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Music / The Living Tombstone

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Yoav Landau at work.

The Living Tombstone is a YouTube-based electronic music project formed in 2011 by Yoav Landau, a musician from Tel Aviv, Israel. Landau was the only member of the project for several years, but he was later joined in 2017 by singer Sam Haft, who was initially a collaborator of his before officially becoming part of The Living Tombstone. For that reason, the project is most accurately described as a band.

The project's unique musical style combines bouncy, circus-like instrumentation with dirty, growling basslines. Through the project, Landau is mostly known for producing remixes and fan music for various media, including Five Nights at Freddy's, Undertale, and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He has also done a few original songs, such as "Cut the Cord" and "My Ordinary Life", in addition to composing the OST for In Sound Mind.

During Landau's time producing content for the Friendship is Magic fandom, he was arguably considered the face of the fan-music scene, but he later branched out and started making songs about other subjects, starting with a song about Five Nights at Freddy's that went viral and effectively turned him into a YouTube celebrity. While he was popular before releasing this song, it was a major tipping point for his channel in terms of popularity, and stands as the channel's most watched video with over 317 million views.

Landau is also notable for providing music for the fifth installment of TomSka's asdfmovie series. His remix of EurobeatBrony's "Discord" was also available as a downloadable track on the Rock Band Network, but has since been delisted.

The Living Tombstone's songs contain examples of:

