A great movie is a great movie. But metal soundtracks with a great movie takes it to another level. There have been a few movies with metal soundtracks over the years, but some are edgier than others.
I’m not talking about the ones that titter around the edges with dad rock like the Stereophonics, but full-on-horns-in-the-air metal.
Here are seven of the most metal movie soundtracks.
7. The Matrix (1999)
Science fiction and horror films do lend themselves to metal soundtracks, and the Matrix was no different. The Wachowski’s reality bender was ground-breaking in its content, but the music that accompanied it was just as memorable. It had a cracking soundtrack. It included tracks from Rammstein; Marilyn Manson; Deftones and those mad industrialists Ministry. And who can forget Rage Against the Machine kicking into Wake Up as the end credits roll? The follow-up film The Matrix Reloaded also had a great rock/electronica soundtrack, but the original had the darkest metal anthems.
6. The Crow (1994)
Released in 1994, The Crow was another cult movie. It’s remembered, rather tragically, for the accidental death onset of the lead actor Brandon Lee. The film itself is a dark masterpiece. The music from the film also lends itself to the darker recesses of music. The soundtrack is one of the heaviest ever released. Pantera; Nine Inch Nails; Rage Against the Machine and Helmet all lend enormous monoliths of metal to the album. It’s no coincidence that the soundtrack is so good, especially as the film revolves around a singer brought back from the dead. The brooding atmosphere through this film seeps onto the soundtrack but with added metal that’s heavier than an anvil. Definitely, one to listen to with the lights out.
5. Resident Evil (2002)
If there was one film that was made purely for a metal soundtrack, then it has to be Resident Evil. Nothing screams metal than blowing up zombies and monsters. Although there are many video games and movies to choose from, the first film from 2002 had a stunningly macabre soundtrack. Songs like My Plague by Slipknot fit like a glove. There is an industrial theme to the soundtrack. Bands like Coal Chamber, Static-X and Fear Factory offer up slabs of face-slamming metal. Marilyn Manson features heavily on the album (as he seems to on a lot of these), but there are a few lesser knows acts as well. Songs from Adema and Five Pointe O bring some extra brutality to proceedings but do not seem out of place. If you feel the need to go and shoot up some zombies, this is the soundtrack that you need.
4. Halloween (2007)
Let’s face it, a film written and directed by Rob Zombie is going to have a killer soundtrack. This remake of John Carpenter’s classic is a pretty decent effort, which can’t be said of all remakes. Zombie is also clever about who he puts in charge of the soundtrack. Tyler Bates is the man tasked with the job. As well as being the lead guitarist in Marylin Manson’s band, he’s also written scores for a plethora of films. One of the cool things he does is rewrite the original Halloween music slightly off-key. It works, and it does a great job of upping the creepy factor.
There is a host of excellent bands that offer monster tracks. Plus. there are songs from The Misfits, Alice Cooper, KISS and Nazareth. There is even a live version of Iggy Pop performing the Stooges ‘1969’. Halloween is a slasher masterpiece, and the soundtrack is all that you would expect, and more.
3. Queen of the Damned (2002)
Released in 2002, this vampire queen movie is tinged with tragedy. This is because Aaliyah who played the lead role was killed in a plane crash not long after the film was finished. She did a fantastic job of playing the vampire queen, with the film itself a classic in the genre. A lot of horror movies that were made around the early 2000s had similar music. This one features music from bands such as The Deftones, Disturbed, Marylin Manson and Papa Roach. Jonathan Davis from Korn was also in charge of producing all the music for the album, and it shows. It’s hard-hitting stuff that’s reflective of the nu-metal/industrial sound that was prevalent early in the decade. The perfect aperitif to the main course of bloodsucking.
2. Deathgasm (2015)
You would be forgiven for having no idea what this movie is, and that’s ok. It was made for a pretty niche audience. And by niche, I mean metal comedy horror. Made by New Zealand director Jason Lei Howden, this splatter-fest is full of metal anthems. In fact, the premise is around a guy who inadvertently summons evil by his guitar riffs. That may sound silly, and it is. But the whole thing is done very well, which allows for some pretty fantastic metal to feature throughout the film. Bands like Axeslasher, Skull Fist and Emperor all make an appearance. Raise those horns and grab a beer, as in you’re in for one hell of a ride.
