"You Died"

Due to Dark Souls' morbid themes of death, death and more death many people expected a song that would be dark, ominous and full of angst. I preferred to make a song that was more fun and completely took the piss out of my utter inability to master the game. The intro is long, dark and ominous but in a cartoonish, over the top manner, like the intro to a children's Halloween musical or something. The only really serious part was the middle "sun's rays" part, which some people also had an issue with but I'll get to that in a bit.

Just before Christmas I bought a sofware program called Kontakt. What this lets me do is pick from a selection of reasonably realistic sounding orchestral instruments and play them through my keyboard, through MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). "Sovngarde Song" was the test subject for the program and most would agree it worked out quite well. This month's two songs relied heavily on this software, one for its main riff and the other for every single instrument. It was fun to do something different and jump out of my "drums, guitar and synths" comfort zone and I do hope to try it again sometime soon.

I layered up an absolute shit-ton of vocals on this one. The intro alone has over 24 vocal tracks all singing together, as well as a choir effect from the keyboard. I like it because it sounds huge and powerful.

Lyrically the song is written mainly from the point of view of the game itself, a first for me. It is as if the game is a twisted, sadistic living being that taunts, trolls and tortures you as you die over and over and again, laughing gleefully at you every time you fail. It's how I felt playing the game to be honest. I knew lots of players would laugh and relate to the graveyard line, almost everyone who played the game got annihalated in there at the start of their adventure.

The "look to the sun's rays part" was meant to represent those few glorious moments where the game lets you take a breather and admire a beautiful vista. In any other game it's a pleasantry but in Dark Souls it is a rare and therefore extra special thing, full of joy, peace and relief. Hence why that section was softer and more serious sounding than the cartoonish mocking vocals in the rest of the song.

An interesting and pointless trivia, my girlfriend slept through the entire vocal session on this song, in the same room. I never usually record vocal tracks while she's in the room but she fell asleep behind me in the middle of the afternoon and I wanted to get it done that day. She said she had some strange dreams, I imagine it was rather odd hearing someone yelling "You Died!" over and over while you sleep, ha!

The very sharp and abrupt ending is meant to sound like a rage quit. If you listen carefully right at the end you can hear a controller being thrown, taken from my pathetically noobish Let's Play on YouTube.

Criticisms:

It was a bit short.

So are your lives in Dark Souls.

Why does it take so long to get going? There's no singing for an entire minute.

The intro is far too long.

Have you ever seen a musical? Listened to an opera, a 70's or prog rock song? There is nothing wrong with a long intro. It is there to add a dynamic. I'm amazed anyone who played Dark Souls, or games in general for that matter, could have such a short attention span.

This song seemed more like it was to reflect the player's frustration and misery as opposed to the game's grim atmosphere, and as such is hilarious.

Yeah this was one of those songs that seemed to make more sense to those who played the game, which is understandable.

Honestly I thought that the song kind of sucked and the video could of been better than having a bunch of dumb deaths.

Oh, totally agree. A song about dying over and over in a videogame should never be accompanied by a video of someone dying over and over in a videogame. What possible connection is there between the two?

You're going from bad to worse.

Why, thank you.

Dark Souls is easy.

You're cool.

The tone was all over the place. First it was jokey and then it was serious. WTF.

So ... humor and serious things must be mutually exclusive? Not in my mind.

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