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Review: Various Artists - Defenders of Metal Volume 1 - The Seduction
Various Artists
Defenders of Metal Volume 1 - The Seduction

Label: Man In Black Music
Year released: 2003
Duration: 77:46
Tracks: 18
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 2.5/5

Review online: October 5, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Defenders of Metal Volume 1 - The Seduction

Rated 3.33/5 (66.67%) (3 Votes)

Some people don't like compilations or mix CDs, but I do. I like the chance to check out a lot of bands at one time, so I can see which ones deserve further attention. This is a compilation of songs by artists on the relatively new Man In Black label (who I think are based in Portland, Oregon). As with all compilations, some of this music is good, most of it is just OK.

I hope nobody thinks I'm doing a track-by-track review of an 18-song CD. Yeah, that's gonna happen. No, but I will point out the songs and the bands that made a good impression. I suppose I should be glad that no one on this CD made a particularly bad impression. Some of it was a touch nu-metally, or college rockish, but nothing that really sucked. Most of it was blah – nothing to get excited about either way. But there were some notable exceptions.

They picked good for the first track. I had heard good things about Jesters Moon, and I have to say "Forbidden" is a cool song. It has good heavy riffs and catchy melodies. The vocals need a little work, but they aren't bad. However nothing after this song rises above mediocrity until the Rush-y song "Riflesso" by some Italian act called Metharia. It's not a very metal song, but it is catchy. (Though the lyrics are in Italian). "Bedlam" is next from a US band called Victim, and it's a good US-style power-metal tune. The best song here is probably "Under the Gun" by an old NWOBHM band called Stairway whom I had never heard of. It's an engagingly retro-sounding tune with a great chorus. "Only for the Rain Crew" by Rain is a stomping cock-rock song that's a lot of fun in a Motley Crue sort of way.

Mercury Rain are next with a cool prog/goth sounding song called "Bride of the Dark" that has a complex structure and some good female vocals. This song makes me interested to see what else this band could do – it's very original. I had heard good things about Sabatan, but now I wonder why. The song "Terror Mind" has bad vocals and goes on too long, despite some nice riffage. It just confirms that except for Dark Moor and Fairyland, Spanish power metal sucks.

So this has some good bits, and a whole lot of mediocre songs by bands that aren't quite ready for the big time. None of it is really that bad, but 6 good tunes out of 18 is not a great ratio, and so I can only recommend this as a purchase if you really want to check out a bunch of new bands. The label website has sound samples, and I suggest you try before you buy.

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