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CD: Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (2013)
Review Rating:   Excellent  
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March 12, 2013

Tracks / Album Length:

18 tracks / (68:17)



Bear McCreary


Special Notes:

12-page colour booklet with liner notes by composer Bear McCreary / Limited to 3000 copies.

Comments :    

The lure of creating a new Battlestar Galactica franchise – unsurprisingly, another prequel – proved too irresistible for the SyFy network, but to differentiate the series from its father (as well as the first prequel, Caprica), composer Bear McCreary went for an edgier design, adding a variety of electronic sounds he previously minimalized in the main series.

The use of melody, harmony, rich strings, and quotations of both his original thematic material and Stu Phillips’ original series theme are present, but more so than prior series, this incarnation is all about rage (if not raging hormones), hence the unique inclusion of guitar feedback recorded hot with gnarled distortion. Not unlike Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard’s The Dark Knight score, feedback becomes a motif for a specific kind of action and menace, and McCreary uses the grinding noise as another instrumental colour, sometimes in tandem with a vintage screeching eighties guitar solo.

The composer’s affinity for large-scale, eighties action writing was evident in Human Target, and B&C is a bridgework featuring screeching sounds supported by a large orchestra, and regular clusters of sometimes insane rhythmic cues involving Asian drums and a wealth of syncopated rhythms. The CD’s midsection features several soft, elegant theme variations with delicate woodwinds (“Coker and Kirby”) and provide needed rest spots between the aggressive action cues (the fuzzed up “The Last Battle of the Osiris” being a highlight), and LLL’s mastering will please BG fans used to that punchy McCreary sound that always gives a stereo a good workout.

In spite of his years scoring all of the original and BG variants, McCreary can still craft a solid effort for each series, and maintain thematic continuity; and in spite of B&C’s original design – ten 12-minute episodes originally broadcast as a digital series for (Mortal Kombat: Legacy [M]), and later rebroadcast on SyFy as a TV movie – the score feels wholly organic.

A video of the recording sessions is available on Bear McCreary's YouTube channel.


© 2013 Mark R. Hasan

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