Doom's soundtrack contains a hidden Satanic message

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12 months ago by Kris Ligman

Is it even appropriate to call this an Easter egg, in the circumstances?

As a kid growing up in the 90s, I remember hearing more than a few stories about Satanic cults infiltrating schools, or sticking razor blades in Halloween candy, or sneaking subliminal messages into rock music. Our own Robert Rath has written on how this cultural context of Satanic panic informed the original Doom.

As it turns out, those concerned mothers may have been on to something about the rock music part at least: a handful of enterprising fans have analyzed the audio files of the new Doom and discovered something so sinister, it just has to be the work of the Devil. Or an especially nerdy audio engineer, which is probably more likely.

Youtuber Nerd Sauce ran a song off Doom's soundtrack -- "Cyberdemon" -- through spectrogram software and discovered that it contained more than regular noise. Encoded in the song's frequencies are tiny variations that, when viewed through a spectrograph, resemble the numbers 666 and an inverted pentacle, two symbols often used to reference Satan (or his place of residence). Have a look:

Kinda spooky, right? If I had heard about something like this when I was a wee tot watching the original game over an older friend's shoulder, I might not have slept for weeks. There's nothing actually supernatural going on here, of course -- just a clever trick of audio design -- but it sure looks and sounds the part of Doom's oldschool death metal aesthetic.

Doom's composer, Mick Gordon, has released a two part video series detailing some of what went in to the creation of its soundtrack. It's fascinating to watch if you have a few minutes to spare. Though Gordon doesn't outright confirm the spectrograph images fans have reported, there is a brief shot in the second video that looks like output from his recording software and... well, see for yourself:

This is more complex than the pentacle in "Cyberdemon," so perhaps it's hidden in another track? Or maybe it's a red herring and can't be found on Doom's released soundtrack. Either way, I can't think of anything more metal than encoding actual demons in your shooting-demons-on-Mars game.

"Electricity is a real, tangible thing," Gordon says in his video series. "You've got electrons bouncing around on a circuit. When you capture that, you're capturing a real energy." Yeah, and maybe the souls of the damned too.

(h/t Eurogamer.)