Bionic Commando: The Soundtrack

Bionic Commando: The Soundtrack. Передняя обложка . Click to zoom.
Bionic Commando: The Soundtrack
Передняя обложка
Composed by Erik Thunberg / Jamie Christopherson / Jonatan Crafoord / Junko Tamiya / Simon Viklund / Trond Viggo Melssen
Published by Sumthing Else
Catalog number SE-2056-2
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 20 Tracks
Release date July 28, 2009
Duration 01:01:00
Genres Ambient: Ethno / Classical: Orchestral Music / Electronica / Electronica: Big Beat / Ethnic / Instrument: Piano / Score
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The intended recent culmination of the Bionic Commando series was a next-generation title — simply called Bionic Commando — featuring high quality graphics, gameplay, and music. While the game itself received disappointing sales and mixed reviews, its soundtrack was generally praised and regarded worthy of a soundtrack release. Led by Lost Planet composer Jamie Christopherson, a team at Swedish developer GRIN fleshed out the work. The result has much more in common with other electro-acoustic cinematic scores than the classic games, but there are some classic references nonetheless. However, does the soundtrack do enough to stand out against other cinematic scores out there?


A large portion of the score is dedicated to arrangements of Junko Tamiya's main theme for 1988's Bionic Commando. It was a good idea to adapt the theme since it was so melodically captivating and, despite its humble synth, clearly had militaristic intent. Jamie Christopherson's cinematic arrangement of the theme opens the soundtrack in a solid if predictable fashion. It features all the clichés of most Western action game music — with triumphant brassy melodies, atmospheric electronic backing, thunderous percussion rhythms, and even a poignant trumpet solo — but perhaps that's intentional; the game is semi-parodic in the first place, so it makes sense to simply offer a typical orchestral arrangement of the theme rather than anything ground-breaking. The result is still memorable and powerful regardless. Listeners are treated to dabs of the theme throughout the soundtrack, most notably in the epic action theme "Project Vulture", a simple solo piano contemplation, or the elegaic string quartet interpretation "Adagio for BC" at the end of the soundtrack.

Jamie Christopherson contributes several other pieces of technically competent yet derivative orchestral music to the soundtrack. With rasping brass discords and unrelenting militaristic percussion, "Groder's Anthem" is an especially powerful way to expose a major villain for the game, while "The Gauntlet" is especially tense in context given its rhythmical twists on a standard cinematic palette. Fortunately, Jonatan Crafoord brings some innovation to the soundtrack with his experimental use of strings. The resonant violin use in "Hero of the Past" has a very poignant effect in the game while "Flooded" sounds totally alien with its col legno strings against further ethno-militaristic backing. He even revives another Bionic Commando melody with the tear jerking viola melody of "Desertion". Trond-Viggo Melssen's more electronically-oriented tracks tend to be quite individualistic too, such as "From Trash Till Dawn" with its industrial forces and intention distortions or "From Darkness to Wonder" with its spectrum of sampled sounds.

Another particularly interesting feature of the soundtrack is its accomplished stylistic fusions. A guest contribution by Simon Viklund, "Preparations" is good prototype music for reflecting the characteristic electro-acoustic blends of the soundtrack. Meanwhile Trond-Viggo Melssen and Erik Thunberg's "Ascension City Awakening" is a subdued yet expansive electro-acoustic piece similar to what one might expect from ambient Metal Gear Solid themes; from a backing of electronic noise, all sorts of ethnic and militaristic percussion forces give a compelling edge to the track, peppered by a few electric guitar and brass interpretations of the main theme. "Fight Unlimited" is a particularly impressive three-tiered piece too, initially getting the rhythms of battle, then shocking listeners with violent string work before ending on a surprisingly serene classically-oriented note. In all these themes, there is usually a hook to keep listeners interested, for example "Enhanced Tunnel Vision" with its heroic electric guitar reprise of a classic Bionic Commando melody.


Overall, the Bionic Commando soundtrack is a solid achievement. The orchestral contributions to the soundtrack tend to be stereotypical, but they are at least of high quality and finally offer fans the epic version of the series' main theme that fans have long-awaited. More impressive are the tracks by GRIN's in-house team with their percussive and electronic focuses. These stand out as some of the better action and ambient music out there and tend to be more creative and original overall. The target audience for this soundtrack is definitely cinematic music fans, not retro gamers, though those with an inclination for its musical styles should find it a pleasing and well-presented soundtrack.


