The Mountain Goats Announces Dungeons & Dragons-Inspired Album
  • The Mountain Goats Announces Dungeons & Dragons-Inspired Album


    American rock band The Mountain Goats has just announced a new album called In League With Dragons, inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, and set for release on April 26th.





    My favorite quote from that NPR interview, "I am earnestly hoping that a new genre called "dragon noir" will spring from the forehead of nearly two years' work on these songs, but, if not, I am content for this to be the sole example of the style."

    And the song they include is excellent in my opinion. Very D&D.

    YOUNGER

    [Verse 1]
    Crank that siren high
    Drain the wellspring dry
    Map out your coordinates
    Send out scouts by day
    Dole out mercenary pay
    For restless young subordinates

    It never hurts to give thanks to the local gods
    You never know who might be hungry
    It never hurts to scan the windows on the upper floor
    I saw a face there once before when I was younger

    [Verse 2]
    Set the torch aflame
    Call the night by name
    Stake out your dark position
    Lie in wait
    By the gleaming city gate
    Try not to lose sight of the mission

    It never hurts to give thanks to the broken bones
    You had to use to build your ladder

    [Verse 3]
    Moment close at hand
    Half of you will never understand
    And it doesn't really matter
    Big smile on my face
    Capsule just in case
    Underneath my tongue

    Voices on the breeze
    I heard voices once like these when I was younger

    [Bridge]
    Blood rushing to my face
    I know that sweet warm taste
    And the bitter trace

    [Verse 4]
    Storm right down that hill
    If I donít, no one will
    Follow me right through the chaos
    This whole house is doomed
    Even the big parts get consumed
    Prepare a grave for Menelaus

    It never hurts to give thanks to the navigator
    Even when he's spitting out random numbers

    I knew what those figures meant
    And what they hoped to represent
    When I was younger
    [Outro: saxophone solo]
    Comments 30 Comments
    1. tmanbeaubien's Avatar
      tmanbeaubien -
      Song didn't inspire anything for me. Maybe it ties into the other songs on the album?? Lyrics were kinda all over the place suggesting stories, but didn't actually tell one.
    1. lyle.spade's Avatar
      lyle.spade -
      I had never heard of them before reading this, and so I listened to a snippet of their stuff on Amazon. If you're not familiar with them, they are a folksy mostly unplugged acoustic guitar-driven outfit with mostly slow songs. To me, RPGs, especially of the fantasy genre, will always be best scored with Metal. This stuff reminds me of the music that drove Bluto Blutarsky to smash that guy's guitar on the stairwell at the Delta house.

      If you like Lesbian Seagull, you'll dig the Mountain Goats.


      ...and after watching that video, I think many of you reading it will recognize the ATF team is just a group of PC Murder Hobos, on the job. Good stuff - solving problems the way players often do.
    1. Aldarc's Avatar
      Aldarc -
      Quote Originally Posted by lyle.spade View Post
      To me, RPGs, especially of the fantasy genre, will always be best scored with Metal.
      That explains the heavy metal scores that Howard Shore and Basil Poledouris composed for their highly acclaimed fantasy soundtracks.
    1. Flexor the Mighty! -
      Other of bands do this. Check out Gygax.

      And yes for me classic and power metal is the soundtrack for RPG games. When working on games stuff its Manilla Road, Virgin Steele, Manowar, Omen, Blind Guardian, Visigoth etc.
    1. lyle.spade's Avatar
      lyle.spade -
      To add to my case that Metal is for RPGs, please see below the lyrics to Judas Priest's "The Sentinel," from their "Defenders of the Faith" album.

