What does the Demon Lord himself listen to?

If you know me at all, you know I have a great love of metal. Even as a guy wandering around, blinking in wonder at the horrors of being 40+, I refuse to give up my music and I will listen to growls, screeches, blistering guitars, and thundering drums until Father Death comes to fetch my soul to the Underworld. A few weeks ago, I assembled a list of inspirational books,  and had a few requests for my musical inspirations. I am, if anything, accommodating. The following list is metal only—death, doom, black, technical, heavy, whatever. I enjoy other music too (really, I do), but the focus here is on the hard stuff and stuff that influences me when thinking about the game. I’m only highlighting one album per artist, so if you like, explore the music. And, for Pete’s sake, support the artists.

Let’s do this:

Marrow of the Spirit by Agalloch

Tales from the Thousand Lakes by Amorphis

Slaughter the Soul by At the Gates

Bathory by Bathory

The Satanist by Behemoth

Heavy Breathing by Black Breath

Heaven & Hell by Black Sabbath

Grand Morbid Funeral by Bloodbath

Sect(s) 777 by Blut Aus Nord

Those Once Loyal by Bolt Thrower

Gin by Cobalt

Ylem by Dark Fortress

A Blaze in the Northern Sky by Darkthrone

Sunbather by Deafheaven

Human by Death

One by Demiricous

Tyranny of Souls by Bruce Dickinson

Monotheist by Celtic Frost

Last in Line by Dio

Indecent & Obscene by Dismember

Black Masses by Electric Wizard

Mafia by Fleshgod Apocalypse

Carving Out the Eyes of God by Goatwhore

Colored Sand by Gorguts

The Word, The Flesh, The Devil by In Solitude

The Infernal Storm by Incantation

Majesty and Decay by Immolation

The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden

Das Seelenbrechen by Isahn

Screaming for Vengeance by Judas Priest

Them by King Diamond

Violent Revolution by Kreator

Southern Storm by Krisiun

The Ruiner by Made out of Babies

Wormwood by Marduk

Blood Mountain by Mastodon

De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas by Mayhem

Don’t Break the Oath by Mercyful Fate

Obzen by Meshuggah

Spine of God by Monster Magnet

Blessed are the Sick by Morbid Angel

Buried in Time by Mortuary Drap

The Light at the End of the World by My Dying Bride

Monumentomb by Nominon

Cause of Death by Obituary

Cosmogenesis by Obscura

Watershed by Opeth

The Plague Within by Paradise Lost

Rage for Order by Queensrÿche

Theogonia by Rotting Christ

Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite by The Ruins of Beverast

Irreversible Decay by Saille

Passage by Samael

Einsamkeit by Semen Datura

Chaos A.D. by Sepultura

Skandinavisk Misantropi by Skitliv

South of Heaven by Slayer

Epitome of Torture by Sodom

Dark Ages by Soulfly

Monoliths & Dimensions by Sun 0)))

Apocryphon by the Sword

Blissfucker by Trap Them

Likferd by Windir

Celestial Lineage by Wolves in the Throne Rom

The Beast by Vader

A Fragile Kin by Vallenfyre

The Wild Hunt by Watain

Witchkrieg by Witchery

The Great Cessation by Yob

Last week, on Twitter, I was asked if I was ever going to talk about Shadow of the Demon Lord’s “Appendix N.” For those of you not in the know, Appendix N comes from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons’ 1st edition Dungeon Master’s Guide, which listed all the works that influenced the game’s design. The books Gary Gygax included ranged from the familiar to the obscure, making it difficult to track many of them down. Reading them, I found, gave me insight into not only the mood and tone Gygax was chasing with D&D, but also provided explanations for why things worked they way they did in the game. I know I wasn’t alone in digging into the books during my stint as a designer on the 5th edition’s design team and we sought to recapture much of atmosphere those books imparted on game.

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