Various - _Better Undead Than Alive_
(Code666, 2003)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
Here's a new concept: a label compilation that's really interesting for the average listener. That's what Code666 have worked hard to produce with this _Better Undead Than Alive_ double CD. Throughout the compilation, all the tracks have been merged together to create a continuous flow, and the songs themselves were chosen not only with a view to represent each band's sound but to fit the overall mood of the compilation as well. The material on offer can be divided intro three kinds: remastered album tracks, unreleased advance tracks and exclusive compilation tracks. The two CDs feature a total of 24 songs, ranging from one to three from each of the following bands: Void of Silence, Aborym, Diabolicum, Thee Maldoror Kollective, Rakoth, Bloodshed, Enid, Negura Bunget, Handful of Hate, Ephel Duath, Aghora, Atrox, Manes, Unmoored and Abortus. There is little point in examining each of the bands individually on this review, as most of them have either already been reviewed in CoC or are likely to be at some stage. The mood is generally dark, leaning mostly towards more-or-less technological black metal (Aborym, Diabolicum, Thee Maldoror Kollective and, with a major doom component, Void of Silence), but remains varied while trying to avoid undesirably jarring contrasts. Not that you don't get a few, though -- sandwiching Bloodshed's powerful black/death metal between Rakoth's and Enid's brands of medieval/fantasy heavy/black metal, for instance, could scarcely have had a different result. It is Romania's mystical black metallers Negura Bunget who pick up from there, so you can imagine the contrast with Enid's minstrel-like vocals. Handful of Hate, another ripping black/death act, then precede Ephel Duath's avantgarde black metal in a similarly jarring passage. This is then followed by Aghora's and Atrox's progressive female-fronted material, in a much better flowing sequence that temporarily drags the focus of the compilation away from the darker shades, before Void of Silence close the first CD with their doom/black metal. The second CD's first half is mostly a continuation of the first CD's second half, with more lightweight bands such as Rakoth, Atrox and Enid taking up most of its playing time, in spite of efforts by Thee Maldoror Kollective and Unmoored. From there on, the second CD becomes a lot more like the first half of the first CD (feeling lost yet?), with the darker bands dominating until the end (questionable techno remix of an Aborym track included). Considering that this is a showcase for all the bands on Code666, it is hardly a crime that the label has some variety in its roster, and they clearly did put some care into smoothing these differences as much as possible. Where the compilation further impresses is through the interesting movie-like artwork and layout, and especially its multimedia bonuses. You get well-presented band photos and bio, a Negura Bunget video (which Code666 point out was shot in the Carpathian mountains) and a few MP3 bonuses -- including five Aghora live tracks with reasonable sound quality. Code666 clearly worked hard on this, and they have succeeded in creating an interesting compilation that constitutes a worthwhile purchase for the general public rather than just serving as a promotional tool.

Contact: http://www.code666.net

(article published 5/4/2003)


ALBUMS
12/29/2010 C Drishner 8 Various - Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft - Gate 1: Yogsothery - Chaosmogonic Rituals of Fear
12/14/2010 N Shahpazov 8.5 Various - Whom the Moon a Nightsong Sings
