Released: 2001, JCM Records
New label, JCM Records, has released a compilation album they are marketing as “12 underground power and progressive metal bands for 10 bucks.” The compilation title would make you think this is mainly power/prog metal stuff. Well it’s not. The bands on here cover power, prog, rock and thrash-styled metal. 12 songs for 10 bucks does offer a good way to check out a bunch of new bands. Unfortunately, the majority of these bands just don’t cut it. There are some gems on here and some that show promise. I figure the best way to look at this album is to give my comments on each of the 12 tracks on here. Ordering information for this release is available on the label’s website at http://www.jcmrecords.com
Majesty - “Keep It True”
The band that opens up the CD is called Majesty. Their song “Keep It True” will have every true metal heart pumping a little faster. Manowar fan? There’s something here for you for sure! The lyrics of this track, although simple, ring true. Too bad all the material on this compilation doesn’t have the hooks and feel of this song because this rules! Look these guys up at http://www.clik.to/majesty and check our reviews search engine for a review of their full length.
Conquest - “Dragonlord”
On this track Conquest sound like HammerFall only heavier incorporating tremelo picking (a la black metal) in places. This has some great guitar playing and drumming but the vocals need a bit more work as they sound a little “rough around the edges” but this is quite promising.
Heave – “Never Fall”
Beginning with a crusty guitar intro I was thinking this is gonna be sub-par. The song does luckily pick up. The best part of this song is the chorus with much better vocals. The chorus almost redeems the song. Hopefully this is not the band’s best song because if it is I doubt we’ll hear much from them.
Eyekon – “As Black As My Soul”
Progressive sounding “metal” with intricate song structures, an abundance of clean guitar parts, heavy keyboards and safe sounding mid-range vocals. Not really my thing I guess.
Shenerah – “Higher Level Of Life”
This song begins with an excellent riff sounding very 80’s. The band sounds like traditional heavy metal to me. It’s hard to know this band’s potential from this one track but I’d like to hear more from them!
Desecrator – “That Is Why”
What a strange sounding mix/production on this one…. definitely sounds like a “demo.” The vocals seem to be out of place here. This guy slips out a word or line here and there sounding like a “thrash” metal vocalist. Seems like he’d make for a better heavier vocalist then the clean vocals found the rest of the song. Even the band name “Desecrator” screams THRASH…I’d like to hear them doing the thrash thing because the guitars are pretty damn cool.
Taleswapper – “Tears Of Snow”
Would you like to hear Grave Digger-ish vocals over simple two-note progression? Didn’t think so. The guitar solo sounds like it’s played on a clean guitar by some slow blues guitarist…weird. A bit too simple for my tastes.
Torrential Reign – “Broken World”
Weird, weird vocals here…strange sounding Danzig-wanna-sing-power-metal vibrato, out of tune wanna-be-HammerFall chanting…ugh…bad outta tune vocals here…man ‘o man, I don’t like to be mean about it, but this needs some serious work. Back to the garage with you….
Senseless - Its Not What It Used To Be
Cool intro riff, very thick and heavy. Then the intro verse is spoken….weird. On the next verse the vocals sound more aggressive…whew. This is borderline thrash again. The heavier vocals sound like a watered down Max from Sepultura (Arise-era) without the same force or passion.
Listen – “Profession”
Cheap sounding “Casio keyboard” intro…off key vocals again…. please stop. Time for another profession I think, or vocal lessons. I can’t take this, next.
Ingermanland – “Betrayal”
Morbid Angel influenced intro…big time. Sounds like they are using a harmonizer on the guitar parts. After a long and promising intro the band sounds a bit more progressive. They should of kept the heavy part going and had a death metal vocalist cut in because the vocals that come in make you shake your head in wonderment….why??? If this band had another singer they might get somewhere! In places the vocals try to do a King Diamond thing with the high falsetto voice followed by the vocals like King’s aggressive snarl….thing is it ain’t working here at all and it’s really too bad because the music here is really good!!!
From Within – “Past The Deep End”
This is a confusing song…starting out like some weird prog-rock thing, going into a raw thrash part, then an almost punk fast rapped vocal part….I cannot get into this at all.