75Whether you believe the music-game scene is a tired, exploited, and boring genre, or if you’re in love with the thought of cascading notes raining down your television, its presence is undeniable.

The two competitors in the genre; Activision and the Guitar Hero brand and Harmonix and Rock Band, have taken different approaches to creating and selling their respective titles over the years. But whichever side you personally favor, there’s another person out there disagreeing. So we’re not going to hype one side or the other, I mean we loved Guitar Hero 5 and The Beatles: Rock Band for goodness sake.

Publisher: MTV Games
Developer: Harmonix
Sep. 22, 2009

Harmonix recently released the “Metal Track Pack” for Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii and I played the heck out of in the past week. It’s a collection of 20 tunes highlighting the many shades of metal with one overarching theme: the songs are freakin’ hard!

Of the 20 on-disc tunes, 6 of them are brand new additions to the Rock Band universe and are not sold in the Rock Band Music Store. This means the only way to experience these songs is to buy the disc. Here’s the full tracklist with the exclusive tones denoted as such *

All That Remains – “Two Weeks”
At the Gates – “Blinded By Fear”
Black Tide – “ShockWave”
Blue ƒ–yster Cult – “Transmaniacon MC”*
Bullet For My Valentine – “Waking the Demon”
Children of Bodom – “Are You Dead Yet”
Evile – “Thrasher”
Godsmack – “I Stand Alone”
The Haunted – “D.O.A.”
Hawkwind – “Master Of The Universe”*
I Mother Earth – “Levitate”*
In This Moment – “Forever”
Judas Priest – “Screaming for Vengeance”
Lacuna Coil – “Closer”
Lamb of God – “Laid to Rest”
Motƒ¶rhead – “Killed by Death”*
Nazareth – “Hair of the Dog”*
Queens of the Stone Age – “3’s & 7’s”
Rage Against The Machine – “Bulls On Parade”*
Yngwie Malmsteen – “Red Devil”

The Rock Band Metal Track Pack adds nothing new, besides the exclusive songs, to the Rock Band series. No artistic redesign in a metal-tone or any digital likenesses of members of bands featured in the game, but Harmonix has never done this with their slew of track packs over the years.

Visually, the Metal Track Pack is 100% similar to Rock Band 2, nothing more, nothing less. This isn’t a terrible thing, but with Guitar Hero 5, and Beatles: Rock Band both on the market, I’ve come to expect a much higher level of aesthetic fidelity and the Track Pack simple doesn’t deliver in that department.

However, as a lover of the metal music scene, and anyone who does purchase this game need be, I found the selection of songs to be utterly fantastic; you won’t want to skip anything. The tunes range from the hardly metal “3’s and 7’s” by the Queens of the Stone Age to the in your f*cking face anthem “Laid To Rest” performed by none other than hardcore thrashers Lamb of God.

Most of the songs in the Track Pack are very difficult, but we’re talking about the metal genre here; to expect anything less would be silly. Additionally, no one is forcing you to play through the tour on Expert. I had to dial down my ambitions a bit, suck it up, and play a few tunes on Hard to get by. I didn’t enjoy doing so but now I have a thirst to get back and conquer those few songs on Expert.

Additionally, if you’re a drummer, the Track Pack will set your feet ablaze as the metal genre demands a light-footed, proficient stick-wielder to get by. The drum part in “Waking The Demon” on Expert? Yeah, it’s a little tough.

Living-room rockers looking to score a quick Gamerscore boost will be hard-pressed to do so with the Metal Track Pack, as the achievements are mighty beasts to slay, and includes tasks like “5-Star “Blinded by Fear” on any instrument… with your eyes closed.” Good luck.

The Track Pack is a standalone piece of software meaning you need nothing but instruments and the disc to get rocking. Additionally, all 20 tunes import into either your Rock Band 1 or 2 libraries, and is really the right thing to do to avoid rampant disc-swapping.

Blast Factor: The Metal Track Pack is for fans of the circle pit, lovers of face-melting, finger busting solos, and those who aren’t afraid to scare the girls next door by playing At The Gates at 2 in the morning. If you haven’t downloaded any of the on-disc tunes already and love the 6 disc-exclusives, this purchase is an absolute no-brainer.

Played all songs, mostly on Expert guitar. Played drums on Expert and Hard. Tried singing, failed hard, but still had fun.

The Rock Band Metal Track Pack is available today for Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, and Wii. It’ll run you $29.99.

About The Author

Eddie Makuch is a Blast staff writer. Reach him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch.

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