Hard Rock, Comic Book Fans Will Agree ‘Dark Knights: Death Metal’ Soundtrack Is Worth Hearing At Least Once

Courtesy: Loma Vista Recordings/DC Comics

One of DC Comics’ latest event series has gotten an extra push of sorts.  The company has partnered with Loma Vista Recordings to release a soundtrack for its Dark Knights: Death Metal mini-event.  The series ran from June 2020-January 2021 and was a “sequel” to the company’s 2017 series Dark Knights: Metal.  Both series are multiverse-spanning stories that largely center on one of DC’s most well-known heroes in Batman.  The soundtrack to Death Metal – which was released digitally Friday and is planned for a physical release July 16 — is in itself technically a sequel in itself because Metal also had its own soundtrack released in Sept. 2018 in the form of a six-song EP.  This musical companion to Death Metal is interesting in part because of the approach taken to its featured songs.  This will be addressed shortly.  The range of acts and musical styles exhibited throughout the soundtrack is also of note in the record’s overall presentation.  It will be discussed a little later.  The bonus content that will feature with the album’s physical release will add to the soundtrack’s appeal for the most devoted comic book fans.  It will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this soundtrack’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the record an intriguing presentation that comic book and hard rock/metal fans will find worth hearing.

Loma Vista Recordings’ soundtrack to DC Comics’ event series Dark Knights: Death Metal is a presentation that comic book aficionados and hard rock fans will find intriguing.  The soundtrack’s interest comes in part because of the approach that was taken to its very presentation.  Some of the record’s featured songs are works that have at least some tie to the Death Metal event series while others are far less connected to the story.  It is a unique approach because it makes the soundtrack one part actual companion to the story and one part just general compilation.  One of the most notable of the songs not connected to the story is Rise Against’s song, ‘Broken Dreams, Inc.’ The band premiered the song in September.  According to front man Tim McIlrath, the familiar punk rock opus presents a commentary about the growing class divide in America.  He said in a recent interview of the theme, “’Broken Dreams, Inc.’ speaks to today’s changing landscape of American society, the opportunities that are available to some but not to others, the people who are able to benefit versus those who get left behind, who suffer and end up as casualties.  How do we level the playing field so everyone can have a real chance at attaining the American Dream? One word, ‘disruption.’  You have to put power into the hands of the people, not business, you have to value people and community over profit.  You can’t have a shareholder-run country or a shareholder-run world, a world that values profit above all else, because profit above all else can result in dangerous repercussions for humankind.”  This all clearly has nothing to do with the Death Metal story line, but is still certain to engage and entertain audiences.

One of the most notable songs that is at least loosely connected to the Death Metal story comes early in the soundtrack’s hour-long run in the form of ‘Diana.’  Composed and performed by Chelsea Wolfe, this industrial, Gary Numan-esque composition seems to center on Wonder Woman (Diana).  The lyrics are somewhat difficult to decipher here sans lyrics to reference, but from what can be understood, it must be inferred that this song has some link to Wonder Woman’s role in the event series’ first issue, in which she learns the story of Perpetua through Wally West (a.k.a. The Flash).  If in fact that is the case, then the mood that the song sets would work well in fact with that moment in the story, considering what Diana leans about Perpetua’s role in DC’s “Crisis” events.  When this song and ‘Broken Dreams, Inc.’ are considered along with the rest of the songs featured in the Death Metal soundtrack, the whole makes for reason enough to hear this compilation at least once.  The mix of songs connected to the story and standalone songs is sure to keep audiences engaged and entertained in its own right. 

In direct connection to the approach taken to the soundtrack, the wide range of acts and sounds featured throughout the soundtrack adds its own appeal to the presentation.  As has already been noted, audiences get a touch of Gary Numan-esque sound in Chelsea Wolfe’s ‘Diana.’  She and her composition are just part of the diversity exhibited in the soundtrack.  Mastodon opens the soundtrack with its pummeling opus, ‘Forged by Neron.’  This song is a full on sludge metal composition that hits intensely right off the bat.  One could even argue that there is a touch of doom metal influence in the song’s chorus, broadening that diversity even more.  Also previously noted is the punk leaning of Rise Against’s ‘Broken Dreams, Inc.’ It goes without saying that these three songs are themselves quite diverse as are the acts themselves.  That diversity in the acts is not limited just to these three acts and songs, either.  Manchester Orchestra’s ‘Never Ending’ is a rich emo shoegazer style work that holds its own against the other songs here while the act itself is also unlike the others noted.  Between these acts and songs and all of the others featured throughout the soundtrack, the overall diversity exhibited throughout gives audiences reason enough in itself to hear the record, regardless of whether they are comic book fans.

The content presented in Loma Vista Recordings’ soundtrack to DC’s Dark Knights: Death Metal proves itself an interesting presentation because of its content, as shown here.  For all that the content does for the soundtrack’s interest, it is just one part of what makes the soundtrack interesting.  The bonus content expected to come with the soundtrack’s physical release adds to the presentation’s interest.  That bonus content in question is mostly content that will appeal primarily to the most devoted comic book aficionados.  Among the bonuses featured with the soundtrack’s physical release is a poster promoting the event series, a group of trading cards, and variant covers for the soundtrack on its vinyl pressings.  The variant covers will especially appeal to comic book fans, since comic books so often come in variant covers.  The trading cards will appeal just as much, if not to more casual comic book fans, too.  Sure the bonuses are basically aesthetic elements, but still add their own touch that audiences will appreciate regardless of the level of their fandom for comics.  When this is considered along with the record’s primary content, the whole makes this soundtrack a welcome presentation for the most devoted DC fans who are also hard rock fans.