1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
This remake of a cult classic is as good if not better than the original film. This has to do with the better effects and atmosphere, but it also has something to do with the killer soundtrack that is on offer. Pantera, Meshuggah and Hatebreed all bring their A-game, as do the brilliant Lamb of God. Having some dreamy pop play whilst Leatherface wields his chainsaw around doesn’t have the same effect as some pounding metal.
Composer Steve Jablonsky also does a sterling job of creating some of the creepiest music ever to feature in film. His theme to the movie actually makes your skin crawl. It’s interesting to note that the original film featured local Texan bands. Although they are missing from this soundtrack, there is no denying the metal power that is on show.
And that’s our list of the seven most Metal movie soundtracks. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.
Read about movie soundtracks better than the films HERE.
No Time To Die – Review
No Time To Die is the 25th instalment in the official James Bond series. It’s the VERY long-awaited follow-up to 2015’s Spectre. The 6-year gap between the two films is only matched by the same gap between Timothy Dalton’s last outing in 1989’s Licence To Kill and Pierce Brosnan’s debut in 1995’s Goldeneye. Here’s our review of No Time To Die.
SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the film, but if not there are spoilers ahead.
Of course, there are mitigating factors in that enormous gap. Namely COVID. Which made No Time To Die the first major film to delay its release due to the pandemic. Although, this film has had a difficult gestation irrespective of the global situation in the last 18 months. As soon as Spectre was released the speculation over Daniel Craig’s future in the role began. With him initially suggesting he would rather slash his own wrists than play the iconic spy again. He did a mea culpa on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show in August 2017, where he confirmed he would appear as Bond for a fifth and final time. The original director and writer, Danny Boyle and John Hodge, left the project a year later over creative differences. Cory Joji Fukunaga took over as director. While Bond script veterans Robert Wade and Neil Purvis took charge of the screenplay – with a sprinkling of magic from Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Originally slated for release in April 2020, at long last, we finally get to see Daniel Craig’s denouement as 007. His portrayal of Bond has been very much in keeping with the character of Ian Fleming’s original novels. His performances have certainly followed the dramatic lineage of Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton. Rather than the lighter portrayals by Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan. Yet his Bond has displayed a vulnerability only really demonstrated with any plausibility by George Lazenby in his solitary outing as 007 in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
The deference to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is presented in stark relief throughout this 2h43min epic. Making this the longest Bond film in the series. As this was the first film I’ve seen at the cinema since before the pandemic, I was already excited before I even sat down. As a massive James Bond fan as well, I was close to apoplexy! I felt a tangible shiver go down my spine as the iconic gun barrel sequence appeared before we see James cruising around Italy in the classic DB5 with Madeleine Swann at his side. This anticipation was clearly felt by other cinema-goers. They have made No Time To Die break the UK box office record for the biggest opening weekend. It took almost £26m, breaking the record previously held by Skyfall.
I’m not going to spoil the plot for those who’ve not seen it. I had made a conscious decision to avoid spoilers before I went.
A step up?
This film is another shot in the arm for those who see Craig as the definitive Bond. This was aided by a refocusing of the Bond canon after the main tropes of the series were stretched to breaking point by the invisible cars and melting ice palaces of Die Another Day. And then stretched still further by Madonna’s cameo as a fencing instructor. Daniel Craig was given leeway to truly regenerate James Bond for the 21st Century. The stripped-back nature of Casino Royale, without most of the supporting characters that have been a staple of the series like Q and Moneypenny. Gave him licence (pardon the pun) to explore the deepest and darkest recesses of the Bond psyche. Some well-drawn female leads and villains really allowed Craig’s Bond to spar with them with depth and genuine emotion.
That exploration continues and grows in No Time To Die. We get to see an ageing, truly world-weary Bond, whose past he appears unable to escape. This leaves him in a state of almost constant angst. Paradoxically though, we also see him truly relaxed at times. In a way I can’t recall ever seeing James Bond in any of his previous cinematic outings.
