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Reviews - V

V:28 - SOULSAVIOR  

VENDLUS RECORDS  

I read the word "industrial" applied to this band and was expecting industrial. Do you know what this is? It's mid-tempo melodic black-ish metal with slower, moody moments, as well as a few twists.  

I would not have been able to tell that it's a drum machine. It doesn't sound plastic. V28's music has dark, eerie moments, and spoken samples here and there. The vocals are largely black metal, with some death metal growling, as well as bits of nonscreamed vocals. The guitar often has an oldschool, cold and melodic black-ish riffing/noodling, combined with dark, downtuned work of amorphous black/death, with catchy moments. The term post-black metal or avantgarde are often used with bands like this. Whenever people are talking about such bands, the music tends to be dance/techno/trip hop or just plain weirdo non-metal stuff. There's not a lot that sounds industrial or techno here. It sounds a lot like mid-paced black-influenced metal.  

www.vendlus.com  

www.v28.com  

Mauricio Araniva  

 

 

 

VADER - "LIVE IN JAPAN"  

Pavement  

I must say that this is one of the best live albums I've ever heard. Not only because of the sound quality, but the performance from Vader is flawless. We have 18 songs, 2 of them which are covers, the self titled "Black Sabbath", and "Reign in Blood", from you know who, and I must say it is killer! What more can I say? This is Vader, and this is a live album that all will enjoy, guaranteed!  

Mike  

 

 

 

VAN HALEN - "VAN HALEN"  

WARNER BRO.  

"Running With the Devil" begins this and it's a great start with Eddies sharp riffs and melodies and David Lee Roth's crazy singing and screaming. "Eruption" follows that, and this is one of the greatest and most famous solos in history, which is an intro. to, "You Really Got Me", a remake. This release is full of great and diverse songs, songs with a lot of feeling to them. Hey kiddies, chances are that you have only heard that "Van Hagar" and "Jump" song, but a long, long time ago, when disco was famous and LED Z. roamed freely, the first VAN HALEN came out and blew away all that stuff. Listen to "Atomic Punk" and "On Fire" to see what I mean. Discover history again.  

LIEFF  

 

 

 

VENOM - "NEW, LIVE, AND RARE"  

Deadline Music  

While this compilation of Venom songs stands fairly well on its own, I wouldn't recommend it for someone who has never heard Venom before. In that case, it would be best to invest in one of their older releases where you will find the original versions of classic tunes such as "Black Metal" and "Welcome to Hell". However, this CD would be an ideal addition to the collection of a Venom fan. I'm not exactly what you would call a big Venom fan, but I do like them. I thought this CD was pretty kool, even though I would still prefer listening to the older material. My final word on this; go ahead and get this CD if you are a BIG fan of the band, or an active collector. Otherwise, check out "Black Metal" for an introduction to what I think is the definitive Venom sound.  

Elisabeth  

 

 

 

VICIOUS ART - FIRE FALLS AND THE WAITING WATERS  

CANDLELIGHT RECORDS  

Alright, well, these guys love oldschoold Swedish death metal. This is blasting, brutal, heavy, tight, etc. If that's all that you require from death metal, you shall be more than satisfied. To me, this is ferociously mediocre; aggressively faceless. Despite all the blasting and growling, at no time they do really impressed me. There are lots of death metal bands. The question is, is there something special or creative or interesting? Unfortunately, I do not find anything here that can answer that question. Again, these guys are a mean death metal blasting machine, but the machine needs to have personality because music is not for robots. Songs, please.  

www.viciousart.se  

Mauricio Araniva  

 

 

 

VILE - THE NEW AGE OF CHAOS  

UNIQUE LEADER RECORDS  

Totally dog barking vocals, blasting, blazing: nothing new, but instead the group is content to play their own second, or third rate versions of songs by Cannibal Corpse. This is nothing interesting, just the same old generic, intense growl 'n' blast.  

www.uniqueleader.com  

Mauricio Araniva  

 

 

 

VITAL REMAINS - "FOREVER UNDERGROUND"  

OSMOSE  

Damn! This release is fucking killer! 5 long songs of blasphemic death metal at its best. The song "I am God" is so fucking intense. Makes you just want to slam someone's head to the ground. Catchier than Hell. Once again, keyboards are used on certain songs to enhance the moods the songs already have. So how are the new vocals? Well, even though Joe would probably disagree, I find them pretty comparable to Jeff's. But again, that is my own personal opinion. No doubt, you will be able to distinguish VITAL R. with any other band out there in this extreme scene. The songs are pretty long and excellently structured. Each song has a different mood to it. I am glad to see this underrated band on a great label, hopefully they can get better distribution and release this domestically. They will be touring with INCANTATION and someone else, can't remember. Check this release out.  

