Roadrunner Records: Spring Sampler 2010

On occasion, if you subscribe to Roadrunner Records website, you get these tasty little samplers that both introduce you to bands you have never heard of and give you pre-release singles from bands you need to hear. The following is one of those such samplers…some of these bands I have no idea who they are, others are stalwarts in the Metal community. At any rate, it was free and contains some interesting tidbits.

Fear Campaign [Fear Factory]—-A really great return to form, this single is from the excellent Mechanize CD…all of the trademark elements are here…aggressive as hell Metal…brutal vocals and a magical clean vocal that sucks you right into the world of the band known as Fear Factory. Truly a great effort from this recently reunited band.

Burn It Down/Live [Five Finger Death Punch]—-With a maniacal audience to back up the band, this is a huge thrash/mosh pit that brings blood to your forehead even on CD. This is right up there with Hatebreed for me…the chorus is huge, the lyrics lean to the positive and the crowd reacts with enough energy to power New York. This is straight forward hardcore that is just not very available these days…love this!!!

Slam Anthem [Gama Bomb]—-Having never even heard of this band before,  I was interested to see what this was all about. The first thing that smacks you in the face is the opening scream…pretty incredible….this guy comes across as a younger version of Bruce Dickinson to me. The music is incredibly fast…I wonder how this guy gets so many words into one sentence. This is one to watch for…this transcends any of the Nu-Metal being produced today.

Over The Top [White Wizard]—-This is pretty incredible….I must investigate this band as well. This is nice prog Metal…with a high-pitched vocal to match. The overlayed vocal adds a lot of warmth and depth to the sound of the song…the music though seems almost pushed to the back of the mix. This is not the best produced song I have ever heard, but this band shows huge promise.

Operation:Mindcrime/Live In Wisconsin [Queensryche]—-A nice blast from the past, you would think that this band has grown tired of touring with this release and trying to recapture the glory days that are long past them. The sound of this recording is incredibly bad…the music is very fuzzy and the vocal rides too high above the sound of the band. Tate sounds remarkably good though…which is a surprise to me…the times I have seen him it has been a bit of a disaster.

A Thousand Lies/Advance Copy [Trypticon]—-Just from the opening strains of this song, I know that I have to get my hands on this release. This is fast…really deep in sound with lyrics that actually suck…but seem appealing to me. the brutal sound of the band almost overrides everything else..this is a literal wall of sound. The bass is so deep that it takes over the entire sound of the song entirely. This is excellent.

Wake Up/Live At The Galaxy 2009 [Suicide Silence]—-This is terrible….the sound quality is so distorted that everything is a huge solid mess of sound….what the hell…it was free.

Carnal Deliverance/Advance Release [Defeated Sanity]—-This is the best Cannibal impression I have ever heard. This is deep and the vocals are monstrous and delivered with an insane feel that brings a smile to my face. This is sludge Grindcore…if there is such a thing. I am loving this…wish I had some lyrics…..

Heaven’s Black Sea [Ihsahn]—-I live in Toledo! Trying to get my hands on this CD has been next to impossible…I guess I need to visit Amazon. I love this guy…he has a nice sense of theatrics…a flair for monstrous Metal at times and stays true to the Metal that he believes in. The intro to the song is awesome…reminding me a bit of Satyricon brand Metal…this is full of movement, atmosphere and a tad bit of the dark…just what the Dr. ordered.

A Glorified Piece Of Blue Sky [The Atlas Moth]—-This begins well enough….the intro is a bit long and extended and again, the production quality on some of these up and coming bands are horrible. None the less, the intensity is to be admired and the vocal is rather intense.

Closer/Live Acoustic [Lacuna Coil]—-I have never been a big fan of this band…this acoustic version of this song is pretty nice though. It really allows the vocals to play off of each other and the music never takes over the harmonies. Perhaps I need to give this band another try….perhaps.

Hammer And Life/Demo [Exodus]—-One of the founding fathers of the whole early thrash movement, I did not give this much hope as it was listed as a demo version. This will not let you down though…this is full of the magnificence that the band has delivered all of these years. The guitar attack is brutal and so full of sound….the vocal takes you back to the old school sound of Metal…when Metallica was relevant, when Megadeth wasn’t as pretentious and Testament still made real Thrash. Ahhh…..Memories! Outstanding!

Thousandfold [Eleuveitie]—-I have never heard of this band…..not even a little bit. The music is magnificent…the vocal comes across as adequate. This is a pretty big song, thanks to the really great bass and drums and the lead that plays a perfect melody through the backdrop that never gives up. This is rather stellar.

Beyond Forlorn [Arsis]—-again with the really bad production…this sounds like it was recorded on a cassette player about 1000 feet away from the band. the vocal is so removed that you lose all of the desired effect. This is definitely a Satyricon influenced band…the chorus and the delivery are exactly the same…I hesitate to but this though…if the production quality is this lousy. This could be a really huge band with me.

Sons Of The System [Mnemic]—-This is pretty large in its delivery…the guitars are incredible and the drums are even better. the vocal enters with a scream from hell that seems to last forever. this is full of nice tempo and mood changes…allowing you to really get a feel for the band. The vocal is a nice mix of Metalcore and straight up Metal…this is great…I know this band has been circulating for quite sometime….if they deliver more stuff like this, they could go pretty far.

Permitting The Noble Dead To Descend [Nile]—-Delivering their strongest material to date, this is a band that is destined to take over the Black/Grind/Death community. This is fast, and the guitars have an amazing clarity to them. the vocal is manic…delivered so fast you need the lyric sheet to keep up and keep track of the lines. This is brutal, dark and scary…magnificent.

Reign To Surrender [Epica]—-Epica is one of those operatic Metal bands that you ither love or hate. To me, this release contained some of their strongest material to date…they can never match the majesty of Nightwish, but they hold a pretty dark second to that band. I like the way they use the dual vocalist more and the nice interludes only serve to create a huge canvas of mastery. This is incredible!

**** out of 5


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