Movie film soundtracks used to be a great opportunity to discover new acts on diverse compilations, with rock and metal being particularly well-catered for by the likes of Queen Of The Damned, Resident Evil and The Crow. While different to multi-million dollar blockbuster, a tie-in with comic powerhouse DC has provided producer Tyler Bates the chance curate a collection of songs to accompany the acclaimed Dark Nights: Death Metal run.
In fact, everything but death metal is covered, kicking off with Mastodon sounding more thunderous than they have in years on Forged By Neron, while Bates’ reunion of Dillinger’s Gil Sharone and Greg Puciato results in the demented groove of Now You’ve Really Done It. Carach Angren’s sinister Skull With A Forked Tongue befits the books’ monstrous forms of Batman and Wonder Woman, but it’s the more melodic and unexpected collaborations that offer the most impressive moments.
Health’s electronic thrum is augmented by Chino Moreno’s iconic croon, Chelsea Wolfe sounds exquisite over the throbbing effects of Diana, while Maria Brink and Andy Biersack complement each other on the moody build of Meet Me In The Fire. Dave Lombardo’s drumming is unmistakeable on Gunship’s synthwave sheen, and the shrewd anthem of Grey Daze’s Anything, Anything featuring a young Chester Bennington is a very welcome addition.
However, not every soundtrack can be Rocky IV, and there’s understandably a bit of guff among the gems. Broken Dreams, Inc. is at best a Rise Against B-side, while Idles’ noisy Swans-worship of Sodium makes you wish it was Michael Gira and co. Whether this enhances the penmanship of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo is beside the point; having this kind of smorgasbord of sounds feels like uncovering an enjoyable relic, with some of the exclusive tracks alone demanding attention.
DC Dark Nights: Death Metal is out July 16 via Loma Vista.