I think by now it’s pretty obvious to everyone that I like video games. I mean, I spend a pretty exhausting amount of time writing about them, so hope that isn’t a surprises to anyone. But depending on how long you’ve been following my work, what you may not know is that I also like Heavy Metal. If it wasn’t for my complete and utter lack of knowledge of music theory, I’d probably spend an equally exhausting amount of time writing about that as well. The other day, as I looked over my game collection listening to my Spoitify Thrash Metal Mix I noticed that games can be pretty metal, even when they’re not trying to be. So today I decided to look at a few games and talk about the Metal Sub-Genres I think fits them best.
1: Doom (2016)
Metal Genre: Thrash Metal
While the extreme gore might scream Death Metal and the satanic iconography says Black Metal, neither one of those really fits Doom. Sure it’s fast and brutal, but there’s a playfulness to Doom that just doesn’t fit with the Metals most extreme genres. Music wise bands in these genres just take themselves a little too seriously. That’s not quite as true in Thrash Metal. It’s high energy and brutal, but there’s also a certain je ne sais quoi to the genre that just makes it fun to listen too. Even with bands like Slayer that lean heavily into Satanic and horror imagery, the genre tends to be more “action movie” rather than aiming to truly frighten. It’s music you kick ass too. Kick the establishment’s ass, kick your boss’s ass, kick God’s ass. Now, look at Doom. You alone fights the hoards of Hell, and the demons are scared of you. And all the while, the game never forgets to have a since of humor.
Song that best fits the game: Chainsaw Ripping Death by Hellcannon
2: Dark Souls
Metal Genre: Epic Doom Metal
Dark Souls is a grand, sweeping game that truly aims to calibrate the victories of it’s players. But it is also a game were you are resigned to fate: you are going to die. This is both true in the game play and the story. If you link the flame you must use your own body as kindling. Even then, it’s only a matter of time before the cycle begins again and someone decides to let the fire die. There is no happy end to the story of Dark Souls. Doom metal is very much the same way. It’s the music of disparate, a genre of heavy metal that aims to really put the “Heavy” back into perspective. Songs like “Devoid of Redemption” by Pallbearer almost literally weigh you down as you listen. However, I picked Epic Doom Meta specifically for Dark Souls for a reason. Not only do bands in the genre tend to use fantasy and mythology based imagery in their lyrics while, but the music is just as grand and sweeping as the journey you go on in Dark Souls. It’s music that can inspire you even though you know the end will soon come. It’s all but certain you’ll lose you’re life in the upcoming battle, but it needs to be fought, and you need to fight it.
Song that best fits the game: Graveyard of Broken Dreams by Altar of Oblivion
3: Spec Ops: The Line
Metal Genre: Grindcore
Spec Ops: The Line is a game that forces you to look at humanity at it’s worst. It’s a game very much trying to say “isn’t the current state of things kind of fucked up?” It uses sheer brutality as loudly and as violently as passable. You know who else does that? Napalm Death. While not all Grindcore is about making social statements, and it’s not the only genre where doing so is normal, Napalm Death’s “Hardcore Punk by way of Death Metal” approach fits the tone of Spec Ops better than anyone else. While the game might be much longer than the bands record setting “shortest song of all time”, it serves to ask the same question: you suffer, but why?
Song that best fits the game: You Suffer by Napalm Death
4: Batman: Arkham Knight
Metal Genre: National Socialist Black Metal
Look, I like Batman. I even like a lot about this game. But the fact is, Arkham Knight is just one more step towards the Frank Miller-ization of the character than I can’t stand. Scenes like this…
…show that this isn’t a character spread on by personal tragedy to make the world a better place. This is a “might makes right” bully who wants to hurt those he sees fit to hurt. And I can say almost the exact same thing about this nazi bullshit blight on my favorite music genre. I like black metal, and I’m sure there are some good musicians here. But at the end of the day, nazi’s are nazi’s, and Nazi Punks can Fuck off.
Song that best fits the game: None, because I’m not going to activity support nazi’s on my site.
5: Darkest Dungeon
Metal Genre: Depressing Suicidal Black Metal
Life is cheap in the world of Darkest Dungeon. Extra adventurers is the only thing you get for free in the game, and in order to do the best you can in the game you have to discard them once you break them. This is a world were mental health problems make you a burden and that will force them to leave you behind. And as someone with metal health issues, that feeling is incredibly relateable. I’m not saying it’s right, and neither is the game, but when I start to get depressed, I may try to seek validation from those I care about that they are still my friends, but doing so often frightens me that I’ll annoy them into not wanting to deal with me. Darkest Dungeon forces me to me to treate those who I send out, those whos minds I break, exactly how I fear people will treat me. It validates my worst fears. And so does DSBM. And that’s not a complaint. In fact, Depressing Suicidal Black Metal is probably my favorite form of Black Metal, because it allows me to engage with my self-loathing and depression in a safe environment that says “yes, these feelings are real and you’re not wrong to feel them”. The same is true for DeathDoom metal aswell (which I honestly like more), but as there isn’t an active “nazi death metal” scene that I’m aware of, I decided to show some extra love to the guys in corpse paint.
Song that best fits the game: Slave to Nativity by Forgotten Tomb