Ask Resurrecting Judas bassist/vocalist Dylan Hromadka about the inhuman growl n’ howl he laid down to give the monster in the recent reboot of The Thing a voice, and in return you’ll receive a list to rival the one Benjamin Buford ‘Bubba’ Blue rattled off to Forrest Gump whilst singing the praises of shrimp, the fruit of the sea.
“I did a bunch of different stuff,” Hromadka says. “I did inhale screams, exhale screams. Low screams. High screams. Really drawn out long screams. I did screams where I held my neck and basically choked myself to make really crazy noises…Some of my roars are behind other noises, too, like flame-throwers.”
Really? You voiced a flame-thrower?
“Yeah, sound editors tend to mix other brutal sounds in behind fire and explosions…By the time I was done, I felt like my throat was bleeding.”
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Hromadka got the Thing gig via his father, Rick, an in-demand sound artist (and rocker in his own right!) with credits ranging from 300 and The Watchmen to The West Wing and E.R. But this was no instance of rank nepotism. In a strange, roundabout way, Hromadka — who grew up in Canyon Country, California jamming on Pantera, Metallica and Slayer as a youngster before taking a sharp turn toward the darker side in his early teens — had been preparing his entire life for entrance into the niche field of alien voiceover work.
“I was a kid listening to Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, and Deicide, playing guitar and figuring out how to scream,” he recalls — practice which led to apprenticeships in various metal start-ups before Hromadka finally settled upon his Resurrecting Judas perch and recorded the Vast Realms of Chaos Incarnate for Sevared Records, an impressive slab of tech death nastiness complete with artwork straight out of the Arise playbook.
Hromadka’s father recognized his son’s hitch in the metal militia had helped him achieve new levels of vocal barbarity and, always the supportive parent, moved to utilize it in his own work, bringing Dylan in to provide a little malevolence to the buff Twilight: New Moon werewolves. (For the record, no, this does not mean Hromadka has become a canine partisan in the ongoing Jacob v. Edward culture war, though he did go to school with Taylor Lautner and thinks it is hilarious that some of the pin-up heartthrob’s werewolf growls come from a co-author of songs such as “Succumb to Pestilence” and “Human Cereal.”)
But Hromadka knew The Thing prequel was another matter entirely, a serendipitous moment wherein he’d be able to hoist his feral death metal flag all the way up a pole smack dab in the middle of a Hollywood mega-production that is — take it from a skeptic/devotee of the original — light years better than anyone who has seen a 80s horror remake these last few years had any right to expect. (And not only because it features burly Norwegians saying Helvete!)
“I was super stoked,” Hromadka concurs. “I love horror movies, as most death metal artists do. And I’ve always thought John Carpenter’s Thing is one of the sickest horror movies ever. I’m really happy the prequel turned out so solid. My vocals start kicking in when the thing turns into that two-headed monster in the second half of the movie, but from the point where that guy’s face opened up in the helicopter on, I was really excited.”
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Nevertheless, pleased as Hromadka is with the outcome, he doesn’t necessarily think the death metal maniac’s work should be finished once the monster’s bleats and roars wrap.
“Movies like Halloween and Cannibal Holocaust had scores that really set them apart,” he says. “When I see horror movies these days, I’m always thinking, ‘Dude, they should bring in some death metal musicians to do the score.’ It could be way creepier. We’ve trained ourselves in creating those sorts of eerie, unearthly sounds. We’re going to pull it off better than coming at it out of the blue trying to do that stuff.”
As for Resurrecting Judas, the band is currently writing for a future full-length that Hromadka promises will be more brutal than the waste laid to a certain Antaractic Norwegian research station. Like the band on Facebook and check them out on Reverb Nation.