Video Games Represented by Metal Sub-Genres

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Lab Noted #6: Dark Souls, Dark Metal and Dark Thoughts

I’ve beaten Dark Souls 3!!!! That’s the big news for this week. For the last few days i’ve been going through in New Game Plus doing co-op, so if you’re playing on PS4 and meet a guy dressed as “Solaire” named Atlus, that’s me!!!! Feel free to have me help out in a boss fight. Also, if you see a message next to a bonfire pointing out that it is indeed a bonfire. Something about the sarcastic yet unharmful nature of the joke has been giving me a kick lately. And for the most part, I still agree with everything in my review: mechanically it’s the best game to date, but I’m just not into the overly linear nature of the world design. There are a few branching paths, but by the time most of the shortcuts have opened up I found I didn’t need them much. Once I finish this run I’m going to finish up Metal Ger Solid 5 for review before finishing Bloodbourn.

And Speaking of Dark Souls, I think I found my new favorite band: Soulmass. These guys are a Florida Death Metal band who’s music is all bassed on Dark Souls lore. And they fucking slay. While i’ve always liked death metla, i’ve always favored the genres more melodic output like Amon Amarth and Dark Tranquility or it’s Doomier side with bands like My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost or Novembers Doom. It’s been a long, long time seine a pure death metal band has really done much for me. But god damn Soulmass is great. If you like metal and dark souls, give them a listen.

I’ve also got to editorials in the works, one about game length, the other about accessibility. I’m hoping to get one up by next week, as well as the MGS5 review, but that may not happen as MGS5 is stupid long. I’m already in the second half and I can tell you I’d probably be done if so many missions weren’t repeated.

I’m also half way through this quarter at school, and in 6 more weeks i’ll be halfway through community college before, hopefully, moving on to a university. And things have been going rather well too. I passed two of my midterms with an 80% and my grades have yet to drop below a 70%. I’ve been doing so well in fact that when I look back at my first three quarters of school, back in 2013 I feel kind of embarrassed I was having such a hard time with everything. I do still wish things would calm down a little so I was able to post more through out the week, and once summer comes i’ll be strapped for cash, but in fairness I’d rather get the school work done first. But as time goes on i’ve been getting kind of worried to tell you the truth. If I can just keep on top of my school work load and post only a few times a week, how bad will things be next year, or once I transfer? I want to believe this is me freaking out over nothing, but at the same time I can’t help but feel like a screw up already and often find myself thinking I should just quite now.

Well, that’s all for this week, hope things are better next time.

Lab Notes #1: Back to School and into Yharnam

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This has been a pretty great week, I can’t lie. I started spring quarter and am really liking my classes so far, even if PE is kicking my ass. In my journalism class we opened with this really interesting assignment about what “culture” is and the differences between mass media vs mass communication. This is something I’ve never really thought about before and I’m super excited to see where the class goes from here.

PE is going to be a pain though. All we’ve done so far are tests to see where everyone is at physically so the instructor has something to measure our improvements with when the quarter ends, and all this has done is shown me just how out of shape I am. One part of the test was running a mile, and it took me just under 18 minuets to do it. Maybe that’s good for not having really done much exercising for the last 6 years. But god damn that was upsetting.

And math class…..well it’s math. Not much more to say about that.

So what else have I been up too? Well, i’ve been watching the old Teen Titans cartoon after really enjoying Justice League vs Teen Titans. To be honest, it’s not as good as Young Justice but I’m still really enjoying myself. It’s dorky as hell, but the show uses that to it’s advantage. Even when the show gets dark (like when Robin is clearly suffering from PTSD) it’s never too far away from bring fun again. But there is one huge issue I have with the show: the theme song. Out of every bad theme i’ve heard, I think I hate this one the most.

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I’ve been listening to a lot of Vektor lately. If you’re into Metal and like the band Death, I highly recommend giving these guys a listen. Musically they remind of of the early days of Death Metal when there was still a lot of noticeable Thrash influences (see Death and Possessed) and their singer must be a huge fan of Chuck Schuldiner, because the vocal performance is almost creepy in it’s similarity. But what I like the most is all the sci-fi theme’s in their music. Where most horror themed Thrash and Death metal bands take insperation of 80’s slasher flicks, Vektor’s lyrics would be better suited to an episode of Black Mirror. I don’t see these guys getting a lot of love in the metal community but I think they deserve it, so if you’re a fellow metal head give them a listen.

 

And speaking of Death…..lets talk about a game where you die a lot: Bloodbourn. I finally got a PS4 and this was the first game I got for it. I’ve just got into Old Yharnam and I’ve really been enjoying the game(but fuck that asshole with the Gatling gun). So far it seems a bit ease compared to the original Dark Souls, but maybe that’s just me being more informed on how these games work now than I was back then. Overall this is shaping up the be my second favorite game in the Soulsborne series. I’ll be doing a few soon, but i’ll also be getting Dark Souls 3 as close to launch as I can and planning on reviewing that shortly after that. So maybe i’ll do Dark Souls 3, BroForce then Bloodbourn to change things up a bit between reviews.

And that’s what i’ve been up too. Feel free to leave a comment below and tell me about you’re week and i’ll see you all on Monday.