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).
In January, Matador/True Panther Sounds released Intended Play 2012, a sampler LP of new and what the labels consider classic songs from various artists for the outrageous sum of $1.98. Well as if $1.98 wasn’t a low enough price tag in this age of freebie Internet music, they’re now offering it for nothing, scratch, nada.
Snoop Dogg’s slaughter of “I Walk the Line” is terrible, unforgivable. Remixes that’re cool, simply because they’re left alone, just beats and flourishes added: Count De Money’s take on “Big River,” Philip Steir’s take on “Get Rhythm,” Sonny J’s take on “Country Boy,” Pete Rock’s take on “Folsom Prison Blues,” and Wolf’s take on “Rock Island Line.”
16 cuts of shredding metal. Like any good comp, it has names ya know and names ya don’t, plus little photos of all the bands, a blurb each, a link (to MySpace pages, not their own website, a real sign of the times), and “courtesy of” credits if the band isn’t on Earache. Every cliché is here in spades, but also, the comp shows the diversity of sound and style in a genre that’s pretty specific in its needs and don’t take kindly to no new-fangled influences.
Former Ransom member and serial blogger Mikey Von Ransom shows his off his vinyl collection highlighted by Turbo A.C.’s, Lower Class Brats, Clit 45, The Sleazies, Much The Same, 46 Short, Fang, Shot Baker, Naked Aggression, The Infected, The Hollowpoints, Bang Sugar Bang, Total Chaos, The Migraines, The Pink Lincolns, The Scarred, The Independents, and Darkbuster.
New Deep Elm artists covering old Deep Elm classics… ooooooh boy, this is gonna get ugly. Listening to this thing, I don’t know if I feel sad for the originals or for the kids who obviously have no idea how to emote properly. Ironic, ain’t it? Most of these bands are supposed to be “emo.” Cover Your Tracks is cold, hard proof that the glorious ’90s are long, long gone.
Play can be enjoyed by anyone between the ages of one and 101 because it isn’t aimed to placate and “please” children “just for the time being”: It’s meant to stay with you as you grow up, never becoming kitschy or nauseating. So whether you’ve got a little one or want to feel young all over again, Play is perfect for you.
It was a good idea the first time around, and it’s a good idea now, although four discs worth of ’70s covers does seem to be pushing things to the saturation point. Back in the Saddle Again is less consistent than its predecessor. The concept remains the same: Heavy rock bands, most of them carrying a marked ’70s influence, cover some of their favorite songs from that hallowed era.
Ostensibly the soundtrack to the documentary of the same name (which itself is based on Steven Blush’s book), American Hardcore provides a pretty spiffy overview of the hardcore genre. At 26 tracks, it’s hardly a comprehensive retrospective, but it’s hard to argue with choices like D.O.A.’s “Fucked Up Ronnie,” SS Decontrol’s brutal “Boiling Point,” or Void’s crushing “Who Are You?/Time To Die.”
Available exclusively through Hot Topic, Metal = Life 2 features some of the best and worst metal and hardcore acts of today. The two CDs pack a bulky 38 tracks and run from the ultra lame (Escape The Fate), and the quasi-horrible (Calico System), to the obvious (In Flames), the blackened (Dissection, Goatwhore), the just plain ordinary (Underoath, The Devil Wears Prada), the influential (Converge), the outstanding (The Jonbenet) the funny ha-ha (Every Time I Die), the interesting (Burst), the dull (Misery Index, This is Hell), the copycats (Demiricous, Nights Like These) and the typical (God Forbid, The Autumn Offering).
I personally like it when they sound more like Hellhammer and Venom than Cradle of Filth, and a good number of the bands on this black metal compilation play that cool, old school, broken down, punk-influenced style. Absu rocks out a grungey one called “Mythological Occult Metal,” and Enslaved channel a little Entombed to groove out “Below The Lights.” All in all, this is one solid compilation, light on the progressive stuff, heavy on the untamed raw shit.
Releasing this sort of classic-leaning heavy rock music today is pretty much a losing proposition financially, so you’ve gotta figure a label this devoted to kickass of the long-haired, bellbottomed sort is destined to a short, painful life. Against all odds, Small Stone is alive and more productive than ever at 11 years of age.
If you’re too young to remember Atari Teenage Riot’s headache-inducing style (called digital hardcore, and released on ATR’s Digital Hardcore Recordings) from the mid-’90s (mainstreamed by Happy Walter’s Spawn soundtrack, which paired ATR and Slayer), here’s yer crash course. It takes an underground movie like Threat to have the courage to bring metalcore and digital hardcore together.
I’ve held onto Bat Head Soup: A Tribute to Ozzy all this time for the cover of “Mr. Crowley” that opens that CD as well as this one (it sure wasn’t the duet between Dweezil Zappa and Lisa Loeb someone thought was worth bragging about, not being humiliated by). Ripper Owens and Yngwie Malmsteen are both amazing, stylized, and have the tendency to show off, yet both stay admirably on-target here.
A sweet double disc from Century Media, the folks who regularly bring us some of the best real metal around. 20 songs on each disc, a few edits and demo tracks, and inclusions from Nuclear Blast and Liquor and Poker to boot. There are Hot Topic and Revolver logos on the back, sure, but no one’s perfect.
I’ve heard Melvins records over the past few decades, seen’m, dug their stance as “we do it our way” individualists, and am heartily impressed with their ability to mind some sorta mind bend metal” by language continually out of any and all source material, be it from being weaned at the nip of Black Flag or birthing Boris. The bands below learn on the whomp! Crunch! Grrr!, eng? Crunch! side of things; and it works as a piece.
Can Generations really be a product of 2005? Apparently so, and thank fucking god. In an age when everyone’s trying to out Coheed And Cambria each other or Throwdown in the pit, it’s nice to see young bands wearing Warzone shirts and yelling lyrics like “never have shit to say, but something’s always coming out of your mouth… you fucking judge, but where are the facts? Face it, you don’t know shit, you’re just another problem that I don’t want to deal with” (“Never Stop” by Lights Out).