I like The End Records. They’re potentially my favourite record label, with a lot of really, really good bands. As such, I was rather excited to receive this promo, not for the least that it’d be my first exposure to the new AGALLOCH, DISSECTION, UNEXPECT and VIRGIN BLACK material.
Kinda. See, not only is this a sampler, but some of the tracks are version that we won’t be getting/don’t have on the full-lengths. The tracks offered by VOIVOD, GIANT SQUID, AGALLOCH and LAETHORA are alternate versions, while the VIRGIN BLACK track is simply a sample of some of the bits recorded by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. And since I haven’t heard any of the album versions, I can’t tell you if they’re better or worse.
And now for some random thoughts (hey, it’s not a cogent album, so it’s not a cogent paragraph).
--I am not a VOIVOD fan and this album did nothing to change this.
–Unless you want mediocre, cliché Extreme Metal, skip everything after UNEXPECT by YYKROON.
–This new DISSECTION is too staccato. I’m not feeling it.
–GIANT SQUID reminds me of a less adventurous PELICAN with vocals.
--UNEXPECT win. They win this sampler. They win life. This sampler should be called “UNEXPECT And A Bunch Of Other Bands, Some Of Which Are Good, Some Of Which Are Bad, But Hey, UNEXPECT.”
–Still looking forward to the new AGALLOCH album, even if they have Rocked it up some.
–I am still undecided on how I feel about HEAD CONTROL SYSTEM, GIANT SQUID and SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM.
--It’s a curious choice to put the two lightest tracks, “Shortest Day” and “Alone,” near the beginning of the album.
--UNEXPECT is awesome.
The End fans will like this. It’s a quality sampler that both fans and novitiates will enjoy. Now I’m going to sit back and wait for the new UNEXPECT album in June to fill all the empty voids in m life. (Online May 27, 2006)