Now that I've finished typing the tracklist, I can finally begin the review!
I noticed right away that there were many great bands on this compilation. However, for every good band, there was also a mediocre or down right repulsive one as well. You take the good along with the bad I guess.
SHADOWS FALL kick things off with a track from their "The Art Of Balance" EP. I never understood the big SHADOWS FALL craze from the start, but to each their own. I failed to see anything interesting about them. They're not horrible. They just bore me. (No offence SHADOWS FALL fans!) Speaking of the fans, you'll be pleased to note that there are two tracks off of "The Art Of Balance" on this CD.
HASTE. What can I say about them? A whole lot of nothing really. I liked a full 20 seconds of the song. Other than that, it didn't really keep my attention.
Next up! The first song actually worth head banging to on this CD! It's the almighty Dev and the guys from STRAPPING YOUNG LAD! "Relentless" was an excellent track for this compilation. It couldn't introduce new fans to their reckless insanity any better. "SYL" is definitely in my top 20 for this year. Devin and that ever working Metal noggin of his have yet disappoint me.
Now it's time for more mediocre, "When do we get to the good stuff?" Metal. CARNAL FORGE actually weren't too bad, but again like SHADOWS FALL, didn't have it in them to keep my attention for too long. Maybe I just need to hear a different song. Who knows? I always end up giving bands I don't like a second chance, just in case I missed something the first time around.
"Final Resistance" was the second song I heard off of DARK TRANQUILLITY's newest album "Damage Done". It quickly became one of my favourite songs off of the album. Definitely a great song to even out this CD.
OLD MAN'S CHILD's contribution to the compilation has to be one of the best songs on it. "Black Seeds On Virgin Soil" definitely stood out.
ÖAnd what to my wandering eyes should appear? Three more songs straight in a row that amaze my Metal ears! Ok, that was lame.
So, what songs are they? Well, first off we have NAGLFAR's "I Am Vengeance". I've always liked NAGLFAR, but this song made me like them even more. Next up, there's Mike, Anders, Jonas, and Dan of BLOODBATH with "So You Die". Despite what many say, I found "Resurrection Through Carnage" to be a fantastic album. Finally, there's GRAVE - "No Regrets". I haven't really been a big follower of this band, but this song made me gain a bit more interest in them.
Now it's back to more boring Metal. EYES OF FIRE did absolutely nothing for me. I'm glad the song was only a little over 2 minutes long. All they did was repeat themselves over and over again.
PASSENGER actually weren't that bad. They weren't incredible, but they didn't make me want to plug my ears like some of the other songs on this CD. I guess you could say that "Carnival Diaries" was more of a filler than anything. For some reason, I'm not sure why, but they made me think of IN FLAMES with clean vocals.
Being the huge LACUNA COIL fan that I am, I was extremely happy to see something from their new album was included on this compilation. Since the release of "Comalies" I've seen a lot of Century Media promos that have "Heaven's A Lie" on them. I thought it was great that they decided to include a different track this time. Maybe some of those who didn't necessarily like "Heaven's A Lie" will feel differently about "Unspoken".
It's sad that such an incredible band like LACUNA COIL have to be followed by a band who makes such a horrible attempt to make music. INTO ETERNITY's "(Unholy) Fields Of The Dead" has to be one of the worst songs I've heard in a long time. I think I actually liked one of their songs I heard off of a previous CM release, but as far as this one goes, I couldn't even listening to the whole thing. That's how bad it was.
Just when I thought the torture was over after hearing INTO ETERNITY, I found myself sitting through more unbearable "music". YAKUZA and LABRAT's tracks were nothing more than crap. As harsh as it may sound, that's just the way it is. (In my opinion alone of course.)
Seeing how I've already discussed SHADOWS FALL, (see paragraph 2) I'll go ahead and skip ahead to the next three tracks.
I literally breathed a sigh of relief as IMMOLATION's "Sinful Nature" began. It felt good to hear something that was actually worth listening to again. Plus, VITAL REMAINS and BEHEMOTH followed! What more could I have asked for at that point? Out of all three of those songs, "Unleash Hell" (VITAL REMAINS) had to be the best.
Finally the CD comes to a close at track 20 with DIVINE EMPIRE - "Aggravated Battery". I saw these guys not too long ago with DYING FETUS, MISERY INDEX, SKINLESS, RED TIDE, and DEAD JESUS. They weren't too bad, but they were definitely the only boring band of the night.
So in the end I guess 10 good tracks out of 20 isn't too bad. We'll just have to sit back and wait to see what Century Media has in store for us next. (Online October 17, 2003)