[Suggestion] The dual music for Deadhaus

Golden Xan

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Hey everyone,

I was thinking about what genre the music of Deadhaus could be like, and these are my considerations.

The lines that separate music genres blend quite a lot, so it's difficult to classify what a song belongs to. Heavy metal from one band or orchestra is going to be quite different from heavy metal of another group.

That said, the genre I recommend is a hybrid epic of rock and Gothic.

The game's music must reinforce the feelings and thoughts that players will be going through, which on DHS I take will be epicness, wonder, terror, death, grittiness, philosophical depth and gruesome action. I believe the best combination to evoke feelings that reflect those concepts are epic orchestral hybrids of rock and Gothic. The balance tipping towards one or the other depending on the circumstances.

I propose a system of duality when tackling the music.
For the more explorational, philosophical, horror and story-related moments of the game, the music relies more on Gothic. When the action comes in, the music delves into rock more.

Different kinds of music affect people in different ways. Music reinforces that which people are already feeling more than it evokes new feelings. Gothic music is good to reinforce fear or wonder. Rock is good to reinforce action. Thus, the combination.

Moreover, I'd also suggest associating specific instruments or combinations of instruments to specific classes, and I'd also attribute a duality to them. For example:

Vampires are associated with nobility. So they have their thematic instruments as violins for the explorational side, and guitars for the action side. Violins and guitars have a sort of opposite impact to one another.

Revenants are deep and resounding, their actions carry weight... and impact. Drums would be fitting for them.

Banshees could have chorus as a theme itself. Or harps/flutes, for their non-monstruous side, making an association with their Irish origins. Liches could have organs, Wraiths could have accordions, and so on.

Those things get specific, and I'm not a musician and don't quite recognize which instrument would be better for which class, but the gist of it is having a sense of opposite for all classes, and associated instruments to them.

Finally, I'd stay away from these elements, which I believe are distant from the what the game's style seems to be:
- Electronic
- Singing (chorus is an exception, doesn't count as singing)
- Happy melodies

The last one is a joke, but a serious one. :)

If someone knows music better and would like to weigh in, perhaps you could recommend a more fitting style than Gothic? I'm not sure if Gothic is the right way to classify what I imagine myself.

What do you think about this system of duality? Do you believe it makes up for an interesting effect?
 

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deadhaussonata.com
I only mention this as I believe the Sonata Alegro form should reverberate through the entire game symbolically (in every aspect if possible) as I tried to first illustrate with Sonata of Justice in the Necroliberatas here: https://deadhaussonata.com/lore/ :)
 

Jerion 'Wyverntamer' Kràl

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If someone knows music better and would like to weigh in, perhaps you could recommend a more fitting style than Gothic? I'm not sure if Gothic is the right way to classify what I imagine myself.
I think that Gothic works, though if you are looking for 'samples' on youtube to match to the style you are thinking off, looking for 'epic dark music' or 'dark fantasy music'. (Or I completely missed what you were talking about and am thinking off completely different things)

