If you’re a true fan of the wrestling entrance themes and especially of “good music”, this CD is definately a steer-clear of. Although there are some rather nice tunes, the majority of the disc is mostly filler by ne’er-do-wells, neophytes, and a few veterans trying for another big hit.
The first thing I noticed as a recurring theme throughout the CD was the abysmal quality of these particular songs. I do not know who is responsible for the CD’s mastering or re-mastering, but whoever it is should be fired. Audible throughout quite a few songs are clicks and pops from the high noise level they seem to have been recorded at, in and of itself a big no-no. Most noticable during Brand New Sin’s “Crank It Up”, around 1:35 into “Burn In My Light” from Mercy Drive, and the quality errors rear their ugly heads in “Fury of the Storm” and “I Walk Alone” as well. In 2006, a multi-billion dollar corporation simply has no logical and/or acceptable reason not to have the highest of quality in their production. For that reason alone, this couldn’t get a high rating from me. I’ve heard cassette tapes that had superior sound, and yes I’ve checked several CD’s from friends as well to ensure it wasn’t one poor copy. Inexcusable!
The songs themselves can impress, but the diversity of the bands makes the CD difficult to totally enjoy. For the metal crowd, a smattering of Motorhead and Killswitch Engage, while the hip-hop crowd can enjoy Silkk the Shocker, Three 6 Mafia, and Desiree Jackson. A hybrid rock-country beat surrounds the remake of “Crank It Up” by Brand New Sin, and alternative rock fans will probably like Zebrahead’s “With Legs Like That” and Eleventh Hour’s “A Girl Like That”. There’s even a Latin hip-hop offering from Kaballon entitled “Quien Soy Yo(Who I Am)”, and the hybrid rap-rock band P.O.D throws in some Spanish to record “Booyaka 619″, a remake of Rey Mysterio’s theme. So while there is something for nearly everybody, there isn’t always an abundance of tunes in that particular category. I found quite a few to fall flat, but the CD to me was saved by the aggressive Killswitch Engage’s “This Fire Burns”, easily my favorite. I also enjoyed the actual version of “Burn In My Light” by Mercy Drive, used by Randy Orton.
As far as an overall grade goes, there are some memorable tunes (KE, Motorhead), some decent (Theory of a Dead Man, Shadows Fall), and some intolerable (Homebwoi, Kaballon) although I’m sure many will disagree on the exact choices. That’s the problem: The entire CD seems to have been made to please everybody, but you should know by now it is impossible! I preferred the seperation of “Aggression”, the WWE’s offering back when they remained WWF as the rap/hip-hop alternative, and “Forceable Entry”, which was mostly heavy metal and hard rock. Some of these songs are actual theme songs, some of these have been used just to promote the CD, others probably will be used as wrestler themes full time or have already been used once (Randy Orton’s use of “This Fire Burns” on SmackDown several months before this CD release) but overall, you can’t please everybody and when you try, you get an eclectic collection that generally pleases you somewhat but leaves you wanting more so the next genre can take over. Poor production, a few very questionable choices, and a lack of tracks (51 minutes for 15 songs?) outweigh the good. I’m giving this two stars, mostly from the production aspect. I have to agree with Aranash on the review with his comments on specific songs and Brinsmaid about how this is the worst CD they have put out yet, although Anthology’s chopped up songs and horribly mastered Disc 1 ranks up there. By now, however, we all should know better than to expect something special from Johnston and friends!