DOOM hit shelves back in May, and once we all recovered from the mind-melting awesomeness of the game, we had one lingering want. Fans around the world bombarded Bethesda with one simple request, and now they’ve been answered. Yes, the official DOOM Original Soundtrack has been released, and it is everything we could have asked for.
Created by Aussie composer Mick Gordon, this is more than just an audio rip of what’s in the game (those are already all over YouTube, and they pale in comparison to the real deal). This, my friends, is 31 tracks – 128 minutes – of pure DOOM energy, fresh from the depths of Hell. Gordon embraced the idea of the game’s Hell energy – Argent energy – and used that as inspiration for his creations, intentionally corrupting audio signals and playing with the sounds they made. He deliberately broke playback circuits, used electromagnetic interference to manipulate old cassette tapes, and forced his studio speakers to play sounds “so loud that they tear apart”.
Once you’ve got a good, solid, hearty meal you can give it an extra kick with a bit of chili. So, with music, you focus on creating a good solid groove to begin with and then add a bit of Hellish Habanero afterward. DOOM likes a lot of chili.
An homage to 70s and 80s concept albums, the DOOM soundtrack is divided into four chapters (I. DOGMA, II. DEMIGOD, III. DAKHMA, IV. DOOM) interspersed with the Titan monologues. The soundtrack follows the DOOM Marine’s path of destruction – and if you’ve played the game, you know just what to expect. This is a collection of completely rearranged and composed tracks from the game, plus a new remixed track from id Software’s Chad Mossholder, an entirely new piece from id Software’s Chris Hite, and “a few other surprises” for fans, particularly those who know (and love) Bobby Prince’s 1993 soundtrack to the original Doom.
Gordon explains that the starting point for his music is “angry 7, 8 and 9 string guitars, vintage Soviet synthesizers and punch-knuckle-smacked drums”:
When you’re making music for a videogame, often the music is broken apart into lots of tiny pieces like a giant jigsaw puzzle. The game engine stitches these puzzle pieces together depending on what the player is doing. It’s always different; you’ll get a different hacked-together song if you’re exploring, or fighting a lot of demons, or fighting a few demons, or a boss, or low on health, etc. It works really well for videogame music, but the downside is that there really aren’t any individual “songs” to listen to. So, for this soundtrack release, I took these little puzzle pieces and filled them out to create full songs, just like I would have if I were creating an album of DOOM music.
You can pick the album up from iTunes – where it rocketed into the #1 Soundtrack spot (and Top 5 in albums overall) – or Google Play (#1 in Soundtracks, #13 overall), or stream the whole deal via Spotify or (this admittedly lower-bitrate version) on YouTube. Find out more in Inside the Score and please, play this one loud.