Every so often I roll the dice and buy one of those grab bags of 10 or so mystery CDs that you can often order from various record labels. I’ve ordered these from Century Media a few times, and it usually yields a few keepers along with some truly bizarre or horrible stuff. This time, I ordered 10 CDs from Season of Mist for $20. Here’s what I got:
- Jupiter by Atheist. The front cover is a (heavily embossed) painting of fighting wolves that looks very death-metal. The back cover is a shiny painting of Jupiter that looks very prog metal. I have no idea what to expect from this one, except that it packs 8 songs into less than 35 minutes, so it’s probably not actually prog.
- Anomalia by Khonsu. The cover has creepy-looking cybernetic things on it. This clocks in at 59 minutes for 7 songs, so this is much more likely to be proggy.
- Decadence by Nothnegal. This is clearly the grab bag of one word album titles. A sticker on the front proclaims this “the perfect mix between Dimmu Borgir and Samael!” I could get into that.
- Stranded by Of Legends. Sticker on the front says, “For fans of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Fear Factory, Deftones”. Hmmm. Not aimed squarely at the bullseye of my musical tastes, but could be interesting.
- Generation Kill by Red White and Blood. Sticker says “Vox by Rob Dukes of Exodus! For fans of Exodus, Testament, Pro-Pain. Tedious macho rethrash, or unknown gem? The only way to know is to listen.
- American Inquisition by Christian Death. I had no idea that Christian Death were still going in 2007. This ought to be interesting.
- Ruins of Gomorrah by Undercroft. Very old-school cover art. Has guest vocals by members of Entombed, Dismember, Necrophobic, and Watain. I’m expecting something very traditional here, but quite possibly very entertaining.
- Legion Helvete by Tsjuder. Speaking of very traditional – everything about this, from the monochrome cover to the back cover photo of the band in corpse paint and spiked gauntlets to the sticker on the front proclaiming this “666% Norwegian Black Metal,” walks that fine line between “thoroughly traditional” and “trying too damn hard.” I’m actually a bit familiar with Tsjuder’s work, and am looking forward to getting better acquainted with it.
- Illud Divinum Insanus by Morbid Angel. Well, you can’t win them all.
- Option Paralysis by The Dillinger Escape Plan. This has amazing art/packaging. It comes in a cardboard digipack kind of thing with all these little fold out flaps on it. On one side of each flap is this strange kind of mosaic artwork made of lots of little pictures tiled together – on the other side are the lyrics to a song. The whole thing slides into a black plastic sleeve that has transparent lettering on it that allows the artwork underneath to show through. Very cool looking, although I can tell I’m going to drive myself mad trying to fold the thing up the way it was when it was new. I’ve listened to a bit of The Dillinger Escape Plan, and so far their appeal has eluded me, but I’ll give this a good listen or two and see if they finally click.
- Collateral Damage (consisting of War Vol. 1 by …And Oceans vs. Bloodthorn, War Vol. 2 by Anata vs. Bethzaida, and War Vol. 3 by Cultus Sanguine vs. Seth). The who the what now? There were only supposed to be 10 CDs in this grab bag, and the nice folks at Season of Mist have gone and thrown in an extra freakin’ box set. The front of the box bills this as “3 extreme metal classics 4 the price of one,” which I think may be a generous interpretation of the term “classic”. The concept behind these split releases is an interesting one: each band gets to do two original tracks, a cover of a song by the other band on the release, and a cover of a song by some other band. I’m kind of expecting these to be mostly terrible, but with a few unexpected gems. Can’t wait. Volume 1 also sports some truly horrendous cover art.
I’m guessing that I will find the Nothnegal, Khonsu, and Undercroft albums most to my taste, although I’m prepared to listen to everything with as open a mind as possible. What do you think? Have you heard any of the albums? Do you love ’em, do you hate ’em, can you explain the cover art for War Vol. 1? Leave me a comment!