Face Your Underground, Volume 1
2003, Independent Release
Various Artists, "Face Your Underground, Volume 1"
As usual I must say this again, compilations take awhile to review and are probably unfair to the band on them as the reviewer only gets one song to judge them on, and it might not be a song typical of the band's sound. I've heard great tracks on compilations only to get the album and find out the comp had the only good song on it. I've also heard songs I hated on compilation and ended up loving the band. This is just my way of saying I don't have a complete picture of the band doing these, I can only go on what I get on the disc. To save time, and to be fairer to the bands I will not review any bands that have full reviews on Deadtide, but rather I suggest you read the full review. The bands on here that went unreviewed are Aborted, Axamenta, Leng Tch'e, and Welkin. Read the full reviews for them and get the whole story, not just the cliff notes I'm giving out here.
Ill Fares the Land - The Defeated Prophecy - This is decent thrashy deathmetal. To be honest the best comparison would be The Forsaken. However you feel about them is how you will feel about Ill Fares the Land. I like it myself, although I do wish they would have recorded the vocals loud enough to be heard decently.
Orchrist - 1000 Miles - It's a little difficult to explain this, as the recording isn't great. Its rather raw and the drums are mixed too loud. What I was able to get out of it was an older thrash style, which permeates this comp. These guys remind me of Slaughter Lord more than anything, which isn't a great thing. This would have been generic during the heyday of thrash, which was more than a few years ago, (sadly for me).
Disown - Rebirth - First I saw the prefix dis in the name and assumed they were trying to be another Discharge clone, a la Dischange, Disfear etc. No such luck, this is mediocre death metal with a bad recording and old Chris Barnes vocals. Nothing worth hearing here.
Solifsist - Blood Upon the Wings of Humanity - Very solid musically bordering on Death themselves. The vocals however are not those of Chuck Schuldiner. A mix of bad deathgrowling and yelling meant to sound hard and failing. They come off mostly as a pale impersonation of Chuck. A good vocal and they might come off as the successors to the Schuldiner throne. This is no more apparent then about two minutes in when I started to think I was listening to Human.
Endor - Sol Mortuus - Proof you are a Star Wars geek, you see this band name and all you can think is, stupid fucking Ewoks. Now thanks to these guys I might now think, stupid fucking ewoks and bad black metal. No low end in the recording, making this painful to hear. The worst is yet to come, as there are the vocals, which vacillate between sounding like an orangutan in heat and a pig being slaughtered.
Culpable Homicide - Towards Decay - Generic Cannibal Corpse type brutal death, nothing all that great here. Only thing I liked here was the kick drum sound, nice to hear an occasional thud, not a click. Has a nice raw production that works well with what they do. What they do just isn't that interesting.
Serial Butcher - Hospital Hecatomb - They sound more like Cannibal Corpse than Culpable Homicide did. They almost sound more like CC than CC do. All it's missing are the words Hammer Smashed Face.
In Quest - Stahlmacht: Destruction Unbound - They get off to a nice Meshuggah type start but then things fall apart. Should they ever decide to stick to the weirdness they might have something but they basically turn into a Demolition Hammer clone. Better vocals than DH, but nothing all that good.
Fleshmould - Watthu - They do a nice drum opening that reminds me of Criminally Insane by Slayer. It goes downhill from there. The vocals vary from incomprehensible to Brett Hoffman of Malevolent Creation and Divine Empire. More Hoffman style vocals would be a good start. The music itself is a midpaced deathmetal chug. They can play; they just don't play anything that interesting.
Demonizer - Execution of a Christian - Starts like Vio-lence and turns into Kreator. I'm guessing between the title and the production this is supposed to be black metal but this sounds like really old thrash to me. However I like that in a band. This is in Hypnosia territory for Kreator soundalikes. Demonizer might win this contest since the vocals are more like those of Mille Petrozza than the vocals of Hypnosia, which are more of a Tomas Lindberg. This track could have worked on Endless Pain. Good stuff.
Aeons of Old - Howl of Despair - Between the name and the production I assume this is supposed to be Black Metal. I say this because this is so poorly mixed that I can't hear much of the song. The vocals are a pale impersonation of Ross Dolan of Immolation. The music sounds like generic death metal, but I can't be sure because this production is shit.
Suhaim - Roasted Cunt with a Slice of Lemon - The music is on the Power Metal/Prog side of the ledger, though nothing special in that department. The vocals are a poor man's Abbath. This means that you have two things that aren't mixing well with each other. Combine this clusterfuck with one of the worst gore metal song titles ever and you have something that has no idea what it is. Either go gore, black, prog or whatever and run with it. Trying to be everything at once leads to being nothing.
Shadows Veil - At the Gates - If they sounded as good as the song title I would be very happy. They don't. In fact this is more a mix of bad goth with some really bad death vocals and over the top keyboard wankery. They also have some great guitarwork, but it also seems to be of a masturbatory nature.
Mortifier - On the Lake by the Castle - These guys listen to way too much Therion, that's all you need to know. This is trying way to hard to be Deggial, and failing. This is coming from someone who doesn't even like Therion.
Gorath - The Lizard Creature - A bit of recording advice, when the level indicator is all the way to the right and trying to go further into the red, you have the volume up way too high giving you a sound so distorted no one can hear a fucking thing. Other than that its actually not bad black metal. Some dark atmosphere to it and good vocals. I would say it reminds me of older Satyricon to be honest. I'd probably love this if they turned the guitars down a little.
Urzamoth - Dagger of Faith - Impaled Nazarene without a sense of humor. In other words, dull.
Aborted - The Saw and the Carnage Done