CD REVIEW - BIOSHOCK 2
Music by Garry Schyman
25 Tracks 46:54 mins
Garry Schyman's score for the original Bioshock game went on to win Best Original Score at that year's Spike TV Video Game Awards, and Best Original Soundtrack at the G4TV - X-Play Best of 2007 Awards.
Well, here we are in 2010, and Bioshock 2 has been released and, though not as instantly impressive and likeable as his other new score for Dante's Inferno; as revealed on this promotional disc, kindly furnished by the composer's publicists, Top Dollar PR, it is still a top-rate effort with rewards to be had if one persists with it.
A feature of Schyman's orchestral score are the excellent violin solos, performed by Martin Chalifour, that are present throughout this largely dissonant work, commencing with the mournful "Pairbond: Bioshock 2 Theme," and can subsequently be heard to best effect cutting through the dissonance, and occasionally participating in the action of "10 Years Later, "Grace Under The Ocean," "Eleanor's Darkness," "Out the Airlock," "Entrance to Eden," "Drained Memories" "Entering Persephone,""Lockdown March," and "Research; and providing at least something vaguely human to cling on to, as can be said of the child-like piano-voiced innocence of "How She Sees the World."
Some tracks have a bluesy edge to them, particularly early ones like "Cult of Lamb" and the aforementioned "Grace Under the Ocean," but more so in the later "Welcome to the Drop" and the unused "Under the Tracks," both of which feature wordless female vocal.
Whilst some action does erupt from the dissonance of some tracks mentioned above, the most consistently exciting and powerful cues are "Protecting His Charge," "The Abyss," "Send Him Howling Back To Hell," and the concluding "Destroying the Lobby," "Gil's Entertainment" and "Escape," all of which lead breathlessly to the album's final cue "Eleanor's Lullabye," where Chalifour's violin sweetly signifies that all is well.
Challenging at times but, as I said, rewarding if you stick with it. Unfortunately, as far as I know, whilst a song soundtrack is commercially available, Schyman's score is only available as a bonus CD with the collector's edition of the game.