This was the first time Metal Maniacs started including CDs with their magazines. Ihsahn is the featured artist.
This was off the Emperor mainman's second solo album and features more progressive elements and unconventional metal structures than the previous release. Ihsahn is a very gifted instrumentalist and keeps things very interesting on this one. I own this album, so, of course I enjoy this song.
DROID: "THE RESURRECTION"
Simple groove metal. Not terribly interesting stuff, but it's okay if you think metal reached its height with Pantera. Interesting fact: Droid's music was featured in an episode of the TV show "Bones" when they were investigating a band for murder, thet they referred to as a death metal band, but had the stage show and image of a black metal band. A major facepalm.
DAYLIGHT DIES: "A PORTRAIT IN WHITE"
Melodic and solemn death/doom metal. Daylight Dies is an incredibly underrated band. I own this album as well, so I won't need to say much more than that about it.
MENTAL RESTRAINT: "WATERLINE"
I'm not sure what this is, some kind of hardcore with some metal influence. It's just terrible. The vocals are really bad, the riffs are nothing special, and it's fucking annoying.
TYR: "GATU RIMA"
Viking metal from the tiny Faroe Islands in Northern Europe. This band focuses more on folk elements, melody, and clean vocals than their counterparts who are offshoots from black metal. It's drinking music. I'm not a big fan of these guys, so I would have to hear more to decide my interest in picking up an album.
Boris is kind of a weird band. Sometimes drone, sometimes stoner metal, sometimes pscyhedelic rock, they really have no set sound. This is one of their more stoner doom tracks, but the vocals and grating guitar kind of kill it for me. It's better than drone, but I'll pass.
VISIONS OF THE NIGHT: "HUMAN FAILURE"
These compilations provided tracks by several new bands without label deals. This is one of those bands, a fairly competent death metal band. I would like better production values to be able to hear the vocals, but this is okay. Let's see what this band can do in the future.
I think this band was on a previous compilation. I remember not feeling overly impressed with them then. That has not changed. Groove/thrash metal in the vein of mid 90's Slayer. Eh.
IMPENDING DOOM: "SILENCE THE OPPRESSORS"
Christian deathcore. I don't mind the Christian themes, it's just that deathcore is tiring. Constant brutality gets annoying after awhile.
SAXORIOR: "JOHANN SIEGMUND OF LIEBENAU"
The best thing about these compilations is discovering new bands. I loved this track so much that I hunted down the album by this German melodic black metal band with folk elements. It's a great song and a great album. Good stuff.
HEXEREI: "EYE FOR A LIFE"
Another new band, it's some sort of groove/metalcore outfit. Not too bad, but again the production is not terribly great. Everything is kind of murky and the drums are too high in the mix.
Death metal kind of in the vein of Immolation and Incantation. It does not have the occult, sickening sound of those bands, but it's deep and doom-laden. This is pretty decent actually.
DOL THEETA: "MUD"
Okay, this is just weird. Very ethereal, at times with beautiful female vocals, occasionally bordering on techno. I have no idea why this is here.
MIDNIGHT REIGN: "THE HOLLYWOOD RX"
This sounds like Marilyn Manson with a more glam metal sound. No thanks.
Blackened death metal. This is pretty good, but again some bad production values hurt it, though not as much. I would be interested in checking this band out further.
Shackles is an Australian blackened death metal band. This song came out before the album that I own, but since I have an affinity for this style of music from Australia and own an album by this band, you can tell how I feel about it. Pretty decent stuff and the band has a gift for an epic feel to the music, which is rare for this style.