Review: Defenders of Metal

Defenders of Metal
“Volume 1 – The Seduction”
(Man in Black Music)

An eighteen-track compilation of bands from the (Man In Black) record label.  I don’t know how to review a compilation.  It seems cruel and unusual that I should have to review each track individually, but it seems mean-spirited not to, so, what the fuck, man?  What do I do?  Shit.

Track 1. “Forbidden” by Jester’s Moon.  Old school heavy metal combining elements of heavy bands like Trouble with metal’s more opera-esque side.  Good riffs.  Maybe a good band.

Track 2. “Moonlit Horizon” by Moonlight Agony.  Rapid double bass, power metal stylings, keyboards, and a very long intro for a track on a comp.  They would’ve been better off getting to the meat right away.  Is there a vocalist?  I’ll have to wait and see.  Nope, no vocalist.

Track 3. “Incubus” by The Prowlers.  They have a late eighties sound and some interesting drum work.

Track 4. “Pressure” by Element.  Metal on the light side.  Mumbling, Vic Chesnutty singer except when he shouts.  Dull.

Track 5. “Heart of Dragonsteel” by Maddog.  Proggish power metal with Helloween tendencies from Austria.

Track 6. “Dead Keep Dying” by Hell Candidates.  Old school Savatage comes to mind; old school Savatage with a sub-par vocalist.

Track 7. “Shutting the Door” by Antares. Wimpy Prog metal from Poland.

Track 8. “Haunted” by Dr. Mastermind.  What a stupid band name.  Why do bands from the USA have all the suckiest names?  The band has a familiar feel – kind of Motorheadish, but very straightforward metal-wise.  It’s good.  Bikers might like it.

Track 9. “Riflesso” by Metharia.  Here’s something cool.  One part Danzig, one part Peter Murphy, one part Moonspell.  Bass driven.  Lovely Italian vocals.  (okay, we’re halfway through this thing.  Hang in there)

Track 10.  “Bedlam” by Victim.  Dark, power metal.  Similar to Hell Candidates, but much better.

Track 11.  “Pride of Creation” by Art of Fear.  Another Austrian band; this one proving that US bands don’t corner the ‘fershit’ band name market.  Fast kick-drum action.  Gamma Ray, but lesser.

Track 12.  “Illusions” by Still Life.  Sorrowful intro. That quickly picks up; lacks any real power.  Young girls who want to listen to metal, but are too afraid, might find it useful.  Could be Bon Jovi’s favorite new band for all I know.

Track 13. “Liegia” by Rapid Fire.  Bad production with a stompy Anthrax like introduction that quickly absconds to prog metal territory.  Pretty weak.

Track 14.  “Under the Gun” by Stairway.   I like the Organ intro.  This band sounds like they have the most confidence of any of the bands on this thing, and it comes across in the execution.  Has a galloping feel to the music.  I’ve heard better, but not on this comp.

Track 15. “Only the Rain Crew” by Rain.  Remember Los Angeles in the mid-eighties?  Kind of like that.

Track 16.  “Bride of the Dark” by Mercury Rain.  Could be the soundtrack for a grade-Z Italian horror movie.  Sweet female vocals grace the music for this goth band on steroids.  Some bad, wankish, guitar decisions, but otherwise tip-top.

Track 17.  “Terror Mind” by Sabatan.  More power metal.  Crue-like riff.  Interesting vocals.  Would I write home about it?  At gun-point.

Track 18.  “The Sleeper” by Babylon.  Finally, the last track.  Is it a good capper?  It has a lot of power, great low-end production, echoing vocals that have a certain gothic flavor and some nice throat-slicing guitars.  Christian Death goes metal. It’s a good capper.

Whew, that was a lot of work, and I’m not sure if I’m a better person for it.  My dad said work builds character.  It also builds headaches.