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Film Scores and Metal: Music to Get You Through the Semester

Here are some recommendations to help keep you focused in the upcoming months of study.
Cecilia Acosta
(Design by Cecilia Acosta | Daily Utah Chronicle)


Now that school is back in session, many people are going from having nothing to do to having way too much to do. Most of my time is spent either in class or preparing for the next day of class. In order to stay sane, I have to listen to some of my favorite music, either while I am studying or relaxing and prepping for the days to come. Below are some recommendations to help keep you focused in the upcoming months of study.

Put the Glasses on! Put ’em On!

There are a few go-to playlists or albums that are pretty consistently on throughout the semester. I love film scores. They are my first picks to have on in the background while reading some dense piece of text or doing a discussion post.

“Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998” by John Carpenter might very well be one of the best-scored albums of all time. It includes all of his most iconic themes, from “Halloween” to “They Live.” He is not only an incredibly accomplished director, but he makes some of the best film scores in the business.

If you’re not feeling John Carpenter, give a listen to Ennio Morricone. His “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” score is incredible to have on in the background while reading. However, it becomes easy to get distracted and picture yourself in the West having a showdown with Angel Eyes. This may sound like a bad thing but it’s the perfect way to take a break from some heavy assignment.

The world of video games also has some absolutely incredible scores. The first “Fallout” and any of the “Silent Hill” games are particular personal favorites. The “Fallout” score is beautifully haunting, dark and ambient. It really makes you feel like you are in the Wasteland.

Similarly, the “Silent Hill” scores feels like you are living a nightmare. Both scores do it in such enchanting ways that once you put it on, it is so hard to turn off. Mort Garson’s “Plantasia” has similar vibes and is a staple for reading outside, or reading something particularly beautiful.

This Ivory Leg is What Propels Me

This may seem like an odd pick, but when the reading is done and it’s time to write, I gravitate toward metal. Even as I write this, I have “Boris at Last – Feedbacker” playing. It’s one 43-minute drone metal song broken up into 5 parts.

Before that album was playing,  it was some Thin Lizzy. As soon as this album ends, I go to my metal playlist and hit shuffle. It has everything from “System of a Down” to “Black Sabbath.” Literally every song is an absolute slapper.

A personal favorite is “Mastodon’s” a concept album themed around Moby Dick. The album’s first song, “Blood and Thunder,” is absolutely golden. Lyrics “Split your lungs with blood and thunder when you see the White Whale” can pretty much constantly be heard through the house. If someone isn’t actively listening to it they are probably singing it.

The balance between instrumental scores and intense metal helps me not be stressed out about homework. As long as there is some sort of assignment to do I have an exact song or album that will help me get through it.


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About the Contributors
Ethan Blume, Arts Writer
Ethan is a senior in college majoring in English and minoring in Animation Studies. He always loved student media, even back in high school. He spends his free time reading, playing board games and hanging out with his cat, Yoda.
Cecilia Acosta, Designer
Cecilia is excited to be at the University of Utah studying Graphic Design and Animation. She's grateful to be a part of a team of such creative individuals here at the Chronicle. Although originally from Mesa, Arizona, she has been loving the gorgeous scenery, snowy winters, and fun activities that Utah has to offer. Besides art and design, she also enjoys hiking, boba tea, dancing, and journaling.

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