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Saturday, January 14 2012 16:12

UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING (Soundtrack Review)

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UWA SOUNDTRACK lrgAs a big fan of Vampires and Werewolves, I've long held the UNDERWORLD films as franchise that serves as a hearty slap in the face to fans of both. In fact, I hated the first one so much, that it partially inspired me to write DEATH WALKS THE STREETS in 2004. From all angles, I thought that both UNDERWORLD and it's sequel, UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION, were poorly-directed by Len Wiseman and poorly conceived by writer Kevin Grevioux. I even hated the icy ''blue'' look of the films. By the time 2009's UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS came around, I'd already tuned out. Now, with the 2012 UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING, the franchise is back on my radar - but only for the one thing I'd actually like about it: The Soundtracks.

Indeed, despite my distaste for the films, I actually own the soundtracks for all four. Like many things "sequelized," they've gotten progressively worse since the first, but they're still decent.

Released digitally this week via Lakeshore Records, just ahead of the January 20th theatrical bow for the film (a physical release is planned for January 31), UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING - ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK is a solid collection of new and remixed tracks that should pique the interest of soundtrack collectors and rock aficionados alike. I say "rock," because these songs have rock at their core, despite the layers of electronics on top. 

Longtime franchise remixer Danny Lohner (ex-NINE INCH NAILS) returns under the moniker of Renholdër to reimagine cuts from LINKIN PARK, MINISTRY, THE CURE, and more - while a trio of tracks are given some Chicago flavor courtesy of former FILTER/CHEMLAB axeman Geno Lenardo. There's a little of the recent dubstep craze infiltrating the mix on the EVANESCENCE and LP tracks, while the MINSTRY and STELLA KATSOUDAS tracks rank among my favorites. The rest are a solid and would make excellent iTunes fodder for fans of the bands... if they weren't "album only" cuts to drive sales of the $11.99 release. The old music industry is still at play.

UNDERWORLD AWAKENING - Soundtrack Tracklisting:

01. Made of Stone (Renholdër Remix) - Evanescence
02. Heavy Prey - Lacey Sturm of Flyleaf feat. Geno Lenardo
03. Blackout (Renholdër Remix) - Linkin Park
04. Apart (Renholdër Remix) - The Cure
05. Killer & a Queen - Stella Katsoudas of Sister Soleil feat. Geno Lenardo
06. Watch Yourself (Renholdër Remix) - Ministry
07. Trip the Darkness (Ben Weinman Remix) - Lacuna Coil
08. Young Blood (Renholdër Remix) - The Naked and Famous
09. It Rapes All In Its Path - Black Light Burns
10. The Posthumous Letter - William Control
11. How’m I Supposed to Die - Civil Twilight
12. Consolation Prize - & SONS
13. Liar (Revenant mix by 8MM) – 8MM
14. You Won't See The Light - Ryan T.Hope of The Lifeline feat. Geno Lenardo
15. Bottle of Pain - Combichrist
16. Intruder – Collide
17. Exit Wounds (Justin Lassen Remix) - Justin Lassen feat. Silent Fury

Rating: 3/5 Stars

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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