Volume 94, Issue 38
Tuesday, November 18, 2000
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Capitol Punishments: The Megadeth Years
One can only wonder what might have been, had Dave Mustaine not been dropped from the Metallica line-up.
It can be argued the fated split has actually been a blessing for heavy metal music, for the simple fact that Mustaine is not the kind of musician that could showcase his abilities behind the likes of James Hetfield. What we get then, is the butchered cliché that two metal heads are better than one.
Although Mustaine, with his band Megadeth, has never quite reached the pinnacle of success his former bandmates have, there is no need for worry. On their latest release, Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years, Mustaine and crew relive some of their brightest moments in a career that has spanned almost two decades.
If there was ever a need for a greatest hits album, it would be at this juncture of their careers. Crippled by the recent losses of drummer Nick Menza and guitarist Marty Friedman, Mustaine has stopped the megableeding by re-vamping the band's roster, writing two new songs and returning to what has made Megadeth successful in the past.
Taking at least one song from each of its seven full length albums, Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years offers a variety of Megadeth's best and brightest. It is clear from this album that although the sound has not changed over the years, the peculiar genius of Mustaine is unmistakable. Superb musicianship reigns supreme as Megadeth is able to create a unique sound that is not only powerfully heavy but somewhat catchy.
Megadeth has quietly amassed a successful portfolio, making it one of the most underrated leaders in heavy metal music. Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years illustrates this perfectly.
Girlfight: Music From the Motion Picture
Despite the movie packing a brutal punch, Girlfight: Music From the Motion Picture is a collection of songs that aims to pull at the heartstrings.
The strength of this album is its powerful instrumentals, a necessity for a good movie soundtrack. Theodore Shapiro's "Tropicana" is a wonderful blend of various string instruments that is simply breathtaking, despite its relatively short length. The piano piece, "Valse," by Jacky Terrason and Stefon Harris, is a roller coaster ride full of emotional highs and lows.
Other good instrumentals on the soundtrack include Shapiro, also lending his composing talent to the movie's title theme song, while Santana makes an appearance on "Olympic Festival."
As for vocal tracks, Franky X. Perez's "Forever 17" is a great lyrical story of innocent teenage years and the discovery of love. The problem with this soundtrack is that while these songs shine above the usual meaningless movie music fair, its upbeat R&B and rap singles fail to capture the same brilliance.
Canadians K-os and RedOne appear with "Follow Me." A well-executed chorus is the only thing that saves the rather repetitive beat and moderate lyrical skills.
Other notable appearances include Stevie J., teaming up with his belle, Eve, while Fat Joe shows up with "He's Not Real." However, both songs can hardly be considered classic material and brings the quality level of the soundtrack down a notch.
Despite these faults Girlfight: Music From the Motion Picture is worth a listen for those looking for a smooth compilation album.
Although it has been in the making for a long time, Loud Rocks,/i>, the king of all compilations, has finally arrived.
Loud Rocks is another attempt at a crossover of genres. The genres being mixed this time are hardcore hip-hop and the modern sounds of metal.
Representing the hip-hop scene are some of rap's largest heavyweights, including Wu-Tang Clan, Big Pun, Mobb Deep and Xzibit. Hailing from the heavy metal corner of music are Incubus, System Of A Down, Static-X and Canada's own Finger Eleven.
The opening track on the album is a remake of the '93 Wu-Tang hit, "Shame on a Nigga," preformed by S.O.A.D and The Wu-Tang Clan. This track has so much new-found intensity with the added guitar and heavy metal screams, that it makes one wonder if it's possible to keep this style of aggression going throughout the entire CD.
It's not often a CD comes along where no song deserves the skip button. But, as the album plays on with songs by Sugar Ray and The Alkaholiks, Everlast and Mobb Deep and Ozzy Osbourne and Wu-Tang, it becomes clear that it won't lose steam any time soon.
All of these songs lead to a climax of Incubus teaming with Big Pun, who collaborate to make a heavy version of the famous club song, "Still Not A Player." This track doesn't play around as Incubus adds so many intense elements to an already great song.
With the growing popularity of the always-evolving rap-core movement, there is no doubt that Loud Rocks is the next level of the rap-core scene.
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