Music Review: Saw 3D – Music Inspired By The Motion Picture

I hold in my hot little hands the soundtrack to the newest, & reportedly last, Saw movie – Saw 3D. Actually, it’s not so much a soundtrack as it is “music inspired by the motion picture”. How one is inspired by a movie BEFORE it is released is beyond the scope of this review. I’ll let the philosophic online decide that one.

And what an eclectic mixture it contains; the heaviest song is either Lordi performing the anthemic “This Is Heavy Metal” or the growling Wagdug Futuristic Unity song “Ram The Crush, but no black or death metal like one might half expect. However, of the 16 tracks on the disc, there are quite a few heavy hitters including songs from Saving Abel, Hinder, Dead By Sunrise (side project of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, who’s also in the film), Saliva, My Darkest Days, Krokus, Nitzer Ebb, Adelitas Way and Dir En Grey being the most instantly recognizable to me.  Also included are Rim of Hell fav’s Karnivool & Kopek, both of which have CD’s reviewed by yours truly.

This is a solid assemblage, with predominately radio accessible tracks but the occasional “WTF!” track (EBM legends Nitzer Ebb’s inclusion threw me for a loop but I was glad to see them on the track list all the same).  Many songs are previously released but a few gems are hidden for collectors; Saving Abel’s “Never”, Saliva’s most excellent “Badass”, and Dir En Grey’s “Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Naka De Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No Yami” (Whew!) are all unreleased & not a one is ‘filler’.

Lesser known works worth mentioning include I-Exist “Fire Fly” &  Boom Boom Satellites “What Goes Round Comes Around” – both songs reminding me of Orgy or an edgier Gary Numan.    I also find myself playing Adelitas Way “Scream”, Hinder’s “Waking Up The Devil” and Saliva’s “Badass” a LOT.  How many soundtrack albums can you say that about?

Saw fans – this is a must have.  Rock enthusiasts – ditto.  I’m all the more excited for the movie’s release after playing this disc a few times through.  Bring on the blood!

Anthrax-Megadeth-Slayer, LC Pavilion, 10/10/10

You may recall back on June 22, the world watched with envy while Sofia, Bulgaria was treated to a visit from the Sonisphere Festival, a tour that was generating a huge buzz for featuring the first time ever that the Big Four – Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax & Slayer – shared the same stage. In fact, although the Bulgarian show was technically the fourth to feature all four of the Gods of Thrash, it was being simulcast to over 800 theaters here in the States, and featured the first time all 4 bands played a single SONG together (“Am I Evil” originally by Diamondhead). This particular performance has now been immortalized on Youtube and a DVD release (which immediately went to my Amazon.com wishlist).

Now, a few months later three fourths of that epic line-up are touring the good ole’ US together, sans Metallica who apparently have better things to do than let their American fans see The Big Four live. I could rant here, but won’t.

Anthrax kind of assumed the “opening band” position for this tour, with about half the set time of Slayer & Megadeth. Still, with the reappearance of Joey Belladonna on vocals, there was nothing lacking about the performance. Loved hearing mainstays “Indians”, “Caught in a Mosh”, “Antisocial” and “I am the Law” but also enjoyed “Metal Thrashing Mad” and “A.I.R.” – all played exactly as you remember them. Check out one of my favorite sites – Setlist.fm, for the complete set list with links to each song (in case you forget how it sounds).

Next was the mighty Megadeth, complete with veteran bassist Dave Ellefson back in the fold AND playing the entire “Rust in Peace” album live. NICE! Dave Mustaine and the boys kicked ass through all of Rust in Peace, plus added in some other classics like “Symphony of Destruction”, “Head Crusher” and a world premiere performance of “How The Story Ends”. Entire set is also at Setlist.fm. While Mustaine’s voice sounded a bit ragged, the band was tight & flawlessly blasted through their show. Killer!

Last, Slayer descended on the crowd like Hell itself opening up, playing a relentlessly pummeling set that included the entire ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ album plus my fav’s ‘War Ensemble’, ‘Raining Blood’, ‘South of Heaven’, ‘World Painted Blood’ and the ultimate closing song – ‘Angel of Death’. Full set list is HERE. With a stage show full of smokey lights and inverted crosses, Tom Araya & co. look as ominous as ever (albeit a tad grayer). Their age has taken nothing from their sound, as Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman & Dave Lombardo took no prisoners with a blistering performance.