Now, on to the rest of your post:
I propose a system of duality when tackling the music.
For the more explorational, philosophical, horror and story-related moments of the game, the music relies more on Gothic. When the action comes in, the music delves into rock more.
So... Out of combat, more 'relaxed' music and in combat the music is more active? Sounds awesome.
Vampires are associated with nobility. So they have their thematic instruments as violins for the explorational side, and guitars for the action side. Violins and guitars have a sort of opposite impact to one another.
Okay, I see the violin and nobility connection, but a guitar? I would say go for a more bombastic style of violin playing, or maybe adding in more of the classical bow instruments.
Revenants are deep and resounding, their actions carry weight... and impact. Drums would be fitting for them.
Yes, I can agree with this one.
Banshees could have chorus as a theme itself. Or harps/flutes, for their non-monstruous side, making an association with their Irish origins.
That would be fun. An idle could be that the Banshee starts humming along with the background music? That'd be fun. Also, yes please, include more harps because there are not enough of those in game music.
Liches could have organs,
An intellectual instrument, very difficult to master and something that requires a lot of dedication. I agree with that.
Wraiths could have accordions,
Why? I mean, I don't oppose it, but I don't see any particular reason for using accordions to be used.
Those things get specific, and I'm not a musician and don't quite recognize which instrument would be better for which class, but the gist of it is having a sense of opposite for all classes, and associated instruments to them.
Hm... Only the Ghouls are left to assign an instrument to. Maybe something traditionally seen as Arabic (where the Ghoul comes from) or something traditionally Native American (where the Wendigo inspiration comes from)? I wouldn't know what to choose for that though. And the Wight is still a complete mystery.
Finally, I'd stay away from these elements, which I believe are distant from the what the game's style seems to be:
- Electronic
- Singing (chorus is an exception, doesn't count as singing)
- Happy melodies
Two points: 1. I agree with you, these things do not seem to fit with the game's style.
2. Chorus is a specific type of singing, which is defined as "the activity of performing songs or tunes by making musical sounds with the voice" while chorus is defined as "a part of a song which is repeated after each verse", or "a large organized group of singers, especially one which performs with an orchestra or opera company". It is one of the few things which is not a musical genre, but explicitly either a part of a song, or a part in the orchestra. Choral music is probably the genre you are thinking of as an exception from singing.
What do you think about this system of duality? Do you believe it makes up for an interesting effect?
I do believe that most games already do this with a specified 'in-combat' background piece and an 'out-of-combat' background piece. I always enjoy it when it comes up though.
I only mention this as I believe the Sonata Alegro form should reverberate through the entire game symbolically (in every aspect if possible) as I tried to first illustrate with Sonata of Justice in the Necroliberatas here: https://deadhaussonata.com/lore/ :)
Very interesting, now, with the background provided by that video you posted earlier, that section is a bit clearer.
 

Elveone

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I honestly don't agree with the "no electronic music". For a single reason honestly and that is the Don't Be Afraid album by Information Society. It is basically a Kurt Harland solo album featuring Ozar Midrashim as one of the tracks - the track that is the basis of the whole soundtrack for Soul Reaver and the following LoK games. Used in a proper way you don't really know what you are hearing when you hear electronic music and I think that is very valuable when you try to invoke the strange and unfamiliar.
 

Golden Xan

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Yes, indeed, @Elveone. As I mentioned on the original post, I don't actually understand enough about music to be able to say what makes more sense for what situation. What I wanted to say with avoiding electronic elements is that I believe electronic sounds should be avoided. However, if an electronic or digital instrument can be used to make sounds that do not resemble artificiality at all, then it may be utilized for good effect in creating something different and useful.

Likewise, @Jerion 'Wyverntamer' Kràl, the accordion was a somewhat random attribution to the Wraith. I expect that the composers and sound designers working in the game will be able to identify what would be more fitting, together with help from the creative people behind the characters. But instruments in general can be played in multiple ways, emanating completely different feelings depending on how they are played, just like electronic elements can be used to make otherwordly sounds, or disco and cyberpunk sounds.
 

Roband

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Wow..

I did find curious the terms used in the Necroliberatas but i would never have guessed them to be actual musical terms, i also belived that "Deadhaus Sonata" was just a way of saying "The story/tale of Deadhaus" but it seems it's far more than that, it's going to be a recurring theme. The videos were very interesting, i really liked the parallel between the 2 themes of the sonata and an argument between 2 individuals.

