The soundtrack to "The Scorpion King," due March 26, offers at least as much tail-stinging action as the highly anticipated film, starring pro wrestler the Rock. It features hard rock and metal cuts from Godsmack, Creed, System of a Down, Nickelback and others, ranging from moody and atmospheric to violent and bludgeoning.
The lead single, Godsmack's "I Stand Alone," is one of the week's most-added songs at rock radio. For those whose radios are broken, the track starts with a lunging beat and a guitar riff that shifts between a low, rumbling buzz and an eerie series of notes much higher up the fretboard. Then, for the verse, the song locks into a crunching, percussive riff reminiscent of Metallica before kicking back into the eerie opening passage with Sully Erna scream-singing the song's title and the lines "I'm not afraid of fading/ Feeling your sting down inside of me/ I'm not dying for it." During the midsection of the song, the music turns creepy and atmospheric, and the singer moans, "It's my time to dream/ Dream of the skies/ Make me believe that this place isn't made by the poison in me/ Help me decide if my fire will burn out before you can breathe."
Creed, one of the many other powerhouse rock acts on "The Scorpion King" soundtrack, contribute "To Whom It May Concern," which was originally a U.K. B-side. Earnest, mystical and melancholy, the song begins with ringing guitars and a midtempo pulse while Scott Stapp sings about his fear of commitment: "I didn't mean to yell, but sometimes I get beside myself/ ...Your eyes stare at me in the dark, and I hope those eyes don't steal my freedom." Halfway through, Mark Tremonti's distorted guitars sink in with some James Hetfield-style riffery, but they're balanced by soaring vocal harmonies, keeping the song tuneful even during it's heaviest moments.
System of a Down's "Streamline" is an outtake from their Toxicity session. The cut seesaws dazedly between a jagged riff that's as confounding as a three-sided square and a delicate rhythm composed of tender guitar arpeggios and weepy cello lines. The sonic confusion seems to mirror the turmoil of Serj Tankian's lyrics: "You are gone/ Goodbyes are long/ I wasn't there for you."
Nickelback's "Yanking My Heart" is also previously unreleased. The main riff is similar to Nirvana's "Territorial Pissings," but more accessible. Even so, the song rocks fast and furious. The brand-spankin' new Hoobastank cut, "Losing My Grip," flows from poignant vocals and chorus pedal-saturated guitars to choppy, staccato playing with harmonized vocals, climaxing with the infectious vocal hook "Trying hard to let you/ Let you go/ But I can't seem to loosen my grip."
"Break You" by Drowning Pool kicks off with low, down-tuned guitar scribbles, then erupts into a dark, chugging anthem. The tune contains a jolting stop-start riff, a moody midsection and an exultant chorus.
Sevendust's nonalbum track "Corrected" sees the band combining a techno-funk backbeat with soulful melodic vocals and furious guitar flurries. And for listeners who just want tribal fury, Mushroomhead offer the new song "Along the Way," which is raw, primal and haunting.
The album also includes new cuts from Coal Chamber and 12 Stone, a new mix of P.O.D.'s "Set It Off" and album tracks by Rob Zombie, Flaw, Lifer and Breaking Point.