Metal Massacre 14
By Mike Delano
The CD sampler is fast becoming a thing of the past, what with everything being digital nowadays. Getting handed a mysterious CD on your way out of a concert that you could pop right in the car stereo seemed a much cooler way to discover new bands than doing so while staring at a computer screen. But hey – progress. And not to suggest that the majority of label samplers weren’t full of songs from shitty B-team artists and promptly tossed in the garbage, but I’ve still got a stack of my favorites from over the years, compilations that just came together perfectly for whatever reason (right bands, right song order, right time, right label roster, etc.).
One of the few compilation series with any name recognition is Metal Blade’s Metal Massacre. Since its original 1982 cassette version has the distinction of being the jump-off point for Metallica’s worldwide fame. Now 34 years and 13 volumes later, Metal Massacre 14 compiles a new wave of artists all sharing a true metal mindset. There’s no post-metal, deathcore or any of the myriad metal subgenres represented here – it’s strictly old-school denim and leather stuff, which gives it a nice cohesion (and is probably a clue to the preferences of Primordial’s Alan Averill, who compiled this volume). Stone Dagger‘s “The Siege of Jerusalem” and Metalian‘s “The Traveller” barrel along nicely in the NWOBHM mold, while Crypt Sermon‘s “Will of the Ancient Call” has a slow, satisfying Celtic Frost stomp. Noctem‘s “Until Then…Until The End” brings the requisite King Diamond-esque high drama (but not quite the high vocals, unfortunately), but the nicest surprise has to be Savage Master‘s “The Ripper in Black,” with Stacy Peak’s piercing vocals channeling the freaky fun of Wendy O. Williams. If the powers that be can round up all of these bands and get ’em on stage, I won’t go for a beer during any one of their sets, but make sure Savage Master is headlining.