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"Masters Of Horror II" (CD)

2 Cents - "Masters Of Horror II" CD cover image

"Masters Of Horror II" track listing:

1. New Hate Rising (Hatebreed)
2. Foetus Of A New Day Kicking (Cradle Of Filth)
3. Virtual Environment (Lacuna Coil)
4. Needles (Live Acoustic) (Seether)
5. I Like To Move In The Night (Eagles Of Death Metal)
6. Dirthouse (Live Acoustic) (Shinedown)
7. Threnody (Chimaira)
8. The Devil (Wax On Radio)
9. Black Refuge (Jump)
10. Drop Your Panties (Wounded Cougar)
11. This Calling (All That Remains)
12. Effigy (The Smashup)
13. The Machine (Asunder)
14. The Afterlife (2Cents)

Reviewed by on November 7, 2012

"From punk to classic rock and thrash, 'Masters Of Horror II' has it all — and much of it is a pleasure to listen to."

Ever since four guys in Birmingham named themselves Black Sabbath after a Boris Karloff movie, the connection between horror and heavy metal has been a strong one. So, naturally, the second volume of the soundtrack to Showtime's "Masters Of Horror" would be heavy on the metal. As with all soundtracks and compilation albums, your mileage will likely vary based on how much you like the individual musicians or the styles of music they play.

I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of variation "Masters Of Horror II" had, which ranged from the classic rock style of The Eagles Of Death Metal's "I Like To Move In The Night" to the full-on thrash of Hatebreed's "New Hate Rising."

In terms of sequencing, the album definitely puts its best foot forward, launching with the energy-filled "New Hate Rising." Though I'm not a huge Cradle Of Filth Fan, I have to admit that following it up with "Foetus Of A New Day Kicking" maintains the energy level.

Just when the growls and shrieks threaten to become tiresome, along comes Cristina Scabbia's beautiful vocals on Lacuna Coil's "Virtual Environment."

Things even get completely unplugged on a pair of tracks, the live acoustic versions of Seether's "Needles" and Shinedown's "Dirthouse." Though both really feel like an attempt to emulate Alice In Chains more than anything original, "Dirthouse" is the better of the two tracks.

Granted, it's not particularly heavy — feeling a little more like an amped up version of the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women" than anything else — the Eagles Of Death Metal contribute the album's best track, "I Like To Move In The Night."

The album kind of starts to fade in and out, quality-wise after Chimaira's excellent "Threnody," with All That Remains' "This Calling" and Wax On Radio's "The Devil" proving effective, but most everything else — especially Wounded Cougar's "Drop Your Panties" — coming off pretty second-rate. Then, there's Asunder's "The Machine," with its early '80s Cars feel that feels completely out of place.

From punk to classic rock and thrash, "Masters Of Horror II" has it all — and much of it is a pleasure to listen to. If you like the bands featured or the Showtime show, this is one to pick up.

Highs: "I Like To Move In The Night," "New Hate Rising" and "Virtual Environment"

Lows: The silly "Drop Your Panties"

Bottom line: A varied soundtrack that's mostly enjoyable to listen to if you like the acts and styles represented.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)