Hail the Nightmare: Music, Sound, and Materiality in Bloodborne

Kolassa, Alexander (2020). Hail the Nightmare: Music, Sound, and Materiality in Bloodborne. The Soundtrack, 11(1-2) pp. 23–38.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/ts_00003_1


This article explores the usage of music and sound in the 2015 video game Bloodborne, exploring how the game’s aesthetics of difficulty and maximalism exert a disruptive influence for a struggling player. In particular, it focusses on how the soundtrack attenuates the series of escalating monster boss battles around which the game is structured. Combining ‘gothic’ and ‘Weird’ horror tropes with the techniques of musical modernism, these composite ‘musical monsters’ gesture, disturbingly, towards new kinds of monstrous materialities that challenge a simple distinction between sound and image.

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