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MP3: Defiance (2013)
Review Rating:   Very Good  
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Sparks and Shadows

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April 2, 2013

Tracks / Album Length:

24 tracks / (91:19)



Bear McCreary


Special Notes:

Digital album only.

Comments :    

In a smart move to maintain consistency, Bear McCreary was engaged to score both the Trion MMO video game and SyFy’s spin-off TV series, and the composer’s gone even more retro in his electronic mash-up to create a work that grabs thick bass drones from the nineties, contemporary digital processing and distortion, wailing eighties guitar, and a light orchestral backing.

McCreary recently augmented the electronic components in his BG: Blood and Chrome [M], but his approach for the Defiance game is a steeper split between orchestral and digital sounds, of which most cues are propelled by steady pulses or a techno dance beat (“The Battle of San Francisco”).

“Ninety-Niners” is closer to the pounding percussion tracks from his BG days, but he adds an amusing contrast with mandolin, fuzz synths, and waves of screeching guitar, and in “Wandering Madera” the cue's design is almost exclusively feedback + grungy bass drones.

The Defiance video game score has a steady pace with its all-action design, but about a third into the exceptionally long digital album, the cues tend to settle into a similar sound, and with few moments of theme expansion, the score itself becomes dramatically fuzzy. For action fans the reward is cues filled with swagger and attitude, but there are few radical variations near the end, especially in later tracks that are essentially elliptical action motifs stretched to 3-4 minutes (“Madera Combat”).

Defiance is available on McCreary’s own label, and one suspects music from the TV series is not far down the pipeline, and the resulting album will likely offer a greater variety of thematic variations and more distinct dramatic shades.



© 2013 Mark R. Hasan


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