For anyone who’s been following Cirsova and paying attention to the music posts, you’ve probably noticed I’m really big into doom & sludge metal. I remember as far back as Vampire: The Masquerade 1st ed, a sourcebook suggesting the using music to enhance the mood of certain scenes for roleplaying. I wanna say that the example they used was something like “A guy crashes a party and switches out the cd; throw on something like Butthole Surfers”.
Recently, ST:Wild on Roleplaying posted about creating soundtrack cds. Rather than soundtracks, I’ve always preferred soundscapes, largely because they enhance the mood without the jarring created by either track breaks or players’ familiarity with songs. Droning doom metal, however, might be a different story, as the length of tracks and ambient nature create a fairly consistent atmosphere with less of a roller-coaster feel than a playlist with a few dozen shorter songs.
One of the sub-genres within doom that I’ve found oddly appealing is nautical themed doom metal. All of the music is played so as to recreate the feel of rolling waves of the ocean and being lost out at sea. One of these bands, Ahab, plays whaling-themed funeral doom, their first album being a retelling of Moby Dick. I’ll admit that what I’ve heard of the new album is not that great, but their first, The Call of the Wretched Sea, is pretty amazing.
Another band I’ve recently become enamoured with is Monarch!, from Bayonne, France. Lyrically, their songs are ballads of the forelorn wives of sailors, oceans of tears, etc., and they are heavier than a planet with epic 20 minute tracks that evoke the despair and isolation of high seas. Their album Dead Men Tell No Tales is a great introduction, as it’s a pretty cheap two disc cd giving you two albums, 5 tracks and nearly two hours of the heaviest metal you’ve heard.
If you plan on having any sort of nautical adventures, or even astral-nautical adventures (who HASN’T wanted to play a Gith pirate campaign?), I strongly recommend checking out both of these bands and trying out a little in the background of your next session.