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VARIOUS ARTISTS


"Stigmata" Soundtrack (Virgin)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

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The "Stigmata" movie soundtrack is split into two halves: the first half is seven songs by popular artists and the second half is instrumental movie music.

The second half is what Rough Edge readers would be interested in. The eleven tracks composed by Billy Corgan and Mike Garson are a study in atmospheric deliberation. Whilst the music is a tad better than standard movie soundtrack fare, Corgan and Garson create instrumental music born of strange places, mysterious religious events, and devastating aftershocks. The music chirps, warbles, rumbles, palpitates, flows, sinks, and floats in a series of emotional depths and glorious highs. Most of the musical ideas don't last more than a couple of minutes; over 25 separate pieces of music (some related, some not) come together to form an instrumental hybrid worthy of a horror film. While this makes the flow of the music a bit fragmented, it does not take away from the music's luster and appeal.

The first seven tracks are by popular artists in the alternative genre.  The music may lack the heavy guitars of metal and rock, but it is perfect soundtrack music. The seven pieces reflect a moodier collection than I'm used to hearing on soundtracks. The best of the seven tracks is Massive Attack's "Inertia Creeps." This track bristles with nervous energy and comes alive with a mix of electronics and fuzz guitar. The legendary David Bowie's turns heads with "The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell" by touching on his glam rock past - the impressive Reeves Gabriel's guitar work is always worth hearing. Chumbawamba's "Mary Mary (Stigmatic Mix)" is a bit of a dance track, where the throbbing bass is reminiscent of Full On The Mouth over trance-like electronic drums. Post-grunge alternative rockers Remy Zero deliver a pleasant "Gramarye," but has nothing to appeal to heavy metal fans. Bjork abandons her trademark quirky sound for a more ballad-like approach on "All Is Full Of Love." A dreamy "Release" by Afro Celt Sound System (featuring Sinead O'Connor) is about as far from metal as you can get, but it is a remarkably affecting piece. The quiet "Identify" prevents Natalie Imbruglia from utilizing her sultry voice to good use.

My advice: skip the first seven tracks and play the movie's musical themes in the discomfort of dark night with all your troubles and worries.

For more information visit the movie's official website at http://www.mgm.com/stigmata/ and have hell scared into you.


Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 1999 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08 Jan 2016 11:33:10 -0500.