Review by E.C.McMullen Jr.
|DUKE NUKEM: Music To Score By
Red Interactive http://www.redmusic.com
While there really ARE those columnists who say that "Electronic games are only for kids." and that " . . . any adults who play them must be somehow "stunted" in the maturity category." Those writers are largely idiots.
Of all the popular electronic games out there, DUKE NUKEM, in his arcade, computer, Nintendo, and Playstation forms is one of the most popular and enduring of gaming characters and the only adult game character to survive in his many different forms for nearly ten years now (MARIO and DONKEY KONG have been around longer but they were created for / and remain in, a children's market. These reviews in Shadow Music are definitely Not for children)
DUKE NUKEM, in the past, has relied on a limited range of music for each of the levels he must go through to get from one end of the game to the other. Now we have his very own soundtrack, and like many movie soundtracks, this one is a hodge podge collection. Only one of these songs was written for the DUKE NUKEM soundtrack, some of the others had limited release or no release in certain countries, and the rest were just thrown in. SO here we go:
The first song is by MEGADETH and was made specifically for this soundtrack. "Duke Nukem Theme" is damn good rockin' jam as you would expect from Mustaine and company and kicks off the CD well. Go to their website MEGADETH.
Originally from their album BLOODY KISSES, TYPE O NEGATIVE offer still another remix (Extended Depression Mix - 1997) of Neil Young's old chestnut, "Cinnamon Girl". With the way TYPE O NEGATIVE keeps re-hashing this song, you would think they wrote it. This version is a 1997 re-mix previously unavailable in the U.S.A. Find TYPE O NEGATIVE at Roadrunner Records.
From XZIBIT comes "What U See Is What U Get" (1998). While not recorded for this soundtrack, this piece stands well in its own right. A moderate tempo piece, I have a hard time visualizing it for any level with major bloodshed. Find XZIBIT at Sony Records.
This offering from COAL CHAMBER (See Mike Oliveri's review on CHAMBER MUSIC) is called "Blisters" (1998). I like COAL CHAMBER's stuff and this song, previously unavailable in the U.S.A., is a stone rocker. Good stuff, but again, a moderate tempo. Go to their website
"Bitch" (1997) is from the band SEVENDUST. This is another tune that wasn't made for this disk, and doesn't really fit in. It has slow, and fast, and slow again tempo. Music that can easily conflict with the action taking place. That is not to say that the song isn't any good - it is - but this one feels as if it was wrongly treated like filler.
"Song 10" (1998) from ZEBRAHEAD comes off sounding like something from DEVO if they never used keyboards. For the most part the song is fast and peppy and makes sense for a fast paced game like DUKE NUKEM. Got to their website ZEBRAHEAD.
STABBING WESTWARD's "The Thing I Hate" (1998) was an excellent choice for this album. Good pacing of the beat with quiet lyrics and powerful bridges and chorus make this one an easy winner. Go to their website at STABBING WESTWARD.
"It's Yourz" (1997) is a good Trying-to-get-out-of-this-level backdrop for the DUKE courtesy of the WU-TANG CLAN. This song is a perfect example of what I'm talking about when I say that some of the CLAN are getting some leg and the rest are pissed off and want to kill somebody. Take a spin on this yourself and see if you can catch what i'm talking about. Find WU-TANG CLAN at.
Leave it to SLAYER to offer The knock-down drag-out rocker for this album. "Screaming From The Sky" (1998) is perfect fuel for DUKE to kick ass by. The best website I've seen for SLAYER is an unofficial fan site called SLAYERIZED. Corporate websites beware: Paul bests you all!
MEGADETH puts up a second, previously unreleased song. Not written for this album though, "New World Order" was originally recorded back in 1995. Not as strong as SLAYER's tune, or even as good as the previous MEGADETH that opens this album, the song still ain't bad.
THE BEATNUTS change the tempo of this album radically with "Stone Crazy" (1997). Musically creative but lyrically tired, this one needs lots of attitude behind the words to to keep it upright. With lots of Drug talkin' and blunt tippin' noise in the background, this song is better suited to just kickin' back on the couch with some friends than the DUKE running around and blowing shit up. Find THE BEATNUTS at Relativity Records.
C.O.C. cough up the last and screamingly good song with "Land Of the Free Disease" Previously unreleased and recorded this year. This song is clearly back to DUKE NUKEM territory And finishes off the album well.I searched for C.O.C. at both Sony Music and Columbia Records. If anyone knows of their link, write me at Feo
All these songs are good and some of them are better than good. As a stand alone album this is a good buy, but I hope the game makers are more judicious with their sound mixing when it comes to the actual game.
Missing the 5th Perplex Skull by only inches, this album is never the less a must for any Metal Head in general and DUKE NUKEM fan in particular. If you are new to the DUKE and you don't like this music, chances are you REALLY won't like the game. Everything on this song is tame compared with the kind of action the DUKE dishes up. As for DUKE NUKEM fans, you won't be let down!