      Along deserted avenues
      Steam begins to rise
      The figures primed and ready
      Prepared for quick surprise
      He's watchin' for a sign
      His life is on the line
      Dogs whine in the alleys
      Smoke is on the wind
      From deep inside its empty shell
      A cathedral bell begins to toll
      A storm begins to grow

      Sworn to avenge
      Condemn to Hell
      Tempt not the blade
      All fear the Sentinel

      Amidst the upturned burned-out cars
      The challengers await
      And in their fists clutch iron bars
      With which to seal his fate
      Across his chest is scabbards rest
      The rows of throwing knives
      Whose razor points in challenged tests
      Have finished many lives

      Now facing one another
      The stand-off eats at time
      Then all at once a silence falls
      As the bell ceases its chime
      Upon this sign the challengers
      With shrieks and cries rush forth
      The knives fly out like bullets
      Upon their deadly course
      Screams of pain and agony
      Rent the silent air
      Amidst the dying bodies
      Blood runs everywhere
      The figure stands expressionless
      Impassive and alone
      Unmoved by this victory
      And the seeds of death he's sown

      Sworn to avenge
      Condemn to Hell
      Tempt not the blade
      All fear the Sentinel

      I used this a few years ago as inspiration for a Big Bad guarding an important site in a DnD game.
    1. Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
      Ralif Redhammer -
      Neat! Itís a funny world we live in, where a fairly popular (I know they routinely sell out shows) band releases a D&D-inspired album. But Iím quite happy to be living in that world.

      As for metal, I certainly love my share of it. Rhapsody of Fire, Rainbow, Xandria, Blind Guardian, Black Sabbath, Emperor, Mayhem, and so on. Thereís plenty of fantasy-themed metal, but it hardly is exclusive to metal. Heck, going way back, how many albums have Space Rockers Hawkwind released inspired by Moorcock?
    1. lyle.spade's Avatar
      lyle.spade -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ralif Redhammer View Post
      Neat! Itís a funny world we live in, where a fairly popular (I know they routinely sell out shows) band releases a D&D-inspired album. But Iím quite happy to be living in that world.

      As for metal, I certainly love my share of it. Rhapsody of Fire, Rainbow, Xandria, Blind Guardian, Black Sabbath, Emperor, Mayhem, and so on. Thereís plenty of fantasy-themed metal, but it hardly is exclusive to metal. Heck, going way back, how many albums have Space Rockers Hawkwind released inspired by Moorcock?

      All true!

      And did you know that Lemmy, late of Motorhead, was a roadie for Hawkwind? You created a transition back to Metal, and maybe didn't know it.
    1. Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
      Ralif Redhammer -
      Roadie, bassist, and sometimes vocalist (See "Silver Machine," for example)!

      Quote Originally Posted by lyle.spade View Post
      And did you know that Lemmy, late of Motorhead, was a roadie for Hawkwind? You created a transition back to Metal, and maybe didn't know it.
    1. lyle.spade's Avatar
      lyle.spade -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ralif Redhammer View Post
      Roadie, bassist, and sometimes vocalist (See "Silver Machine," for example)!
      This guy deserves Inspiration! And Bennies! And Action Points!
    1. Gradine's Avatar
      Gradine -
      I'm a huge fan of The Mountain Goats; if anybody happens to be looking for a new podcast, you could do a lot worse than I Only Listen to The Mountain Goats, which features Night Vale creator Joseph Fink and John Darnielle (singer/songwriter for The Mountain Goats) talking about art and storytelling. If you dig their music at all I'd highly suggest checking it out.

      My understanding (which came second-hand from my partner, in any case) is that the album is meant to be something more akin to a rock opera (so telling a single story over the entire album) in which case, I think this song makes a pretty compelling intro/framing device; a singer reminiscing back to the D&D games of their youth. This is the most exciting D&D-related news for me since Eberron dropped on the DM's Guild.

