Sound — 8
Can you imagine a horror movie without sound? Some kind of a silent horror movie, without that haunting and warning music? Your answer will coincide with what the makers of Masters of Horror series think about it -- The sound in horror is every bit as important as the vision. That led to the release of the soundtrack to the infamous TV show. The compilation to the 13 episode series didn't even fit one CD; it took a full DualDisk set, 15 tracks each. Unlike the movies, each directed by a master of horror, the soundtrack contains music from mostly unknown up-and-coming artists and all the tracks are previously unreleased. The set features music from Ozzfest participants Shadows Fall, Mudvayne, In Flames, Mastodon, as well as a bunch of artists you'll hear for the first time. Some of the new bands have already proven their talent since the CD was released in 2005 (like Every Time I Die, whose Gutter Phenomenon topped The Best charts). Three tracks were specially written for MoH Soundtrack (Norma Jean's furious ShaunLuu, Death By Stereo's Bottled Up, and Bear Vs. Shark's Victory Iceberg). Mudvayne's Small Silhouette that gives the start to the first CD, is by far the best track on the album and has some bloody guitar riffs. Buckethead featuring Serj Tankian of System Of A Down with Are One, stands out from other tracks, the sound is really close to what System Of A Down used to be like. Murder by Death wakes up Nick Cave image with beautiful half-acoustic ballad End Of The Road. It Dies Today made a nice cover of Depeche Mode's Enjoy The Silence -- they added metal tone to the track and made it sound heavier. The lack of famous bands is excused by a handful of new musicians, but sadly most them are not even worth talking about.
Lyrics — 7
Confused about what to say here as the CD doesn't even have one concept. Some of the songs are quite chilly, with gravelly vocals by frontmen and thrilling lyrics (like Can't seem to get away/Paranoid, can't seem to stop looking over my shoulder/Stalking me, chasing me, am I lost inside a dream? in Mudvayne's Small Silhouette), others are really scary with throat insane screamo and there are some tracks that are full of joy and happy singing with ambivalent lyrics The face that you see when you look in the mirror/It won't be the same shape when you look at it hours from now by Andrew W.K. (a reminder to girls about what scares them most -- one day they'll turn into ugly old ladies).
Overall Impression — 7
Giving me the CD, the webmaster joked -- Careful! Don't spoil the CD cover! Really, The CD art is very colorful and has wonderful disgusting imagery. I should say, it's much more scary than the music it contains. Sure here is dark and heavy metal (like Shadows Fall with This Is My Own) and gothic rock (Funeral For A Friend with Lazarus (In The Darkness)) that you would suspect on a horror movie soundtrack, but it's far more variable than that. It was a surprise to me to find pop-punkers like Alkaline Trio with Can Never Break and Andrew W.K.'s goofy pop You Will Remember Tonight (these are very catchy and after listening to the album you have them stuck in your mind). Listening to those songs, you start to doubt if they've put the right picture on the CD sleeve. Did they just forget about Marilyn Manson and Type O Negative? And are these new bands Masters of Horror already? Overall, I would say only about 40% of tracks fit the CD format. If you load the CD in your computer, you'll get a surprise -- not only the program gives you a usual original player, it also offers you to burn the CD to your computer or burn it to another CD! Which seems al least weird if you bear in mind the ongoing music license campaign. The poor quality of the CD spoils the whole impression -- it's hard to read the detailed description to songs as you can hardly see it and there are misprints -- like Keith The Music by Every Time I Die, which is actually Kill The Music (maybe a dedication to one of the album's executive producers Keith Addis).