Scary Background Music Review: IO, 'Danse Macabre'

Scary Background Music Review: IO, 'Danse Macabre'

Halloween is near, and you're looking for scary background music, IO's Danse Macabre collection could be what you're looking for. IO, a sound and visual artist from Porto Alegre, Brazil, dropped 51 spooky synth tracks onto Bandcamp this month. The music, which is categorized as dark synth, is inspired by a series of woodcuts from the 1520s. Each block represents a person from a different position in life, being forced to dance with death, saying that it doesn't matter what position one holds in life, no one is safe from the inevitable. IO, being in the Halloween mood, went hard for this release. Get to the bottom of this page where you'll find other experimental synth music, just so you know what you're getting yourself into! She's not playing!

Scary Background Music With Medieval Imagery


If you've been around long enough, you'll learn some medieval history of the Black Death that plagued Europe. A bout of Ebola or anything that lethal is even scary to this day. Shit, we just had a pandemic that scared the shit out of us in 2020, causing a lot of confusion, hysteria and fear. Large numbers of people died from the complications of it. You can imagine just how people were feeling during that time, with little to no reliable medicine, much less, advances in medical science like we have today.

To make this creepy ambient music more fitting to the wood engravings, if it's not enough that IO dabbles with dark synth sounds, it's even referred to as dungeon synth. More commonly, it's industrial, dark ambient music to written to fit a frightening premise. Each block is named, The Pope, The Rich Miser, The Fool, etc. In order to get something out of this, I suggest you take your pick of which of the block best represents, you, best. Then, you listen to the music and see what your imagination comes up with as you stare at the woodcut. Should you dwell on the scenes illustrated, this could be seen as creepy, sad background music.

If you haven't noticed; we're in the review of this now because there isn't much to say in how each of these tracks is broken down. If you're anything like me and can handle Cold Meat Industry stuff or ambient noise, then you'll have no problem putting yourself into a dark place. You will also notice that death or someone in the scene is holding a different instrument. In mediating on these tracks, I could sometimes hear a hint of that instrument for a bit. With 51 tracks, IO has to be changing the sound somewhat, where he might include more of the instrument or the character of it for the track. 

A Bit About The Visual Artists, Inspired To Darken The Mood

Hans_Holbein_the_Younger%2C_self-portrait.jpg?profile=RESIZE_400xI feel that the more of a story there is to something, the richer the presentation, such as the unsettling industrial background music I've been talking about. When you've got a title such as "The Brave" or, in this case, "The Younger" following your last name, you must have lived a long, long time ago. Hans Holbein The Younger was named that as to distinguish him from his father, "The Elder".

You might have seen some of his work which for me are some of the more familiar paintings of Henry VIII, but this isn't a lesson about Hans Holbien, this is just to catch up on those woodblocks he illustrated. The wood engraver was one he worked with often, Hans Lützelburger. Both of these artists, might have succumbed to the plague because we know Holbien did, which is ironic. The way these woodcuts are illustrated suggests that these two have a dark sense of humor. 

Here's one of the tracks to check out.  

Rather than getting one of these creepy ambient tracks at a time, get the entire discography on Bandcamp to put the narrative together! Just click on the first image in this post!

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