  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: "Alastor's Game" pronounces "cursed" as "curse-ed" to rhyme with "thirsted".
  • Adaptation Distillation: "Sister Hate" (more or less) sums up the entirety of "Sistershooves Social" in just over 3 minutes.
  • Adorkable: invokedIn universe; Louise the Lab Rat discusses the trope right in the lyrics.
    Louise the lab rat, Louise the lab rat, There's nothing as adorkable as Louise the lab rat.
  • After the End: "September" is set in a post-apocalyptic version of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic world.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The robots in "Five Nights at Freddy's" simply want you to come play with them...
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In universe, he gives one for Pikachu in "Pikachu's Lament" (Blue and Red): loving companion to Ash, or Pokémon serial killer with daddy issues?
  • Ambiguously Brown: Haru from Sunburn seams to be this, she could possibly be mixed raced Japanese.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Plenty of the endings in the zero_one era of music videos have this in some form or another.
    • Sunburn: Haru in her school uniform sees what looks to be herself with her bicker outfit drinking out of a drink box looking up. It isn't clear if it's her wishing to be there with Hina and her gang or if it's after she joins the gang looking back on how far she's come.
    • Love I Need: The music video book ends the same Crypt Of The Necrodancer style of Skull Guy sleeping with his sword on the ground his his health meter low from the very beginning. It’s not clear if the games he cycled through really happened or were merely just a dream from being idle for who knows how long.
    • Drunk ends with Drunk Guy laying on the floor with spot light above him before it ends with the darkness closing in on him. It isn’t exactly clear if he simply dies from liver failure or simply blacks out again.
  • And I Must Scream: Chosen implies this for the tombsonas in general and zero_one(or rather the human it merged with) in particular. In one shot zero_one is clutching his head in panic accompanied by the line "Let me out" repeatedly sounding louder and more desperate.
    • Animal seems to be a more blatant example this with descriptions of mind control and body snatching in the lyrics of the song itself.
  • Arc Words: For the album zero_one, "Let me out." Applied to both the symbiotes themselves, being ageless personifications of progress and potential, and to the less willing hosts among the group.
  • The Atoner: "Enoch" by Savlonic (remixed by Landau) is a song about realizing that even though you've made mistakes in the past, it's never too late to change for the better and make things right. This is also reflected in the song's video, in which the bear with the hat, realizing that his actions have resulted in both the death of an innocent bunny and the loss of his own innocent simple life, resolutely walks back into town and turns himself over to the police.
  • Ax-Crazy: Run, Shoot, Kill... and Cry features one. Because it's based off the incredibly dark Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons fanfic, this is unsurprising.
  • Bait-and-Switch: "My Ordinary Life" starts as the singer equivalent of a Boastful Rap, but later verses seem to suggest that the song is being narrated by a drug-addicted washed-out celebrity who uses this boastful attitude to compensate for personal problems.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: "Sister Hate" has one. Sweetie Belle says that Rarity's comment that "being sisters is like apple pie" doesn't make sense. Sweetie then says that this is because she thought Rarity hated her.
    Sweetie Belle: Why were you racing with me tell me, why?
    Rarity: Because someone told me that being sisters is like apple pie.
    Sweetie Belle: That doesn't make any sense, because I thought that you hated me!
  • Descent into Addiction: "Drunk" is a vivid illustration of how addiction feels both in the lyrics and the visuals in the music video itself. As the song progresses the singer/Drunk Guy sound more unhinged and sound less like rapping an more like rambling.
  • Darker and Edgier: Out of all of his music, Guncakes definitely takes the cake. It's explicit and it's about Pinkie secretly owning and selling guns. And she is apparently a master assassin who's really good at handling them as well.
  • Deranged Animation: The music video for "Jumping Devil" is full of this.
    • So is "Drunk", which shows a lot of rather appropriate metaphorical imagery of what can happen to someone going on a drunken bender.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • The mother in "It's Been So Long" seems to have crossed this a long time ago. Hard to blame her, considering her son had died due to her not watching him.
    • Near the end of Drunk: Drunkguy literally falls right into it and lands in a river of wine or his own blood. Despite the lyrics; he looks distraught and helpless knowing that his alcoholic tendencies are going to destroy him but has reached a point of no return. Unfortunately, this is a all too common case for those who suffer from chronic alcoholism.
    • Lazy has the singer intensely describing how much he's failing at his career due to feeling depressed and overworked, to the point that he's "done" and wants to give it all to somebody else. He outright states he "gives up" at the end of the song.
  • Electronic Music: Many of his later songs feature this as an influence, such as "It's Been So Long."
