From the brutal to the sludgy to the experimental to the symphonic, we raise our horns in welcome and warning to the coming week: we are here to ROCK.
For a movie in which the personification of death cross-dresses, raps, and gets “Melvined,” Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey didn’t goof around when it came to metal. And while “God Gave Rock ‘N’ Roll to You II” was a non-heinous win for a Kiss struggling to hide its imperfections without makeup, the 1991 soundtrack’s most triumphant moment came in the form of “Go To Hell” by Megadeth.
The opening bass chug-a-lug is suitably dirty and menacing, but the neo-classical leads & mid-tempo riffing announce the band’s intentions of grandeur during this period. Perhaps “fast & loud” had been good enough in the past, but we’re now put on notice that Megadeth is equally capable of anthemic—even pretty—songwork. But the spoken-word “now I lay me down” section immediately subverts this initial impression; this is Megadeth, the song is called “Go To Hell,” and we’ve gotta make sure to scare the parents. Mustaine’s phlegmatic Alice Cooper homage will do the trick nicely.
Really, it’s the perfect soundtrack contribution. The track ostensibly complements the film’s theme, albeit at a darker, almost humourless level, and stands on its own as a bridge between the grittier thrash of the band’s 80’s ascension and the almost-likeable success of its 90’s commerciality. The song functions as a mash-up of elements from where the band had been and where Rust in Peace had clearly declared that it was going; as such, it works both for the dedicated faithful eager for another missive, and for the uninitiated who would stumble upon the band quite innocently via a key quotable exchange in the movie: “Ted, y’know, if I die, you can have my Megadeth collection.” “But dude, we’re already dead.” “Oh. Well then, they’re yours, dude!.”