Mortal Kombat (Soundtrack)


I used to have this on a cassette tape, and after years of enjoyment it finally got eaten. A few years later when CDs popped out, guess what? That's right. Problem solved. When I first bought this, I expected some songs to be on there that weren’t. For example, at one point in the movie, when they came out of the portal on the boats to the island where they would be doing combat, there was some good music playing. However, that was not on this CD. So what is?

Well, it turns out this is the soundtrack rather than the score. While the word "soundtrack" gets pretty interchangeable with score, in this case we're getting the heavy metal songs that were playing at certain spots in the movie, as well as others that, while not instrumental, were crafted for use in the movie. When it comes to instrumentals, that's a whole other CD. But that’s okay. But since we're skipping out on the orchestra, today I’ll be doing the songs on a “Yay” or “Nay” basis. About half of these I enjoyed and the other half I skip and have programmed not to play on my computer because I can’t handle them. Which is which? Follow me.

According to the back of my CD case, this is what we have. George S. Clinton was the original score creator, and the * means that the song was not actually in the movie.

1.) George Clinton, “A Taste of Things to Come” Yay! “And now for a taste of things to come.” –Shang Tsung Straight from the movie, a quick Sub-Zero moment, mostly of drums giving you exactly what the title (and Shang Tsung) tells you of.

2.) Gravity Kills, “Goodbye” (Demo) Yay! I really like this song. It’s really great to listen to when you’re working out. It was always my favorite when I was on my bike riding around with this soundtrack playing. It’s fast, unique, and I liked the singer. I don’t know exactly why I like this one so much compared to some others on here…but I do. It’s put together well and just gets you going.

3.) KMFDM, “Juke-Joint Jezebel” (Giorgio Moroder Metropolis Mix) Yay! Sonya vs. Kano – whoo! At first I didn’t think there were any lyrics in this song. Oops, I was wrong. Initially that turned me off, but after a while it grew on me and actually I now have a few other KMFDM songs on my computer. It’s different, definitely, and might take some getting used to unless you’re already a fan of KMFDM (skirting hardcore and one of the fringe genres of the metal world). Give it a try, see if it works for you.

4.) Psykosonik, “Unlearn” (Josh Wink’s Live Mix) * Yay! Boom boom boom… Now this I have no idea were it came from. And as you listen, you'll eventually wonder, “Um…is this going to go anywhere?” Well, yes, it does, but it takes time to get where it wants to go. It’s all techno style, but it doesn’t change pace and simply trades out one sound for another, all the while keeping the same beats and sounds it had in the beginning. This one also might take some getting used to, but seeing as I know when which sound is going to come in, I’m accustomed to it by now and it’s cool. See what you think.

5.) Traci Lords/Juno Reactor, “Control” (Juno Reactor Instrumental) Yay! This was the song playing when Reptile and Liu Kang were going at it. Fast paced not-quite-techno, though there are elements of techno sounding stuff in it. It’s a little darker and faster than some techno actually (at least I think so) and the fact that I know where it goes kind of takes the clubbin’ techno away from it a lot. But it’s still entertaining, no doubt about it. No words, but that’s perfectly okay.

6.) Orbital, “Halcyon + On + On” Yay! This is the song at the end when all the souls are freed. It’s nice and soft, some piano and eventually some chorus singing as well, and after that a nice beat comes into play and keeps things going for a good while. Nothing to surprise you, not much change, it’s just nice to listen to while you relax and ride your bike under the skies…

7.) Utah Saints, “Utah Saints Take on the Theme from Mortal Kombat” Yay! The Utah Saints rock my socks. They did the Mortal Kombat theme and spiced it up all right! I especially like the use of the movie quotes in here. It’s fast, and I like the short piano bit throw in there. “All right – let’s dance.”

8.) G//Z/R, “The Invisible” * Nay. I couldn’t ever get into this song. It’s got heavy guitar and drums and a singer and that’s it. It’s almost good, but the lack of actual flowing music to give it life just couldn’t catch me up. And the lead singer isn’t really singing. He’s just growling out his lyrics, but does actually sing the refrain. Maybe if he did that the rest of the time it would be better.

