Fan poll: Top 5 songs on 'THE CROW' soundtrack | Revolver

Fan poll: Top 5 songs on 'THE CROW' soundtrack

See which gloomy classic beat Pantera and Nine Inch Nails
the crow brandon lee

Released in 1994, the original cinematic adaptation of The Crow comic book features one of the Nineties' most uniquely brooding, beautiful and badass soundtracks. It's a legit masterpiece stacked with groove-metal bruisers, chart-topping alt-rockers, industrial rivetheads and goth doomsayers offering up both stunning covers and career-defining originals.

Onscreen, some of those songs helped score a fantastical, revenge-driven resurrection story, though they're also forever tied to the all-too-real on-set tragedy of lead actor Brandon Lee being killed by a defective dummy bullet during the making of the film.

With the soundtrack album having turned 30 in March — and with a controversial Bill Skarsgard-starring Crow reboot on the way later this year — we asked our readers to pick the single greatest cut on the iconic 1994 soundtrack. Check out the top five vote-getters ranked accordingly below.

5. Helmet - "Milktoast"

Yes, "Milktoast." Not "Milquetoast."

While Helmet's contribution to The Crow served as a tease for their forthcoming Betty full-length, it's still a soundtrack exclusive, considering this is an early version of the album track that they'd cut with alternative-era super producer Butch Vig (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage).

Both versions anchor into loud-quiet-loud dynamics and Helmet's subversively catchy post-hardcore chunking, but the original "Milktoast" sports a few violently noise-spiked extras — like heavy machinery grinding and a headphone-piercing bit of radio static. Industrial touches befitting the Crow movie.

4. Stone Temple Pilots - "Big Empty"

Stone Temple Pilots were going to contribute a pre-Core track of theirs called "Only Dying," but the San Diego alt-rockers ultimately balked at re-recording the tune in the wake of Lee's death, believing it would come across in poor taste. So instead, they previewed their upcoming Purple LP by spotlighting its standout, slide-driven power ballad "Big Empty."

On either album, it's a stunner as STP mostly stripped away the post-grunge distortion in favor of a back porch moodiness complete with Dust Bowl acoustic strummin' and Scott Weiland tempering his yowl into a vulnerable whisper. That said, Dean DeLeo's fuzz-powered, melancholy chord voicings in that huge-as-hell chorus absolutely crush.

3. Pantera - "The Badge"

This cover of Portland, Oregon, hardcore first-wavers Poison Idea's "The Badge" has always made for a weird, if still excellently punishing, entry in the Pantera catalog.

It's a decidedly lo-fi-sounding bit of brutality — especially considering the widescreen velocity of Far Beyond Driven, which came out just the week before The Crow soundtrack. Even so, the Texan groove-masters' take on Pig Champion and Co.'s anti-authoritarian punk 'n' assault still thrives via mid-scooped power-chording, Anselmo's gruff hardcore-styled vocals, and a few fitting police siren sound effects.

2. Nine Inch Nails - "Dead Souls"

Trent Reznor cross-referenced late-Seventies U.K. gloom with his own distortion-frazzled industrial aesthetic on this transformative cover of Joy Division's "Dead Souls." Rather than put on his best Ian Curtis baritone, Reznor remodeled "Dead Souls" with a high-contrast mix of extra-whispery and primal-screaming vocal moments.

The eerily elastic groove pays homage to the post-punk classic, while nevertheless smearing the song with the tortured industrialism of NIN's then-just-released The Downward Spiral. After all, "Dead Souls" kicked off that album's recording sessions at the infamous Sharon Tate house in California.

1. The Cure - "Burn"

The Cure were originally going to contribute their rumble-haunted "The Hanging Garden" single to The Crow, with the track — originally off 1982's Pornography — having been referenced in James O'Barr's original comic. Then Robert Smith opted to base a new tune off the plot of the film instead, creating one of the most iconic outliers in the English group's massive catalog in the process.

Put together solely by Smith and then-drummer Boris Williams, the soundtrack-opening "Burn" is a slow-simmering epic of dark-jangled guitar moodiness and wind-whipping percussive squeals. Smith's familiarly aching voice references the corpse-painted titular character, love and pain, and what it feels like to scream an animal scream night after night.

Thematically on-point, and outright legendary.