Original Soundtrack

Saw [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Charlie Clouser's inky score anchors the soundtrack for Saw, 2004's somewhat unlikely horror hit. It's no surprise that industrial is the muse for Clouser, particularly outfits like Front Line Assembly (the churning, electronics-addled "Sturm") and Fear Factory ("Bite the Hand That Bleeds," which dovetails eerily into the film's plot). Saw, after all, is a twisty cinematic mindwarp of mysterious chambers, ugly mechanical implements, and dares to the death. There's also the soundtrack's brutal cover art, a human head strapped into a spiked mess of harness and sprocket. Clouser, the alt-metal remixer and occasional NIN bandmember, really nails it with his creaky, clammy score. "Cigarette," "Hello, Adam," and particularly "F**k This S*!t" blend chilling sounds with harsh percussion and deep-wound keyboard stabs; Clouser understands that Saw's horror only works with a heady amount of camp, and he draws from industrial music in the same way. When his music is over the top, it's riffing on the wannabe fearsomeness of so many contemporary industrial groups. Of course, in Saw, Clouser's tracks accompany some truly gruesome sights, so he's the winner.

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