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With the last HEAVY METAL movie having come out in 1981, fans have been waiting a long, long time for a sequel. Finally, in 1996, Heavy Metal Magazines new editor/publisher Kevin Eastman (co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) began work on the sequel. And with the original being known for its music as much as its cutting edge animation, Eastman decided the same should be true for the new film.
The soundtrack features eighteen tracks from somewhat obscure to more popular bands. Keeping with the name of the magazine, the majority of the music is hard rock/heavy metal or industrial/techno, with one rap song. All the tracks are original to this album.
The disc opens with what is apparently a track for the film. Both the artist and song are listed simply as F.A.K.K. U. (Note: the original title of the film was Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2, which stands for Federation Assigned Ketogenic Killzone, indicating the dangerous environment of the planet the movie takes place on. Also, the main character, modeled after actress/model Julie Strain [Kevin Eastman's wife], takes FAKK2 as her name.) It's mostly noise with some wild guitar riffs and distorted vocals.
The next three tracks are the best on the disc. MONSTER MAGNET's Silver Future is in the same vein as many of the songs off their last album, with a mix of mellow grooves and smooth lyrics leading into a stronger, harder chorus.
The KMFDM resurrection MDFMK track, Missing Time, is the band at its finest, mixing effects and some cool lyrics.
Next, PANTERA turns in Immortally Insane. Rather than the balls-out heavy metal that is their trademark, the band this time chose to provide a track that is more steady and ominous, yet packed with plenty of punch and energy.
From here it's mostly downhill.
Punk band SYSTEM OF A DOWN plays Storaged, making more noise than music with abrupt screaming and harsh guitars.
ZILCH's Inside the Pervert Mound is a little too techno, almost to the point of destroying the music.
Dirt Ball, the rap song by INSANE CLOWN POSSE with Twiztid, just plain sucks (they act as if they have just landed on some mysterious dirt ball and explore it).
DAYS OF THE NEW, Rough Day: yawn. No different than their radio singles.
MACHINE HEAD's Alcoholocaust is not half bad, and APARTMENT 26, featuring the son of BLACK SABBATH * bassist Geezer Butler, is a decent example of industrial music.
BILLY IDOL, who provides a voice for the film, lends a track called Buried Alive that is reminiscent of his album Cyberpunk.
COAL CHAMBER's Wishes doesn't take any great departure from the rest of their work, and BAUHAUS provides their first new studio recording in years with The Dogs a Vapour which, according to the liner notes, was improvised in the studio with the lyrics based on some poetry.
The final five tracks, SINNISTAR's Psychosexy, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE's Infinity, FULL DEVIL JACKET's Green Iron Fist, HATE DEPT.'s Hit Back, and PUYA's Tirale are for the most part generic songs from their appropriate genres. They were probably a cheap way to round out the budget after laying down the cash for some of the more popular bands.
The real treat, however, is on the second disc. An enhanced "Hyper CD" for you computer, it features interactive material tied to both the Internet and the files on the CD-ROM. There are several MPEG movies on the disc, but you will need to be connected to the Internet and the special Heavy Metal website to view them.
As expected, there are commercials for Heavy Metal Magazine (which I recommend, actually), the soundtrack, and the merchandise. But there are also movie trailers, interviews with Julie Strain, and previews of the upcoming Ritual Entertainment video game (HYPERLINK). The video game looks solid, featuring a modified Quake3 game engine and a plot that is actually a sequel to the movie. Some of the interview videos are choppy, probably as a result of the encoding used to prevent you from watching the clips without connection to the website, but all of the audio is solid and you get some great images from the film.
Not a wonderful disc as far as soundtracks go, but I imagine in the context of the film a lot of these songs will provide a great backdrop. For the music and the interactive material combined, I give HEAVY METAL 2000 three skulls.
This review copyright 2000 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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