After a long discussion over google chat, in which TastyTaste thought I was drunk but it turns out I was just sleep deprived, he asked me about fleshing out an idea for a series he had.  The concept seems simple enough- create a soundtrack for the various armies populating the 40K universe.  Being completely not drunk as I was, I quickly jumped on the idea and began brainstorming how I’d tackle this.  Now if you’re familiar with my work on Dick Move, you’ll know that not only am I a complete jerk, but I’m also a huge music fan.  And when I say music I mean both kinds: country and western!

Seriously though, I have a double wide closet with a pair of completely filled Ikea Billy bookcases dedicated to my cd collection.  It’s been a while since I’ve done an inventory, but I should have somewhere in the ballpark of 2,500 to 3,000 discs at this point not to mention a fairly decent record collection and at least two cassettes somewhere- actually I just checked and it looks like I have Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue on pre-recorded minidisc… I’m as shocked as you are.  Knowing that I span the genres pretty comprehensively, I think Tasty chose the right person for this job.  I seriously listen to everything.  I’ve got pretty specific likes and dislikes, but I’m not one to rule out a band or style of music without at least giving it a try (except Ke$$ha….she needs to pack it in and give up, seriously).  That being said, as this series is going to be about armies, I’ll probably be over-representing certain genres, such as various types of metal and industrial, that are more on the aggressive side.  In short you probably won’t see me throwing names like Tori Amos or Justin Timberlake around, although somebody might be Bringing Sexy Back now that I think of it.

To kick the series off, I thought I’d share a few songs that really get me pumped about the Blood Angels.  Scrying into the future, I think this might be the easiest army to define musically, as their aesthetic is pretty well-defined.  When I sit and ponder what attributes define this army there are a few key things that keep coming up.  They are the quintessential noble but flawed army.  Due to the defeat of Sanguinus at the hands of Horus, their tainted gene seed is liable to drive these Astartes into a blood frenzy at any given moment, bringing up the very obvious themes of heroism, taint, blood, and madness.

While that’s probably enough to work with, I wanted to dive in a little deeper into things and look at how the army behaves in battle as well.  With souped up Lucifer engines and Jump Packs guided by the decent of angels, they clearly bring the fight to the enemy quickly and very aggressively.  Now we’re on to something, we need some music that evokes the tainted heroics of a madness driven pack of blood thirsty speed freaks.  Throw a dark, aggressive twist on this and I think we’ve got it.

The first song that came instantly to mind was Ministry’s “Bad Blood” off their largely forgettable 1999 album, Dark Side of the Spoon.  We’ve got a good opener here with a mid-tempo, guitar driven, industrial rock track with lyrics that have to make you think of that defective gene seed.  Add in the vocal timbre of Al Jourgenson’s voice and this song sounds downright crazed and aggressive.  It doesn’t hurt that “blood” is in the title either.

Ministry \”Bad Blood\”

Next up I’ve got a song from one man (more or less) indie rock group Eels called “Fresh Blood” from their 2009 album Hombre Lobo. Although this song doesn’t have the speed that one might associate with the Sons of Sanguinis, imagine a completely bad ass scene in a movie shot entirely in slow motion of assault marines getting into their transports or strapping on Jump Packs in preparation for the battle ahead.  This almost reminds me of the Sopranos opening credits.  I think that frames this cut nicely.  Pay close attention to the lyrics and sinewy groove of this and I think you’ll be on a hunt for blood before you know it.  It probably doesn’t hurt that this song also has “blood” in the title.  Seriously though, how creepy is that organ in the chorus- tainted indeed.

Eels \”Fresh Blood\”

Last up I’ve got another industrial group for you- Germany’s Die Krupps.  “Bloodsuckers” from their 1994 album II- The Final Option, pretty much sums it all up in the bridge as lead singer Jürgen Engler belts out “You can never win.”  So obviously this song is about Vampires, but not those pussy, sparkling types.  These ain’t your kid sister’s Vamps, these are the real deal: bloodthirsty and on the prowl.  You probably guessed this would happen, but you’ll notice that “blood” is in the song title again- who’d have thunk it?  Beyond that, this song just really get’s my rage flowing- like I want to grab a chainsword and chop something to bits and then play in its blood.

Die Krupps \”Bloodsuckers\”

That’s it for the first installment in this new series.  Fire off some more suggestions for songs that get you thinking about the Blood Angels in the comments.  I’m always looking for new stuff to listen to.

As a bonus, here are some songs that almost made the cut, but just didn’t fit in quite like I wanted for various reasons such as being 11 freaking minutes long- I’m looking at you Type O!  Note that all of these songs still have “blood” in the title.

Killing Joke “Love Like Blood”

Hocico “Boiling Blood”

Mountain Goats “The House that Dripped Blood”

She Wants Revenge “Written in Blood”

Type O Negative “Bloody Kisses (A Death in the Family)”