4/2/2010 Q Kalis Various - Rising of Yog-Sothoth: Tribute to Thergothon
1/8/2009 C Drishner Various - Anthrosphere Volume 1
9/17/2008 P Azevedo 7.5 Various - My Own Wolf: A New Approach to Ulver
8/9/2008 Q Kalis 7.5 Various - Metal Message IV
6/22/2008 Q Kalis 8 Various - ...Where Tattered Clouds Are Stranding
6/17/2008 Q Kalis 5.5 Various - Extreme Metal Inside
6/13/2008 Q Kalis 8 Various - Might Is Right: Nordic Warchants II
6/11/2008 Q Kalis 4.5 Various - Bajo el Signo de la Violencia: Tribute to Masacre
10/7/2007 Q Kalis 7 Various - Rise of the Eastern Blood
7/24/2007 Q Kalis 8 Various - Might Is Right - Nordic Warchants Pt. I
7/4/2007 Q Kalis 7 Various - Aural Holograms Vol. I
4/20/2007 Q Kalis 8.5 Various - Noise.IL
4/15/2007 Q Kalis Various - Fine-Tuned Disasters
4/5/2007 Q Kalis Various - Defaced and Split
3/25/2007 Q Kalis 8 Various - Fuck the Modern World
3/8/2007 J Ulrey 7.5 Various - Intoxicated Vol. 4
2/24/2007 K Sarampalis 7 Various - Metal Message Vol III
1/28/2007 Q Kalis 8.5 Various - A Reassuring Voice on the Television
1/9/2007 Q Kalis 7.5 Various - Hauautagused Karjed Vol. II: Estonian Extreme Metal Compilation
12/26/2006 Q Kalis 8 Various - All My Dead Friends
11/7/2005 N Shahpazov 7 Various - The Wood Brothers
1/10/2005 T DePalma 7.5 Various - Listen Without Distraction - A Tribute to Kyuss
10/19/2004 P Azevedo 7 Various - Fenriz Presents... The Best of Old-School Black Metal
1/17/2004 A McKay 3.5 Various - Defenders of Metal Volume 1 - The Seduction
11/16/2003 X Hoose 7 Various - Japanese Assault
8/31/2003 J Montague 8 Various - Barbaric Onslaught (Australian Metal Attack)
5/29/2003 Q Kalis 7.5 Various - Victory Through Total Domination: Compilation No. III
5/27/2003 A Wee 7 Various - The Obsolete View
3/31/2003 P Azevedo 7.5 Various - Svartmetall Compilation 2001
3/26/2003 X Hoose 4 Various - Covered in Blood: A Tribute to Slayer
4/12/2002 B Meloon 6 Various - Czech Assault
4/12/2002 Q Kalis 7.5 Various - The Bells of the Mystical Empire
1/14/2002 A Wee 6 Various - Hellion Promo Vol II
1/14/2002 A McKay 7 Various - Colorado Colossus
10/19/2001 Q Kalis 7.5 Various - Beauty in Darkness 5
8/12/2001 A McKay 2 Various - Brazilian Assault
8/12/2001 V Eldefors 7 Various - Triarchy of Vasconia
8/12/2001 A Wee 9 Various - Black Metal Blitzkrieg
5/13/2001 A Wee 8 Various - The Return of Darkness and Hate
5/13/2001 A McKay 8 Various - Requiems of Revulsion: A Tribute to Carcass
3/13/2001 A McKay 4 Various - Chamber Metal: Neo-Classical Metal Guitar
3/13/2001 A McKay 6.5 Various - Overload 2: Tribute to Metallica
1/10/2001 A McKay 6.5 Various - Scream Forth Blasphemy: A Tribute to Morbid Angel
11/20/2000 A McKay 2 Various - Dead Zeppelin - A Metal Tribute to Led Zeppelin
11/20/2000 A McKay 6.5 Various - In the Sign of the Horns - A Tribute to Venom
11/20/2000 G Sanchez 7 Various - Economi$ed
11/20/2000 G Sanchez 8 Various - Coalescence
10/25/2000 A McKay 6 Various - Gateway to Hell 2: Tribute to Slayer
10/25/2000 A McKay 7 Various - King Diamond Tribute
10/25/2000 A Cantwell 7.5 Various - World of Pain -- A Tribute to Sepultura
10/25/2000 A Cantwell 7.5 Various - Jump in the Pit -- A Tribute to Testament
10/25/2000 A McKay 9.5 Various - Root of All Evil 2000 2nd Anniversary Sampler
8/12/2000 A McKay 5 Various - Raise the Flag of Hate: A Tribute to Kreator
8/12/2000 A McKay 8 Various - Curse of the Demon: A Tribute to Mercyful Fate
5/25/2000 A Bromley 3 Various - Power From the North
5/25/2000 A Bromley 7.5 Various - Panther: A Tribute to Pantera
3/5/2000 A Bromley 8.5 Various - Holy Dio: Tribute to Ronnie James Dio
1/15/2000 M Noll 2 Various - A Tribute to Accept
1/15/2000 P Azevedo 8 Various - To Magic...
