The Chant Uses Sound to Penetrate Your Psyche

Sometimes it's not what you see, it's what you hear

Any true connoisseur of horror media understands that sound design is often the crux of whether something is actually scary. And no, we’re not talking about the screeching violin sound pioneered by The Conjuring and used by nearly every contemporary horror film jumpscare and trailer. We’re talking about the real deal. The type of audio that makes your hair stand on end or sends a chill up your spine. 

Developed by Brass Token and published by Prime Matter, The Chant is a colorful, psychedelic horror game where you play as Jess Briars, an ex-office worker, on a journey of rebirth. The catch? The people performing the rebirth happen to be part of a cult. 

Sound Design Inspired by 70s Horror 

Paul Ruskay, Audio Director, and Mike Skupa, Creative Director of The Chant, detail what inspired the game’s audio. 

“We were looking at a lot of late 70s early 80s horror. Movies like Suspiria, and movies like Phantasm, and movies like the Wicker Man, and so forth. I think we talked early on about just having a generally more analog feel…” 

Mike Skupa, Creative Director of The Chant

If we know anything about the classics, these are certainly some good sources of inspiration to pull from, as the creepy atmospheric sounds of Suspiria or Wicker Man are indeed something to aspire to. 

In Horror, Sometimes Less is More

Sometimes, the scariest audio isn’t booming soundtracks–it’s the lack of sound. By removing all music tracks and focusing solely on atmospheric sounds, the developers amplify the creepy atmosphere the game naturally creates. 

This concept stretches back decades in horror films and is prevalent in more contemporary movies like Hereditary and Midsommer by famed director Ari Aster.

Watch and listen to Paul Ruskay and Mike Skupa talk more about the audio in The Chant: 

The Chant releases on November 3, 2022, for PlayStation 5, Xbox X|S, and PC.

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