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"Punisher: War Zone" (Lionsgate; 2008)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Song compilation soundtracks are a mixed bag because the producers have to choose between songs that fit the movie and songs that will sell soundtracks. Sometimes, that just doesn't work. The music just doesn't click on the same disc. Sometimes, however, they find the fine balance between the two. The soundtrack to Marvel's "Punisher: War Zone" is one of those that does.

The CD starts with a new Rob Zombie tune, "War Zone," and it's not a bad Zombie tune but isn't bound to become one of his greatest hits, either. Up next are some recent metal classics: Slayer's "Final Six" and Slipknot's "Psychosocial," followed by Rise Against and "Historia Calamitatum" and "Fallen" from Seether. Obviously, things have moved away from the pure metal side at this point, but the tracks still fit the movie's grim and violent attitude.

I won't belabor you with a track-by-track review at this point (although I have included the tracklisting at the bottom of this page), but I will tell you that some of the lesser-known bands here score very well, including Kerli with "Bulletproof" (imagine Alanis Morrisette singing Goth) and Take Me Away (an unsigned band that won a contest to be featured here). Another highlight is the killer cover of Sepultura's "Refuse / Resist" by Hatebreed.

The only misstep on this CD seems to be Justice and their "Genesis," which sounds like the soundtrack to a videogame. It's just grinding chords and samples and assorted noises. Considering that the level of violence in "Punisher: Warzone" is probably equal to a videogame, maybe it's still appropriate.

Overall, I'd give the soundtrack for "Punisher: Warzone" a slight edge over the soundtrack to 2004's "The Punisher" and, actually, I'm impressed that both turned out so well.

Tracklisting:
1. ROB ZOMBIE "War Zone"
2. SLAYER "Final Six"
3. SLIPKNOT "Psychosocial"
4. RISE AGAINST "Historia Calamitatum"
5. SEETHER "Fallen"
6. KERLI "Bulletproof"
7. 7 DAYS AWAY "Take Me Away"
8. SENSES FAIL "The Past is Proof"
9. MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE "Butterfly Wings"
10. JUSTICE "Genesis"
11. PENDULUM "Showdown"
12. HATEBREED "Refuse / Resist"
13. STATIC-X "Lunatic"


Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08 Jan 2016 11:33:10 -0500.