Sparks & Shadows, the boutique record label founded by composer Bear McCreary, announces the release of Knights of Badassdom – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack on February 11. The soundtrack features performances by heavy metal and rock luminaries including Brendon Small (Dethklok), Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio), Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa), Steve Bartek (Oingo Boingo), Ira Ingber (Bob Dylan), Pete Griffin (Three Inches of Blood) and Joe Travers (Zappa Plays Zappa).
"In the darkest hours of a cold winter night, I read a script chronicling adventurous LARPers, an evil curse, a disgruntled heavy metal singer, wizards, warriors and the Hell Lord Abominog," said McCreary. "As I read, my musical imagination filled with soaring bagpipes, drop-tuned distorted guitars, double kick drums, blaring horns, dulcimers and ethereal vocalseverything I love about music in one epic score."
McCreary was excited to have the opportunity to work with rock and metal musicians on this project. "Early on, I reached out to Brendon Small, the creator and composer of Metalocalypse, to ask his advice on writing heavy metal music. We hit it off, and he contributed brutal solos and rhythm guitars to the score."
Small and McCreary had worked together a few years earlier on a Freddie Mercury tribute concert. The band for this benefit included Mike Keneally, Pete Griffin, and Joe Travers, who round out the rhythm section for Knights of Badassdom. Also signing on was Whitesnake's Doug Aldrich, who adds a shredding guitar solo on "At the Gates." Many of McCreary's frequent collaborators are also back, including Ira Ingber playing the "down-home slide guitar," Steve Bartek (Oingo Boingo) adding terrifying guitar textures on the horror cues, Uilleann and small Scottish pipes make an appearanceperformed by Eric Rigler (who was featured on the score to Braveheart and Battlestar Galactica), with vocal performances by Brendan McCreary and Raya Yarbrough. Said McCreary, "Having access to these brilliant musicians allowed the wide emotional range of this score to be brought to life."
A recent Emmy Award winner for Da Vinci's Demons, McCreary also composes Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.the #1 series debut of the 2013 fall season with 11.9 million viewers. Together with The Walking Dead, which shattered records with 16.1 million viewers for its fourth season debut, McCreary scored the #1 new show and the #1 returning show in 2013. Current projects also include new seasons of Da Vinci's Demons and Defiance, as well as the 2014 STARZ debut series Black Sailsthe premiere episode was the #1 series debut for the network and teamed McCreary once again with Executive Producer / Co-Creator Jonathan E. Steinberg, with whom he previously worked on Human Target.
Knights of Badassdom follows three best friends (Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn and Ryan Kwanten) and dedicated LARPers (Live Action Role Players) as they take to the woods to reenact a dungeons and dragons-like scenario fresh out of the mythical Middle Ages. Trouble arises after they unwittingly conjure up some serious evil in the form of a blood-lusting Succubus, from the pits of hell.
Fantasy and reality collide on the Fields of Evermore in an all-out epic battle of make believe wizards, demons and assorted mythical creatures. Their courage and friendship is put to the test as they attempt to vanquish the evil they have summoned. Will the group prove to simply be foam sword-wielding LARPers, or true "Knights of Badassdom?"
"Producing this soundtrack for Knights of Badassdom has been a joyous experience. I think of it as a 'heavy metal fantasy concept album,'" said McCreary. "The cues are presented in narrative order, for the most part, with some slight restructuring and occasional new material to facilitate a smooth musical flow."