Friday, March 30, 2018

Music to Game to: Ensemble Pearl - Ensemble Pearl

I listen to a lot of music (over 40 days worth in 2017 according to and I find that few things help me keep the mood of a game foregrounded in my mind like a good soundtrack. Plus, I’ve discovered that when I’m playing music to a speaker via Bluetooth, I’m less likely to be on my phone, lest my players hear any stray sounds, letting me better model engagement during a game. To that end, I want to share some of my favorite music to game to; the albums that inspire and inflame my imagination and that I’ve found work well as background music for games as well. I’ll do a mini-review and cover the basics of what mood it helps me set.

Ethereal and haunting, this one off featuring members of Boris and Sunn O))) is much more restrained and subdued than you might expect. Guitar drones weave amongst patient, methodical drumming, with bass notes hitting like water drops falling from stalactites in some deep cave. Where Belatedly felt like the underground music of a lost dwarven civilization, Ensemble Pearl is the music of empty underground ruins. Whatever once was here, all that remains is ghosts.

  • Vocals?...None
  • Music Genre(s)…Experimental, Drone, Dark Ambient
  • Perfect for…A soundtrack for deep and abandoned caverns or the emptier and melancholy places of the lower planes, like the prisons of Carceri or the plains of the Grey Waste.
  • If you only grab one track, make it…Sexy Angle”, a lugubrious march of echoing drums, droning guitar lines and ghostly bass with a wailing viola guiding it to a slow and patient climax.

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