Saturday, September 27, 2014

Brimstone Background Music

Having background or 'theme' music on while gaming is really a double-edged sword. If all players know the game well and don't have severe ADHD then it can be a real mood-enhancer for a thematic game. Like playing spooky sounds in a Halloween/Ravenloft game or Daft Punk in the background of a Cyberpunk game. But if you are trying to teach the rules to people then the background music, no matter how good, can be distracting and bring the game to a halt. Note: In all cases background music should be just that, in the background, and therefore at a very low volume during the game.

As most of you know, Flying Frog Productions always includes a self-published Soundtrack CD in each of their boardgames. These are a very mixed bag of synthesized and digitized original compositions by FFP. The digital music's okay most of the time, if a little rough, but the games themselves last far longer than the CD, so the songs get old, fast. Often by the fifth turn someone is ready to fling that CD right out of the window. Shadows of Brimstone has the best FFP soundtrack CD yet in my opinion and I genuinely like it, but even that album gets booed out of the room when I have more music-discerning players over for a game of Brimstone. Nevertheless the dark old west-style theme of Shadows does yearn for a good background soundtrack, and I believe I've stumbled upon an alternative soundtrack for Shadows of Brimstone.

Iron Horse: Fade to Bluegrass

Iron Horse takes Metal and Rock songs and churns them through the Bluegrass-ifier. Metallica's songs lend themselves surprisingly well to Bluegrassification, so the resultant compositions on Iron Horse's two-volume Metallica Tribute Album (Fade to Bluegrass) have a real familiar-but-creepy feel to them. Perfect for Brimstone!

PS: Another benefit is that Iron Horse is available for unlimited streaming on Amazon Prime, if like me you've already signed away your soul and first born to the Overlords of Amazon.
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