As I wrote in my review of the Metal Blade Records 25th Anniversary Tour last fall (read review here http://www.metal-rules.com/zine/content/view/1065/28/), Brian Slagel could never have imagined the young upstart would be the first and most influential record label devoted exclusively to heavy metal way back in 1982. Slayer, Metallica, Mercyful Fate, Cannibal Corpse, Armored Saint, Fates Warning, Lizzy Borden, The Black Dahlia Murder, Amon Amarth, Job For A Cowboy…the list spans several generations and each act has been, or remains, a staple of the heavy metal scene.
To commemorate the silver milestone, Metal Blade has patched together a show—drawn from the annual New England Metal & Hardcore Festival in Worcester, MA on April 28, 2007—featuring fifteen of its current artists. With the exception of two bands, each featured act gets two songs on the DVD which may leave some people scratching their heads over the equal screen time of Cannibal Corpse and Since The Flood. The best sets are from Goatwhore, Lizzy Borden (wicked theatrics on “Psychopath” with a blood-drenched stripper), The Black Dahlia Murder (frontman Trevor Strnad actually has his shirt on for BOTH songs!), Beyond The Embrace (this is a great band…where did they go??), the always-energetic Unearth and headliners Cannibal Corpse. Hallows Eve gets a solid F- for their useless performance and progressive rockers, 3, are a really strange fit. Bonus footage of various musicians congratulating Slagel and Metal Blade for their achievement, as well as various backstage footage is included, as well. Don’t miss well-wishes from Lars Ulrich, members of Anthrax and Killswitch Engage, as well as King Diamond sans moustache and makeup, too!
While not exactly novel (Century Media Records hosted their own tenth anniversary release in 2001 and Roadrunner Records’ massive undertaking with the ALL-STARS release in 2005 raised the bar to sky-high levels), this is a decent representation of where Metal Blade Records is circa 2007. It would have been exceptionally cool to have included old footage of early Metal Blade artists like Bitch, Cryptic Slaughter, Nasty Savage and Sacred Reich as an added bonus, but this is what it is. Pick it up on the cheap and if you’re a fan of any of the bands featured, it will be money well-spent.
1. Beyond The Embrace "Plague"
2. Beyond The Embrace "Insect Song"
3. Hallows Eve "Speed Freak"
4. Demiricous "Never Enough Road"
5. Demiricous "Matador"
6. Since The Flood "At The End"
7. Since The Flood "Laid To Rest"
8. Shai Hulud "A Profound Hatred of Man"
9. 3 "Monster"
10. 3 "Amazed Disgrace"
11. Goatwhore "Alchemy of The Black Sun Cult"
12. Goatwhore "In The Narrow Confines of Defilement"
13. Impious "Purified By Fire"
14. Impious "Wicked Saints"
15. God Dethroned "Villa Vampiria"
16. God Dethroned "The Warcult"
17. Lizzy Borden "Notorious"
18. Lizzy Borden "Psychopath"
19. Job For A Cowboy "Embedded"
20. Job For A Cowboy "Altered From Catechization"
21. The Red Chord "Black Santa"
22. The Red Chord "Antman"
23. The Black Dahlia Murder "Contagion"
24. The Black Dahlia Murder "When The Last Grave Has Emptied"
25. Cannibal Corpse "Unleashing The Bloodthirsty"
26. Cannibal Corpse "Murder Worship"
27. Unearth "Giles"
28. Unearth "The Great Dividers"
29. Back Stage Footage and Interviews