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10 Horror Games And The Bands That Should’ve Scored Them

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Sometimes I get really bored. I’m only human, and like the rest of you, there are times when I need a little entertainment. During one of my recent fits of boredom where I was lying naked on the floor of my room in a sticky puddle of dried up Mountain Dew while staring up at the ceiling wondering what wordsmith came up with the word ‘orange,’ I decided to come up with a little game — something to fill my time so I didn’t have to finally concede to what the voices in my head were telling me to do. For the unaware, at Bloody Disgusting lies a mythical creature known as a Jonathan Barkan. He runs the music section on BD with a tyrannical fist and a sweet moustache. If I were reviewing Jon, his Baby Factor would go something like ”If Albert Wesker and a Big Daddy got together to make sweet, sweet love inside a record store, Jonny B would be their musically inclined offspring.”

All that is a long-winded way of saying he knows his music, and he also happens to share my love of video games. So let’s get back to the game I was teasing earlier. I gave Jon ten video game franchises and asked him who he thought would be best suited to score the soundtracks for that series. For example, if Akira Yamaoka had never joined Konami to craft the incredible scores the Silent Hill series is known for, who could’ve taken his place? Find out whom he chose for Silent Hill, as well as nine others, after the jump.

Jonny: Can I first of all say that my Baby Factor is one of the most flattering things I’ve ever heard/read about me in, well, ever? Seriously, I’m blushing so hard that I might as well be a rosy-cheeked maiden in a fairy tale. Are you my knight in shining armor Adam? ARE YOU??? Because this dragon isn’t going to slay itself!

Adam: I meant every word. Now let’s kick some dragon hiney.

10. Silent Hill, By…

Portishead

Jonny: Alright, so I’m sure many readers were convinced that I was going to go with Trent Reznor or Nine Inch Nails. But let’s be honest, that was FAR too obvious a choice. Instead, I’m going to go with the dark trip-hop group Portishead for the mysterious, terrifying Silent Hill. Portishead is a group that has always had a darker edge to them, using tones that easily cover the mechanical, industrial aspect that we’ve come to know and love from the terrifying town. They also cover the same sense of nostalgic yearning and beauty. Just listen to the album Dummy and you’ll understand where I’m coming from with this choice.

Adam: I was hoping you’d really hit it out of the ball park–or in this case, amphitheater–with the first choice and you totally did. I love me some Portishead. They have that delicious mix of haunting and beautiful tracks that is a little eerie, but at the same time oddly soothing. I could totally imagine that as a backdrop to my excursions into that foggy town.

9. Fatal Frame, By…

Krzysztof Penderecki

Jonny: If you’re a horror fan and you don’t know the name Krzysztof Penderecki, I implore you to pay more attention to the composers of these horror films that you know and love. The man was responsible for several of the pieces that were used in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and he was also responsible for me soiling countless drawers while watching said movie.

I chose Penderecki for the Fatal Frame series because the game series never had a strong technological edge. As a matter of fact, the games were rooted in much more organic environments, ones that can only be properly represented by organic instruments. That is where Penderecki comes in. He composes music that utilizes analog instruments but twists everything into something so horrifying, so unsettling, that it causes my skin to bypass crawling and immediately start running for its damn life! Fitting music for one of the scariest game franchises around!

Adam: I’m ashamed to say this, but until recently I didn’t know who Krzysztof Penderecki was. Now that I’m in the know, I’m totally ready to spread some approval sauce on this choice. The next time I visit that creepy secluded village in Fatal Frame II I might have to do so with ‘The Dream of Jacob’ playing gently in the background. Penderecki’s work would also mesh well with Dead Space, though it’d probably sound too similar to what that series already sounds like.

8. Condemned, By…

Rammstein

Jonny: Condemned is a series that is violent, aggressive, brooding, and in your face. What other band can match the atmosphere other than Rammstein? They have the same elements in their music, consistently proving that there is great intelligence and wit lurking beneath their intensity.

