The Soundtrack of Hellscapes, Volume II
by Stephen Zimmer
I would like to thank Armand Rosamilia for the opportunity to create a soundtrack for the six tales in Hellscapes, Volume II. It wasn’t easy coming up with a specific list, as there are lots and lots of songs and bands that come to mind when thinking of these tales, but I have made some choices that fit very well with the individual stories.
I have broken up the synopsis, so I can give a sense of what each story is about before giving my song pick.
Hope everyone enjoys the list! Definitely on the heavy side of things!
In “The Cavern”, a man finds his way into a nightmare, subterranean world that leads to an even greater, and more devastating, revelation.
For this one, I choose the song “Hell Awaits” by Slayer, off the album by the same name. This has all of the atmosphere that I feel in the story as well, with finality and a grand scale to things.
Lyrics such as the following fit very nicely with the roaming element contained in this particular story.
“The Reaper guard’s the darkened Gates
That Satan calls his home
Demons feed the furnace where
The Dead are free to roam”
I almost chose “South of Heaven” or “Seasons in the Abyss”, but “Hell Awaits” captures the essence and the scale of this story so wonderfully.
A police officer takes pleasure in violently executing his duties and it appears to be open season in “The Riot” when he is part of an operation sent to crack down on a gathering of people protesting an economic summit nearby. But this is an operation that is going to take a very different kind of turn, one that opens his eyes to a new reality.
For this one, I pick Pantera’s “Five Minutes Alone” off of the Far Beyond Driven album. I’m not anti-law enforcement at all, it is a noble and needed pursuit for those who do it for the right reasons, but for the ones who abuse their power and authority I think the Pantera song fits well, especially with what transpires in this story.
It is about meting out justice in a very visceral manner that the offender cannot escape from. Not too different from Phil Anselmo’s vision of having five minutes alone with the offender in the Pantera song. The main character in this tale definitely is a loathsome, brutal individual who comes to face his five minutes alone with the evil he created in life.
A woman finds herself stranded on a high, rocky ledge, along with many other men and women, surrounded by a frothing sea in “Above as Below”. Shadows glide beneath the surface and soon she will discover what lurks within the depths.
For this one, I select “Monsters of the Deep” by Devildriver, off of their album The Last Kind Words. Heavy and brooding in feel, this one definitely fits the vibe of this story. And there definitely are monsters in the deep too!
The following lyrics are simply perfect with what transpires in this particular story:
“Set your sights on rocky shores
You just might run aground on the reef
The journey’s in the destination
Mention fear, you’re falling on deaf ears”
You’ll have to read it to find out just how, though!
“Spots Do Not Change” tells the story of a man who has never had any qualms lying, cheating, or deceiving the women in his life. A reckoning day looms as he comes to understand that his actions have harmed the lives of many others, actions that in the realms of Hell take on forms of their own.
This one gets Five Finger Death Punch’s “Meet the Monster” off of their first release, The Way of the Fist.
One line in this song speaks volumes to the theme reflected in this tale.
“It’s time you met the monster that you have helped create.”
This is a story about accountability, and about the monsters that are created when you cause others pain and harm lives. In this story, it takes a literal form, and the one condemned does indeed meet the monster and everything else his actions gave life to.
Having spun webs of intrigue and personal destruction at the heights of national politics throughout his life, a man finds webs of another sort to present grave danger when he finds himself lost within a strange wilderness in “Weaving Webs”.
For this one I pick a rarer Danzig song, “Soul Eater”, from the release The Lost Tracks of Danzig.
With the reference to pitchforks and presidents in the song, which in my mind conjures up thoughts of the masses alongside figures of power, the following lyrics apply nicely to the main character and the ultimate fate that he comes to discover. He has spent a lifetime in manipulation and the halls of power, but now he runs into something inescapable…that has his soul. It also holds the connotation of someone being manipulated by a greater power, or a weaver of webs being part of an even greater web being spun. Perfect song fit.
“Bad seed in the base of your skull
I’m here to help it grow
You wanna Pitchfork and presidents
Well, I can make you choke”
Then you call me
Here I am
But you remain
Just remember that I got your soul”
Many are drawn to “The Club” in the heart of the decaying, shadow-filled city of Malizia, hoping for some entertainment and release, or even safety from the monstrous dangers lurking in the darkness. One man struggling against amnesia finds his way to the seemingly popular establishment and its confines give him momentary hope; until he discovers the nature of this night club and those who run it.
Danzig makes the list a second time, with “Lilin” off of the Danzig 666 Satan’s Child album. This one flows with a sense of dark, supernatural power of a female nature. With the kind of guy that the main character is, and those he comes to meet in the story, this song is a great fit.
“And if you look down into her eyes, yeah
You’ll see the souls she has trapped inside.”
Book Synopsis for Hellscapes, Volume II: Return to the nightmarish, shadowy realms of Hell in the latest installment of the Hellscapes series by Stephen Zimmer. Six brand new, macabre tales of the infernal await you … but be that you only visit these realms, you do not want to share the fates of the inhabitants you will encounter!
About the author: Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker based in Lexington Kentucky. His work includes the cross-genre Rising Dawn Saga, the epic fantasy Fires in Eden series, the sword and sorcery Dark Sun Sawn Trilogy, featuring Rayden Valkyrie, the Harvey and Solomon Steampunk tales and the Hellscapes and Chronicles of Ave short story collections.
BUY IT NOW!