Various Artists: Tales from the Crypt: Monsters of Metal

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By Mike Pace

Now off the air for longer than it was on, the team behind HBO horrific episodic frightfest Tales from the Crypt have decided to release a compilation disc of the Cryptkeeper’s favorite metal bands for no apparent reason. Other than compiling some dusty Dio-era Black Sabbath tracks (“Heaven and Hell”) with later mishaps by the likes of Anthrax (“Bordello of Blood? Geez!) and Prong (“Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck”),reasons for putting this album put remain unknown. Sure, there’s the blood ‘n’ guts scary theme running throughout as well as the incredibly lame yet obligatory Cryptkeeper puns, but why? Still, there is no reason to complain if you’re a fan of the genre. Pantera, Megadeth, and even faux-prog metal wusses Queensryche show up alongside the likes Scandinavian heavy-metal-weights The Haunted and Entombed (who inexplicably contribute an instrumental version of their hit “Wolverine Blues”). There’s also some Judas Priest song (“Beyond the Realms of Death”) and an old Dio solo track (“Don’t Talk to Strangers”) that contains the line “Don’t dream of women ‘cause they’ll only bring you down”. Huh, Ronnie? It’s interesting to note that a substantial portion of these songs is in the form of power-ballads, if only to show the “sensitive” side of the hesher community (please, how 1986 is that issue?). Still, it’s hard to criticize a disc that decides to close out with Metal Church’s 1985 classic, “Beyond the Black”.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/various-talesfromthecrypt/