See individual reviews
by: Thomas Nielsen, September '04
Label: Enclave Productions
Style: Death, Doom, etc.
Metal Ostentation Vol. III & Metal Ostentation Vol. V
always difficult to give a collected rating of compilation CD’s.
However, these two compilations from Portuguese Enclave Productions
contain a varied mix of mostly unsigned underground bands from around
the world and gives you a good idea about what’s moving out there.
I’ve decided to give you my view of each song on the two CD’s
instead of overall ratings of the two releases. Here goes…
song from Australian Praetorian is standard, mid-tempo death metal
with a lot of keyboards. Growls are mixed with clean vocals, and the
four-piece have a penchant for cool breaks. Not bad.
is Breton black at it’s best. Probably the only Breton black metal,
come to think of it :]
Taliandörögd is clearly heavily inspired by Emperor, and not at all
a bad clone at that. The drum production could be a lot better.
Soul Fallen –
“Only To Be Cast Away”
black metal, this time from Finland. Again, not bad, yet nothing new.
It has all been done before by Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir or
Atem – “Yöhön”
Finnish music, this time from Atem. The track “Yöhön” (no idea
what that means!?) is a somewhat confused mixture of styles.
Kalasniemi’s vocals are more or less black metal, but the music
isn’t. I like it, but I’m not sure what to call it.
“Another Trip Through Space”
from Austria purports a well-played but standard melodic death metal.
Their singer is certainly an acquired taste (and sadly not my taste).
Alchemy X –
Theatre/Fates Warning clones. Next!
Guardians of Time
– “The Journey”
is power metal the way I don’t like it. This song has been done a
trillion times before and better by others. Leave it to the Germans,
boys…or, even better, to Iron Maiden.
“Rot on the Chamber”
sharing most of their line-up with abovementioned Alchemy X,
Vyndykator play a most more straightforward sort of heavy metal. They
have very close resemblances to good old-fashioned Accept, Priest and
Savatage anno circa 1986. A tad behind their times, you might argue,
but for an old-school geezer like myself it’s awright.
Force Fed –
don’t know if it’s a coincidence that French Force Fed share name
with a Prong album – but the influence seems to be there! This is
nice and tight thrash metal with a brutal voice. Good stuff!
liner notes try to sell Divinus as “atmospheric death metal”, but
I can’t see any of the two terms apply. The vocals sound flat, the
music is contrived without actually being more than mediocre.
the slipstream of Lacuna Coil and Beseech, Dutch Annatar attempt to
make it with their brand of dark metal, mixing female vocals with male
grunts. These days this is not exactly new, but Annatar perform it
well. “Remember” even tends to be a very beautiful song at times.
Solicitude – Fire
from Germany. Might as well have been from 1989, by the sound of it.
Solicitude have a great, heavy sound but lack terribly in originality.
Clashing Blade –
thrash metal with growl. Again, not highly original, but not at all
Organic Infest –
“Of Gore and Disgust”
Rican trio Organic Infest apparently have been around for quite some
time. That doesn’t change the fact that they sound like Suffocation
anno 1995, only with a slightly inferior production.
Carrack” is a curious blend of very simplistic black metal,
medieval-inspired chanting and church bells. I think I can see where
Finsternis want to go with this, but they don’t succeed the way
Moonspell did with “Wolfheart” almost ten years ago.
“I, euphorically, burned my…”
is cool! This German outfit mixes heavy-as-f*ck thrash with busy rock
á la Pixies. The female vocals are haunting, sounding like a
combination of Martin Walkyier in the narrative parts and my wife when
she has her period in other parts of the song. By far the most
interesting track on this compilation!
Baby Wild Cherry
– “Let me free Let me go”
why this song by Japanese Baby Wild Cherry is on a metal compilation,
I don’t know. If you like cliché techno rock, this is where you
want to put your money.
Tragedy Divine –
tragedy indeed… This is no way to complete an otherwise interesting
compilation. Rarely have I heard a “singer” so much out of tune,
rarely have I heard music so artificial. I’m lost for words. Utter
crap. No more, no less.
(If you must) www.tragedydivine.de
suppose that Nightwish’s success has a positive effect on the
Finnish scene and that it has spawned a clone or three. And, yes,
there are hints of Nightwish in the music of fellow Finnish band
Agonizer. The keyboard bursts are there, the characteristic powerful
drumming, only Tarja’s beautiful isn’t there. This is
well-produced and well-performed and the vocalist has a suitable voice.
