Chaos Music Tributes: Tzeentch

The changer of ways...

The changer of ways...

Whew. Tzeentch. Mmm.

I have to admit, although Tzeentch is my favorite of the four Chaos gods, he is tricky in more ways than one. Of the four Chaos gods, he is the least tangible. For example, the other three gods have associated bodily fluids, but not Tzeentch. His icons, like birds, books and hour glasses, tend to be vast and many, but never deep or clear.

Even the symbol is open to interpretation; Nurgle’s is a bio-hazard warning, Khorne’s a stylized skull and that of Slaanesh overlapping gender symbols. But Tzeentch’s isn’t so obvious.

Some believe Tzeentch’s emblem is a flaming torch while others see a snake or smoke, or perhaps even some kind of water bird. But, like any god of change, magic, trickery and scheming, it doesn’t want to be easily defined. The less tangible and more shapeless it is, the more easily it can take a new form.

On the plus side, this lack of clarity makes Tzeentch a very versatile god to work with writing wise. Plots, magic, scheming, trickery, change, mutations, hope, psychic powers and secrecy are all his calling cards. Tzeentch and his followers are always playing with a loaded deck, and frequently leave their victims a few cards short of one. It also leaves for very few contradictions, as we get with Khorne.

One thing of interest is that, ultimately, Tzeentch constantly seeks power over others and at all times. This at times sets up conflicts with his brother Nurgle, who is all about letting go, and Slaanesh.

Why Slaanesh? Neil Strauss’ book, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists gives one pretty good example of it. In the book, Style (Strauss’ code name) joins a group of self improvement obsessed men who are trying to get luckier with the ladies. But in the course of the book, he learns that some men are less interested in fun and good times, and more interested in power and domination over their fellow man.

Another example can be found in questions of money. Money is definitely a source of power to some, but it can also be followed to the point of excess. Gold for example is a constant indication of wealth. But while some might obtain and horde it as a source of power and influence, others wear it out of vanity, such as Xerxes from 300. He hungered for power, but justified it through belief in his inherent divinity. However, he also flirted with excess in the gold he wore, his slaves, his concubines and very potent hubris.

Here’s the music at last, with a focus on mysticism, power and magic. Music without lyrics is marked with an asterisks (*), while the link at the very bottom is to a playlist of all these songs. Oh, and the first one was chosen because of how I feel it relates to the conflicts of Magnus the Red:

  1. A Demon’s Fate, by Within Temptation.
  2. Macross Plus – Information High, by Yoko Kanno.
  3. Fable 2 – Bowerstone Market, by Danny Elfman and Russell Shaw.*
  4. Mind Heist, by Zack Hemsey.*
  5. 300 – Xerxes’ Tent, by Tyler Bates.*
  6. Battlestar Galactica – The Shape of Things to Come, by Bear McCreary.*
  7. Gladiator – Am I Not Merciful?, by Hans Zimmer.*
  8. Two Steps from Hell – Heart of Courage, by Nick Phoenix and Thomas J. Bergersen.*
  9. The Illusionist – The Chase, by Philip Glass.*

All hail the architect of fate with post 99!

Further Musical Musings

Still a fan favorite.

Still a fan favorite.

The first three are stranger pieces. If you’re not in the mood for anything weird, skip directly to number four.

  1. Laguna Indigo, by Liquid Mind.
    This will probably put you to sleep, but if that’s your intention. Something like scientific discovery.
  2. Russia, by Magna Canta.
    Gregorian hymns, turned into techno!
  3. Source #2, by Jerry Goldsmith.
    80s sci fi music awwww yeaaaaaaaaah…
  4. I Am Legend – Main Theme, by James Newton Howard.
    I Am Legend was both good and bad. The downside was that they took the original story and tossed it under a speeding bus. The good was Will Smith‘s acting, given that the movie was basically a one man show.
  5. Sunshine – What Do You See, by John Murphy & Underworld.
    I think the word for this is, ‘illumination.’ Never heard of Sunshine though.
  6. The Illusionist – Orange Tree, by Philip Glass.
    I found this one while scrounging fan favorite lists. Pretty damn magical piece from the movie that has earned a spot on my playlist.
  7. Letters From Iwo Jima – Theme, by Kyle Eastwood.
    A piano heavy piece with a lot of sorrow somewhere in it, yet without slowing down. It mixes military band music in it, especially towards the end. Never saw the movie however.
  8. Neon Genesis Evangelion – Thanatos, by Masamichi Amano.
    Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the most rewarding anime shows for people to watch, if they can get over the fact that it looks like a cartoon. The soundtrack is eclectic and although you will not find it suitable for everything, a few pieces will probably fit your purposes.
  9. Eight Warriors of the Demon Clan, Ninja Scroll OST.
    I recently watched Ninja Scroll against for the first time in ages. Sadly, it was better in my memories than on the screen. The movie’s plot was still amazing as was the art, but I forgot how lackluster the animation was compared to today. That, and I watched it dubbed which is always heart tearing bad. On the bright side, I never noticed the amazing soundtrack until now.
  10. Carmina Burana – O Fortuna, by Carl Orff.
    This is one of those rare exceptions I make with the lyrics. The words are sung in Latin. But the song is powerful nonetheless.