While there are too many artists and band out there to even begin to compile a list on atmospheric music I thought I would at least give you a few good ones I use regularly both for my role playing sessions and while we play 40K.
I think most of you have overseen these three artists in the maelstrom of music and impression here in the internet. If I’m lucky a few of you will have found something new you will want to put on for the next game.
The first question is what kind of atmosphere do you want to convey as you play? There are some really good movie scores out there to add to a playlist if you have the time. The works of Hans Zimmer or Atli Örvarson have had their share of playtime during my visits to the grimdark. Especially Atli’s Babylon A.D. soundtrack with lots of inspiration from the catholic requiem. Just play the song Babylon Requiem from that album and you can almost see the majestic and dark scenes from any 40k novel.
But I’m getting sidetracked, I wasn’t going to go into movie scores since that would be an epic post in itself. Instead I wanted to tell you about a forgotten genre called Dark Ambient and the grim soundscapes that you find there. It isn’t much in the way of music, instead you get the perfect frame from a dark story.
I have three really good, atmospheric artists for you today. These are top of the Ambient Dark and they make, in my opinion, simply perfect backdrops for a game of 40K. I use Spotify and you can find them on that platform but most of it can be found on YouTube as well if you don’t use Spotify.
Brian Williams set the standard for Dark ambiance in the 90ies with his Heresy-album. He makes music under the very grimdark artist name Lustmord and has been known to use recordings from crypts and cathedrals in his soundscapes. If you haven’t listened to him and you need a very dark background music this is the artist you should start out with.
While I can’t find out much more than that the album Legacy of Cthulhu was released 2010 this is a solid album of dark soundscapes and simple melodies inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft. Not as ambient as Lustmord but it’s still a good background music for your games.
Another brilliant dark soundscape inspired by the great old ones. Their albums all tell a grimdark tale but without any lyrics to distract. Their last album Ether is so perfect, like watching the latest creation from Helgewilhelm or Ex Profundis
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What music do you listen to as you play a good game of 40K? Is music even something you think about as a mood setter? Tell me about your great albums for a grimdark evening below.
Would you like me to to do another post about music that inspire my grimdark?