Loma Vista Recordings’ presentation of DC Comics’ Dark Knights: Death Metal soundtrack is a presentation that will find appeal among a very targeted audience.  That audience in question is composed of the most devoted comic book and hard rock fans.  The record’s interest is generated in part through its featured artists and works.  The artists and songs featured in this soundtrack are diverse, ranging from the independent to the more well-known.  Some of the songs are also more directly associated with the event series than others, adding to the diversity.  The sounds in the diverse arrangements are themselves diverse, making for even more interest.  The bonus content that accompanies the soundtrack’s forthcoming physical release adds the final touch to the recording.  It is such that it will appeal primarily to the most devoted comic book readers.  That is because of its aesthetic appeal.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this soundtrack.  All things considered, they make the soundtrack an interesting presentation that audiences will find worth hearing at least once.

Loma Vista Recordings’ presentation of DC Comics’ Dark Knights: Death Metal soundtrack is available now through all digital outlets.  It is scheduled for physical release next month.  More information on this and other titles from Loma Vista Recordings is available at:

Website: https://lomavistarecordings.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lomavistarecordings

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LomaVistaRC

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The Power Of Three Has Potential Staying “Power”

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

2014 is only a week or so old.  Despite the infancy of the year, things are already picking up within the music industry.  If the many lists of the year’s most anticipated albums are any indication, there is a lot to look forward to this year.  That’s especially the case in the world of rock and metal.  Albums from Slipknot, Tool, Earth Crisis, Corrosion of Conformity, Foo Fighters, Mastadon, Black Label Society, and so many others are already making purist rockers and metal heads the world over excited about the months to come.  Now, yet another performer has added his name that already extensive list of bands and artists whose albums are highly anticipated this year.  The performer in question is Monte Pittman.  Pittman will release his new album The Power of Three.

The Power of Three is quite the interesting listen for those that might be unfamiliar with his body of work.  While Pittman has had the honor of recording and touring with veteran New York based metal band Prong, he is most well-known for his work with none other than Madonna and former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert.  He has also recorded with former Spice Girl Melanie C. on her 2003 album Reason.  Considering that he has spent more time recording and touring with pop artists, Pittman’s new record, which will be released via Metal Blade Records on January 21st, will shock audiences.  That’s because it is anything but a pop record.  Rather, he and his band mates—Kane Richotte (drums) and Max Whipple (bass)—have crafted a ten-track record that is an early contender for a slot on this critic’s list of the year’s best hard rock records.  The album’s second song, ‘Delusions of Grandeur’ is a pummeling song that hints at influences from the likes of thrash pioneers Pantera.  This is the case at least in terms of the song’s musical side.  Pittman’s guitar work, alongside Kane Richotte’s solid drumming, make this an excellent first impression from Pittman and company.  Pittman shreds with the best of them.  And his vocal style may even lead some to compare it to that of Fireball Ministry front man James A. Rota III.  Whipple adds just enough low-end to bring everything together in this song.

Just as interesting to take in on this record is the album’s opener and lead single, ‘A Dark Horse.’  What makes the song so interesting is that there almost seems to be an old school Black Sabbath influence mixed into the song’s more prominent modern metal sound throughout its bridge and verses.  One wouldn’t think the two sounds would gel.  Low and behold, they work quite well together.  As a matter of fact, there’s no doubt that Pittman and company will have listeners putting their horns high with pride.  Yet again, all three members of the band work together here to make a song that will leave listeners breathless by the end of its near five-and-a-half-minute run time. And as with the album’s other songs, the production is just as solid as the music itself.  Not one member of the three-man organization overpowers the other at any one point throughout the song.

For all of the heavier material that comprises this record’s body, Pittman also proves that he can hold back even if only a little bit.  That’s evident in the almost Alice in Chains style ‘Everything’s Undone.’  Even more intriguing about the song is that the setup in the song’s opening moments may even conjure thoughts of Aerosmith’s ‘Back in The Saddle Again.’  It’s only momentary.  But it’s there.  On its lyrical side, it comes across as being rooted in the standard relationship issues that make up so many songs.  He sings, “Driving faster/getting closer/But I feel farther from you/Here we go again/Who’s to blame/Am I gonna get closure from you/Now you’re gone/Is there something I’ve done wrong…Now everything’s undone.”  It’s pretty obvious that Pittman is delving into a personal realm here.  The catch is that unlike so many songs that are rooted in relationship issues, this one takes that lesser travelled road, opting for a less “oh, woe is me” vibe and more for something with energy about it.  This is the case even in the song’s chorus. The song as a whole is just one more that makes this upcoming album well worth the listen and a definite early contender for a spot on this critic’s list of the year’s best new hard rock/metal albums.  Fans will get to hear even more music from Pittman and his band mates when they perform February 22nd at Los Angeles’ famed Whisky A Go Go.  Tickets for that show can be purchased via Pittman’s official website, http://montepittman.com. Fans can keep up with the latest addition to Pittman’s tour schedule and all of his latest news online at http://montepittman.com, http://www.facebook.com/MontePittman, http://www.myspace.com/montepittman, and http://twitter.com/montepittman.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.