MIKE  

 

 

 

V/A - FROZEN DAWN IV  

What I liked the most about this comp, was that only a handful of bands were featured, and you get to hear several songs from each of them, so it gives you a better idea of what the bands are like than just hearing one track on a comp with a dozen other bands. I really liked about 1/2 of the bands on this disc, enough to get a hold of their demos and other material. The rest of the bands either didn't excite me too much, or just bored me. Details? Okay, Morbid Entrée are the first band on the CD, and they have 2 songs of brutal death grind, that for some reason I couldn't get into. The production was kind of weird, and I don't, I just didn't like em! Next are Burning Human with 2 tracks of very kool, very brutal death, with a dual vocal assault. Following this is Arctic Symphony, whose name made me think they would be black metal, but they actually play kind of run-of-the-mill death metal. It's not that they sucked, it's just that (as Mike would say) "They weren't my cup o tea." Wake are the next band, and are kind of hard to describe, although I found them to be really kool and pretty original. Their sound is a bit black metallish, but mixes other elements in as well. Any way, this is one band I'll keep my eye on! Corpsicle, as can probably be guessed from the name, play more brutal death. Nothing too new here, but if you don't mind that they are pretty good I suppose. Hollow Point are next, and have the most tracks on the comp at 4. These guys, I really liked for their killer, in-your-face boot- stompin death. Shredded Corpse are the final band on the disc, and are quite unusual. They do this guitar shit on their first song that reminds me of Godflesh, and the drumming is super fast lending it a somewhat industrial feel. These guys are definitely worth checking into if you seek something a little out of the ordinary. Overall, this is a good comp for all fans of death metal, and I do recommend it.  

ELISABETH  

 

 

 

V/A - MERCYFUL FATE TRIBUTE  

LISTENABLE RECORDS  

This is a collection of known death/black metal bands remaking Fate songs. Luciferion, Sacramentum, Gardenian, Snowy Shaw, Armageddon, Emperor, Withering Surface, Misanthrope, Dimension Zero, Immolation, Dark Tranquility, Deceased, and Notre Dame. Most of the bands here are professional who play their instruments well or semi-well. However! Some things are best if left alone! Mercyful Fate is such a band! There is NO point in making a classic like "Evil" or "Gypsy" into a black/death song. Think about this: What if someone decided to play Morbid Angel songs acoustically? See what I mean? No one cam "remake" a Fate song. It doesn't work. Why? Because the greatness lies in the original style that Fate sported. It's untouchable.  

LIEFF  

 

I myself agree and disagree with Lieff. No one can touch the spirit to the old Mercyful Fate material. But on the other hand, I find it very amusing and entertaining to hear each band attempt to cover a Fate song. When all these tribute albums became so god damn popular, I always wondered if any one would ever make one of King D./ Mercyful Fate. I always figured no one would dare touch their songs. A year later, to my surprise, I received one in my mail box. I was very anxious to listen to it, especially Emperors track. To my surprise, it was easily the best song on the CD. Luciferion does an incredible job during the performance of "Black Funeral". The vocals are high when Kings vocals were high on certain parts, and then low when expected. Now of course, the song has been altered to fit their own style, which is somewhat of a black/death metal affair. Sacramentum is next with "Black Masses". This song sounds a lot closer to the original (except for it being a lot faster) than Luciferions, but with the death metal vocals. Gardenian is up next with "A Dangerous Meeting" and I swear if you didn't know that they were doing a Fate cover, you really wouldn't be able to tell. It definitely sounds like their own song in my opinion. Snowy Shaw.... Snowy Shaw? Is he singing this song as well? He is performing "Evil" at a live show, and when the vocals first came in, I busted out laughing. Very gay sounding, and the same goes for this band as well. If you didn't know they were playing a Fate song, you wouldn't be able to tell. Only during the chorus you can somewhat tell it's a Fate song. Armageddon is up next with "Desecration of Souls." This version is pretty cool. Heavy and closer to the original than the previous mentioned. The vocalists highs are pretty descent. Ahhh.... Emperor is up next and though their version of "Gypsy" isn't 100% like the original, the keyboards they throw in on certain sections are indeed eerie to the already eerie atmosphere this band has magnificently captured. The vocals on here are closer to Kings than any one else on this comp. Actually, I was very surprised and impressed with the vocals. Withering Surface is up next with "The Oath". If it wasn't for the shitty production, this would also be one of the better played Fate songs. Pretty cool. Misanthrope is doing "Doomed By the Living Dead". This song is actually pretty fucking fast, and is hard to hear the Fate in the song. Another version that is hard to hear that this is a Fate song, with the exception the chorus. Dimension Zero is up with "My Demon", which was a surprise. I figured every band would attempt an old song. Any way, this version is actually pretty cool. Heavy ass fuck growls. Man it's weird to hear this with growls. This is also a lot closer sounding to a Fate song, with the exception they did throw in their own ideas, which were guitar parts to parts that were not there on the original version. When he starts singing "Demon..", truly heavy. Immolation gives us their version of "Satan's Fall". Slow, doomy, and heavy as fuck! But hey, it's Immolation, what can we expect? A lot slower than the original, but you can still tell it is a Fate song. One of the better tracks on here as well. Dark Tranquility brings us another newer song, "Lady in Black". I must say that I didn't like this version that much. The original is way to melodic, and this band did not capture any of it in my opinion. Next up is Deceased with, "Nuns Have No Fun", one of my favorite Fate songs ever. This version is pretty cool. King F. does a good job on the vocals. Pretty close to the original. Another of the better versions. Last up is Notre Dame, with "Into the Coven". This is definitely done the Notre D. way. Very slow at the beginning with female vocals, and then the male vocals pop in and take control. Through out the song, they have there little breaks here and there with the eerie keys going on and some acoustic guitar that is later accompanied by some female and male chants here and there. This was one of the more interesting versions. This is definitely my favorite track, with the exception of Emperors track. I think there is another Fate tribute out somewhere, and even though the bands can not capture the magic, I think it's worth the listen.  

