Recently, I had the good fortune to have a chat with composer, sound designer and all-around top bloke Mick Gordon. You might recognise the name from DOOM, Wolfenstein, Prey and Killer Instinct. You might have also seen him performing live at the Game Awards a couple of years ago. Gordon gave me some time while he was preparing to speak at the Game Masters exhibition in Canberra.
Inevitably, the topic of DOOM Eternal came up. I was curious about the death metal choir he had put out a call for in January 2019. As a fan of metal, I wanted to find out which vocalists would be part of the choir and what a death metal choir actually is.
Gordon wasn’t able to give me as many details as I’d hoped since DOOM Eternal is still under wraps, but I was able to learn a bit about the DOOM Eternal metal choir and who’d be singing in it.
Or is that screaming?
DOOM Eternal Metal Choir
Gordon told me that he had travelled to Austin, Texas during South by Southwest to record the choir. Members of the choir included Sven de Caluwé from Aborted and Tony Campos from Fear Factory. Ministry and Static-X. Other vocalists included in the choir are;
- James Dorton – Black Crown Initiate
- Ben Crossbones – Arkane Studios Sound Designer
- Rae Amitay – Immortal Bird
- Chelsea Murphy – Dawn of Ouroboros
- Nature Ganganbaigal – Tengger Cavalry
- Natalie Kahan – Wildspeaker
- James Rivera – Helstar
- Tre Watson
- Chelsea Strickland – Accursed Creator
- Wesley Merrit – The World I Knew
- Linzey Rae – The Anchor
He told me that the idea for DOOM Eternal’s heavy metal choir came from a desire to find “something new and interesting.” To Gordon, games are often similar;
You pick up a gun, you shoot some baddies that’s kind of it. Or you get in a car and you race around and you race for two reasons; either you’re racing or the cops are chasing you, and that’s kind of it.
When you’re looking at the same thing again, first-person, gun in my hands, shooting some sort of enemy, alien, demon, you have to look further.
So when it came time to create the music for DOOM Eternal, Gordon told me he wanted to “do the most metal thing possible.” He’s quick to assure me he doesn’t mean that in a corny way either. The idea of a choir started because Gordon was thinking of using a choir for the soundtrack and had used one for DOOM 2016.
However, he thought that using a baroque choir wasn’t right as it didn’t have any links to DOOM Eternal. The idea of using metal screamers just came to him, he told me and from there the metal choir was born.
Gordon said that there are about 24 or 25 vocalists featured in the DOOM Eternal metal choir. The recording session took place on one single day and according to Gordon, it was an amazing experience.
We just had a group of metalheads. And we had a whole day with them in this amazing recording setup thing that we made and that was incredible.
I’ve never done anything like that before. That was a first and that was mind-blowing for sure. So it’ll be a while before we top that one, put it that way.
Thanks to Mick Gordon for his time.
DOOM Eternal will be available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One March 20, 2020. It will be available for Nintendo Switch at a later date in 2020.