Shackler's Revenge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Shackler's Revenge"
Chinese Democracy (song).jpg
Song by Guns N' Roses
from the album Chinese Democracy
A-side "Chinese Democracy"
Released September 14, 2008
Format Digital download
Recorded 2006–2007
Length 3:37
Label Geffen
  • Axl Rose
  • Caram Costanzo

"Shackler's Revenge" is a song by Guns N' Roses, and the second track on their sixth studio album, Chinese Democracy. The song was released on September 14, 2008 in the Rock Band 2 video game.[1] The song was written by vocalist Axl Rose, guitarists Robin Finck and Buckethead, drummer Bryan Mantia, producer Caram Costanzo and engineer Pete Scaturro. It was included as the b-side to the single "Chinese Democracy".


Guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal plays the solo on fretless guitar, some rhythm guitar, guitar in the pre-chorus, and the ending solo. He stated it was one of the first songs he worked on with the band after joining in 2006.[2]

Shackler's Revenge was announced as being included in the Rock Band 2 game on July 14, 2008.[3] The song marks a major departure from Guns N' Roses typcal sound, incorporating elements of industrial rock,[4][5] electronic rock,[6] nu metal,[7][4][5] sludge rock,[8][9] and alternative rock.[10]

The song was leaked to the internet in August 2008.[11][12] At the time, Rolling Stone described the song, saying "the song’s low crunch sticks with the album’s long-stated industrial leanings, and again, layers upon layers of Axls create a particular sort of demented choir."[12]

The song was released when the game launched on September 14, 2008, making the song it the first official release of new Guns N' Roses material since 1999's "Oh My God".[11][13] The song was picked for the game because the developers wanted a Guns N' Roses song, then decided they want one that will be on the "mysterious" Chinese Democracy album; Rose helped the team to select the specific song.[14]

The song has been described as having industrial influences, and according to vocalist Axl Rose, was written in reaction to "the insanity of senseless school shootings and also the media trying desperately to make more out of one shooter's preference for the Guns song Brownstone to no avail".[5][15] Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho had written a play based on the lyrics of the Guns N' Roses song "Mr. Brownstone".[16]

Former Guns N' Roses drummer Bryan "Brain" Mantia created a club inspired remix in 2009 for a pending remix album of songs of Chinese Democracy.[17]


The song drew many comparisons to industrial and electronic acts Nine Inch Nails, The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson, Korn and Rob Zombie.[18][4][6][19][20]

IGN gave the song a 5.5 (Mediocre) rating, saying "Shackler's Revenge reeks of affluence, sounding more like a one-time wizard of rock playing with ProTools and faceless hired guns in his bedroom palace, creating a song that will ultimately be a disposable hit without any legs to stand on."[5] Common Sense Media gave the song 3 out of 5, stating "There's still some of that dated sound to "Shackler's Revenge", but Axl's distinct wail and a sharp chorus save the song, making it a respectable comeback."[4] Chuck Klosterman, writing for The A.V. Club stated "A song like "Shackler's Revenge" is initially average, until you get to the solo—then it becomes the sonic equivalent of a Russian robot wrestling a reticulating python."[21]

Consequence of Sound reacted positively to the track, saying "(Shackler's) keeps it in the digitized realm, only now there’s this decadent dance swing to it. The sludge rock verses may require an adjustment, but the pre-chorus is bouncy and fun, which all lead up to an anthemic chorus that will have everyone’s fists in the air.[22] ABC News cited "Shackler's Revenge" and "Chinese Democracy" as "hyperactive bashers that recall GNR splendor."[23] Music Radar gave the song a negative review, stating "Ultimately, Shackler's Revenge finds Axl Rose trapped in a cul-de-sac of his own design. The one-time brash confrontationalist now holes himself up in his Hollywood Xanadu, on his own with no direction home" and criticized it for sounding dated.[7] Metal Injection reacted positively, stating "Axl sounds like he's catching up to the mid-'90s industrial craze, but he's way overdue to cash in on NIN's success. Here it's unlike anything he's tried before, much less anything huge on rock radio these days. I didn't think much of it when it hit Rock Band 2 last fall, but after last night the chorus won't get out of my head."[19]

