Various Artists - _Identity_
(Century Media, 1995)
by: Brian Meloon (3 out of 10)
As Abraham Lincoln once wrote in a book review, "people who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like." Well, I don't like this sort of thing. Of the 19 tracks here, I only like one of them, and only a handful of them are even noteworthy. The only track I like is the title track from Samael's _Rebellion_ EP. Even then, only the keyboards save it from being average. There are two "prog metal" tracks here, Nevermore's "What Tomorrow Knows", which features some cool guitarwork but just falls flat, and Iced Earth's "Last December", which also is a little too predictable for me to call it good. There are two rap/metal tracks, Stuck Mojo's "Not Promised Tomorrow", and "Change My Ways". I hate rap. There's a track from Tiamat, "Whatever That Hurts", which isn't too bad, and Sentenced's "New Age Messiah", whose intro sounds like an '80s Van Halen song or something. What a letdown from _North From Here_. The other 12 tracks are pretty much interchangeable "death rock," a style which is all too familiar (and popular) today. There are unreleased tracks from Only Living Witness, Hostility, EYEHATEGOD, and 454 Big Block, and the rest are album cuts. The only real surprise is Strapping Young Lad, who despite their stupid name, and even dumber album title (_Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing_), actually are relatively interesting, but a little too goofy for me. I suppose I should be a little more lenient on this, since it's only $2.00, but that's about all it's worth. Now, what I want to know is why they didn't put Emperor, Moonspell, and Obliveon on here ...

(article published 1/10/1995)

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