Review by Stefan: As an annual tradition, the time has come to spread the word about Compendium Of Metal, meanwhile the counter of this brilliant series stands at 9. Therefore my full appreciation goes out to CEO of Metal On Metal Records, Jowita Kaminska and her husband Simone, the ultimate couple who are committed to serve the Metal community for so many years and in the best possible ways, may the gods of Metal be with you forevermore, guys !
This year’s edition is again full of interesting material, various sub-genres are represented there, so Compendium of Metal Vol. 9 is highly recommended for a big range of Metalheads. No matter which style of Metal you prefer, if you consider yourself a pure Metal maniac, you should place an order for this CD. I will give you all the necessary info at the end of this review but first, the full information about the featured bands and their songs.
ALBERT BELL’S SACRO SANCTUS: ‘The Key Of Splendour’, taken from the new album entitled “Ad Aeternum”. Darker than hell, this song brings on a great mixture of good old blackened/epic Heavy and Doom Metal, sometimes inclined to take a Thrash Metal direction. Heavy, quite simple riffs in the vein early Celtic Frost, Slaughter (Canada), Venom, Bathory, Sarcofago, Coroner and the likes. I heard all of the songs of the new album and have to say that I like them more than those on Albert Bell’s debut solo album.
CADAVERIC POISON: ‘Fight For Evil’, taken from the band’s self-titled album. This project came to be as a co-operation between Simon Seegel and Felix Darnieder (both from Witchburner) and the one and only, good old Paul Speckmann whom we know mainly from Master, Abomination and Deatshstrike. With regards to this track, well, it sounds dirty and mean, filthy and brutal… This is all about old fashioned Death/Thrash Metal as it should be, with the expected similarities to Paul’s other bands.
WILDHUNT: ‘The Wild Hunt’, taken from their debut “Descending”. I was totally unfamiliar with this Austrian trio but from the moment I heard the first notes of this song, my heart went ‘boom’ right away! Wildhunt takes me back in time, actually to the best period of my whole goddamn life, the 80s Metal era. They’re young, restless and wild but definitely hooked on the mighty forces of old school Thrash Metal. Their dedication is demonstrated on “Descending”, a full length album where Technical Thrash Metal in the vein of early Paradox, Drifter, Heresy, Metallica, Heathen and even Testament rule with an iron fist. Their technical skills reach a very high level and the band’s whole package gives me the feeling that time has stopped somewhere back in the mid 80s. Great act, brilliant song and an even better album.
ARKHAM WITCH: ‘Blood On Satan’s Claw’ (a not final mix version of a song from “Get Thothed Vol. II” EP). We did the review for their “I Am Providence” album last year so feel free to read all about it under the following link: http://metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_ABCD/arkhamwitch_iamprovidence.html. To be honest, I’m not such a big fan of this band, because I can’t get a full grip on their style which ranges from 70s/80s styled Hard Rock/Metal to Crossover/Thrash and even some Punk influences on their last full-length. Agree, it’s good when various genres are mixed together, but in the case of Arkham Witch, I got the feeling that it’s all too much. As for this particular song, which is actually a cover version of a song of THE LAMP OF THOTH (like all remaining songs on this EP), an old Doom/Heavy Metal band of the vocalist and the drummer of Arkham Witch, I’m moderately satisfied.
SACRED GATE: ‘Legions Of The North’ (previously unreleased track, not the final mix). This one will be added to the tracklist of their forthcoming new album “Countdown To Armageddon”. Sacred Gates’ two previous albums, “Tides Of War” and “When Eternity Ends”, were so damn good that I gave both of them a very high rating. A deserved conclusion for these German Traditional Heavy Metal brothers delivering quality music in the vein of Wretch, Aska, Pharaoh, Iron Maiden, Artch and the like. The new album comes with a new singer from Holland, and this new song gives me the feeling of complete satisfaction… really look forward to the album release!
METAL LAW: ‘Invader’ (previously unreleased song, not the final mix). These Germans new cut entitled “Hellrider” will be out in November 2016, finally! Since 2013, news was spread about the release of their third album but many delays kept us away from that moment. Always delaying the official release date makes me nervous but okay, I forgive them as I hear this fantastic new song ‘Invader’. I really like this way of playing Traditional Heavy Metal which brings to my mind comparisons with greats like Priest, Manowar, Maiden, Accept and so on. The style of Sacred Gate and Metal Law is quite similar, so the pleasure will be mine as soon as their new albums see daylight later in 2016.
