34 min, 56 sec
BIONICLE was my favorite LEGO franchise when I was a child. Actually, it stayed with me right up until the very end, in 2010, when the line was discontinued, brought out behind the shed, and shot. Repeatedly.
I loved BIONICLE. I got almost every set for the first few years, right until around 2006, when I started to move towards only a small selection of sets (specifically, the green ones – I love green). I finally started to check out around 2009, when the franchise was essentially rebooted (but retained the same continuity) by changing settings and wiping out the previous set of characters. I kept an eye on it, though, and I was still deeply saddened when the line came to an end in 2010.
BIONICLE returns in 2015, with a hard reset on the entire storyline, intended for new buyers to be able to jump right in, shedding the confusing, extensive backstory the franchise had received previously. I’ll try to stay in the loop once it starts back up, but I’m also 21 years old and I don’t buy LEGO sets any more.
That made me sound like a jaded adult.
2005-2008 was a cultural high point for BIONICLE. LEGO put all of their efforts behind the brand, starting all sorts of multimedia projects to expand BIONICLE’s reach, including stories, videos, and what we’re looking at today – music.
The vast majority of this Bionicle-related music was never released as part of any official album – some of the songs weren’t even made available for download. I got my copies from the BioMedia Project – they do great work archiving all of the BIONICLE multimedia out there.
Original music for BIONICLE began in 2005, with two songs by the band All Insane Kids – “Hero” and “Caught in a Dream.” Both songs received music videos compiled from BIONICLE video content, but the band itself seemingly only existed to make these songs, aside from two iTunes results that may be from the same band (I’m not downloading them to find out). These songs were hard rock tracks – generic, sure, but enjoyable and catchy. They conveyed an “edgy” feel, at least at the level of kids, which is the target audience, anyway.
In 2006, a new musician came onto the scene, one that would end up being defined by her work for LEGO and BIONICLE – Christine Lorentzon. Lorentzon was the credited artist for “Creeping in My Soul,” which would end up becoming an iconic song for the band, re-released several times in the next few years as Lorentzon’s career expanded. 2006 also saw the release of “Face Me,” a song by Eddie Simonsen and Mikkel Mahlta, under the name Edsim & Mahlta. The two of them would go on to collaborate with Lorentzon in the future, which we’ll get to in a bit.
“Creeping in My Soul” is a piano-driven rock-ish track, one that never quite explodes into the sort of rock track that might be expected after listening to AIK’s songs. “Face Me” goes in the opposite direction – dark, brooding, and heavily electronic, the song sounds incredibly strange. Both tracks received BIONICLE-centric music videos, like before.
Lorentzon and Edsim & Mahlta would join forces in 2008 to form CryoShell, but before Lorentzon became involved, the duo instead enlisted the vocal prowess of Niels Brinck, who contributed vocals to the next BIONICLE song, “Gravity Hurts.” As CryoShell’s first song, it established the sound that would come to define the band as they prepared to release an album – dark-tinged rock with some good old piano mixed in, multi-layered vocals, and sick guitar riffs. “Gravity Hurts” has a particularly great set of outro vocals, with four or five different vocal lines all mixed in with each other, making for a really strong fadeout.
Later that year, the final line-up of CryoShell came together, as Lorentzon joined the band to provide vocals for “Closer to the Truth,” which for the first time featured actual performance footage in its music video, emphasizing the fact that CryoShell was a full-fledged band. They would go on to do a few more songs for LEGO, and then break out as a separate entity for an EP and a full-length album in 2010 before becoming inactive.
I always liked the music that LEGO commissioned for BIONICLE, and CryoShell in particular is a band that I greatly enjoyed, even when they took months on end to release their album in the U.S.. One of the most fun things about BIONICLE in the mid-2000s was the music it produced, and I still spin these tracks from time to time, just to bring the memories back.
Maybe they’ll bring the music back for 2015. Maybe I’ll tune in. We’ll see.