Heavy Metal Music in Video Games

Musicians are rightly regarded as artists. Their creativity knows no bounds, which is why a lot of musicians have lent a lot of their talents to non musical projects. Film scores, online advertisements, major sporting events, famous musicians are often motivated by new experiences and passion but also a simple pay cheque is enough for them too.

The top games are often known for their excellent soundtracks. Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy are perhaps the ones most famous for their music and the GTA games are known for their famous ‘radio stations’. In one instance, Guns N’ Roses allowed their famous ‘Paradise City’ to be used on the specially branded Guns N’ Roses slot.

Such is the importance and respect given to video game composers, there are now well-reported annual awards given to the best video-game composers such as Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts) and Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori (Halo). Of course, at MetalTalk, we like to focus on Metal music and it probably won’t surprise you to know that there is plenty of Heavy Metal in video games.

Kill it with Fire

Trevor Whitaker Black came up with the music for the stylish and unique video game, Kill it with Fire. The premise of this one is easy and revolves around killing different types of spiders in various locations. There are only four songs in the game and the one we are focussing on is called Arachno Gauntlet. In the game, the song will start when you start the mini-game by ‘listening’ to the radio in each level. The Heavy Metal music starts playing during a countdown where the player must kill as many spiders as possible during the time limit using certain weapons. The song really helps to bring the blood up and creates an element of utter mayhem and frenzy.

Rock the Reels Megaways

Iron Dog Studio are one of the most well-known developers for online slot games and in their Rock the Reels Megaways slot game, they give a nice mixture of a Heavy rock and Heavy Metal style soundtrack. The music is always an important characteristic of any slot game, as it helps to make it more unique. All slots play very similar to one another and there are thousands of them, so savvy developers need to do everything possible to create something a little different which appeals to players.

Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2

A large soundtrack full of different rock and Heavy Metal tracks, Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 despite being released almost half a century ago, still has a niche following and is regularly downloaded in Steam. Composer Frank Klepacki has written the scores for several video games with hsi work on the Red Alert series being his most successful (Klepacki won a couple of awards). Everything about Red Alert 2 is industrial, hard and gritty and the soundtrack perfectly encompasses a future world constantly at war. There are plenty of tracks to get your teeth into.

Halo: Combat Evolved

Beginning with a classical choral chorus before descending into the pits of hell with an absolutely awesome opening soundtrack, the Halo theme sums the game perfectly. The opening theme may be the best known song in the game, but there are plenty of others too. The Heavy Metal comes out in various parts of the game, but it is most notable in the final mission when the player must escape to a spaceship before the Halo ring blows up. The track (which is called Warthog Run) helps to build up a feeling of drama, dynamism and tension. Scored by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori, the Halo soundtrack is widely regarded as one of the best gaming scores of all time, and rightly so.

Doom

If any video game was ever created specifically for a Metal head, then it’s Doom. By now it is a game of a bygone era, but even though it was released in 1993, Doom still enjoys a cult following and its soundtrack was certainly one of the reasons for the game’s initial success. Games created in the ’90s often came with soundtracks dedicated to keeping gamers stimulated and focussed and Doom’s music is one of the best at this. Mick Gordon is the man behind the music and he is rightly commended for it.

We live in a time where video games have never been more popular and accessible. We can only hope that Metal music will continue to play a role in the success of any top quality game.

Sleeve Notes

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