Adam: I went through a Rammstein phase in high school, around the time I had blue hair and was experimenting with black tar heroin (one of those is a lie, I’ll leave it up to you to guess which one). I love things in my face, always have. Maybe that’s why I love Condemned so much, because of how brutal and gritty it is. Rammstein is a fantastic match with the crazy shit that goes on in that game. Speaking of which, where the crap is Condemned 3?

7. Left 4 Dead, By…

Ennio Morricone

Jonny: The second composer to make this list, Ennio Morricone has scored some of the greatest films in celluloid history, including the brilliant western The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly as well as John Carpenter’s The Thing. It is specifically these two movies and their scores that came to mind when thinking about the Left 4 Dead series. The games have a rebellious, almost Grindhouse feel that a western-tinged score would delightfully accent while, at the same time, requiring a sinister, sci-fi/horror layer to promote the unending zombie hordes.

Adam: I’m familiar with and love The Thing’s soundtrack, but I had to look this guy up too. I would love to hear what Morricone’s rendition of the Tank’s theme would sound like.

6. Resident Evil, By…

Marilyn Manson

Jonny: I was hesitant to pick Manson for Resident Evil because it’s such an obvious choice. After all, he co-scored several pieces for the first RE movie. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that he really is the perfect choice. He’s able to build the creepy atmosphere through his industrial synths while bringing the action and violence through his heavier pieces. No doubt about it, Manson is the guy for Resident Evil.

Adam: I am all for this. Say what you will about the Resident Evil movies, but I loved the soundtrack for the original. The main theme is creepy, weird, and super catchy–like a certain virus, get it?–and I still listen to it every now and then. The tracks he helped score for the first movie have a surprisingly wide range, with some being crazier and more in your face, and a few that are a little more ominous and unsettling. I want to marry this choice, then I want to bed it and even after a ten year relationship with it, I’ll still love it.

5. Dead Space, By…

Trent Reznor

Jonny: And HERE is where the Nine Inch Nails genius makes his appearance! You see, when I think of Dead Space, there are a few things that immediately pop into my mind: Alien yet familiar. Mechanical yet organic. Qualities that I feel are perfectly exemplified by the music of Mr. Reznor. He would be able to take the terrifying Sprawl and give it a musical life that would do nothing short of making you crap your pants. Guaranteed.

Adam: Fuck. Ok, remember all that stuff I said about the Marilyn Manson/Resident Evil choice? Well, take that, multiply it by a crazy big number and you’ll have an idea of how much I love this choice. My ears have told me time and time again how they’d like to have Reznor’s musical babies and the idea of a Reznor/Dead Space combo has my nether regions all aflutter. Seriously. They’re aflutterin’ like crazy.

4. House Of The Dead, By…

Rob Zombie

Jonny: Let’s be completely honest with ourselves here, okay? Rob Zombie’s music was never scary. Hell, it was never even all that creepy. But god DAMN is it fun to blast at unreal volumes! Same with the House Of The Dead series. The games were never scary but they were absurd amounts of fun to play. And both had some slightly cheesy qualities about them: HotD has the terrible voice acting while Zombie’s music videos were almost comedic (just watch Dragula and get back to me). If I’m gonna play some HotD, Zombie is what’s gonna be my musical backdrop.

Adam: Totally agree. Rob Zombie’s music is fun, bizarre, and a little cheesy, and these are all words I would use to describe House of the Dead (I’d only have to replace “a little cheesy” with “brimming with a plethora of many very distinct varieties of cheese”). I’m actually a little surprised this hasn’t happened already, with how obvious this mash-up is.

3. Bioshock, By…

Tool

Jonny: This one gave me a bit of trouble. After all, how can you replace the iconic 30’s and 40’s music of Bioshock and still maintain that amazing atmosphere of beauty, depth, and intelligence? Oh, wait a minute, Tool is the perfect fit for that! Disjointed, spreading into many directions, heavily layered, shifting from beautiful melodies to violent chaos, Tool is a perfect example of what Bioshock is presenting to the player.

