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Saturday, 18 October 2003 19:00
If you would like to save yourself some time this Halloween, than my suggestion to you would be to stop reading this review and go right now to buy "Van Helsing's Curse". I've reviewed my share of soundtracks and horror themed CD's on this site, and I've enjoyed quite a few of them as well, but I've never heard something as kick ass as this. Let me explain.

I think what made this such a cool experience for me was that I went into the CD without having any idea what to expect. Would this be purely orchestral? Would there be sound FX? Who the hell knew... and that made what followed freaking awesome.

The CD starts out with an introduction from Dee Snider... you heard me, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister fame. Granted, your enjoyment of the CD may hinge on whether or not you enjoy or detest the sound of his voice. But something tells me if you dig what is going on here than you'll be more than okay with his presence.

So he gives us the creepy intro, and then we're on to track number two entitled Tubular Hell (haha, that's great). The track begins the way you would expect, a number very reminiscent of the famous score from The Exorcist. "Alright," I'm thinking, "this is cool enough.". If I only knew. Here's where the surprise came in. About 30 seconds or so in I was bludgeoned over the head (in the best way possible) with some good old fashioned electric guitar. I mean this dude started wailing on his axe like it was a red-headed step child. What followed was an all out assault on the senses, including the aformentioned guitar, orchestral accompaniment, and even some choir vocals thrown in for good measure. It was the first time I can ever recall reviewing something for the site that had me headbanging.

After that's over, here comes Dee again with his creepy voice giving us some more story. To be honest, at this point I was more concerned with changing into a dry pair of pants than what he had to say, but that's okay. Once track 3 kicks in (All Fall Down) it's more of the bloody same. At this point I was actually playing air guitar... I swear to God (or Satan, whichever makes you trust me more). I've never really heard horror themed orchestral music like this blended so well with heavy metal. What's even better is how much of an "80's" vibe the metal had... very cool indeed.

After that thorough thrashing, the CD moves onward. At this point I come to the conclusion that what I'm hearing is exactly what it would sound like of Metallica and Goblin had a bastard child. It would be quite an ugly little fucker, but it would sound sweet as hell (as this CD does). Along the way they manage to throw in tons of references to both classic metal bands and classic horror tunes alike. Although to be honest, I'm a horror geek and not a music geek so I couldn't begin to tell you the names of the referenced songs. What more can I say? I could go through the rest of the tracks but really it's more of the same the whole way through. The CD builds and builds until about track 9 (Let The Pain Begin) where the whole thing comes to a head and then proceeds to explode into a bloody puss-filled mess (eeewwww).

If you still need convincing let me put it to you this way. I've been searching all year long for the perfect soundtrack for my Halloween party. It needed to be up-tempo to keep things moving, but it also had to be cool, and more importantly creepy. I have FOUND the CD I will be playing at my party this year, and I can't think of a better compliment to give "Van Helsing's Curse." There's always time left before Halloween, so run out and buy this sucker NOW.

Did You Know?
"Van Helsing's Curse" was created and narrated by Dee Snider, former lead singer of the 80's band Twisted Sister

"Van Helsing" is the mythical figure who often pops up in movies fighting the classic movie Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolfman etc... 
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