Various Artists Saw: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Released: 2004, Koch Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
SAW was a creepy movie that came and went from the theatres pretty quickly last fall. It looked like a good thriller based on the trailers but filmgoers didn’t seem to take the bait. Koch Records offers up the soundtrack to the film and this really is a hit-and-miss project. Of the fourteen tracks on the CD, nine are film score pieces while the other five are a real mixed bag.
Fear Factory is the big draw (if the band’s name splashed across the front of the jewel case in bright red capital letters didn’t tip you off) and Front Line Assembly holds its deserved place in heavy music history but the other bands are C-grade nu-metal/industrial cast-offs who typically get their name out there by showing up on releases such as this. The Fear Factory track (“Bite The Hand That Bleeds”) has already been released on the band’s ARCHETYPE CD from earlier this year but is one of the highlights. Burton C. Bell’s soaring vocals are in full force here and the mid-paced track is actually the first single and video from the movie. Front Line Assembly’s “Sturm” (also featured on their latest release, VANISHED) is a brand-new slice of industrial bleakness that carries on the tradition of the band’s sound. The tracks by Enemy (featuring A Perfect Circle’s Troy Van Leeuwen), Pitbull Daycare and Psycho Pomps are entirely forgettable derivatives of songs that Nine Inch Nails, Static-X and Dope were releasing five years ago.
As for the score (performed by former Nine Inch Nails keyboardist/programmer/drummer, Charlie Clouser along with guitars courtesy of Helmet’s Page Hamilton and fellow Nine Inch Nails member, Danny Lohner), the music is bass-heavy industrial with creepy sound effects that seem very similar in tone to the score of SEVEN, only with less impact. Yes, it is eerie and ambient and when taken in the context of the action happening on the screen, it is probably very effective, but without the visual element, these tracks get boring very quickly.
I have never been a fan of film score soundtracks and the inclusion of two songs—one of which I already have—is hardly warranting a purchase of this CD. I know they do have their audience and that may be who the SAW soundtrack is geared towards but it is very difficult to recommend this CD to the music-buying masses. See the movie, skip the soundtrack CD.
1. Sturm (Front Line Assembly)
2. Hello, Adam (Charlie Clouser)
3. Bite The Hand That Bleeds (Fear Factory)
4. Last I Heard… (Charlie Clouser)
5. Action (Enemy)
6. Reverse Beartrap (Charlie Clouser)
7. You Make Me Feel So Dead (Pitbull Daycare)
8. X Marks The Spot (Charlie Clouser)
9. Wonderful World (Psycho Pomps)
10. Cigarette (Charlie Clouser)
11. We’re Out of Time (Charlie Clouser)
12. Fuck This Shit (Charlie Clouser)
13. Hello Zepp (Charlie Clouser)
14. Zepp Overture (Charlie Clouser)