      As an aside, I sometimes wish I had an ear for metal, but for a number of reasons it's just so much noise to me. Part of that might be guilt by association, but I think a lot of it has to do with my age; I'm of a generation and background that skipped over metal completely. I simultaneously feel both too old and too young for it.
    1. Birmy's Avatar
      Birmy -
      This makes sense, as Darnielle has always had pretty strong nerd tendencies ("Lovecraft in Brooklyn," anyone?). They haven't done an outright D&D album yet, but the band Thee Oh Sees has albums called Orc and Carrion Crawler; they're extremely prolific, so I'm convinced they'll eventually just check off everything in the Monster Manual for their album titles.
    1. lyle.spade's Avatar
      lyle.spade -
      I will take you under my wing, Gradine, and will help you learn the ways of Metal.
    1. doctorbadwolf's Avatar
      doctorbadwolf -
      Quote Originally Posted by lyle.spade View Post
      I had never heard of them before reading this, and so I listened to a snippet of their stuff on Amazon. If you're not familiar with them, they are a folksy mostly unplugged acoustic guitar-driven outfit with mostly slow songs. To me, RPGs, especially of the fantasy genre, will always be best scored with Metal. This stuff reminds me of the music that drove Bluto Blutarsky to smash that guy's guitar on the stairwell at the Delta house.

      If you like Lesbian Seagull, you'll dig the Mountain Goats.


      ...and after watching that video, I think many of you reading it will recognize the ATF team is just a group of PC Murder Hobos, on the job. Good stuff - solving problems the way players often do.
      Theyíve a couple/few hundred songs, so itís possible you just heard the slowest, most low key songs they have.

      Alternatively:

      Or:

      Or even:
    1. lyle.spade's Avatar
      lyle.spade -
      Quote Originally Posted by doctorbadwolf View Post
      Theyíve a couple/few hundred songs, so itís possible you just heard the slowest, most low key songs they have.

      Alternatively:

      Or:

      Or even:
      Thank you.
    1. MockingBird's Avatar
      MockingBird -
      I always attributed prog rock to D&D or fantasy in general. Most of the band Yes' album artwork can inspire your imagination.
    1. lyle.spade's Avatar
      lyle.spade -
      Quote Originally Posted by MockingBird View Post
      I always attributed prog rock to D&D or fantasy in general. Most of the band Yes' album artwork can inspire your imagination.
      Spot-on, MB. A collection of Yes and Kansas album covers alone are enough to inspire some adventures.
    1. doctorbadwolf's Avatar
      doctorbadwolf -
      As for metal as the soundtrack of dnd...eeeehh. I love metal, but Iím not tryin to write or run adventures while listening to the dude from Eluveitie scream and growl stuff I canít even understand. So, for me, metal is quite hit or miss for dnd music.

      I frequently get inspired by TMG for dnd characters and stories, though, along with a wide range of other bands and artists.

      Hell, Iíve got two characters whose internal struggle and tragedy is best summarized by Ed Sheeran songs! (Castle On The Hill for my halfling warlock who can never go home like he dreams of doing, and I See Fire for my Gnomish sailor whose crew were murdered by a necromancer)

      Another, my Eberron Shadar-Kai monk is perhaps best summarized by two AFI songs (Prelude 20/21 is for his days as a gladiatorial slave, and So Beneath You for his disdain of gods and their churches. So Beneath You is also the perfect song for any Blood of Vol Seeker) and a song by Kyla La Grange called Vampire Smile, about being dangerous to those whom you want to be near.

      My wifeís characters are like 98% metal, though.
    1. lyle.spade's Avatar
      lyle.spade -
      Eberron? I believe that the theme song to the Mourning is Gojira's "From the Sky." Listen to that and imagine a wavefront of magic fire and fury blasting across the landscape, engulfing and blowing over things.
    1. reelo's Avatar
      reelo -
      Bal-Sagoth: To Dethrone The Witch-Queen Of Mytos K'Unn (The Legend Of The Battle Of Blackhelm Vale)



      O' grim gods of battle, empower us this night...
      Anoint us with the crimson rain, feed our steel with slaughter...
      Let every blow be a killing blow, grant us victory, or a warrior's death.
      Come, moon-fogs, Descend to cloak our numbers, the heady scent of battle
      beckons,
      My ash-hafted spear feels good in my hands, girt 'round with spells (our flesh
      gloriously) woad anointed,
      Ravens awaiting slaughter soar high above, blood-worms bloat on red carnage,
      I'll carve the moon-wheel in their flesh, as havoc churns the heather!

