Akira Yamaoka (born February 6, 1968) is a Japanese composer and sound designer, who started out in the Konami Kukeiha Club (alongside the likes of Michiru Yamane) and achieved individual recognition for Silent Hill. After many Silent Hill titles, he eventually left Konami to join Suda51 at Grasshopper Manufacture. He frequently collaborates with singer Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and lyricist Joe Romersa. He cites Trent Reznor, Angelo Badalamenti, Metallica and Depeche Mode as his biggest musical influences.
He has been the lead composer for the following:
- Silent Hill series
- Shadows of the Damned
- Sine Mora
- Liberation Maiden
- Lollipop Chainsaw
- Black Knight Sword
- Killer is Dead
- The Medium
He has also contributed to:
- Rocket Knight Adventures
- Snatcher CD-ROMantic
- Contra: Shattered Soldier
- Rumble Roses series
- Silent Hill: The Movie
- Lightning Legend: Daigo no Daibouken
- Twinbee Paradise
- beatmania and other BEMANI games.
- No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
- Persona 4: Dancing All Night
- Let It Die
- The Silver Case and its sequel The 25th Ward.
- World of Tanks
- Dead by Daylight*
- Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
- I Am the Band: Instead of hiring studio musicians, Akira recorded every part of every song on his Silent Hill projects himself. He then went a step further on "Silent Scream" from Silent Hill: Revelation; Romersa was in the middle of another project and didn't have time to work on the song, so Yamaoka wrote the lyrics himself.
- Shout-Out: Two of Dead by Daylight's killers, The Spirit and The Oni, real names Rin Yamaoka and her ancestor Yamaoka Kazan, are named after Akira.
- Signature Instrument: He greatly prefers the longer string scale of the Strat-style (typically 25.5 inches vs. a Les Paul-style's 24.5), and his most iconic guitar is a black Ibanez U777P seven-string with a mirrored pickguard.
- To the Tune of...: The riff between verses in "Silent Scream" has the same rhythm and chord structure as those in Metallica's "The Thing That Should Not Be", although the chords used are different.