Witness two songs from the rich fantasy world of the Elder Scrolls get an epic makeover, courtesy of Sydney-based melodic death metal band Flaming Wrekage.

In video games, there isn’t a fantasy world that matches the scale and scope of the Elder Scrolls. It’s backdrop for Bethesda’s RPG series that began with Arena in 1994, hit critical mass with Skyrim in 2011, and yet continues to grow with The Elder Scrolls Online – not to mention The Elder Scrolls 6, which just may be the most anticipated new game of the decade.

The Elder Scrolls is a fully-realised universe, where everyone – from monumental characters and gods who change the course of history to the simplest tavern owner – has a story. These stories are at the heart of the series, and soon, you’ll hear two stories from The Elder Scrolls Online in a completely new – not to mention pretty brutal – light.

May Disaster Turn Away and Hail to the Ancient Spirits are two songs that will be familiar to most Elder Scrolls Online players. In the game, they’re sung in plenty through the taverns that dot the world of Tamriel by bards dedicated to the art of oral storytelling.

Flaming Wrekage The Elder Scrolls Online

Taking these bard songs from medieval balladry to melodic death metal is Flaming Wrekage, a band who’ve been leaders in the Australian heavy scene since forming in 2012. They have been tasked with covering May Disaster Turn Away and Hail to the Ancient Spirits, and cranking the dials to full power in the process.

“The thing that draws heavy metal and fantasy together is the outcast”, said the band before recording their cover versions. 

“You know, fantasy was always associated with the nerdy culture, like people who weren’t popular, they’d be into fantasy stuff and video games. And metal was always something like that as well – metal’s an outcast party.” 

“Both are ways to empower yourself, to be someone that you’re not.” 

Flaming Wrekage’s versions of May Disaster Turn Away and Hail to the Ancient Spirits come off the back of Trivium’s Matt Heafy taking on his own cover of an Elder Scrolls Online bard song, and in celebration of Deadlands, the most recent DLC released in The Elder Scrolls Online.

“I read the lyrics to this and was just like… that’s a death metal song. It’s so metal.” 

In universe, May Disaster Turn Away is a plea to the Deadric Prince of Destruction, Mehrunes Dagon. For the lore buffs among us, he’s been the big bad of the last year of The Elder Scrolls Online, and single-player Elder Scrolls fans will recognise him especially from Oblivion as the demon lord who attempted to cause the Oblivion crisis.

Like the rest of The Elder Scrolls’ pantheon, Dagon can’t stop himself from meddling in mortal affairs. Hence May Disaster Turn Away, a prayer that he may turn his anger from people’s lives, and bring his destruction down upon others.

Needless to say, it’s a pretty damn metal tune – lyrically, at least. It made for the perfect canvas for Flaming Wrekage to take things as extreme as possible, fitting both a key change and an epic outro into their version of May Disaster Turn Away.

“Obviously it’s a medieval song written in medieval times, so a voice and a lute is very different to what we do on stage.” 

“Lyrically it’s a story, so you can’t treat it like a pop song, like verse chorus verse chorus. It’s gotta flow from A to B.” 

With a delivery like this, you can bet Dagon won’t be knocking at Flaming Wrekage’s door anytime soon.

 

Find out more about Mehrunes Dagon and his home, the Deadlands, in The Elder Scrolls Online’s latest DLC.

“Video game music is actually my biggest influence… all the music from so many video games is so great.”

While May Disaster Turn Away attempts to please only the Prince of Destruction, Hail to the Ancient Spirits praises a number of the gods of the Elder Scrolls universe. From Hircine to Namira, the song thanks these brutal lords for the struggles they hand to mortals, “for men are meant to struggle”.

It’s another song that was, according to Flaming Wrekage, “screaming to be made into a metal track”Hail to the Ancient Spirits flirts with themes of good, evil, and the blurry line in between.

And of course, the end of the world.

“A lot of apocalyptic themes… and that is absolutely [our] wheelhouse. Very well versed in the apocalypse.” 

Where a song played by a bard in a video game is songwriting at its most bare, metal is another beast entirely. Exchanging a single lute and a single voice for layers upon layers of noise what the great challenge that Flaming Wrekage faced, and in our humble opinion, they crushed it.

 

Find out more about The Elder Scrolls Online here.