This October we’re celebrating “Horror Month” on the Full Sail Blog. Stay tuned over the coming weeks for a series of features and interviews celebrating the best in horror entertainment.
Eyal Levi is the guitarist of the death metal band Daath and the co-owner of Audiohammer Studios, one of the most popular recording studios in the country for metal bands today. According to Eyal, if you can think of a name of a modern metal band, they’ve probably recorded at Audiohammer. He’ll be on campus today to speak to students about the realities of the music industry at 11 a.m. in FS4E-Room 103.
With Eyal being a metal music expert, and October being Horror Month on FullSailBlog, we wanted to get his take on the use of metal music in so many new horror films and get some of his favorite examples. It took an unexpected – but interesting – turn.
“Metal is an extremely negative genre of music and horror movies are an extremely negative genre [of film], so the two most negative genres in both art forms can seem to go together,” Eyal says. “But I don’t really think that metal music sounds great in horror movies. They [film execs] tend to use what your common non-metal listener would think is metal. Except for Rob Zombie. He gets a pass.”
A fan of the classic horror films (“they have this gritty sort of feel to them and you can believe the things were actually happening”), it’s the classical, orchestral compositions that Eyal thinks are the best uses of music to accompany those creepy scenes.
“I think the orchestral scores are great. Like in The Shining, they use a very atonal and, for lack of a better term, scary sounding piece of music,” says Eyal. “It’s absolutely unnerving to listen to. You can have an anxiety attack listening to the music itself. Stanley Kubrick did a ton of research on preexisting [orchestral] pieces to fit his visuals.”
We asked Eyal for his favorite examples of creepy-sounding orchestral music in horror movies. His picks are below.
Modest Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain,” from Asylum, the 1972 British horror film that was released in the U.S. under the name House of Crazies.
George Crumb’s “Night of the Electric Insects,” from the 1973 classic, The Exorcist.
Béla Bartók’s “Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta” from The Shining.