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Defiance: Original Television Soundtrack by Bear McCreary (Review)

posted Jul 15, 2013, 9:41 PM by Kaya Savas

Bear McCreary is undoubtedly the master of television composing right now, and he has been for some years. He has composed some amazing music for Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead, Caprica, Human Target, Eureka, Da Vinci's Demons and now Defiance joins that list among many other. Defiance is a fascinating score to delve into especially if you experience it with its companion piece, the score to the video game that McCreary also composed. The game is a separate story with separate characters in the same universe, and the score is fantastic. The TV show doesn't have the aggressive edge the video game has, and that's a good thing. We get a bit more character and emotional currents here.

The album  has quite a few songs mixed into the soundscape as Bear collaborates with his wife Raya Yarbrough and brother Brendan McCreary. Some familiar songs are arranged by McCreary and company and they fit into the soundscape wonderfully. The score does get its time to shine, but definitely not as much as in the video game album. The score for Defiance works well on the surface and is almost a twisted space western sound at times. There is an unfortunate use of dubstep that was also heard in the video game score. It's probably my only gripe with the score but it never overstays its welcome and adds a certain amount of modern edge to it. The big behemoth track on this album is the 8-minute "Battle Of The Volge" which is a fantastically structured piece. We hear a bit of the motifs and themes shine through here and with this track you really get a sense of what McCreary does so well. The score is fun and has a signature sound with that McCreary style, and it's really all you could ask for.

Defiance is not Bear McCreary's strongest score, but his talents and style are so good that the listen is an enjoyable one. The best way to really enjoy the full scope of the world that Bear created is to listen to the video game score and the television score back to back. Even though the video game is a completely different story than the show I think the soundscape shines through well. The television counterpart is just as great and the use of songs is a fresh change of pace that works since it was all handled under McCreary and not just licensed tracks dropped into the mix. Defiance is a must for fans of Bear's work as it's a solid and entertaining score.