[NOTE: If you dislike ambient or noisy game music, you can skip this thread. You won't miss anything.]
Anyone listened to the Demento OST? I noticed there has been no mention of it on these forums, even though it was released last summer. It's been a semi-favourite of mine which I've listened to on and off the last couple of months. This is the soundtrack to the Capcom horror game called "Haunting Ground" in the West.
The music is set deep in ambient/industrial/weird sounds country. Not much of any melodies on here. Listening to it, I'm reminded of a lot of different classics in this field, like Silent Hill 1 OST, Baroque OST, Parasite Eve 2 OST, and certain aspects of the various Shadow Hearts OSTs. It's not as great or thought-out as any of those, but if you liked one or more of them, you might want to give this CD a try.
The music never shakes you very much, even the threatening, "noisy" pieces are pretty subdued (and the volume is quite low for some reason). But this aspect makes it easier to have the music on in the background without getting any sudden jarring surprises (although I must admit, the first time I got to "W->R Carousel", I nearly fell off the chair). Many of the battle/chase themes (or whatever they're supposed to be) are pretty tame when compared to the likes of Silent Hill OST, they sound a little too techno-ish and bouncy to truly imprint the feeling they're designed to inflict upon the listener. So, I would definitely say that it's the calmer pieces that make this OST. "Precious Hewie" is particularly beautiful. Some of the tracks sound very similar to the "berserk" battle themes from the Shadow Hearts soundtracks (you know, the weirded out versions that always follow directly after the ordinary versions on the OST CDs?). This is particularly true of "Something Lacking" - just listen to it! If someone told me Yoshitaka Hirota had composed it, I'd have no trouble believing them.
The composer is one Seiko Kobuchi (Shinya Okada did a few tracks, but the vast majority of the tracks are by Kobuchi). Correct me if I'm wrong, but Seiko is a female name, right? This would make sense, since according to the liner notes, the composer is also the singer on the vocal tracks, and there are only female vocals on the album. This might be a first - a soundtrack where the composer is also the vocalist in the ending vocal theme. And what a voice! That song is called "Endless Zero", and it certainly is one of the dreamiest and most beautiful vocals I've ever heard in a game. Very cool instrumentation also.
All things considered, it's a pretty solid album, although I'm growing a bit tired of it by now. If my description sparked your interest, I'd definitely recommend you look into it, and at least give it a download and a few listen-throughs. IMO, it's the best new Capcom OST since Chaos Legion. And you've gotta love that cover!
On a side-note: Anyone played the game? It's one of the few recent games I'm actually interested in. It seems to be the spiritual successor of Clock Tower 3, but looks much better and improved (I sure hope so... ). The game mechanics, and especially the dog companion, sound very appealing to me. Anyone care to share any thoughts...? As both a horror-lover and a dog-lover (hehe), this might be something for me.