Music Mining

I was quite amused when I first read the Dark Heresy core rule book on involving the chaos gods in the roleplaying elements of the game. It came with a warning not to take any of it seriously. I mean, after all. What’s the worst that can happen?

Anyway, this Chaos Music Tribute series is proving to be an interesting challenge.

Raziel4707 mentioned how he prefers grindcore style music for Khorne. I’ve listened to that style of music before with its thick lyrics and wild instrumentals and yeah, that’s pretty Berzerker wild. I considered for a while using it in my list, but I decided on more coherent music. My goal was to encourage Khornite thinking, as opposed to music that basically makes you feel like murder.

But it does create doubt. I listen to a piece and feel it is good. But is Khorne enough? Perhaps not. But I have to look at what I’m doing objectively, and recognizing when the point is made and when it is not. So on those grounds, I feel that I made the right decisions.

I actually finished both Nurgle’s and Tzeentch’s yesterday, but I hesitated about releasing them. I had issues about Tzeentch’s because, although happy with two-thirds of the music, I want to replace three songs. And I worried about some controversial content with Nurgle’s tribute.

But this morning, I reread Nurgle’s tribute careful. I combed over the words and felt I had kept myself safe from any controversy by pointing out the debate rather than engaging in it. I cited my sources, accept that the debate may still be raging. Feeling it’s good, I posted.

I’m actually going to hold off on unveiling Tzeentch’s until Sunday. I just want a little time to find better music for those three I’m not impressed with. So until then, I’ll finish up Slaanesh’s first. Just songs relating to sex, luxury, excess, you name it. Easy peasy.

Chaos Music Tributes: Nurgle

The lord of all!

The lord of all!

Imagine spending a load of time trying to build a sand castle. You gather wet sand from the beach, pile it up, and pat it down. You shape it, mold it and construct it and after a lot of effort, it’s done. And it looks so good, people stop and watch because of how impressed they are.

But then your little brother comes along and in an act of infantile glee, stomps it all back into sand. He doesn’t understand that the art of creation takes so long, and that the act of destruction take the merest fraction of that time. But emotionally, that doesn’t matter to you in the least because your work is ruined.

Now you know how Tzeentch feels around his brother Nurgle.

The polar opposite of Tzeentch, Nurgle is the deity of disease, rot and decay at the highest tiers of his representation. As you go down the scale, he is also the god of morbidity, nihilism, and despair. Why bother scheming, planning and working so hard for a better life when you’re just going to die anyway?

It’s interesting then that Nurgle’s followers tend to be joyous and unusually happy, as if they perceive the efforts of all their enemies to be in vain. Nurgle’s followers are frequently known for being strangely friendly even to their foes, like some relative who has no sense of personal boundaries. The grand irony, and perhaps source of this good humor, is that while Nurgle’s foes may resist and fight him, they will be his postmortem anyway.

This is why Nurgle goes by the title of ‘Lord of All.’

Who the hell would consciously want to be a follower of Nurgle? Not many, but there are a few. Some homeless, for example, exhibit traits and actions that suggest a lack of hope. They do not bathe or do anything to improve their quality of life. As they gather filth and rot, we often see these people and try to figure some rational explanation, believing that no one would possibly want to live like this. While I won’t venture into the thorny topic of why they can’t or won’t change their life, these folks would be prime fodder for Nurgle’s blessing.

As if that wasn’t controversial enough, another example of that morbid despair lies in the actions of Gaëtan Dugas, a person some theorize to be “patient zero” of the AIDS outbreak. Whether or not Dugas actually was patient zero isn’t the point, but rather his actions. Supposedly, despite knowing of his condition, Dugas continued to sleep with many different partners across the United States despite seemingly knowing of his condition. According to Snopes, he is said to have once stated to one of his partners, “I’ve got gay cancer. I’m going to die and so are you.”

And that is the kind of despair that Nurgle would feed upon.

Nurgle calls upon anything of general horror and creepiness to depression, and the music below reflects that in a manic depressive manner. The link at the end is to a playlist of all these songs. Songs without lyrics are marked with an asterisks (*):

  1. Misery Loves Company Rad Remix, by Emilie Autumn.
  2. Nightmare, by Nox Arcana.*
  3. Silent Hill 2 – Promise (Reprise), by Akira Yamaoka.*
  4. Down with the Sickness, by Disturbed.
  5. 28 Days Later – In a Heartbeat, by London Music Works.*
  6. The Dark Knight – Why So Serious?, by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard.*
  7. Diablo 3 – Act I Zombie Music, by Russell Brower.*

Feel Grandpa Nurgle’s love, in playlist form.

Oh, P.S. I was tempted for a long minute to add The Great Mighty Poo song from Conker’s Bad Fur Day to the playlist. I decided not to in the end because of the grossness of it, but I felt it necessary to mention it at the very least.

Fulgrim

Not enough coffee for a witty remark this morning...

Not enough coffee for witty remarks just yet.

I’m not going to lie. I was a little adverse to reading this book for a short while. Let’s just say it’s an American thing many of us picked up in the 80s and 90s, when our heroes weren’t supposed to be beautiful. Guys like Bruce Willis and Kurt Russell played these bad ass roles where their characters were injured and made unattractive in the course of their conflict.

Oddly, if this book had come to me about 10 years ago and I had been into Warhammer 40k back then, I would have been all over it. In the past I was more into Japanese animation with heroes so gorgeous, the line between masculine and feminine disappears. I’m long over my pretty boy phase.

Another thing to discuss came up when I was talking to a friend. Also a Warhammer fan, he asked me what the real danger of Slaanesh was. The problems of Nurgle and Khorne were obvious, the threat of Tzeentch was more subtle but still there.

What is the threat Slaanesh really imposes? It’s a problem every parent faces for their pubescent teenage children. There is the threat of STDs and pregnancy. Obsessions too are an aspect, like a relationship where one side is far more possessive than what is reasonable. And then there are those whose limitations are so small, it’s dangerous. Like David Carradine.

And not just sex, since he is the lord of excess. It’s an issue when someone drinks themselves to death on alcohol, or eats their way to a heart attack. And I think anyone who has met a serious artist has seen some antics that worry them, such as the artist not eating or sleeping to finish their workload. There are drug users as well, some of whom push themselves into over dosing at times. Slaanesh is a god you don’t see coming because he is in the most mundane of activities we take for granted as being human.

I write all this because it’s what I gathered from reading Fulgrim by Graham McNeill. It’s a perspective changer. My rantings above were not a digression from the review. They are the point. McNeill takes the reader on a wild ride that blows several stereotypes and misconceptions out of the water. And the story that unfolds from the pages is disturbing and sobering enough that even non-Warhammer 40k fans will find something of value here, as McNeill succeeds in making the line between fan and casual book reader thinner than ever before.