Music in game


Chris Greening


01 - Jamie Christopherson, Junko Tamiya
02 - Trond-Viggo Melssen, Erik Thunberg
03 - Jonatan Crafoord, Junko Tamiya
04 - Jonatan Crafoord
05 - Trond-Viggo Melssen, Junko Tamiya, Erik Thunberg
06 - Junko Tamiya, Erik Thunberg
07 - Jamie Christopherson, Junko Tamiya
08 - Jonatan Crafoord, Junko Tamiya
09 - Erik Thunberg
10 - Trond-Viggo Melssen, Erik Thunberg
11 - Trond-Viggo Melssen, Erik Thunberg
12 - Trond-Viggo Melssen, Junko Tamiya, Erik Thunberg
13 - Trond-Viggo Melssen, Erik Thunberg, Simon Viklund
14 - Jonatan Crafoord, Junko Tamiya
15 - Jamie Christopherson
16 - Trond-Viggo Melssen, Junko Tamiya, Erik Thunberg
17 - Jamie Christopherson
18 - Junko Tamiya, José Luis Gonzalez Castro
19 - Jonatan Crafoord, Junko Tamiya, Erik Thunberg
20 - Trond-Viggo Melssen, Junko Tamiya

Рецензия на саундтрек Bionic Commando

...Adagio for BC закрывает этот непростой альбом. Медленное и величественное адажио, без ритм-секций, полноценный финальный аккорд после которого хочется встать и зааплодировать. Ведь, несмотря на то, что есть неплохое количество стандартных проходных тем, костяк пластинки - несколько совершенно шикарных композиций...Прочитать рецензию. ... Показать

 31.08.2009    2651

Sumthing Else выпустил саундтрек Bionic Commando

Лейбл Sumthing Else Music Works выпустил саундтрек к Bionic Commando, сиквелу одноимённой игры 1988 года. Альбом содержит двадцать избранных тем из игры, написанных семью различными композиторами, в числе которых Джейми Кристоферсон (Lost Planet, Stranglehold), на долю которого выпала в том числе заглавная композиция, и штатный композитор... Показать

 03.08.2009    4730
Album was composed by Erik Thunberg / Jamie Christopherson / Jonatan Crafoord / Junko Tamiya / Simon Viklund / Trond Viggo Melssen and was released on July 28, 2009. Soundtrack consists of tracks with duration over more than hour. Album was released by Sumthing Else.

Sounds like Ambient, Classical, Electronica, Ethnic, Instrument, Score - that's what we can say about this album.

CD 1

Main Theme
Jamie Christopherson & Junko Tamiya
Ascension City Awakening
Trond-Viggo Melssen & Erik Thunberg
Junko Tamiya & Jonatan Crafoord
Jonatan Crafoord
Fight Unlimited
Junko Tamiya, Trond-Viggo Melssen & Erik Thunberg
Enhanced Tunnel Vision
Junko Tamiya & Erik Thunberg
Groder's Anthem
Jamie Christopherson & Junko Tamiya
Hero of the Past
Junko Tamiya & Jonatan Crafoord
The Laws If Nature
Erik Thunberg
From Darkness to Wonder
Trond-Viggo Melssen & Erik Thunberg
From Trash Till Dawn
Erik Thunberg & Trond-Viggo Melssen
Project Vulture
Trond-Viggo Melssen, Junko Tamiya & Erik Thunberg
Erik Thunberg, Trond-Viggo Melssen & Simon Viklund
The Mohole
Jonatan Crafoord & Junko Tamiya
Road to Ascension
Jonatan Crafoord, Trond-Viggo Melssen, Junko Tamiya, José Luis Gonzalez Castro, Simon Viklund, Erik Thunberg & Jamie Christopherson
Hunters of the FSA
Erik Thunberg, Trond-Viggo Melssen & Junko Tamiya
The Gauntlet
Jonatan Crafoord, Trond-Viggo Melssen, Junko Tamiya, José Luis Gonzalez Castro, Simon Viklund, Erik Thunberg & Jamie Christopherson
Piano Theme
Junko Tamiya & José Luis Gonzalez Castro
Beyond Dark Skies
Junko Tamiya, Jonatan Crafoord & Erik Thunberg
Adaigo for BC
Junko Tamiya & Trond-Viggo Melssen