Masters of Horror is a two disc, 30-track compilation, subtitled The Sound of Fear. It came into existence for two reasons; as the soundtrack to Halloween, and the companion of the 'bone-chilling' horror series about to hit the air. The series was created by one Mick Garris (The Stand), who envisioned thirteen installments of hour-long horror material from well known directors like John Carpenter (Halloween), George Romero (you better know who he is) and Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre). The basic premise of the dual-disc set is that horror is nothing without music, and herein is a 'healthy sample of the music that lies in wait for you in our series of films'. Enough of an introduction, lets get to the tracks.
I'll start by focusing on the good tracks; otherwise I have a feeling this will just get too depressing. The best song on the album (by a ridiculously huge margin) is a live version of Mastodon's Megalodon, proving why Mastodon are simply one of the most important and innovative rock / metal groups around today. Unique, technical and relatively accessible. Sadly, its all downhill from here as this song puts the other 29 tracks to shame.
Next best song is by Everytime I Die. I haven't heard these guys before, but I did like this song. Some Noisy metallic hardcore rock n' roll with some interesting riffs. Then we've got a few more semi-decent, non-pathetic tracks like Shadows Fall. I mean, they do what they do pretty well - which is metalcore with some interesting riffs and structures, on top of some decent drumming - but at almost five minutes, the track is way too long to long to maintain my interest. I'd also heard good things about Death By Stereo - but their track didn't really impress me. To me it just sounds like HIM with a bit of nu-metal styled metalcore dabbling.
Fall River sound a bit like a bad version of Dillinger Escape Plan - though thoroughly boring with less technical skill and flair. At least it's a little different from the bulk of f**king sh*t. But we'll get to that. Rise Against gives us a decent melodic punk track - which isn't too bad considering the genre. The weak vocals still get to me a bit.
Buckethead & Serj Tankian
Now that's a bloody weird. They've got a few interesting riffs, and it's certainly very different. Reminds me at times of Mike Patton's work with Dillinger escape plan - just with reduced coherency and vision. Still a welcome deviation from the norm. I think if these two sat down and really worked on a collaboration album they could bring something really unique to the table.
The Bronx is a screaming hardcore band. The vocals are a tad monotonous (you've gotta vary your screams there buddy). And you've still gotta hand it to Avenged Sevenfold, they've got some talent - it's just not my cup of tea. Some of the melodic passages make me cringe, but they can pull out some decent solos. Blood Simple play some horror nu-metal kind of stuff, which is pretty bad (but compared to the worst on this compilation it's a goddamn timeless epic). Don't let it fool you though, this still sucks. it still sucks. The In Flames track is just depressing. How far they've fallen. Now, I gotta warn you - everything from this point onwards deteriorates into a total rant about the absolute f**king sh*t someone decided would complement the aforementioned passable songs.
We kick off with a Mudvayne and Norma Jean track. You know whats funny? Those two bands sound kinda the same - just real crappy chugging metalcore come nu-metal. Uninspired. And Mudvayne have been getting away with rehashing the same song for the last two or three albums. It Dies Today f**king suck. Just some watered down, melodic crap with no balls and no interesting riffs. Funeral for a Friend is nothing more than some more clean sung bullsh*t that is utterly horrible.
Andrew W.K. then rears his ugly head with some dancy-rock song that sounds like a horrible, horrible caricature of Queen. Yuck. Armor for Sleep then rock up with some emotional sh*t about the immature and superficial problems little girls and boys have. "You'll never be alone again, isn't that what you want? I'm right here with you. I know you feel me next to you." How astute. Isn't it sad that's the best these little sheltered emo f**ks can come up with? "My girlfriend left me, I'm oh-so-sad, I slit my wrists because I was raped by my dad." Get some depth people - there's more to life than your pathetic little girlie problems.
Then comes Scary Kids Scaring Kids. What total and utter sh*t with a fittingly stupid name. This track sports some terrible vocals - you know, like when guys who have absolutely no sense of melody or power in their voice, but still try and over-sing in an expressive and sensitive way, and you can just picture them crying along at night when you sneak in their room and jam a pick-axe through their eyesocket? This group is clearly a closet boy-band who has decided to market themselves as 'alternative' buy adopting a DIY goth-kit.
Speaking of pop dressed up as alternative emo gothic bullsh*t brings up From Autumn To Ashes. I mean, what the hell is this?! B-o-r-i-n-g. Then for some reason I came across a pathetic semi-love ballads by Bedlight for Blue Eyes. We've got some boring punk rock band in The Bled and a bad alt-prog influenced rip-off of the king Johnny Cash with Murder By Death. Then we got Alkaline Trio whining some boring pop sh*t like "It's a hard choice so lets keep making it making it making it making it" - shut the hell up.
The booklet opens with the phrase 'Horror is to cinema what rock n' roll is to music - Rebellious. Transgressive. Loud. Abrasive.'. If this is a representation of the films they've bringing out, expect some f**king horrible generic, derivative, emo goddamn pop culture bullsh*t of a film. To be fair, the series actually sounds pretty cool and I just hope Mr. Garris knows more about horror then he does the "top 25 metal, rock and punk artists" of today. I find that statement slightly ironic when 90% of this album is nothing more than mainstream emo-sh*t, pop-punk and nu-metal totally devoid of any skill or innovation.
If you wanna get some more information on the series check out ww.mastersofhorror.net - but do not consider even accepting this rotting piece of faecal matter even as a gift. Knock the rude son-bitch out and jam this where the sun don't shine. A totally pathetic compilation with 2 standout songs.