Various Artists Voyager: The Nuclear Blast 10 Year Anniversary Collection
Released: 1997, Nuclear Blast
Last month, on a whim, I decided to treat myself and I picked up the Nuclear Blast 3CD Tenth Anniversary Box Set and the CM 3CD Tenth Anniversary Box-set (also reviewed this month).
I admit, I was late on the Nuclear Blast band-wagon. I had heard of them when they started but who the hell were the Rostock Vampires? I wasn’t into hardcore so I let it slide under the metal radar for a few years until they started getting into death metal. By then in was maybe 1990 or so I started to take notice. I have been a loyal fan ever since!
This 3 CD set comes in a standard triple jewel case and has a 30+ page booklet. Like many big box-set style releases it is the little extras that make it worth-while. Like the CM box-set I own most of the 55 tracks on the discs, but the book is really cool. It has an introductory essay by Jeff Wagner and an essay by founder Markus Staiger. Then it goes into a blow by blow, track-by-track explanation. Many neat notes about release dates, chart positions and so on.
The whole package has a surprisingly sci-fi look to it, very little to do with death metal. The Discs are sort of broken into a Past, Present and Future theme with artwork of astronauts and aliens which I suppose explains the Voyager title. It is very neat to see the progression of the label from bands like Defecation and Pungent Stench to Narnia!
One thing that was driven home was that NB was not quite the international label I had really envisioned them as. Not that that is a bad thing, not at all! I just didn’t realize that 75% of their bands came from Western Europe and 50% from Germany or Sweden. There is Kataklysm (Canada) and Mortification (Australia) and that’s about it. The rest are from the USA! No big deal it just caught my attention.
Overall, this package is very good! The lack of rare and unreleased material was disappointing however one could argue in 2001 all of Disc One is very rare material. This makes a perfect companion to the CM box-set (I wonder if Metal Blade is going to do a 20th Anniversary box-set? Hmmmm) It is no surprise that the two metal-giants (CM & NB) merged recently. (I’ve got that old Thor song “When Gods Collide” running through my head…) Track this down and be proud to have it in your collection so you can revisit some great tracks by Winter, Revenant, Afflicted, Darkseed, Hollow and 50 more great bands!