Rise of the Lycans is the third installment in the Underworld saga, and its soundtrack had a lot to cover in regards to the fairly epic movie. "Rise of the Lycans," thankfully, regains nearly all of the originality and thoughtfulness of the first soundtrack that was utterly lost on the "Evolution" soundtrack, and fully satisfies both as a soundtrack to the film and as an awesome mix.
Virtually every song on this CD is remixed or reproduced for an original Underworld sound, and the new material will satisfy any fan. The emo stylings of the "Evolution" soundtrack are thankfully nearly completely excised, leaving "Rise of the Lycans" in a darker, more industrially-based rock scene. The masterful remixing by the ever-talented Danny Lohner (credited on the Underworld soundtracks as `Renholdėr') keeps the metal from being too harsh at the same time as keeping the softer tracks from being too lulling.
My personal favorite and the track featuring the most famous rockers is "Underneath the Stars [Renholdėr Remix]," contributed by The Cure. The vocals of the lead singer float smoothly over the track as the remix blends with the original rock, and the song is lent great power by the blend of featured artists, a combination of The Cure, Puscifer, Maynard James Keenan (of Tool fame), and the ever-beautiful vocal stylings of Milla Jovovich (credited in her singing capacity simply as Milla), who contributed the luscious "Rocket Collecting" to the original "Underworld" soundtrack.
"Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" opens with Puscifer, who again contributes a fine opening, followed up with lush new tracks from Deftones, AFI, Alkaline Trio, and William Control (featuring Matt Skiba). The swelling sounds of the opening slip into some generally good tracks that don't leave you wanting, leading up to Combichrist's masterful "Today We Are All Demons [Beneath the World Mix]."
"Rise of the Lycans" misses a beat after this with some fairly mediocre tracks - in particular the emo-styles of Drop Dead, Gorgeous as they contribute the generally whiny and annoying "Two Birds, One Stone." The album, however, jumps right back from this dangerous ledge that "Evolution" unfortunately fell from with King Black Acid, ending with the lovely "Steal My Romance" by Ghosts on the Radio.
In the end, Rise of the Lycans is a slightly darker, more industrial sound than the previous Underworld albums, but it is a 7-League-Boot stride greater than the "Evolution" soundtrack and more than lives up to the great example set by the original Underworld soundtrack album.