12/9/1999 P Schwarz 8 Various - 21st Century Media Blitz Vol. 2
12/9/1999 A Bromley 8.5 Various - Never Give In: A Tribute to Bad Brains
8/12/1999 A McKay 3 Various - A Tribute to Hell: Satanic Rites
8/12/1999 P Schwarz 3 Various - ECW Extreme Music
8/12/1999 G Sanchez 6 Various - Lobot Manual
8/12/1999 G Sanchez 7.5 Various - Needlepoint
8/12/1999 A McKay 9 Various - White: Nightmares in the End
7/7/1999 A Wasylyk 7 Various - Death... Is Just the Beginning 5
6/15/1999 P Azevedo 5 Various - Psyclone Sinphonies
6/15/1999 A Wasylyk 6.5 Various - Beauty in Darkness Vol. 3
6/15/1999 A McKay 8.5 Various - Smells Like Team Spirit III
5/19/1999 G Sanchez 6.5 Various - Extreme America 3
5/19/1999 A McKay 7 Various - Straight to Hell -- A Tribute to Slayer
5/19/1999 G Sanchez 7.5 Various - Freak Animal Zine #11 CD
5/19/1999 P Azevedo 8 Various - Where We Go, Others Can Only Follow...
5/19/1999 A Cantwell 8.5 Various - Chords of the Grave
5/19/1999 A McKay 8.5 Various - To Live Is Ever to Be in Danger
3/14/1999 A Bromley 7 Various - Black Mark Tribute II
3/14/1999 A McKay 7 Various - In Conspiracy With Satan
3/14/1999 G Sanchez 8 Various - WWF - The Music Vol. 3
2/13/1999 A Cantwell 8.5 Various - Full Moon Productions Sampler CD
1/16/1999 P Schwarz 5 Various - Roadkill
1/16/1999 P Schwarz 7 Various - Feuersturm Vol. II: The Ultimate Storm
1/16/1999 P Schwarz 8 Various - Wardance
1/16/1999 A Cantwell 8 Various - From Kaamos to Midnight Sun -- Finnish Metal Compilation
11/19/1998 A Bromley 8 Various - GRRRR!!: Extreme Music From Vancouver
10/1/1998 P Schwarz 7 Various - Cry Now, Cry Later -- Vols. 3 & 4
10/1/1998 A Cantwell 7 Various - Songs From the Penalty Box: Volume 2
10/1/1998 P Schwarz 8 Various - Amduscias
9/1/1998 P Azevedo 6 Various - High Radiation 4
9/1/1998 A Bromley 7 Various - Call on the Dark II
9/1/1998 B Meloon 7 Various - Bestial Sampler: 1997-1998
9/1/1998 A Wasylyk 8 Various - Fiesta Comes Alive!
9/1/1998 P Schwarz 9 Various - Statements of Intent
7/8/1998 A Wasylyk 6 Various - Blackened III
7/8/1998 A Wasylyk 7 Various - Statements of Intent
7/8/1998 A Wasylyk 8 Various - Sepultural Feast: A Tribute to Sepultura
6/7/1998 P Azevedo Various - Peaceville X
6/7/1998 A Bromley 7 Various - Call To Irons: A Tribute to Iron Maiden
6/7/1998 A Wasylyk 7 Various - Voyager: 10 Years Nuclear Blast
6/7/1998 B Meloon 8 Various - Until the End of Time
1/1/1998 A Wasylyk 5 Various - A Declaration of Independence
1/1/1998 A Gaudrault 7 Various - Masters of Misery - Black Sabbath: The Earache Tribute
1/1/1998 A Bromley 7 Various - Untitled (ten)
11/17/1997 A Bromley 8 Various - Earache Unplugged 2
7/14/1997 A Wasylyk 3 Various - The Kanada Compilation
7/14/1997 Z Tsarfin 7 Various - Awakenings: Females in Extreme Music
7/14/1997 A Bromley 9 Various - A Black Mark Tribute
6/7/1997 A Bromley 8 Various - The Ozz-Fest: Live
5/13/1997 P Azevedo 8 Various - Out of the Dark Live Compilation
5/13/1997 S Hoeltzel 9 Various - World Domination II
2/5/1997 A Bromley 5 Various - Frozen Dawn III
2/5/1997 A Bromley 8 Various - The Absolute Supper
1/2/1997 A Wasylyk 9 Various - Beneath the Icy Floe: A Projekt Sampler V.4
8/12/1996 A Wasylyk 7 Various - Black Mark Attack
8/12/1996 G Filicetti 9 Various - ...And Even Wolves Hid Their Teeth
7/17/1996 A Bromley 9 Various - Beauty In Darkness
6/9/1996 S Hoeltzel 7 Various - Nordic Metal: A Tribute to Euronymous
4/18/1996 N Bassett 7 Various - In Memory of Celtic Frost
3/14/1996 A Bromley 7 Various - Identity II
3/14/1996 N Bassett 8 Various - With Us Or Against Us
1/17/1996 G Filicetti 9 Various - Four Ways To Misery
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