Released: 2001, Nuclear Blast
The latest in the Nuclear Blast compilation series is upon us, and just like previous installments, it is a mixed bag. There’s the usual variance in styles, ranging from goth, to black metal, and hitting all points in between, including a wildly misplaced goth/techno song. For the sake of brevity, I’m only going to cover the less well-known bands on this comp, as most of you will have already formed your opinions on the likes of Dimmu Borgir, Nevermore, Amorphis, Lacuna Coil, Therion, Theatre of Tragedy, Crematory. Needless to say, if you like those bands, you’ll enjoy their songs on here. That being said, lets get to the other (burnt) offerings...
The album opens with the Finnish goth band The 69 Eyes. Bizarre name aside, their song, “The Chair” is pretty cool. Not terribly heavy, but hooky as hell, this goth ‘n roll song highlights the vocals of Jyrki who sounds like an even smoother version of Pete Steele. Very catchy, and very enjoyable. The next song is from Lucifire, Tiamat mainman Johan Edlund’s solo project. Pegged as a more rock ‘n roll version of his main band, Lucifire’s “The Pain Song” is yet another catchy but not too heavy song. It’s also driven by a dance beat-happy drum machine, which will turn off many listeners right away. It almost seems like Edlund is going for a more commercial version of Pain here. Not bad, but not great.
Germany’s L’ame Immortelle is up next with yet another gothic-sounding song, “Judgement”. The vocalist has a very clear, somehow sexy voice but the song itself is a bit too techno for me. Moving on. Project Pitchfork presents a remix of their “Existence”. Having never heard the original I can’t really say how this version compares, but I can say that it’s a very cool industrial song. Buzzing guitars and computer sound effects complete the pastiche. Rammstein fans would do well to check these guys out.
Another Finnish band, Entwine is up next with the edit version of “Closer (My Love)”. Guess what? It’s yet another gothic band! I can see where this compilation will be a favorite with the black bedecked incense sniffers. Anyhow, “Closer” is a slow-paced, fairly heavy ballad and is actually quite good and is very melodic. A surprising highlight from a band you wouldn’t expect to hear on Nuclear Blast.
ANOTHER Finnish goth act follows this, namely To/Die/For. Thankfully their offering, “Crimson Twins” is a much more lively, driving song. Sadly, during the verses, the guitars take a backseat to a wash of keyboards that I could do without. Still, the song is very catchy the band is obviously talented. To my ears, this could be one of the better European goth acts. Love Like Blood and Silke Bischoff on the other hand, are not. Both of these bands are definitely sub-par. LLB gives us a cover of Paradise Lost’s classic “True Belief” which is a straight (and dull) translation. Silke Bischoff offer what amounts to a straight dance song that not only sucks, but is wildly out of place on this dics. Proceed straight down Sell-Out Avenue and take a left on Commercial Drivel Boulevard.
Mandragora Scream. Hmm. Sounds like it could be a death metal group. Yes, yes, that’s a pretty heavy guitar-tone...but wait, that’s a lot of keyboards. Well, let’s wait for the vocals...ah shit! It’s ANOTHER FUCKING GOTH BAND. Boring and unwanted. Also useless are Tapping The Vein and their worthless cover of Tori Amos’ “Cornflake Girl”. Blergh.
Closing off the disc is the wonderful Within Temptation and the title song off their last disc “Mother Earth”. Let me tell you, this Dutch band fucking rules! I’ve heard tons of great things about them and upon finally hearing them, I can say that it’s all true! A combination of power metal, symphonic metal and The Gathering, this band is cool as hell! These guys (and gal vocalist) should be huge.
1 - THE 69 EYES The Chair
2 - DIMMU BORGIR Puritania
3 - LUCIFIRE The Pain Song
4 - THERION Summer Night City
5 - L´AME IMMORTELLE Judgement
6 - PROJECT PITCHFORK Existence
7 - THEATRE OF TRAGEDY Image
8 - AMORPHIS Alone
9 - NEVERMORE Believe In Nothing
10 - LACUNA COIL Cold Heritage
11 - ENTWINE Closer (my Love) edit
12 - CREMATORY The Fallen
13 - TO DIE FOR Crimson Twins
14 - LOVE LIKE BLOOD True Belief
15 - SILKE BISCHOFF Love Never Dies
16 - MANDRAGORA SCREAM Cryin‘ Clouds
17 - TAPPING THE VEIN Cornflake Girl
18 - WITHIN TEMPTATION Mother Earth