I need a better adjective than "epic"
March 8, 2014 12:54 PM   Subscribe

I really like music that combines Latin or Latin-sounding vocals/chanting with instrumentals that either sound "epic", like they're out of a Lord of the Rings movie, or "hard", in the sense of "hard rock" or industrial-ish techno. I'd like to figure out how to find more. Examples inside.

I don't much care if the vocals are Latin or French or gibberish, as long as they're not English and my brain won't try to interpret them as such.

I'm not well-versed in music and I don't really have the vocabulary to describe this stuff accurately, so I'll provide a couple examples (all time-synced to the vocals I'm interested in).
- This Juno Reactor track is kind of what I mean by "hard". More rock-ish would be fine, more techno-ish would be fine.
- This kind of thing is frequently seen in video game music, like the Final Fantasy 8 theme.
- The Skyrim theme is perhaps the most epic-sounding of my examples. This is pretty much exactly what I'm after.
- Religious music generally doesn't interest me, unless you know of something particularly "epic".

So I'm looking for pointers to songs or artists that do this sort of thing, as well as what words or resources I would use to find more of this style of music.

posted by Dilligas to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

(I also have a playlist called Epic Epics of Epicness, which I will post if you want -- some of it's outside of the territory you described, but ... :))
posted by wintersweet at 1:00 PM on March 8, 2014

If you like your epic-ness with some Gregorian Chant and a dance beat, I HIGHLY recommend Enigma. Listen for the Enigma Horn(tm)!

Here's their first album and Greatest Hits.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 1:01 PM on March 8, 2014

Two Steps From Hell is great for this kinda thing. Check out Magika for an example. Vocals at 0:59 but enjoy the track.
posted by Sternmeyer at 1:03 PM on March 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Damn! I was just going to come back and recommend Two Steps From Hell. Here's a FOUR HOUR playlist.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 1:04 PM on March 8, 2014

O Fortuna seems like the Ur-example for epic music. You might also check out Globus's Epicon.
posted by Aleyn at 1:48 PM on March 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Dead Can Dance used to be what people would recommend for this sort of thing (this video is unrelated to the music).
posted by pipeski at 2:02 PM on March 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

- Religious music generally doesn't interest me, unless you know of something particularly "epic".

Mozart's Requiem: "Dies Irae."
posted by John Cohen at 2:06 PM on March 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

You might be interested in looking for music that can be classified as "mittelalter", which is rock played on medieval instruments. Bands would be Subway to Sally, In Extremo, Schandmaul (which is more instrumental). Corvus Corax has the Cantus Buranus, which is a bit more metal version of Orff's Carmina Burana.
posted by Lemurrhea at 3:02 PM on March 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

On the more techno end of things, you might want to try recent stuff from Gatekeeper, like this track from their free-to-torrent Young Chronos EP.
posted by Merzbau at 3:18 PM on March 8, 2014

VAST's first album
posted by infinitewindow at 4:52 PM on March 8, 2014

Godsibb from Xenosaga Episode III
Also Promised Pain, from the same game
posted by Yoshi Ayarane at 5:29 PM on March 8, 2014

The soundtrack to Shadow of the Colossus, Roar of the Earth, fits the bill. Lots of instrumental glory fit for slaying titanic monsters, with dashes of choral chanting throughout.

Also good: the Halo series soundtrack, with the iconic theme (monastic harmonies, orchestral epicness, Celtic singing) being the best example. There's also a much heavier electric guitar version from Halo 2. Composer Martin O'Donnell generally loves mixing traditional/classical themes with ambient electronica influences.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:37 PM on March 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Might be a bit more on the rock side than what you're looking for, but try Magma or other bands inspired by them, like Japan's Ruins. Magma inspired a whole genre of epic progressive rock based around an alien mythos and with a latin-based invented language.
posted by Theiform at 9:53 PM on March 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Audiomachine is not really a band per se, but they are a group that makes music for movie trailers which often have that grandiose feeling you're looking for I think. Their songs like this one or this one even have that ominous chanting (that I don't think is any particular language but could be wrong).
posted by john-a-dreams at 10:08 PM on March 8, 2014

I've actually asked this question before in my pre-MeFi days. I was looking for music that invoked an "Imperial" feeling.

Nthing E. S. Posthumus. That was the response that I received the most.

Liberti Fatali, FFVIII (original arrangement of your first link)
Red Wings theme, FFIV
Kingdom Baron, FFIV
One Winged Angel, FFVII
Ride of the Valkyries, Richard Wagner
Requiem for a Tower, a re-working of Clint Mansell's Lux Aeterna

Also Nthing the Halo soundtrack. I've not listened to the Shadow of the Colossus, but I've heard similarly great things about it.
posted by JimBJ9 at 9:37 AM on March 9, 2014

Basil Poledouris's score for Conan. Latin-ish chanting starts around the 7-minute mark.

World of Warcraft. Also.
posted by ostranenie at 10:04 PM on March 10, 2014

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