      A swirling mantle of mist-magic swathes us, powerful spells woven by the
      fen-witches of the great mere... Deep night and moon-mist shall be our allies
      as we surge into the fray! At my bidding, the fog clears for a brief moment,
      and I gaze down upon the v alley to behold the army of the Witch-Queen...
      great tents arrayed upon the heather, powerful steeds tethered, the light from
      countless burning brands illumining the night, many warriors standing, weapons
      in hand... aye, all sword fodder.

      Entwined in war-fogs...
      Entwined by war-spells...
      Blessed in blood as raven-saters, slake the thirst of steel burning bright,
      Reap the harvest of spilled entrails, we'll return with many heads this night.
      The death-ravening black fury fills me,
      The spatter of hot blood seet on my lips,
      This yard of steel sings a deadly song in my grasp!
      Cleaving bodies left and right, a head falls with each swing of my blade,
      A storm of shafts screaming form yew-bows, (through their armoured ranks we
      shall) carve a path with steel, a blood-drenched swath!

      And the thirst of the earth shall be slaked with blood at the fields of
      carnage...
      A staggering sea of crimson, a towering mountain of ravaged flesh,
      All enraptured by the searing kiss of steel,
      All surfeit from supping deep of the grim chalice of battle...

      Brooding gods of the north, display to these outlander thralls thine ire,
      Envenom our blades with the death-kiss of a thousand serpents,
      Unfetter the dread war-wolves within us,
      That their claws may rend, and their jaws may be reddened.

      The bloodying is at hand!
      My spear hammers into the chest of a warrior, and bright blood erupts
      from his lips as he falls to the heather. I turn aside a vicious swordthrust
      and my own blade snakes out to cleave the neck of the attacker, shearing
      through his veins in a shower of d ark red. An enemy blade opens my shoulder
      to the bone, but I sweep my axe out in a deadly arc, its iron head rending
      armour and biting deep into flesh. Talus Ebonfyre's abdomen yawns open and he
      staggers back as his intestines spew forth in a pulsing mas s. I sunder his
      head with another blow as he falls and his skull yields to spill its steaming
      contents to the earth. As I watch, a writhing, shadowy form rises from the
      smitten corpse of the Witch-Queen's warlord and flees howling into the
      night... I vau lt to the saddle of a riderless black war-horse and seize the
      banner of Mytos-K'unn... for every one of us that has fallen, we have taken
      five of the enemy screaming with us... the battle is ours!

      Bright moon, gleam o'er moor and heather, wood and vale, deep fen and
      lake, Grim mountains crowned with snows, great rings of stones, black 'neath
      the stars, The storms extol our ancient glory, great mounds feed us, power
      from the sacred earth. With faith and steel we walk our shadowed paths, our
      blood runs as fire, swords blessed by sorcery.

      Wolves of the north, raise thine steel to the skies, revel in the pride of
      your wounds,
      Let our victory-song ride the winds of this blood-gorged eve,
      For on this night of red swords we have wrought a legend,
      Forged in the fires of our rage, and tempered with the spilled blood of the
      slain...

      O' grim gods of battle, empower us this night and always,
      Anoint us with the crimson rain, forever feed our steel with slaughter...
      Let every blow be a killing blow, grant us eternal victory, 'til we die a
      warrior's death.
    1. Flexor the Mighty! -
      I wouldn't use Eluveitite either, or death metal. Flexor's theme song would be Hail and Kill by Manowar most likely. Maybe Victory is mine by Virgin Steele. Somethign epic and powerful and dripping with glory.
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