) "Through The Scope", "Lachrymal", "Rasen", and the great "The Theme Of Alexia (Type 2)". And of course there are the heart-pounding RUN! tracks. These include "Once Again", "Father", "Crash!", and the amazing "Not Steve" - probably the best track on the CD. Great survival horror music, and what more could one possibly ask for?
The second CD is a mini-CD with only sound effects. This was a mistake to include, because the excellent first CD could have been even cheaper without this crap. Only for the most experimental.
Overall, I cannot recommend the Biohazard CODE: Veronica OST any less than I already have. For any horror fan this is truly a great experience. Silent Hill still is the undisputed king of horror soundtracks, due to it's extreme nature, and Capcom doesn't go all the way out like Konami does. But I'm prepared to name Veronica the second runner up. Something to listen to until Silent Hill 2, and the unmistakably best Biohazard music yet!