|2.||Chasing The Enemy||2:01|
|6.||Saya's Daily Life||2:26|
|8.||Chasing Thru Time||2:05|
|11.||The Vampires' Threat||1:21|
|12.||BLOOD+ The Final Battle||3:42|
|14.||BLOOD+ Grand Theme||6:36|
|Total Album Time:||46:30|
|by Mike Brennan
November 17, 2006
Mark Mancina's highly varied career has taken him away from the style that many fans fell in love with in 1995's Twister. Finally, a decade later, he returns to that powerful orchestral sound for the animated television series about a young vampire girl hunting demons. The pilot episode is also available as a stand alone movie, Blood: The Last Vampire. Recently, composers formerly from Hans Zimmer's studio have taken on a number of Asian-produced projects including Steve Jablonsky's Steamboy and Klaus Badelt's The Promise. All of the above-mentioned place among the composers' best work; the same holds true for Mancina's BLOOD+.
Mancina has two main themes for the series, Saya's Battle theme and a Grand theme. There is also a subtheme for the character, Diva, which is featured in the final track. The album opens with a powerful introduction to the Battle theme in "Saya's Victory". Powerful low brass chords lead the way in before the trumpets pick up the theme and run with it while the orchestra comes in behind it. This theme is the part of the score that most closely resembles the Twister theme, mostly in a certain descending note pattern, but has enough differences that only those like me who really know the Twister score would tell. A final dramatic statement of the theme brings the cue to a close. The spacing of the album, which is a collection of cues from the series, is a bit strange; we do not get the real introduction to the Grand theme until the end of the album in "BLOOD+ Grand Theme". This theme is much more restrained, but backed by a mid-1990's Media Ventures action beat. However, the fully orchestral nature of the score gives it a new sound. The theme is primarily performed in the higher-pitched instruments with a light choir in the background (I think this might be synth, actually).
Both themes are used often throughout the album and Mancina's wide array of techniques to vary the sound and progression of the themes makes them all different. Action cues like "Chasing the Enemy" and "Being Chased" use bits of the themes, primarily the Battle theme, but rarely in full. "Saya-Nara" features the Battle theme in the solo violin despite the action nature of the cue. "BLOOD+ Countdown" contains a very quiet ticking noise that picks up to become the sound of a clock while the main theme is very subtly hinted at in the low strings. "Vampire Battle", another action cue, I believe, features the Diva theme and a highly varied Battle theme. A second use of this theme appears at the end of "Chasing Thru Time" and is backed by electronic percussion.
A very minor theme is for the Vampires and featured in "The Vampires' Threat". "Saya's Courage" and "Saya's Destiny" feature another subtheme for Saya, which is introduced on the clarinet in "Saya's Daily Life". The Grand theme makes its first (and only with the exception of the Grand Theme cue) appearance in "BLOOD+ The Final Battle". The album ends with "Diva" a operatic cue featuring a female vocalist performing the Diva theme. This makes an unusual end to the action-dominated album, but also reminds us that there is a lot more to the BLOOD+ music than is on this album. Fortunately, there is also a second volume of the score. Fans of Mancina's work or anyone who likes thematic, orchestral, action music will love this score.
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