Mike  

 

 

 

V/A - "SMELLS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT" CD COMPILATION  

DISPLEASED RECORDS  

NEMBRIONIC'S "Coffin On Coffin" opens up this affair. This song is a very cool, heavy aggressive, tight exercise in the art of thrashing death metal. Their second song, "Bulldozer", is a real catchy simple death metal affair. Very catchy, kind of punkish sounding actually. ALTAR follows. This band has no real identity of its own. They are aggressive, yes, but so what? Nothing special. CELESTIAL SEASON has a track from "Solar Lovers" here. It is of course good. The second song by this band, "Astral Dub", is really lame because they want to sound like a heavy ALICE IN CHAINS. That sucks because it sounds fake. HYBERNOID follows with "Today's, Tomorrows, Yesterday", which is a really cool song. It actually sounds kind of like old PARADISE LOST, but not as doomy. Very melodic, but heavy. "Revery", the next song also by this band and is in a similar style. I recommend this band to people, even though I have not yet heard a complete release. These two songs are both melodic, heavy and catchy. Not tremendously original, but good all the same. Then comes RHADAMANTYS, who are a regular death metal band with no real identity to them. To typical, to boring. CONSOLATION is next. This band is also pretty heavy, but I find nothing appealing about it. To normal sounding. ORPHANAGE has only one song here; "In The Garden Of Eden". This song sounds really good. It is a mid-paced affair that offers classy background vocals that are softly sang in a high pitched voice and the different riffs in the song add texture to the whole thing. I want to hear more and I hope I will. ETERNAL SOLSTICE is the last band on this comp. and perhaps the best. "Culpable Homicide" is a mid-paced traditional death metal song. You will find nothing but heaviness here. The vocalist sounds a bit like Kam Lee or Barney Greenway. The bands sound has a tight, well thought-out feel. The riffs sound a bit "old Swedish" I think. There is a nice little melodic note found throughout the song. "Mask The Face Of Death" ends this comp. Once again, ETERNAL SOLSTICE shreds throughout this. I recommend this band because they have a definite feel to them and sound pretty fresh and simply play with heaviness and energy.  

LIEFF  

 

 

 

V/A - "VICTORY STYLE 3"  

VICTORY RECORDS  

Victory Rec. comp. CD with tracks by: Hatebreed, Catch 22, Thumb, Bad Brains, Earth Crisis, Cause for Alarm, HI FI and the Roadburners, Integrity, OS101, Skarhead, Out of Order, In Cold Blood, Warzone, Strife, Bloodlet, By the Grace of God, Blood for Blood, Electric Frankenstein, Shutdown and Snapcase. There's a great variety of music on this disc, ska (I thought you said great?), punk, metal, HC, it should satisfy just about anyone, plus it's a good intro to the Victory bands. I rate this a "10", get it!  

Elisabeth 

shim