Garry Schyman’s “BioShock Score” was released as a free downloadable CD containing a selection of the orchestral music from the iconic game. Sadly, of the 12 tracks only one is over two minutes in length and because of that, BioShock score is very short indeed. What’s here though is good.
“Bioshock Main Theme (The Ocean on His Shoulders)” is a tender piece of string work that slowly rouses and swells emotion like an epitaph. It’s a tragic and haunting piece. “Welcome to Rapture” ups the pace with an intricate but understated piece that has underlying tension throughout but never tenses up and freaks out and because of that very reason, it gives the track a disturbing edge.
“Dr. Steinman” is all about the madding high string arrangement that spirals at speed into a frenzy. One minute of pure carnage on a violin! “The Docks” is eerie with an accordion playing in the distance whilst various ambient noises re imagine all kinds of nasties for you. “The Dash” is a short percussive burst somewhere between the two previous tracks. “Step Into My Gardens” then uses the string instruments to all kinds of ambient effects which although this takes place throughout the album, sounds particularly menacing here. It’s one garden I wouldn’t have a tea party in!
“Dancers on a String” is a gentle waltz of piano and violin that is as sinister as it is beautiful before the big three minute “Cohens Masterpiece” bounds onto your speakers as a classical piano track. The playing is perfectly pitched between artistic and melodic for the score’s mood.
“The Engine City” starts the final chapter with its heavy stabbing percussion and string section. The scale sounds epic here more in keeping with a big budget movies climax. Contrasted by the saddening “Empty Houses” which is so innocent sounding that paired with the right visual could evoke tears. A bitter tenderness. “This is Where They Sleep” is a tense piece that manages to make string instruments sound like air raid sirens. The constant rising of notes brings a chill. Closing with “All Spliced Up” which is a dramatic hell for leather orchestral piece, BioShock score is gone in a matter of 20 minutes but remains firmly in your head.
BioShock score works best as a full album placed together but anyone who enjoys orchestral works or music that evokes an eerie atmosphere should do themselves a favour and download this free soundtrack score. It’s well worth the time and no money is needed!