The Old scrolls The video game series has long been known and loved for its exceptional soundtracks. Most recently, composer Brad Derrick composed the music for Elder Scrolls Online and all its extensions and updates. But the world of Tamriel is about to have a new sound, with heavy metal band Trivium joining in the fun.
Trivium singer, guitarist and famous Twitch streamer Matt Heafy released two new songs today in collaboration with the Zenimax Online Studios (ZOS) team: one from Trivium the band and one from Heafy himself. We sat down with Heafy, Derrick, and ZOS Studio Director Matt Firor to find out how it all came about.
One of the songs is Heafy’s version of a bard song (and book) found in ESO called Reach Witch Chant. A slow and ultimately heavy rendition with a mix of both rising and screaming vocals, Heafy’s version brings Trivium’s fierce style to a classic Tamriel bard song.
The other new song, The Phalanx, will be included on Trivium’s upcoming album, In the Court of the Dragon. A 7-minute assault of metal with killer riffs and crazy time signatures, The Phalanx was originally written for the band’s fourth studio album, but was never completed.
“This song was originally written for our fourth album, but I couldn’t figure out how to finish the middle,” Heafy said. As for Reach Witch Chant, he noted that it already sounded like it could be heavy metal, so he just turned it into the ESO-inspired tune that he has become. The song video even includes ESO gameplay.
Heafy himself is a self-described hardcore gamer and streamer, bringing together Old scrolls and his music made sense. “When I heard ‘ESO wants to work with you’ I thought it sounded amazing! ”
For ZOS Studio Director Matt Firor, Old scrolls and Trivium was a perfect match.
“We all start from Tolkien, with themes that flow from that, dark and light,” he said. “We tell stories visually, Trivium channels them into catchy music. We wanted to reach out to them, not just because they’re a great band, but thematically similar.
“We thought it would be great if they did their own turn on a bard song,” Firor continued. “So Matt took this song (Reach Witch Chant), which already sounds like the intro to a heavy metal song, and made it the intro to a heavy metal song. We’re really happy to be able to bring that kind of cool content and vibe at ESO.
For his part, composer Brad Derrick sees himself as a bridge between game development and musician. So when the opportunity arose to work with Heafy, he knew it was a great game.
“We gave Matt a handful of bard songs to choose from and we said, ‘Give us your most metal song,’” Derrick said. “The DNA of the metal is already there (in Old scrolls music), so Matt found it and blew it up.
Heafy, a self-proclaimed fan of all things Old scrolls, was a player long before he became a metalhead.
“Games have been a big part of my life,” Heafy said. “I started playing games at 4 and joined Trivium at 13. I never hesitated to say that one of my goals in life was to get into soundtrack games.
With Heafy and Trivium now contributing to the sounds of Tamriel, the Elder Scrolls Online never be the same again. Reach Witch Chant and The Phalanx are both available now.