|Review: Various Artists - Maritime Metal - Initiating The XI Hour|
|Maritime Metal - Initiating The XI Hour|
Year released: 2002
Review online: March 1, 2003
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:Maritime Metal - Initiating The XI Hour
Rated 2.75/5 (55%) (4 Votes)
This is a compilation of metal bands from the maritime provinces of Canada (hence the name.) For those not too familiar with this country, the easternmost provinces are referred to as "the maritimes". Unlike Ontario, Quebec, and a couple of the western provinces, the maritime metal bands have been largely ignored; This compilation aims at rectifying this. At least I think that's why they released it. :)
Fans of styles such as power metal, heavy metal, doom and progressive can look elsewhere: This compilation is made up of extreme metal bands - mostly Black and Death Metal, and some grindcore. I will not take this as a sign that bands of those other genres are nowhere to be found in the maritimes, but rather that they either didn't make it on this first compilation, or were not interested. OK enough speculation. The compilation is a CD-R with a small booklet that lists the bands+track names, along with contact info (WWW and/or e-mail) for each band.
Music-wise... Well, you've got everything from very passable (or should I say "suck") to pretty good. I haven't found anything that I would qualify as outstanding, but there's a few good songs in there, and most fans of extreme metal should find something they like in here. Now there's not many ways to review a compilation other than a quick rundown of the tracks, so here we go. Uninspired comments pretty much mean I was uninspired by the track. :)
1. Heteromorphic Hallucinations by Necromaster: A 45 seconds intro that's not exactly music, more like "dark" sounds....
2. Dimensional Manifestation of Ashen Forms by Cephalectomy: This borders on grindcore, with deep, guttural vocals (aka the vocalist is puking his breakfast.)
3. When Angels Fall by Midst of Suffering: Raw Black Metal, a bit Darkthrone-ish, not bad at all, although there's a more quiet sort of acoustic part that in my opinion ruins the mood a little...
4. Into The Black Kingdom by Black Frost: Raw, grinding Black Metal, reminds me a bit of Burzum, the vocals are very low in the mix but sound good, some slower parts well integrated in the song, long at 8:40 but doesn't get boring.
5. Dawn of the Impurity Design by Thy Flesh Consumed: Spoken intro, Blackened death metal, the vocals are raw growls that borrow a bit from Black Metal screeches (good combination here), also some deeper growls.
6. All That I Had by Fear Absolute: Death/Thrash, raw thrashy voice bordering on growls at times, spoken vocals (so so - breaks the mood, would be better without), galloping riff from beginning to end, some more melodic passages with a sharp edge - a bit too long although it does get better. The song is very unequal in terms of quality, looks like making a 7:47 song was a bit too much here...
7. Order of the Dragon by Funeral Fog: Black Metal that reminds me a bit of Darkthrone and Hegemon at times - not very original but very well done nevertheless.
8. Intravenous Acid Burn by Slaughter of Saints: Blackened Thrash, pretty raw stuff, some of the vocal parts remind me of an Iced Earth song (a BM Matt Barlow? :)), very aggressive, drumming a little chaotic at times, but good stuff.
9. Death Awakens by Demons: Death metal with awful burp vocals... Some cool thrashy riffs but the vocals really kill this song.
10. Spoken by Death Himself by Realms of Despair: Black Metal with some noticeable traditional metal influences in the riffs, one of the best tracks on this compilation.
11. Hellacaust by Hellacaust: Black Metal in the vein of Marduk, with very high-pitched screeches, some good guitar parts. Ignores speed limits. Not bad at all.
12. Darkest Majesty by Wars of Winter: Considering the harsh winters they have over there, this is a very good band name! :) Black Metal with constant blastbeats (...), weird melodic segment - the melody comes from something known but I can't put my finger on it. Very crappy job on the choirs toward the middle - tried to play in Dimmu's territory. Also way too long, the band tried too hard here and, well, crashed and burned.
13. Closer Than Invading Sleep Terratomb: Death Metal, very sharp riffing, the vocals are surprisingly clean, more like Thrash vocals with a slight tendency towards death growls, the only tolerable Death Metal track I found here...
14. Serial Joe's Last Dance by Torture Parade: The vocals miss the target, seem to be going for agonizing, but sound way too forced. Kind of Black Metal, but not very good. The vocals really kill this song. Stop the torture please (and I wrote this BEFORE I look at the band's name-honest.) I really think this song was meant as some sort of a joke.
15. E.M.S. by Conrad Simon: Short instrumental song with keyboards and guitar, not a bad choice for the outro, nothing else to say but well done.
For more info on some maritime metal bands, check out www.maritimemetal.net.
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