Original Soundtrack

Underworld [Original Soundtrack]

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A fine example of a great soundtrack to a bad movie, the Underworld original motion picture soundtrack is full of so much thematically cohesive music, near incestuous collaborations, and material composed specifically for the disc, it plays almost like a concept album, written within the parameters of rage, sex, melancholy, and fear. Among the more notable tracks are numerous one-minute interludes by Renholder -- a pseudonym used by longtime Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle collaborator Danny Lohner -- whose murky, industrially infused guitar segues help to create smooth transitions between artists and songs. Another gem is "Rev 22:20," a song credited to Puscifer, the recording name for the collaboration of Lohner and Maynard James Keenan. "Rev 22:20" is far from cheap shock rock, despite such sacrilegious lyrics as "Christ is coming/And so am I" -- not a far cry from the words actually found at Revelations, chapter 22, verse 20: "He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.'" No Bible passage, however, appears to directly reflect the line "Jesus is risen, it's no surprise/Even he would martyr his momma to ride to hell between those thighs." The messianic subject matter immediately sets the stage for any listener to easily become either enraged or aroused. The song strokes at the audience's guilty excitability and explores the way that Judeo-Christian sensual forbiddance parallels the volatile eroticism of basic sexual frustration. Keenan's presence on the album is as pervasive as Lohner's, coming up again in excellent string-heavy remixes of the A Perfect Circle tunes "Judith" and "Weak and Powerless," as well as singing background vocals on the David Bowie song "Bring Me the Disco King" -- a reflective and sexy track that outshines the original version that appeared on Bowie's 2003 Reality. Appearances by Milla and Sarah Bettens round out the moodier side of the album, while songs like "Baby's First Coffin" by math-metal group the Dillinger Escape Plan inject the disc with a pissed-off energy that saves it from overall goth gloom. Even a track by the borderline laughably self-important industrial act Skinny Puppy is perfectly placed. The Underworld soundtrack's profile took an understandable hit for its involvement with such a cheese-fest of a movie, but it stacks up remarkably well on its own merit. Perhaps the soundtrack alone should be granted a sequel.

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