The issue with that exploration is that a number of characters then have their screen time cut. Moneypenny is reduced to little more than a cameo. And Remi Malek’s Safin is almost secondary as he features in the opening moments as his story is told, but then disappears for what seemed like an eternity. He of course reappears but he almost seems a mild irritation within the plot and merely a conduit to allow us to see the climax of Daniel Craig’s Bond era. It’s a disappointing underuse of a terrific actor. One with a captivating screen presence, who could have been one of the most menacing Bond villains of all time. That said, the influence of his dastardly but highly sophisticated plan is felt by all of the main protagonists. Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld continues to wreak his havoc with malevolent glee from his cell. He again revels in the chaos of his twisted sibling rivalry with Bond.
Lea Seydoux is wonderful again as Dr Madeleine Swann, picking up where she left off in Spectre and giving Bond as good as he gets in every way imaginable.
There are new characters who definitely cut through. Ana De Armas is utterly charming in her relatively brief time on-screen as Paloma, while Lashana Lynch takes no nonsense from Bond as Nomi. She also gives us a potential indicator as to the future direction of the franchise. Which has been the subject of much discussion in all quarters. That debate has even made its way into the political sphere with even Boris Johnson weighing in on what gender the next actor to play 007 should be.
Hans Zimmer’s score is classic Hans Zimmer, adding power and bombast to the usual mix of stunning scenery and brilliantly choreographed stunts. He brilliantly weaves nods to previous entries in the Bond musical tapestry throughout his score. While his cues are always thunderous, they never overpower the action on screen, but do add a sonic rumble that I don’t think has been heard in a Bond score for quite some time. I found Fukunaga’s direction a bit mixed, with some of the cinematography unnecessarily showy. Some of the tracking shots almost gave me motion sickness while some (admittedly beautifully composed) shots of the scenery seemed to have made the edit purely so as whoever the drone operator was could demonstrate their skills.
The film is much too long, although at no point did I check my watch. It’s not that any of the plot points are superfluous, more that the pacing is a little slow in places. Some of the dialogue feels cliched and clunky, making what is a great story feel a tad generic. Which doesn’t do anyone justice. However, there were some excellent jokes, and I laughed out loud several times. You don’t have to be a 007 super fan to get some of the self-referential humour that they seem to enjoy sprinkling throughout the film.
Billie Eilish’s theme song is a worthy addition to the collection and certainly sits comfortably within the top half of the ‘Bond Theme Chart’. It’s definitely more memorable and evocative than Sam Smith’s ‘Writing On The Wall’ for Spectre. Her voice trembles at times as you can almost feel she recognises the significance of singing the theme for Daniel Craig’s final appearance in the franchise.
It was also very pleasing to see that this film has moved with the times and reflects the world of 2021 with its portrayal of women. Every single female character had a genuine purpose and important role within the plot. While of course, the female actors playing those roles are all irrefutably glamorous and attractive. There was genuine respect and no objectification of women.
I came out of the screening with mixed emotions. Glad to be back in the cinema on one hand, sad that Daniel Craig’s stint ordering Martini’s was over on the other. I was pleased that such a good climax had been created to bring this era of Bond to a close, and all its story arcs had been brought to conclusions. I’m also excited and apprehensive in equal measure for the future of such an iconic film series. But I was disappointed with some of the characters not getting the necessary screen-time to truly develop their characters. Surprisingly, I was almost tearful at the final few moments, especially as the credits rolled.
Overall, this is a loving homage to the James Bond series, past and present. It’s a solid if unspectacular film in its own right, but the performances of Daniel Craig and Lea Seydoux, as well as the Bond history it wraps itself in, elevate it beyond that.
It’s not Craig’s best Bond film, as Skyfall is almost untouchable in my opinion, but it does bring closure to his tenure in the tuxedo in a manner that should please Bond fans across the board. It also tantalises us as to what the 6th age of Bond will look like. Let the intense speculation begin!
CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 7/10
Thank you for reading our review of James Bond No Time To Die. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Check out who we think could be the next James Bond and why HERE.
Read IMDB information about No Time To Die HERE.
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