CD: Bloodborne (2015)

August 19, 2015 | By



Label: Sony Computer Entertainment / Sumthing Else

Released:  May 5, 2015


Tracks / Album Length:  21 tracks / 71 mins.

Composers: Ryan Amon, Tsukasa Saitoh, Michael Wandmacher, Yuka Kitamura, and Nobuyoshi Suzuki.

Special Notes:  n/a




One would initially suspect a video game (or any) score composed by five might have a few discontinuities, but for the most part Bloodborne maintains a strong epic tone, as performed by one massive orchestra. Ryan Amon’s contributions (which tend to make up the bulk of the score) establish the main theme – deliberately ominous, with vibrato-heavy strings evoking a dank Medieval atmosphere – plus the addition of a female voice adds mystique and humanism to a score that’s fairly foreboding.

“Hunter’s Dream” with chamber strings and flowing soprano is especially lovely, although that rare moment of peace is soon broken up by the orchestra’s muscular brass which makes up Bloodborne’s most aggressive cues. “The Hunter” is easily the score’s standout track, with a flurry of fine details that create a mounting cloud of swirling musical figures culminating in a large choral shriek. A pounding motif with percussion, mixed chorus and huge brass close out the score, and there’s enough variation in its denouement to ensure the track doesn’t drag on like an action loop.

Amon’s cues tend to have more variation, whereas other tracks by Tsukasa Saitoh tend to remain within a particular circular action motif. “Cleric Beast” is a bit repetitive, but it’s nicely orchestrated with large Latin chorus, bell chimes, and brass. Saitoh also prefers more dissonance, making “Blood-Starved Beast” an appropriate image of a malevolent mindless hulk bashing its way forward.

Yuka Kitamura’s liturgical “Watchers” is an elegant contribution with male chorus, brass, and strings that are completely intertwined in one slow, gradually rising statement. What stands out are the clean dramatic lines of each musical element, adding weight to the track’s sharp ascent.

Amon’s “Hail the Nightmare” is mixed chorus in a liturgical call-and-answer lament, and chorus carries the harmonic peak in Michael Wandmacher’s eerie “Micolash, Nightmare Host” with doom-laden chords and a maddening, circulating piano figure.

Saitoh’s “The First Hunter” is part of the score’s wrap-up, and features a slowly drawn theme with warm strings that make up the cue’s three sections, with each adding slightly more melodic material before a large closing statement by the chorus. Snarling action in Amon’s “Moon Presence” is overtaken by solo soprano, and the score closes with a recap of the main theme featuring a breathy soprano and contrasting orchestra before a final theme restatement and fadout.



© 2015 Mark R. Hasan



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