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Mortal Kombat: The Album

Released in 1994 on the Vernon Yard Recordings label (a division of Virgin Records America) -- Mortal Kombat: The Album is a concept record written and performed by the tandem known as The Immortals.

In truth, The Immortals were Oliver Adams and Maurice Engelen: a deadly duo of Belgian artists better known as members of the Lords of Acid techno/industrial collective. Engelen's Praga Khan roadie, Dieter Troubleyn, provides vocals for various tracks along with Channel X singer, Julie Wells.

The album contains ten tracks inspired by Mortal Kombat and its roster of characters. Two tracks depart from the character-specific format; Techno Syndrome and Hypnotic House. Goro is the only of three non-playable characters to be immortalized in song, appearing as the ninth track, sub-titled "The Outworld Prince".

The Mortal Kombat album is the product of a promotional exercise initiated by Virgin America, who invited the Belgian pair to record songs based on the hit game. Virgin provided a Sega Genesis and copy of the first game, from which The Immortals took direct inspiration. In Engelen's own words, the pair became "masters in virtual martial arts" after four weeks playing, creating tracks to match the energetic pace of the game. Lyrics typically refer to backstory, storyline, character traits or in-game abilities.

Songs like Sub-Zero (Chinese Ninja Warrior) have gained a cult following through meme noteriety. No song is more recognised than Techno Syndrome, thanks largely to its inclusion in the 1995 Mortal Kombat feature film and other promotions. Techno Syndrome was released as an EP single in 1993, the year before the album. Hypnotic House was used as a theme in Sega CD versions of Mortal Kombat, with Techno Syndrome appearing as a hidden extra.

Reviews:
- Mike Haseloff (Mortal Kombat Online Webmaster; September 2012)
"Without ever having anything to do with the music of Dan "Toasty" Forden -- or even the games themselves -- Mortal Kombat: The Album has still managed to become a classic piece of MK history. Cheesier than a Swiss wheel and about as bouncy; this is early nineties cross-promotion (and house music) at its maniac best. With lyrics so hilariously descriptive they read like crib notes from the manual, this is kitsch at worst -- pop genius at a stretch. Love or hate it, Techno Syndrome is definitive. Listen long enough, you'll bop along to tracks like Lost Soul Bent on Revenge and Eternal Life, too. Shang Tsung would have to rip the soul from your body to make something this wacky a joyless experience."

- Dustin Quillen (1UP Staff Writer; March 2011)
"Belgian electronica duo The Immortals made junior-high dances even more unbearable than usual when they released "Techno Syndrome" -- better known as the Mortal Kombat theme song. This diabolically catchy track fused in-game audio clips with the toe-tappin' sounds of a man violently convulsing atop a synthesizer. Not only is it an awful song, it also has crazy staying power; "Techno Syndrome" still makes the playlist at just about every major sporting event to this day. If you take into account the ratings for this year's Super Bowl alone, the number of people who were involuntarily exposed to the Mortal Kombat anthem in the last month would easily dwarf the entire population of Germany."

- Brett Elston (Gamesradar Executive Editor; November 2010)
"Long ago, when dinosaurs still roamed arcades and the Seattle grunge look was beginning to spread across the US, Mortal Kombat stood toe to toe with Street Fighter in terms of popularity and financial bankability. However, the savvy marketers at Midway figured the one thing SF didn't have was a cheesy techno album about its fighters, so they contracted musicians most known for their work with Lords of Acid to do just that. Each and every one is a musical wonder that begs for repeat listening. The lyrics, the beats, everything is a work of ridiculous art."

- Tony Ponce (Destructoid Culture Writer; November 2011)
"After finally listening to the full album [...], I can confirm that the reason "Techno Syndrome" is the only MK song anyone remembers is because the rest are SH*T!

All the songs were composed by The Immortals, an electronica band consisting of members of Lords of Acid. The group's idea of paying tribute to Mortal Kombat was making a song for Sub-Zero called "Chinese Ninja Warrior"... If you enjoy that little number, you'll love this jam sung from the point of view of Sonya Blade. Then there's this song about Raiden with such brilliant lyrics like "Mystical fighter, he's got no eyes! He's tall and fast 'cause he flies!"
"


- Bob Mackey (1UP Associate Editor; October 2009)
"The early 90s were a strange time for music; with the C&C Music Factory running at full capacity, our radio airwaves were besieged with thumping electronic drumbeats, carefully synthesized orchestra hits, and wailing fat women informing us of the appropriate time to dance. And out of this very strange musical movement - in the fecal sense of the word - came Mortal Kombat: The Album, one of the most infectiously awful collections of songs next to those of that GCI frog with the visible genitals who held the British pop charts hostage for some inexplicable reason.

Released in 1994, Mortal Kombat: The Album - not the following year's industrial-laden movie soundtrack - arrived in tandem with the home versions of Midway's famous arcade shocker. Even if you never had the chance to rock out to MK songsmiths The Immortals in the past, you may remember their insanely-repetitive Mortal Kombat theme song, because not even exploratory surgery could remove that particular ear-worm from your brain. What you probably didn't know is that these Belgian music goblins crafted nine other songs just as unbelievably cheesy (and tragically catchy) as the hit single that had American 12 year-olds screaming MORTAAALLL KOMMMBAAAT on their bus rides to school.

It's hard to pick just one song to show you just how amazingly terrible Mortal Kombat: The Album is, but I'm going to have to stick with my favorite on the album, "Kano (Use Your Might)." You see, it's not just a song about a dude with a cyborg eye who may rip your heart out; it's also a song about the human condition. We are all Kano.
"

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