I’m reviewing this series of compilation CD’s as a bit of metal public service announcement. These CD’s are more of marketing tool for the PowerMad fest held each year in Baltimore, Maryland. They are not really intended for sale and the packaging is just the basics so that’s why there is no actual rating. It wouldn’t be fair to compare these comps to other comps because the intention and goals are different.
Having said that, these CD’s kick eternal ass! Keith Menser, a longtime metal fan, founder of the incredible band Mystic Force (search the reviews database for the review of the last Mystic Force CD) founder, owner and manager of Siegen Records and to top it all off, founder and organizer of PowerMad!
What is PowerMad you ask? It is the second longest running metal festival in North America, and don’t let those bums in Jersey or New England tell ya otherwise! Started in 1997 the first true metal festival in Baltimore featuring the best in signed and unsigned power and progressive metal bands. Planning for PowerMad Six is well underway and promises to be bigger than ever.
These CD’s are compilations of dozens and dozens of metal bands of the power and progressive genres. They serve to represent the best in underground from around the world but especially from the US.
They are nothing truly special, in terms of rare or unreleased bonus tracks, and a die-hard fan will have most of these tracks on the full-lengths that they bought at full-price to support the bands. Right guys?! (hint) Seriously there is a mountain of material here. I’ll give ya a quick run-down. I can’t list all the tracks but I’ll name two “big” bands and two or three (tragically) lesser known bands per disc to give ya a feel.
-PowerMad I Double CD with 28 tracks including Vicious Rumours, Nevermore, Unleashed Power, Dofka & Frost Bite
-PowerMad II A triple (!) CD with 40 tracks featuring Steel Prophet, Kamelot, Ion Vein, Midevil, Twilight Kingdom.
-PowerMad III-The Third Testament. A double CD with 24 tracks featuring Gamma Ray, Evergrey, Holy Mother, Forte, Nightmare’s End
-Powermad IV-The Fourth Legacy. A double CD with 29 tracks featuring Stratovarius, Raven, Division, Mindcage, Etheria
-PowerMad V-The Fifth Victory. A double CD with 29 tracks featuring Mystic Force, Sonata Arctica, Jacob’s Dream and Balance of Power
This series is massive (150 tracks & over 120 bands!!) and only promises to get bigger. What is cool is that almost every band on these comps has appeared at the festival over the years. While the other big festivals tend to be saturated with dozens of 6th generation death-metal clones, PowerMad continues to serve up and expose band after band after band. Due to the hard work of Keith (among many others) bands like Unleashed Power, Forte and Evergrey are starting to get the recognition they deserved 5 years ago.
I think the brief liner note on PM 5 said it best…
“The original ideal goals of this festival have been met in countless ways. PowerMad began in the US in 1997, a time when where there were NO festivals of nay kind that would feature the fine sounds of progressive power metal in this country. This event has influenced the scene to the point that it has helped other find the drive and desires to start these kinds of festivals in our country. Each year groups are exposed to the recording industry and many score contracts from the results of their showcase performances”
I highly recommend you continue to support PowerMad and Siegen Records. You can check them out at http://www.siegen-records.com Watch Metal-Rules.com next month for an interview with metal pioneer, Keith Menser the brainchild behind this festival.