Adam: The only tool I want in my BioShock is me and my wrench! Err, wait…

I didn’t see this one coming, but I can see the method to your madness.

2. Doom, By…

Alice In Chains

Jonny: Work with me here. I know that when many of you think of Doom, it’s just endless waves of Demonic hordes, mindless violence, and tons of gore. But if you get down to it, the concept of Hell on Earth is kinda terrifying, the game has a very sludgy, dirty atmosphere about it, and the aggression is palpable. Kinda just like listening to an Alice in Chains record. Yeah, the band does some mellow tracks and they might not play super brutal metal but, my oh my, is their sludgy, filthy sound something perfect for the dark hallways of Mars.

Adam: I thought if you were going to pull out the hardcore Transylvanian black death metal, it’d be with Doom. I actually like this choice, and there’s still time for Alice In Chains to sign on to compose Doom 4, which better get revealed real soon or Alice isn’t going to be the only one in chains.

Also, I don’t know what that means.

1. F.E.A.R., By…

Deftones

Jonny: FEAR is a game that, much like Doom, is built around violence and atmosphere. Deftones have proven time after time that their take on alt-metal is all about capturing emotions rather than just doing something “weird”. They blast out violent metal as much as they build an atmosphere or almost choking pain, nostalgia, melancholy, and fear (pun sorta intended). Were it me, I’d call these guys up for some viciously sweet tunes for FE4R (should that ever come out).

Adam: It better come out, otherwise someone at Warner Bros is going to have something real to FEAR. Hot damn, I’m on a roll today. Oh, and good choice sir. F.E.A.R. could use a little extra emotion. F.E.A.R. 3 replaced a majority of the subtlety and creep factor so it could rely more heavily on action and those stupid blue soldiers that zapped reinforcements onto the battlefield with their blue teleportation bolt… things. I really wish I was making that up. Perhaps the Deftones could ground a bit, maybe help return the series to its roots in shit-your-pants terror.

So reader, now’s the time to tell us what you think of Jon’s choices. Agree? Disagree? Don’t care? If you’re feeling super generous, you should totes tell us what bands you would’ve chosen. That would make Jon real happy.

Toss Adam an email, or follow him on Twitter and Bloody Disgusting
Follow Jonny on Twitter or on Bloody Disgusting

  • secretsquirrely

    What a flawless article guys! That description of Jonny is spot on, you know your shit. I am super thrilled to see some love for the great Penderecki (though George Crumb is also very suitable).

    Adam, take your comments about R.E. and Dead Space, mix them together with a dash of orgasm face and shake it to oblivion..then you have my feelings on the Bioshock/Tool mashup. I think I might need to try that out some time when playing. Bioshock is my all time favorite game at this point, and Tool is definitely my all time favorite band for much the same reasons. Excellent work!

  • Knight-of-Cydonia

    What the fuck is wrong with you? YOU FORGOT GOBLIN!!!

  • AfterTheAsylum

    I have been adamant about what I am about to say. For Silent Hill, I would choose Peter Gabriel all day long. I think anyone who is really into Peter will understand that. I’m not talking about Sledgehammer and Solsbury Hill, but the work off of his album “Up.” If you want to see what I mean, listen to the song “Darkness” by Peter.

  • Mr.Mudgett

    Angelo Badalamenti would be sublime for Silent Hill.

  • divisionbell

    Ennio Morricone…nice one.

    I have to agree. Goblin should be on this list…

  • ThisMortalSoil

    Potishead is great for all Silent Hills except 2. That one is more bleak and depressing. It seems more like My Dying Bride’s “Turn Loose the Swans” to me. Oh, but there is a billboard in the first Silent Hill that references Portishead.