To be perfectly blunt folks, this was probably one of my Top 5 all-time concert experiences and I HIGHLY recommend you catch this amazing tour if you can. Or buy it on DVD when the inevitable release happens later. Like the iconic date of the show, and as corny as it sounds, the show truly was a ’10’, then a ’10’ & a ’10’. Possibly an 11 on that last one.

If you missed it, check out this Youtube vid (before it gets pulled) showing Slayer from the Baltimore show 4 days before mine. You’ll get the idea!

Concert Review: Hanzel Und Gretyl – Alrosa Villa, Columbus Ohio 10-09-2010

Great show at the Alrosa Villa last night, a six band evening headlined by industrial rockers Hanzel Und Gretyl. I hadn’t seen HuG since they opened for Marilyn Manson in the early 90’s – as singer Vas Kallas later told me “we’re much older & wiser now”. I just throw that in there since I only spoke with her for like 30 seconds, and that’s the only quote I have to show for it.

The other 5 bands were all local acts, none that necessarily made me want to shell out 10 clams for a CD, but nothing terrible either. First up was Black Dragon from McConnelsville, who like the next two bands were sporting shiny Dean ‘Dimebag Darrell tribute edition’ guitars (yeah, I’m jealous). Any guesses who they sounded like? Not a bad influence in my book, but I didn’t really care for their version of Pantera’s ‘Walk’ (it lacked the crunch of the original). Will catch these guys again when they open for Mushroomhead on the 29th.

Punk inspired Everlasting Godstopper was next (that name just cracks me up!). Decent oldschool played with energy & venom, they also were very supportive of other acts on the bill by moshing along to each set – bonus points in my book.

Third was Preylien out of London, Ohio. Like Black Dragon, these guys are heavily Pantera influenced but had a slightly stronger guitar focus than BD. Pretty tight sound, and yet another Dean Razorback guitar taunting me from the stage. I was ready to rob somebody at this point! “Monsters Exist” was a particularly good tune, so check it out at the link.

Most unusual act of the night (other than HuG themselves) was Mystic Syntax, an industrial/metal hybrid that I’d missed at Woodshock this year so was pleased to finally get a chance to hear them live. Moody, dark song list got a bit long in places, but was dramatically & professionally executed. Lots of potential with these guys – and excellent stage presence.

Last opening act was System Slave, who were highly polished and a definite crowd pleaser. They sound like a horror rock band, but look like Bobaflex, so I was surprised by their set. Still, they had some killer tunes including “Undead” which you can check out on their Myspace page.

Last, but certainly not least, was the German influenced Industrial tour de force known as Hanzel Und Gretyl. I’m a huge fan of their new CD, and was pleased that many new songs were featured in their setlist. EXCEPT (and you knew their was gonna be an ‘except’ didn’t you?) they didn’t play Bavarian Bierhaus Blood. How do you have a “Bierhaus Blood” tour, and NOT play the title song!?!

Other than that, their show was a fun filled, beer-soaked (literally) uber party with all the intensity & passion I remember. Singer/bassist Vas Kallas still looks beautiful in a deadly, Black Widow sort of way, her vocals undiminished and powerful. Guitarist Kaiser Von Loopy was a Heineken fulled madman – interesting in that Heineken is not a German beer, but I digress. Loopy was in constant motion, throwing out beers to the crowd when he wasn’t laying down his crunchy fretwork. Their lengthy set list was superbly crafted – my only complaint being the omission of a certain song.

Afterward, I did get a chance to chat briefly with Vas & Loopy, all the while strange music was emanating from Loopy’s pants. Turns out it was his smartphone, which had eerily chosen to play ‘Freebird’ from his Itunes playlist (a joke by the ghost of Dimebag Darrell? You decide).

Great show, I’m already hoping they’ll come back to this area soon. Loopy claims they will, stating they seem to only play “Ohio, Germany and cold, nordic countries”.

Also, I want to give a big shout-out to photographer Henry Lester for allowing me the use of his picture (above). It sure beats the hell out of my crappy Env pictures. Thanks Henry!

Here’s HuG Setlist. I may have missed a song, but I think it’s fairly complete.

  • #1 in Deutschland
  • Hail to the Darkside
  • Kaizerreich
  • Stern Krieg
  • Das Boot
  • Heil Hizzle Mein Nizzle
  • Leiderhosen Macht Frei
  • Mein Kommandant
  • Fikk Dich Mit Fire
  • Disko Fire Sheissmessiah
  • And We Shall Purify
  • Overture
  • Ich Bin Uber Alles
  • SS Deathstar Supergalactik
  • 11:11
  • Fukken Uber Death Party