9.) Fear Factory, “Zero Signal” Nay. At first I thought this was going to be good because I remembered it from the Scorpion vs. Johnny Cage fight – but then the guy started singing. It was more heavy guitar and drums and a sound I can’t exactly describe, but it sounded fine. The singer however, well, it’s one of those heavy metal bands where the guy just screams his lyrics, the band plays, and the guy screams some more. No thanks. Next track.

10.) Sister Machine Gun, “Burn” * Yay! This one is slow and I have no idea what it’s doing on this soundtrack, but oh well. It’s simple in its sound, electronic stuff, but mellow electronic stuff. And the guy sings. And that’s all there really is to it. But I like it. It’s something I don’t hear every day, but it works for me.

11.) Type O Negative, “Blood & Fire” (Out of the Ashes Mix) * Oh boy. Nay. The way this one starts I can just tell I’m not going to like it. Some dark organ starts out and goes into that heavy guitar stuff. Now here the leader does sing, but….it’s just not for me. You might like it though. It has potential yayage (so to speak). So try it first. But I just never could get into the deep singing and background organ.

12.) Bile, “I Reject” * Nay. This one doesn’t even start with a normal instrument – another I knew wasn’t for me. Fuzzy sounding screaming lyrics come through once it gets going alongside that heavy metal guitar. Nothing too original here, and nothing for me either.

13.) Napalm Death, “Twist The Knife (Slowly)” Nay. Begins with heavy guitar and then a guy screams and then starts growling/shouting his words. Random (sort of) guitar playing, more “ARGAARAAR!” and well, you get the idea. Still have no idea what this guy is saying.

14.) Mutha's Day Out, “What U See/We All Bleed Red” Nay. This is the song that plays when Sonya Blade is trying to bust Kano in that club. It’s almost a “Yay” but it still wasn’t quite for me. The lead singer is sort of Beastie Boy singing (sort of rapping sort of singing the lyrics) and then goes into a refrain. But I never got into it. That and it sounds too repetitive for me. But hey, you never know, this one might work for you.

15.) The Immortals, “Techno Syndrome 7" Mix” Yay. Ah, this is the other Mortal Kombat-like theme song. This is more techno based with someone in the background naming the characters and shouting “Mortal Kombat!” at specific times. I think it might actually be the voice from the game. After all, he does occasionally say things like, “Excellent” and “Finish him.” Fun stuff man.

16.) George Clinton, “Goro Vs. Art” (featuring Buckethead) Yay. Though I still am a little undecided on this one. It’s an okay instrumental track and does appear when Goro went against Art in the movie. But I think the problem for me was that it got repetitive at times and overly electric guitar to the point where I was thinking, “Okay, enough already” and sometimes even skipping to the next song. Decide for yourself – I still am.

17.) George Clinton, “Demon Warriors/Final Kombat” Liu Kang vs. Shang Tsung! It starts with the low hum of Tibetan monks before the two start fighting. Then it’s drums, horns, and actual instrumental stuff with a little electronic spice thrown in. Good battle music. “Finish him!”

As you can see I liked a lot of the songs that didn’t have any singing, and just a select few that did. I’m just not the biggest fan of really heavy metal. I do like funky sounds and unique stuff that you’ll find in here under the songs with “Yay!” by them though. You’ll have to decide for yourself what’s for you and what’s not on this CD if you resolve to get it. What I did like I thought was original and quite appropriate for the movie. Even the Fear Factory song worked for the movie – you just couldn’t hear the lyrics because it was faint and you get so focused on Scorpion and Cage fighting. So it all works out in the end. What George Clinton did put together was pretty good. But despite the songs I skip entirely, I’ve still had this soundtrack for - holy cow - almost 20 years, so that’s got to tell you something.


NT

P.S. If I could play you as Mileena, I'd kick your butt.

Originally posted on Epinions.com

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I am an author, I sell books for a living, and I love music like there's no tomorrow. I've experienced much of this country, from forested hills of the East, to the golden plains of the Midwest, the sandy beaches of the Southeast, and the oh-so-majestic mountains of the Rockies. And when all else fails, eat chocolate.