Remembering Daniel Licht, composer of Dishonored and Silent Hill

By Dale Bashir on Aug 7, 2017

Daniel Licht, who composed the score for Silent Hill: Downpour, Silent Hill: Homecoming, and both installments of the Dishonored series, tragically passed away on the 2nd of August 2017. He died of a rare form of sarcoma and died in his home at the age of 60. He was an exceptional composer who also famously composed the score for the TV series Dexter, his unique approach to the soundtrack by way of using unconventional objects as instruments such as knives, duct tape, saws and human bones, really set the tone for the psychological crime drama.

Daniel Licht is known for haunting, somber soundtracks and it shows with the titles that he's worked with. Here are a few of his compositions, his greatest hits if you will:

1. Drunken Whaler from Dishonored

The track Drunken Whaler is a standout in the soundtrack for the first Dishonored game. Its sea shanty inspired lyrics with the lead vocals sung by a spooky female voice, adds to the game's dark, steampunk aesthetic and the vengeance that lingers in protagonist Corvo feels inside.

2. Main Theme from Dishonored 2

With a similar approach to his more Dexter soundtrack, the main theme sets the tone for the overall game and the introduction of two protagonists for the game. With two halves to the song and the string instruments providing crescendos throughout the track, like knives slicing in the dark. 

3. Downpour from Silent Hill: Downpour

The seventh game in the Silent Hill series might have gotten mixed reviews, the soundtrack that Daniel Licht is a rose among the thorns of this game. After replacing the composer Akira Yamaoka who has been composing for the last 6 games, Licht brought his A-game to the title track Downpour, with the arpeggios in the middle really sending chills down player's backs.

4. Steel Boss from Silent Hill: Book of Memories

This track is a Licht classic, with incorporating clashing trash can lids and thumping on the trash cans themselves with violins and a synth part at the end, David Licht really adds to the urgency of the boss encounter and brings us a wonderful track that might have been missed by most fans as this title was on the Vita.

And now, his most well-known composition, a jaunty yet eerie tune was on TV for 7 years, pumping fans up before watching Dexter Morgan enacting his devious deeds.

These are just a small sample of what Daniel Licht was capable of and hope that these tracks will implore you to check out the rest of his discography. Daniel Licht will be missed and our condolences reach out to his friends and family.

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Dale Bashir
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