In February 2016, Spin ranked the song the 18th best Guns N' Roses song, stating "In some ways, this Rock Band-debuted single is just a steroidal update of what the flailing, pointless “Oh My God” was probably supposed to be: screeching Deftones opening riff, programmed industrial funkadoodles last heard in 1997, and disco midsection, check, check, double-check. But in other ways, there’s just no other band that sounds like this."[24] In a June 2018 column, Loudwire ranked it 67th out of 87.[25]


Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[26]

Guns N' Roses
  • Axl Rose – production, digital editing
  • Caram Costanzo – production, arrangements, digital editing
  • Pete Scaturro – arrangements, initial production
  • Bryan "Brain" Mantia – initial production
  • Eric Caudieux – digital editing


  1. ^ "Guns N' Roses' "Shackler's Revenge" Set For Rock Band 2". 13 July 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  2. ^ "GUNS N' ROSES Guitarist BUMBLEFOOT Comments On 'Shackler's Revenge' Track". 28 September 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  3. ^ "Planned Guns N' Roses Deal Underscores Power of Video Games to Sell Songs". The New York Times. 14 July 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c d ""Shackler's Revenge" (CD single) – Music Review". Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  5. ^ a b c d Spence D. (September 16, 2008). "Guns N' Roses – "Shackler's Revenge" Review". IGN. Archived from the original on July 28, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis (November 20, 2008). "Guns N' Roses: Chinese Democracy". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Archived from the original on January 5, 2016. Retrieved August 7, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "BLOG: What are we to make of Shackler's Revenge?". Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  8. ^ "Guns N' Roses: Chinese Democracy". Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  9. ^ "Album Review: Guns N' Roses – Chinese Democracy". 19 November 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  10. ^ "ANOTHER NEW GUNS N' ROSES SONG LEAKS! – MetalSucks". 14 August 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  11. ^ a b Steffen, Chris (August 14, 2008). "New Guns n' Roses Leak: "Shackler's Revenge"". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 16, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Steffen, Chris (14 August 2008). "New Guns n' Roses Leak: "Shackler's Revenge"". Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  13. ^ Lapatine, Scott (July 13, 2008). "Guns N' Roses' "Shackler's Revenge" Set For Rock Band 2". Stereogum. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  14. ^ Goldstein, Hilary (2008-08-15). "Rock Band 2: Behind the Music". Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  15. ^ Rose, W. Axl (December 20, 2008). "Axl Rose Chat No. 3 – cd – Dec. 13, 2008". Guns N' Roses Forum. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Virginia Tech Killer Named Play After Guns N' Roses Song 'Mr. Brownstone'". Blabbermouth. April 18, 2007. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015. 
  17. ^ Tolleson, Robin (March 2009). "Guns 'N' Roses' Bryan "Brain" Mantia". Modern Drummer. Archived from the original on January 10, 2018. Axl is really interested in having everybody bring what they do into the picture. I just did a remix of "Shackler's Revenge" — made it kind of more club. And I think he wants to put out a remix album of some of the other songs we did. 
  18. ^ Freeman, Phil. "Democracy Now". Cleveland Scene. Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  19. ^ a b ""Chinese Democracy" track by track analysis from a first listen in a really loud club". 18 November 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  20. ^ Pell, Nicholas (5 July 2016). "Unpopular Opinion: Guns N' Roses' "My World" Was a Track Ahead of Its Time". Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  21. ^ Klosterman, Chuck (November 18, 2008). "Chuck Klosterman reviews Chinese Democracy | Music". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  22. ^ Roffman, Michael (November 19, 2008). "Guns N' Roses – Chinese Democracy review". Consequence of Sound. Archived from the original on January 2, 2018. Retrieved June 7, 2018. 
  23. ^ News, A. B. C. (22 November 2008). "Guns N' Roses Has Still Got Ammo". ABC News. Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  24. ^ "Every Guns N' Roses Song, Ranked". 19 February 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  25. ^ "Guns N' Roses Songs Ranked". Loudwire. Retrieved 13 July 2018. 
  26. ^ Chinese Democracy (Media notes). Guns N' Roses. Geffen Records. 2008.