OUTRAGE: ‘Pact Of The Wicked’. Formed back in 1983 and still delivering Black/Thrash Metal the same way as when they started, that’s all about staying true to your faith in Metal to me! “Go To Hell” and “We The Dead”, both released through Metal On Metal Records were the living proof they’re still driven and create well done, old school Black/Thrash Metal in the vein of Venom, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Sodom and the like. ‘Pact Of The Wicked’ is a previously unreleased live song recorded at the Metal Magic VIII Festival that took place in July 2015 in Denmark. According to the people of the label, Outrage has delivered a brilliant performance over there. No reason to doubt that, just listen to this song and all your doubts are immediately swept off the table.
STONEGRIFF: ‘You’re Never Alone’, taken from “Come Taste The Blood”. They were formed in Sweden in 2008, released two albums so far and their latest is just a killer one! Mighty, original vocals add value to their flammable style of Traditional Doom Metal which reminds me of bands like Sorcerer, Candlemass, Black Sabbath, Krux… Doom Metal might not be my favourite genre, but acts like Stonegriff are able to give me a very good feeling. I like to listen to their songs in a dark, smoke-filled room with dimmed lights and serene environment. Nothing is wrong with enjoying the dark side of life from time to time!
DARK QUARTERER: ‘Deep Wake’ was taken from the LP version of the band’s sixth effort titled “Ithaca”, released in 2015, to which it was added as a bonus. The ‘Deep Wake’ live recording sounds really gorgeous. The original version of this song can be listened to on DQ’s 2002 album “Violence”. Founded in 1980, these Italians bring on a good Progressive Rock, spiced with Epic Metal elements. Fans of Manilla Road, Slough Feg and the likes, check ’em out!
RISEN PROPHECY: ‘Brood Of Vipers’, taken from their outstanding second effort entitled “Into The Valley Of Hinnom” (2015). These Britons stole my heart right from the very first meeting. They deliver excellent Thrash Metal as well as Power/Heavy Metal in the best joyful manner. You have to hear it to believe it, I got to know them only last year – and now they belong to my absolute faves. This is Metal the way I like it, technically gifted, pretty aggressive and melodic at the same time! Those hooked on the sound of good old Sindrome, Forbidden, Hellhound (USA), Iced Earth, Judas Priest, etc. should immediately order this album!
MELIAH RAGE: ‘Beginning Of The End’ as previously unreleased first demo version, recorded back in 1987. This song was added to the tracklist of last years’ “Before The Kill” CD, loaded with authentic, never before published rehearsal/demo and live recordings. I behold Meliah Rage still as one of my big favorites with regards to 80s US Power/Thrash Metal and I can say that die-hard fans should definitely buy this release. “Before The Kill” is great compilation of these very rare recordings, so c’mon brothers and sisters… don’t hesitate to order this collectors’ item right away!
DOOMSHINE: ‘Shipwrecked At Doom Bar’, taken from their third album “The End Is Worth Waiting For”. Great band founded in Germany in 2001, and they play first class Epic Doom Metal which can be compared with grandmasters such as Solitude Aeturnus or Candlemass. Some creeps argue that this genre is dull and boring, but what do they know? You must have some knowledge in Metal music, so if you lack the understanding, you better shut your mouth. By the grace of the Epic/Traditional Doom Metal movement, listen to Doomshine’s songs and scream it out loud, they deliver the goods!
MORTALICUM: ‘Down The Same Old Road’ is a beautiful mixture of Doom/Heavy metal and good old Hard Rock elements, influenced by icons like Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Trouble and such. Founded in Sweden back in 2006, they have four albums out and when you decide to order this compilation, you will have something unique in your hands. ‘Down The Same Old Road’ is an exclusive track on Compendium Of Metal Vol. 9 and sounds really tight, strong and good old-fashioned. I still adore this type of Hard Rock & Metal music. My musical discoveries started in the mid-70s… an era I will never forget, those were the days of my life! Wonderful memories to cherish forevermore, music from that era never let me down and still lives on through contemporary bands (like Mortalicum and many, many others) which continue the ancient tradition, hail them for that!
ARKHAM WITH: ‘The Haunter Of The Dark’ is the band’s second contribution to this collection. The song was taken from the “I Am Providence” effort, released in November 2015. Akham Witch had the honor to close this CD in a worthy way and do it with flying colors! I told you about them earlier this review, so scroll upwards and re-read my opinion if you want to.
With a running time of 74 minutes, you will get one of the most interesting compilations at the moment for only 6 Euro! Metal On Metal Records is still known for its professional approach which gives an added incentive to purchase certain items of your choice. Order right HERE and have a great time listening to these 14 songs by 13 bands (as Arkham Witch is represented with two tracks). Real collectors will be delighted with many previously unpublished songs… Compendium of Metal Vol. 9 is a must have for all of you, old school Metal maniacs!
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My Rating: 88/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)