Released: 1999, Century Media
Reviewer: David Lee
Century Media's "Identity" series has proven to be one of the best and most collectible series of samplers ever issued. The formula here is to take one song from the most popular artists on the CM roster and give the listener a little taste before attempting to buy the whole batch. And there is the problem; each number included sets off the buy impulse quicker than a fourteen-year-old at the movies with the school tramp. So, what you have to do here is par down the selections so as to get the most awesome music for that wad of expendable cash that you have in your pocket.
For me, the obvious choices are, ICED EARTH, SKINLAB, NEVERMORE, BLIND GUARDIAN, ANGRA and of course my favorite, JAG PANZER. Each of these discs will give any metalhead (is it still cool to use that term?) hours and hours of fist pumping, neck training, mind blowing pleasure. Still, there are representations from ELEVEN! more albums here. So what to buy after all the more familiar names? Start with CRYPTOPSY's "White Worms." Having heard the rest of the album already I can tell you that "White Worms" is indicative of the brutality contained on that record. Canada has this image of only producing offbeat imitations of American and
European metal, CRYPTOPSY go far in removing this prejudice. Also not to be ignored are LACUNA COIL, KATATONIA, HASTE, and THE GATHERING each bringing a slightly different view of melody into the metal genre. Variety, quality and a budget price, "IDENTITY FIVE" is crack for the ears.