I agree with Elveone about electronic music, if done right it can be very effective in setting the right mood for the situation at hand (as already mentioned Soul Reaver is a great example and it's a game with a dark/fantasy setting)
Also you don't have to do solo electronics pieces necessarily, you can also mix them with another genre to reinforce the main theme of the song (rock/metal, classic or whatever).
Or even when using it just for sound effects (we all think about the classic bass drop from movie trailers but you can do far more than that) you can still bring all sort of reactions on the spectator depending on your desires
I understand what Golden Xan means though: most electronic music pieces are usually in modern or sci-fi settings and this is a dark fantasy game.
Still, if done correctly (and Soul Reaver provides a great example of how it can be done correctly) i think it can only enrich the game

I already talked about chorus before: for the type of game/setting Dead haus is, to me is unthinkable not to have them

Speaking about classes, what about cellos or piano for wraiths? They can be pretty dark which i think represent well the mood for the class.
 
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Golden Xan

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When I think of the darker explorational or ambient theme, I like the chorus and instrumental monumentality of Hellfire from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. From 1:03 onwards:


I'm not saying this is the way it should be. I even think this is not somber enough. I'm saying this is the orchestral feeling that I believe the music should have (other examples of that would be the Two Steps From Hell songs). The chorus in this clip is at times too present, but epic in nature, which is a good thing.

When thinking about the Banshee-related chorus, I imagine it as something that builds up before she is revealed or riled up, similarly to what happens with the Witch in Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, progressing from near, to wandering, to angry:


But hopefully something better. This is just so you get the idea of the duality, or progression.

And lastly, when I think of combat and agitation, I think of the the shift to a pumping music like that of Prince of Persia - Warrior Within. It has, naturally, a Persian feeling to it in nature. Deadhaus would have its own elements and personality imbued in it.



This here is the game's ending song.

Hell, almost the entire soundtrack is representative of the action-packed music I'm thinking of. It could be even more so in Deadhaus.
A comment I've randomly read in one of the songs: "Back when games weren't afraid of having bad ass soundtrack".
Well, that's what I think the game should focus on. :)
 
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Roband

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When I think of the darker explorational or ambient theme, I like the chorus and instrumental monumentality of Hellfire from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. From 1:03 onwards:


I'm not saying this is the way it should be. I even think this is not somber enough. I'm saying this is the orchestral feeling that I believe the music should have (other examples of that would be the Two Steps From Hell songs). The chorus in this clip is at times too present, but epic in nature, which is a good thing.

When thinking about the Banshee-related chorus, I imagine it as something that builds up before she is revealed or riled up, similarly to what happens with the Witch in Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, progressing from near, to wandering, to angry:


But hopefully something better. This is just so you get the idea of the duality, or progression.

And lastly, when I think of combat and agitation, I think of the the shift to a pumping music like that of Prince of Persia - Warrior Within. It has, naturally, a Persian feeling to it in nature. Deadhaus would have its own elements and personality imbued in it.



This here is the game's ending song.

Hell, almost the entire soundtrack is representative of the action-packed music I'm thinking of. It could be even more so in Deadhaus.
A comment I've randomly read in one of the songs: "Back when games weren't afraid of having bad ass soundtrack".
Well, that's what I think the game should focus on. :)

Great post Golden Xan and i 100% agree for your last part. (y)

I will like to add just a thing: boss music

i think it should be very distinctive from everything you ear normally during the game, something that hits you and makes you realase the full weight of the encounter.

Maybe a mix of various genres? anyway in general i think it should be ominous and epic but also energic and engaging at the same time (it is a battle after all)

There are pleanty of ways to do that and planty of productions (not just games, also tv series, movies, anime..) that did exelent jobs in impressing the audience in this regard, too many to count

Just one example of boss music that really hit me, the battle with Revan from the game SWTOR


by the way the fact that i selected a version with electronic elements is totally a coincidence, it's not like i'm trying to convert you or anything :)
 
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Elveone

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On the topic of boss themes - I like it when the main boss theme is a reprisal of the main theme. Recently Hades did that with No Escape being the main(menu) theme and the end-boss theme God of the Dead being a heavier, more tense and epic version of the same track with additional acts that serve to resolve the tension built through the whole game. Which if you look at the whole soundtrack of the game in the way the player experiences it is kind of a loose sonata form if you think about it.
 
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