Various Artists – III

Reviewed: March, 2018
Released: 2018, Against PR
Rating: 3.5/5.0
Reviewer: Joel Wheeler

Various Artists III (Against PR)
Various Artists III (Against PR)

Here we have the third incarnation from Against PR, showcasing 22 tracks by 22 bands under the guise ‘III’, some represented by Against PR others are noted as friends. Since the tracks on this album are pretty varied, I’m finding it tough to highlight a particular theme here and there appears to be no real backstory. So, my plan is to talk about particular tracks that I found personally the most engaging.

The opening track ‘Messing With The Masses’ by Crossbones grabbed me, as it’s a pretty straight-edged metal track that reminds me a little of the nu-metal wave with some nice grooves and some great slap bass. Next on the list is ‘The Invocation’ by The Outsider, it has a curious blend of reggaeton like beats, splattered with guttural death vocals (accompanied by clean vocals later on) all to a Phrygian like scale progression (Egyptian sounding, I’m no guitarist, so I could be way off base calling it that, I’m a lowly bassist), all of which I found worked surprisingly well, somewhat reminiscent of early Septic Flesh. Moving on from there, the next track to get my attention was ‘Mortal Curse’ by Blackest, which immediately appealed with a great dissonant opening riff accompanied by a suitable blast beat, very much in the classic death metal vein.

‘The Moon Titan Phylon’ by Rites to Sedition gets a worthy mention as a very accomplished melodic black metal package, whose vocals could pass for Mikael Åkerfeldt’s (Opeth) guttural screams, at least to my ears anyway. I enjoyed the rock groves from on ‘Older Now’ by Demon Head, awkwardly sandwiched between two extreme metal tracks, so it sticks out immediately, perhaps that was the intention?

Next up on my ‘tracks that perked my interest’ tour is ‘Ominous Sensation’ by Atonement Theory, which immediately hit me with its industrialised Godflesh/Neurosis inspired sound and feel. I was immediately on board with Death on Arrival’s track ‘Endless Agony’ mostly for being the first track on this compilation to tickle my thrash bone, which had some nice chunky riffs. Moving on from that there, I found ‘Not Worth Saving’ by Guillotine an enjoyable blackened death/doom offering. I have to mention the last track on the second CD ‘I Saw Hogan with Jimmy Hart’ by Von Justice, okay you got me… I’m a classic wrestling fan, I had to. It’s an amusing luchador themed crossover/punk track that reminds of the old anarcho-punk days, the vocalist is going to need surgery to remove that microphone from his oesophagus, I wish him all the best on that.

As an overall compilation, how does this work? Well, that’s a tough question to answer, I’ve already touched on the lack of a single theme, the genre varies wildly (but mostly in death/black metal) and the bands span most of the globe. This is a real throw it together affair, but I’m okay with that, I picked up quite a few bands out of it that I’ll now follow, some weren’t my thing, others were very much my taste and isn’t that ultimately the point? Head over to Bandcamp and grab it, it’s being offered without a minimum price. Did I enjoy listening to it? Yes, I think it’s worth your time.


Track Listing:

CD1

  1. Crossbones – Messing With The Masses
  2. The Outsider – The Invocation (feat. Thomas Vikström & Nalle Påhlsson)
  3. Blackest – Mortal Curse
  4. Rites to Sedition – The Moon Titan Phylon
  5. Blaspherion  – Causa Mortis
  6. Demon Head – Older Now
  7. Godhead Machinery – Tithe
  8. Dead Season – Guidestones
  9. HIVE – Street Meat
  10. Hexenklad – In This Life or the Next
  11. RacheEngel – Ascheregen

CD 2

  1. VersOver – Enemy
  2. Sâmbăta Morților – Pendulum of Madness
  3. Atonement Theory – Ominous Sensation
  4. NACARBIDE – Lots of Eyes
  5. Humanity Check – War Is Coming
  6. Death on Arrival – Endless Agony
  7. el Camino – Crooked Wand
  8. Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf – Lilith Crimson Deep
  9. Boneset – Needles
  10. Guillotine – Not Worth Saving
  11. Von Justice – I Saw Hogan with Jimmy Hart

Websites:

againstpr.bandcamp.com/album/iii
againstpr.com/

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