System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian summons some operatic flare for a cover of Blue Öyster Cult’s campy hard-rock classic “Godzilla” that will appear on the upcoming soundtrack album for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Throughout the bombastic cut, he commands a melodramatic vibrato in his voice to complement a full orchestra, drumming by both a Japanese taiko group and a chorus of chanting men. The members of Dethklok, from the show Metalocalypse, including Brendon Small and heavy-metal stalwart Gene Hoglan, also contributed to the track.
Soundtrack composer Bear McCreary, best known for his score for The Walking Dead, orchestrated the music. The movie centers around people trying to fight against Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan and the three-headed Ghidora. The soundtrack album is due out May 24th; the movie, which features Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford and Sally Hawkins, among others, will come out on May 31st.
McCreary says the song is “perhaps the most audacious piece of music I have ever produced, jammed to the breaking point with orchestra, choir, taiko chanting, taiko drumming, heavy metal rhythm section, Gene Hoglan’s blistering double-kick drums, and Serj’s distinct vocals. It is complete musical madness.”
In addition to the BÖC cover, the soundtrack includes 25 more tracks of score music by McCreary. The cue “Old Rivals” features shimmering strings, triumphant brass and a choir of chanting people. McCreary says he worked fastidiously to create music that called back to those used in the original Godzilla pictures, since this one brings back many of the monstrous villains fans of the angry, overgrown lizard know. “For [the character] Godzilla, I chose to incorporate and adapt the legendary Akira Ifukube’s iconic theme, and for Mothra, Yuji Koseki’s immortal ‘Mothra’s Song,’ both being classic themes from the franchise’s origins,” McCreary says. “I hoped to form a connection between Ifukube’s uniquely brilliant style and the aesthetics of modern blockbusters.”