  • Elongating Arm Gag: In the music video for "My Ordinary Life", the giraffe stretches her neck to pull down a tall tree to stop the police car chasing them, with a scene dedicated to showing her neck zig-zagging all over the place. Her neck then retracts back to her body, before her head pops back onscreen to give a wink to the camera.
    • Drunkguy does this too multiple times in Drunk so much so that it takes up most of the music video.
  • Evil Mask: A concept that's played with by the Tombsonas. The zero_one album itself portrays the titular zero_one as a mask that the singer physically puts on before bonding with it, a process that "Animal" then depicts as somewhat frightening and beyond the singer's control. By contrast, the "Chosen" comic book depicts zero_one as "infecting" its host in a manner similar to a virus, and the "Meet Rust" video confirms that Rust is the only Tombsona that bonds with its host through actual clothing. Nonetheless, the Tombsonas are implied to be, if not evil, then at least not adhering to human morality. Additionally, zero_one's human host is shown screaming in pain and begging for help in the comic while being "bonded" to.
  • Expressive Mask:
    • The main character from the Drunk music video (and the visualizers he makes appearances in by extension) has a very expressive skull mask complete with blacken sunken in eyes with no pupils.
    • Diddo for the main character of Love I Need, if it's a mask at all.
    • The main character of the zero_one album itself: zero_one counts as this as well but only for the Meet zero_one video. Also the other four tombsonas count as this for their respective meet___ videos as well.
  • Fear Song: "Basics in Behavior" is sung by a kid at Baldi's school. It mostly describes the child's fear of Baldi, an Evil Teacher who chases them and their classmates down for failing to follow his rules.
  • Foreshadowing: The music video for "Sunburn" has a TV which shows the Tombsonas performing, presumably, the song "Chosen". The opening melody for "Chosen" also plays at the end of the music video.
  • For Science!: Out of the Tombsonas, the Tesla symbiote's hosts are the only ones who willfully transform themselves into Tesla for the sake of scientific discovery, despite this being just as painful a process as it is for most of the other symbiotes.
  • Grand Theft Me: Animal seems to heavily imply this. The host for zero_one starts to lose his sanity and humanity as zero_one starts to take over his body and mind.
    Human Host: I move my body but it feels like someone taking over me; My thoughts are gone like they're locked up and someone threw away the key; It's like a creature from a nightmare
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The major theme of the video for "Cut the Cord," which features a scrappy young fashion designer who is persecuted by her former hero and her powerful robot army-fueled megacorporation. She retaliates, building an army of Mecha-Mooks to oppose hers, but becomes increasingly power-hungry, controlling, violent and otherwise similar to her rival.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The music video for "Jumping Devil" shows horrifying demons attacking a town, and then getting brutally killed by the humans living there.
  • Irony: "Long Time Friends" is a song about someone breaking away from a toxic relationship and feeling happy and free now that they are no longer tied down by their abuser. The music video features someone running away from a deranged ringleader/cult leader who sings a good chunk of the lyrics, mocking the one running away.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: His Halloween 2017 song is a creepy take on the Hebrew children's song Yumbo Bear.
  • Kaleidoscope Hair: In "Cut the Cord," the protagonist's hair changes color from scene to scene.
  • Last Note Nightmare: "Five Nights At Freddy's", as should be expected for a song about the game of the same name, uses the robots' scream at the end as a sample.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    World is, below
    So high up, I'm near divine
    Lean in, let go
    I feel fear for the very last time
  • Madness Mantra: Lazy has a rather heart breaking one with...
    Narrator: So help me, I'm lazy, I'm lazy, I'm lazy, I'm lazy, I'm lazy, I'm lazy, I'm lazy, (7 more times)
  • Mind Screw: The video for "Cut the Cord" is about...something.
    • The music video for "Drunk" counts too but that's kind of a given since the video itself represents what it's like to either go binge drinking or on a drunken bender that may have lasted for weeks. The Body Horror coupled with the Involuntary Shapeshifting make it really intense to watch if you’re not prepared.
  • Motor Mouth: The entire bridge of ‘Drunk’ is this with a long list of cocktail mixes and brand drinks. It then devolves into alcohol addled ramble with the singer lamenting losing his friends but has reached a point of no return.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The zero_one music videos has at least six of them ranging from a spider-man like cyborg Bishonen and a once average looking albeit alcoholic joe who got a looks upgrade from his original appearance.
    • zero_one looks as if he's wearing a skin tight jumpsuit with orange-yellow circuit lines showing off his lean and athletic figure. He even has a flaming Mohawk as well.
    • Rust is a badass rebel biker guy with a cool trench coat to boot. He even has rather muscular arms in Chosen.
    • The drummer of the band: Doc is a dapper looking witch doctor with a open shirt showing off his bear chest with visible glowing ribs. Walking Shirtless Scene anyone?
    • Tesla looks like a mad scientist out of The Phantom of the Opera. He even plays bass guitar too.
    • Armstrong is a badass bara astronaut with a burned arm. He plays electric guitar.
