Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The 10 best bands to play Doom to.

Doom is a great game with a great soundtrack, and a game that's still being played today. Some of you may not know this, but many of the songs from Doom and Doom 2 were based on popular heavy metal songs. Occasionally they fall under the category of "similar yet legally distinct" and sometimes they're just blatant plagiarism. However the fact remains that filching songs from Metallica, Pantera, Alice In Chains, AC/DC and the like has set the stage perfectly: Doom is fucking metal.

But however there are situations where you might want to turn down the music and play your own. Perhaps you're sick of it, want something higher than MIDI quality or you're playing a PWAD that didn't bother to put in any new music. So here are the 10 best bands to play Doom to.

And not just Doom, but pretty much any game of a similar nature.

1. Slayer

In his review of the Atari Jaguar, the Angry Video Game Nerd mentioned how the Jaguar version of Doom is pretty good, but lacks any type of music. He said "Crank up the Slayer" and he couldn't be more right. Slayer are my favorite band to blast Imps to and the frantic thrash metal gets your adrenaline pumping. You may actually be better at Doom while blasting slayer.

Recommended album: The Christ Illusion

2. Iced Earth

I discovered this wonderful fit by accident as an Iced Earth song came on as I played a WAD. These guys are a potent mix of Power Metal and Thrash and their subject matter usually fits well with Doom's hellish environs. Just avoid the last two albums, and you're good to go.

Recommended album: Alive in Athens

3. Celtic Frost

Celtic Frost have done just about every type of metal, and they probably have an album for any WAD or level you could mention. I found "Monotheist" works really well with any WAD where you're in pitched battles with hundreds of enemies at once. So dig out Hell Revealed and some Celtic Frost and crank the fucker up to twelve.

Recommended album: Monotheist

4. Opeth

Sometimes, adrenaline isn't what you need, sometimes you need to calm down and get into a zone. Opeth's melodic and intricate melodies and acoustic passages are great to get you in a zone, and even when they're heavy they tend to be calming. Actually there's precious few situations that listening to Opeth wouldn't improve. Playing Doom? Opeth. Driving to the store? Opeth. Taking a shit? Opeth. They're great for all occasions.

Recommended album: Deliverance

5. Metallica

No shit, right? Metallica unwittingly lent their song "Master of Puppets" to the original Doom, so it's already a perfect fit. The fact that the album it comes from is one of the best albums ever doesn't hurt either. Just about any Metallica album will improve your doom experience.

Recommended album: Master of Puppets

6. Pantera

Pantera are another band off the original Doom soundtrack and the real deal works even better. As much as I like the old Glam shit they used to do, you definitely need their more popular Groove Metal to go on this. Picking an album can be hard, but just about anything works. They'll get your blood pumping and they gel with the game in the same sort of way as Iced Earth. So just fucking do it.

Recommended album: Vulgar Display of Power

7. Katatonia

Katatonia goes well with calmer, more atmospheric maps. Playing something that focuses less on pitched battles and more on creepy atmosphere? These guys are perfect for that. Their mix of Doom and Death Metal will also not sound wimpy when you do get to those big battles. You'll definitely want the older material though.

Recommended album: Brave Murder Day

8. Dream Theater

Dream Theater won't work with just any map, and you're probably best off making a mixed playlist. Some of the more sci-fi/futuristic maps work well with DT however, and there was even a WAD called "Scientist 2" that used MIDIs of the band as a soundtrack. They also go well with more puzzle oriented maps. Dream Theater is a niche choice for Doom, but every now and then you might want to use them for a WAD.

Recommended album: Train of Thought

9. Megadeth

I've heard MIDI versions of Megadeth on more than a few PWADS and it's really no surprise. Megadeth gets you good and pissed off, and so you should use them for hard maps. Anything that's been giving you problems works better with Dave's angry snarl filling your speakers.

Reccomended album: Rust in Peace

10. Ulver

Experimental, ambient, creepy and just patently bizarre; Ulver is the band to play when you need something different. Best played with gothic type maps or anything with a very creepy flair, turn off the lights and blast these guys and you'll lose yourself in the game. Ulver also works really well for fans of the more ambient Doom soundtracks from the Playstation and Nintendo 64 versions.

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