Trivium singer Matt Heafy has very much cemented himself as not just a metal icon, but a gaming sensation, making his involvement in Funcom’s rhythm-based FPS game Metal Hellsinger a perfect match. The performer and Twitch streamer has scored guest spots in The Elder Scrolls and Martial Arts Tycoon, but he calls his Hellsinger debut truly “special”.
The music industry has taken quite the hit over the past few years, with metal bands like Trivium having to drop recording and touring. So, while global restrictions caused havoc for musicians, Heafy took to livestreaming on Twitch as a way to keep performing, and to chill out while playing games. Naturally, he accrued quite the following in the process.
As days became months and months became years, Funcom reached out to Heafy to star in Metal: Hellsinger, the publisher’s new rhythm-shooter hybrid that also stars the likes of Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz and System of a Down’s Serj Tankian.
I caught up with Heafy at Gamescom just before he took to the European stage for the first time in over two years. The free show (if you were lucky enough to be a Gamescom attendee) became one of the convention’s most highly anticipated events, despite Heafy still being somewhat surprised that he had flown all the way to Cologne to “do one, five and a half minute song.”
“It’s amazing to see my two worlds combine,” he says with a smile. “I’ve been into gaming longer than I’ve been into music, so to see this finally come to fruition is great. Metal: Hellsinger giving me my first shot is amazing.”
There’s been a lot of preparation to get here, though, as Heafy recalls that he first recorded his track for the game, This Devastation, two years ago. “Listening back and prepping for the [Gamescom] show I was like, ‘can you let me redo the screaming,’ so I actually redid all the screaming. That shows how special it feels – I said that I had to redo my vocals for this game!”
He also praises Hellsinger for its impressive cast of metal titans, “they’re definitely doing it differently by getting big names in metal involved; it’s really great. I’ve always said that metal needs to be in games, and it’s always so strange that it’s not. You kind of expect it, but you don’t see it that often.
“So to see Hellsinger grab some amazing singers – and I’m not talking about myself here – is really awesome.”
Because of the pandemic, Heafy didn’t have a chance to meet his co-stars until the Gamescom event. “[I] recorded everything from my house.” With a laugh he recalls, “I had the Two Feathers team [the studio providing music for Hellsinger] on my phone on Facetime.” Despite this, he practised This Devastation for three months. “I don’t go into things half-heartedly,” he says, “when I’m signing up for something I make sure to give it my all.”
The Metal Hellsinger release date is pegged for 15 September 2022, and we can’t wait to pop heads to Heafy’s vocals while attempting to (very badly) replicate his screaming. Until then, though, be sure to check out the best rhythm games on PC in 2022 to get some practice in and follow in Matt’s footsteps.