The Outburst –
Don’t buy this band’s releases if you’re fed up with female
vocalists. If not, French The Outburst are actually quite good. A nice
mix of male and female vocals, energetic and straight-forward heavy
music with hints of Pantera.
Burst of Fire –
“Perception of Normality”
of Fire sound professional, to the point, razor-sharp – like someone
who should have a record deal and tour with Pro-Pain and the like.
Metalcore in fine shape. Not necessarily my taste, but I can’t help
Swedes play straightforward, fast and brutal thrash metal. The energy
level is high, but there’s nothing new here.
brutal music from Sweden. This song suffers from demo production but
the bands qualities still shine through. The sound is very early
nineties (Euro thrash a la Kreator), up-tempo, bordering on death
Bornholm – “On
The Way Of The Hunting Moon”
from sharing name with a small Danish island (?) and making nonsense
titles for their songs, Bornholm from Hungary play good-quality and
energetic black metal with nods to Bal-Sagoth and their Norwegian
brethren. Not bad at all!
L’amour n’enleve pas vraiment la depression…”
doubt, this russian three-piece is a talented bunch of musicians.
There are really great details in this piece (the title track from
their debut album), but overall it’s not very interesting. A shame,
because you sense that they are just that one step from getting it all
Fallen Sentinel – “Before, part III”
Sentinel create a fairly complex soundscape with no less than two
keyboards, guitars that are all over the place, a brutal male voice
and a spherical female voice. The liner notes call this “black
gothic progressive metal”, and I suppose it’s not entirely wrong.
Is it good then? In parts, yes, on the whole, no. The whole thing gets
too messy and the male vocals are for some reason mixed really low,
which is sad – mainly because they could’ve given this tune more
– “Mistress Guardian”
Gallery from Holland want to be doom, but they lack the venom of early
Paradise Lost, the depressive sound of My Dying Bride, the slow-drive
of early Cathedral, the pure quality of Candlemass. “Mistress
Guardian” is not a bad song, really, it’s just not that
interesting. The band mix clean vocals with growls, and I must say
that the growl parts are the most efficient.
“The Wicked is Born”
Frequency sound like Helloween on a bad day. Very little originality,
not a very good singer, very polished.
“Distance For The Glory”
this is a dilemma you often meet. Japanese Mandylion are over the
hills and far away musically; fast, precise, adventurous and could
outrun most Italian/German prog metal outfits any day. The vocal
performance, however, leaves much to wish for and drags the overall
performance down. Check them out, perhaps you like Michal’s voice!
Definition of Chaos
from Sweden have good ideas, the only problem with this track is that
the sound is flat and that the song gets a bit boring. I have a
feeling the band can do much better, but sadly they don’t show it
Zatzuma – “Stigmata”
Plazma Zatzuma are Sepultura in disguise. The riff used throughout
“Stigmata” is lifted directly from “Chaos A.D.” and hidden
behind “uuuhiiiuuu” vocals. Somehow, this rocks. I want to see
– “Ungeteiltes Leid”
is German death metal with American influences. The echoes of Tampa
and Morrisound Studios are evident. What the band lacks in originality
they make up for with brutality. Good stuff.
– “The cold of the Limbs”
bad that the sound is so bad on this demo recording, because I would
like to hear this Spanish band’s brutal death metal with a real
sound. Seemingly influenced by Deicide and My Dying Bride, changing
tempo throughout the song, and experimenting a lot with the vocals,
the band also ads their own indefinable something.
Amok – “Idle
Amok aren’t quite as efficient as the two prior death metal outfits.
They don’t lack brutality, but they try to be more virtuosi than
they in fact are. The drummer seems to have trouble following his own
ambitions, the guitarists likewise.
middle-of-the-road death metal which doesn’t convince.
“Acheron’s Call/Back to Hell”
is where it’s fair to say that Arcturus haven’t lived in vain.
Exekrator from Denmark take a stab at avant-garde black metal, adding
rock elements, acoustic guitars and clean vocals to the furious black
metal that creates the foundation of the song. It takes a couple of
spins to get into this, but then you might get hooked.
liner notes state that this obviously very young combo from Mallorca
wouldn’t mind being able to get away from the paradise island and
live off their music. That is all very well, guys, but I’m afraid
you have to stop copying Korn and Coal Chamber and make up your own
not sure what to say here. Lantz is a Swedish one-man effort. Erm, I
want to say that it’s crap in a nice way, but I can’t. It’s
electronic crap music, and the poor sod apparently can’t sing.
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