Jam of the Week: “Twilight of the Thunder God,” by Slaughter of the Bluegrass

Slaughter of the Bluegrass is a Swedish folk band that does bluegrass covers of death metal songs. In this case, they’re covering Amon Amarth’s “Twilight of the Thunder God.” The video above is the original Amon Amarth music video, with the sound cut and replaced with the SotB version of the song.

I chose this song, and this cover in particular, to talk about mood. I don’t have room here to discuss death metal in depth (although I could, and it would take a while), which is why I linked the original version above. You should go and listen to it, but suffice to say, death metal is pretty different from bluegrass. Although the lyrics are the same, these are basically two different songs. The original is much darker, much heavier, and much growlier than the cover.

This makes for a very different presentation coupled with the video, because the two versions offer very different moods, to use a literary term. Mood is used in writing to evoke certain feelings or emotions in the audience, and the same can be said of music. Bluegrass, despite sometimes having pretty dark lyrics, usually comes off as bright and cheerful because of the way it’s performed. Death metal tends to come off as aggressive, angry, or gloomy, even though the lyrics may not be any of these things.

The mood you present to your audience can seriously impact the way they interpret your writing. Think carefully about what you want your audience to feel, not just what you want to tell them, and construct a mood that works with your writing. Or give them a mood that doesn’t quite mesh with the content of your story, like Slaughter of the Bluegrass did it with “Twilight of the Thunder God.” You can pull it off too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *