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"Punisher: War Zone Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" (CD)

Hatebreed - "Punisher: War Zone Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" CD cover image

"Punisher: War Zone Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" track listing:

1. War Zone (Rob Zombie)
2. Final Six (Slayer)
3. Psychosocial (Slipknot)
4. Historia Calamitatum (Rise Against)
5. Fallen (Seether)
6. Bulletproof (Kerli)
7. Take Me Away (7 Days Away)
8. The Past Is Proof (Senses Fail)
9. Butterfly Wings (Machines Of Loving Grace)
10. Genesis (Justice)
11. Showdown (Pendulum)
12. Refuse / Resist (Hatebreed)
13. Lunatic (Static-X)
14. Days Of Revenge (Ramallah)

Reviewed by on September 16, 2009

"'For me, the album started off with its best track, Rob Zombie's 'War Zone.' Being a comic book guy, I appreciated the fact that Zombie had obviously read a few 'Punisher' comics back in the day and brought some understanding of that to the tune.'"

Being a guy who likes the continuity of albums, I'm always a little ambivalent about film soundtracks. Sure, it might be a collection of great songs, but I find that many soundtracks lack the continuity I enjoy.

"Punisher: War Zone Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" skews to the heavy side and offers songs in styles ranging from thrash to punk to goth balladry, with some techno-ish tunes thrown in for good measure. I think you'll find your enjoyment of the album will depend on your enjoyment of each style or artist.

For me, the album started off with its best track, Rob Zombie's "War Zone." Being a comic book guy, I appreciated the fact that Zombie had obviously read a few "Punisher" comics back in the day and brought some understanding of that to the tune. It's a typical Rob Zombie tune, with some fine John Five shred — and better than anything on Zombie's "Educated Horses" album.

We continue with Slayer's Grammy-winning "Final Six," which I didn't particularly enjoy. It's got too much of Tom Araya's screamo-style vocals for my taste. I will give it up to Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman for their great ax-work — but that's kind of a given.

Slipknot's "Psychosocial" bored me with its over-heavy chorus and that's where the album started to fade for me. The next couple songs are unremarkable, save for the fact that I liked Seether's bass intro to "Fallen."

Having not seen the movie, I imagine that Kerli's ballad "Bulletproof" accompanies either a) a scene in which Frank Castle remembers his family getting gunned down or b) a scene in which Castle wanders the street after having been beaten or shot. Either way, it's the kind of montage music that drives me to hit the fast-forward button.

A simple, but fun intro on "Take Me Away" brings my attention back, and I have to say that 7 Days Away manages to keep my attention for the entire track. It thunders along pretty well at the end.

Senses Fail's pop-punk "The Past is Proof" really doesn't appeal to me with its over reliance on vocal harmonies.

Machines Of Loving Grace's dance-able "Butterfly Wings" seems like it could accompany one of those scenes where someone opens up with a machine gun in a crowded restaurant or nightclub. You know, loads of strobe lighting and shots of shell casings flying around.

Justice's full-on techno track "Genesis" seems like one of those "Saturday Night Fever" street-walk songs and feels twice as long as its nearly four minutes.

My attention once again fades during Pendulum's "Showdown," but it comes right back with Hatebreed's cover of Sepultura's "Refuse / Resist." I love this song and Hatebreed does a good cover.

Static-X's "Lunatic" is a fun bit of industrial metal that, in parts, reminds me of old White Zombie, which is never a bad thing.

The plodding "Days Of Revenge" by Ramallah ends the album. I'm not a fan of the way the band alternates between the light and heavy parts, and the fade-out at the end annoys me.

Like I said before, if on balance, you like most of the artists on this album, you should probably buy it. For me, I found about half of it to be good (with Zombie's "War Zone" standing atop the heap), and half to be average at best. Your mileage may vary.

Highs: Rob Zombie's "War Zone;" Hatebreed's cover of "Refuse / Resist."

Lows: Kerli's ballad "Bulletproof;" Justice's overly long techno track "Genesis."

Bottom line: You'll have to figure out if on balance, you like most of the artists and styles.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)