Reviewed: July, 2020
Released: 2020, Scrape Records
Some people have that entrepreneurial spirit, that courage to run their own business. I don’t. I like a pay-cheque and benefits, but that why I’ll be a wage-slave an never create something cool like a record company called Scrape. Although it is old news, Scrape Records (the label) rose from the ashes of the long-running and popular Scrape Records store in Vancouver Canada.
They have just released their second label sampler of various artists. This is a bit of a bright move these days. ‘Back in Day’ almost EVERY label released a ‘various artists’ sampler often at a budget price to introduce their bands to a wider audience. I’m not sure why this practice has fallen out of favour, probably because of the internet and easy access to countless bands. It is easy to blame everything on the internet these days. I can see why a small label might not want invest in producing a physical product in 2020, but again, back in the day, everyone did it. As a side note I’ve discovered many of my favourite bands from a ‘Best Of Metal Blade’ or ‘At Death’s Door’ type, various artists cassettes
So, that is kind of true entrepreneurial spirit I mentioned, look at what is cool, understand what other people are NOT doing, go against the grain a bit, add a touch of nostalgia, cater to an under-served market of old dudes like me who still buy physical and ..there ya go… the perfect reason to put out a cool sampler.
The official title of this bad boy is ‘THE LABEL’ CD/Vinyl sampler Vol. II. The design and look of the set is the same as the first one, just simple and streamlined. The vinyl has and the CD comes a generous 16 tracks. Scrape Records is kind of a ‘boutique’ label, whatever the hell that means, but I heard a cool kid say that once, so it musty be a thing. I guess what it comes down to is the label supports the local community and helps advance the cause of some great local talent. Kind of like Auburn Records used to do, never really over-extended themselves to sign anyone and anything, but keep it small, cool, mostly local and in-house. Again this comes with stickers and tattoos and all the info you need to make your informed decisions.
I’m going to cop out a bit and not review all 16 individual bands on the CD but rest assured there is a decent mix of genres and a good mix of rare stuff, unreleased stuff, stuff from EP’s, singles and so on. Highlights for me are cuts by Ophelia Falling, who caught my ear and ear while on stage at the HyperSpace Metal Fest back in 2018, and the same goes for Arkenfire. Heavy hitters and veteran metal warriors Empyria get a couple of tunes and hot new band Greyhawk contributes as well. What is feel is a good move is that there is virtually no crossover in bands from Volume I and more of an underground feel than some of the bigger name bands on the label like Zimmer’s Hole and Infernal Majesty that were on the first compilation.
For you collectors there are also various coloured vinyl versions, but they are in pretty limited quantities. At a reasonable price you get a CD, the vinyl and a few goodies, it is a great deal. If you want to get a good feel for what is going on now and get a cool collectible, this is worth considering.
I usually don’t like to give high marks for ‘just’ a sampler, but for what it is, it’s pretty damn good.