    • Drunkguy from Drunk in some of the visualizers has a more lean almost curvaceous figure. In Longtime Friends and Lazy the lighting almost makes him look like he's shirtless.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: In the 'Drunk' music video Drunkguy is the only character that's fully colored and has the very conspicuous skull mask attached to his face. The other people are just silhouettes with lighting on their faces and mostly monochrome.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Their are two instances of this in the music video for Drunk. One is in the thumbnail for the video itself where Drunkguy is reminded by his inner demons that he had 12 drinks before he was apparently sent to a hospital. The second time is when he hallucinates blood shot eyes staring at him from the night sky and sports more of a My God, What Have I Done? look on his face.
    • In the video for "It's Been So Long," the children have exclamation points over their heads as Freddy reveals himself as the Purple Man and kills them.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Armstrong seems to be an interesting example of this trope since his body that the tombsona 'pilots' is a cosmonaut that got lost in space and was exposed to the vacuum of space.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: It's Been So Long is all over this. It's sung from the viewpoint of a mother, who, due to not paying attention to her son, lost him to the child murderer of Freddy Fazbear Pizzeria.
  • Painful Transformation: It's implied or outright stated that becoming a host for the Tombsonas is very painful, though of particular note is Tesla, whose host needs to alter themselves willingly using the specifications it gives them through radio waves.
  • Putting on the Reich: Used to highlight the Full-Circle Revolution in the "Cut the Cord" video.
  • Record Needle Scratch: Used to usher in Jayneycakes's part in "No Mercy".
  • Sampling: "My Ordinary Life" features samples from Nichijou, which the title is a reference to.
  • Sanity Slippage:
  • Self-Deprecation: "It's Been So Long" outright calls itself a "stupid song" at one point.
  • Stock Scream: The famous "Wilhelm Scream" is used a few times during "My Ordinary Life" by a few characters, though in varying pitches.
  • The Symbiote: The titular entity zero_one along side the other four tombsonas are an example of this trope. It isn't clear if they have malicious intentions or they simply don't adhere to human's standards of morality. What ever the case may be, the process of being bonded with one is... existentially terrifying to say the least.
  • Take That!: Living Tombstone takes a shot at IGN at the beginning of his Stop the Bats remix: "10/10 it was ok" - IGN
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Love Me Cheerilee.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: He has become known for this (for better or for worse) to his listeners. Many of his songs feature a chord pattern of I-vi-ii-V, with an emphasis on "bass, snare, bass-bass, snare" for the drums.
  • Title Drop: A few of his songs have been known to use this trope, with "Five Nights At Freddy's", "I Got No Time" and "I Can't Fix You" having some of the more frequent usages.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The narrator of "September" describes walking through an abandoned, ruined town, where everyone has died for an unspecified reason, and he can't remember what happened, as if there's a hole in his memory. At the end of the song, he regains his memories and discovers the truth: the reason everyone is dead is because he killed them.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
  • Tragic Mistake: In "It's Been So Long," the mother is too distracted by a phone call to pay attention to her son, and he wanders away and into the clutches of the killer at Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria. She is Driven to Suicide over it, with her spirit possessing the Puppet.
  • Uniformity Exception: In the video for "It's Been So Long," the simplistic sprites representing the dead children wear teal shirts. The woman's son looks identical to them, but wears a blue shirt.
  • Unusual Euphemism: In "Guncakes", cupcakes are used as an euphemism for guns.
  • Villain Song: ‘Die in a Fire’, the Five Nights at Freddy's 3 Filk Song, written from the perspective of the Purple Man violently dismantling the animatronics.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: In Magic, he criticizes Trixie's magic show.
  • Wham Shot: In My Ordinary Life, the titular characters drive off to the horizon in their car, only for the screen to zoom out to show it was all actually on a TV. It then cuts to the three characters on the couch, showing it was just a video game and they were just stoned outta their minds.
  • Wham Line:
    • "I just remembered what happened in September; I'M THE ONE WHO KILLED THEM ALL! I SURVIVED AFTER THE FALL!"
    • Drunk has a gut punching one in "I'm gonna hate myself tomorrow (in a chilling whisper) then I'll do it again"
    • Can't Wait definitely pulls no punches either since the song is about depression and suicidal ideation with the later part of the chorus : "I know I should be fine and I cannot tell you why ; But I have lost my mind and I just can't wait to die"
  • Why Don't You Marry It?: Jayneycakes deploys this as her opening gambit in "No Mercy".
    Blackgryphon: You should've picked Mercy
    You should've picked any kind of support
    We ended up losing and it's all your fault
    You should learn how this game works
    You should've been helping
    [Record Needle Scratch]
    Jayneycakes: If you like Mercy so much why don't you just marry her?!