"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" Soundtrack Review Staind, Linkin Park, Mastodon, Paramore — 4.5 out of 5 stars
Mon, 13 Jun 2011 06:10:53
Traditionally, the soundtrack to a Transformers film proves just as explosive and entrancing as the movie itself.
The soundtrack for Transformers: Dark of the Moon proudly upholds that tradition—like any robust Autobot—but it's also the best in the series so far. Each and every song displays an evolutionary heaviness that would be right at home on Optimus Prime's personal playlist.
From A Thousand Suns, Linkin Park's "Iridescent" finds solace in an airy electronic bliss before morphing into one of the most powerful refrains of the band's career. Chester Bennington's voice borders on heavenly as it rises along with the deep, dark orchestra of synths, keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums. Mike Shinoda spills his heart on the verse, matching Radiohead with a Thom Yorke-style expulsion of emotion. The song sees Linkin reaching another level of genius, and it's the perfect kick-off to the album. The final crescendo would make Michael Bay proud in terms of how epic it is.
Paramore's new track, "Monster", matches Sonic Youth-style guitars and elegantly hypnotic verse just before snapping into Hayley Williams' impeccable delivery of the chorus: "I'll stop the whole world from turning into a monster". It's another undeniable anthem from Paramore. Mastodon's distinct stomp infuses Thin Lizzy's "Just Got Paid" with an immortal heaviness, sliding from a slick Southern groove into catchy metallic bludgeoning. The track sees Mastodon flexing some classic rock muscle while retaining the edge that's made them timeless in their own right. My Chemical Romance's "The Only Hope For Me Is You" is so perfectly cinematic that it might as well be Sam Witwicky's theme song. Gerard Way bleeds beautifully on the chorus pulling every listener into the music's darkly warm embrace.
Staind's "The Bottom" remains the soundtrack's standout. Perfectly previewing their forthcoming seventh album, "The Bottom" begins with a twisted guitar grind from Mike Mushok as it builds into Johnny "Old School" April's bass rumble. Singer Aaron Lewis passionately paints a pastiche of pain with the verse that's mesmerizingly ominous before he breaks into the bridge of "I don't know what you're thinking, this ship is sinking". Mushok's guitar mirrors his voice in terms of cinematic intensity, conjuring a visceral visual vibrancy that music lovers haven't gotten since Tool's Undertow. Lewis reaches into dark depths and emerges with a driving refrain that's unforgettable. This is Staind at their best, and it's fitting for the movie's intense moments.
Theory of a Deadman offer up one of the biggest sing-alongs of the bunch with "Head Above Water", a grunge-y stadium-filler from their upcoming The Truth Is…. The soundtrack's deluxe edition culminates with a purely primal cut from Stone Sour entitled "The Pessimist". Heavy, haunting, and heartfelt, the song smashes with a thrashed-out dual guitar bludgeoning courtesy of James Root and Josh Rand, propelled by Roy Mayorga's impenetrable drumming. Then, singer Corey Taylor takes over, schizophrenically exorcising a jaw-dropping chorus that'll stay etched in your head as it beats you into submission. It feels like this was written just for some Optimus Prime ass-kicking, and it rounds out the soundtrack with a crucial dose of honest-to-goodness heaviness.
Bringing together the biggest and best names in rock and metal, the soundtrack is just as much of an event as the film itself. Take a trip to Dark of the Moon with it blaring now…
Pick up the soundtrack on June 14, 2011 and don't miss Transformers: Dark of the Moon when it hits theaters June 29, 2011!
Who is your favorite band on the soundtrack?
Check out our exclusive preview of Staind's new album here!
Watch our most recent interview with Chester Bennington of Linkin Park here!