I’m pretty new to the whole “Pretty Metal” scene, represented by the lovely soundtrack to Resident Evil—of the bands here, I’ve only got CDs by H.I.M., Massive Attack (who don’t really count), and Cradle of Filth—not even the Cure (!), who play against type here by rocking, in protest. Robert Smith yelps about “I don’t need your Us or Them” like he’s Nietzsche’s sloppy seconds, Willin’ for Change. (He even says “fuckin’ ” a lot—didn’t Paul McCartney start with the same thing midlife?) Elsewhere, Lacuna Coil and Cradle of Filth remind me of Aqua, with girls singing gorgeous melodies while their cartoony glamour-boy counterparts growl fierce!
One song here is almost great enough to have unseated “99 Problems” as my coveted “Favorite Song of 2004,” and it’s not the Rick Rubin-helmed Slipknot opener—rather, “The End of Heartache” (=”the Death of Tragedy”=more Nietzsche?), Killswitch Engage’s ode to the Ladies, which unites death-metal rumble with total “Boys of Summer” magic. (It’s Apollo meets Dionysus Pt. II, but who’s who?) And the Slipknot’s knot so bad. Even the one by Maynard and the Perfect Circles—well, it didn’t make me wanna hear anything else, but I resent less that they’re shelved under “A.” Other keepers: sinister Rammstein, rockin’ H.I.M., Rob Zombie saying “Yeah” a couple times. Funniest credits (tie): for Devil-Driver’s “Digging Up the Corpses,” “Lyrics written by Dez Fafara” (maybe you have to hear it); and for the Deftones’ “The Chauffeur,” “Taken from the compilation The Duran Duran Tribute Album” (oh, wait—I’ve got that one, too).