"Death Is Just the Beginning V" (Nuclear Blast)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Nuclear Blast offers a two CD set in their fifth installment of their continuing line of sampler CDs. The first disc is basically death metal in various incarnations; the second disc is more along the lines of power metal and progressive metal.

There are quite a few highlights on the first disc. Covenant's cosmic "Chariots Of Thunder," the first track, really grabbed my attention with its chugging riffs and doomy keyboards - it seems each compilation CD I buy has at least one track that turns me on to a new band - "Chariots Of Thunder" is that song and Covenant is that band. Dimmu Borgir's contribution, "Masses For The New Messiah" from their latest release "Black Spiritual Dimensions," is another great tune. The legendary Death chip in a challenging track called "Spirit Crusher." Sweden is well represented on the first disc with strong contributions from three bands: atmospheric death kings Godgory present their mournful "Death In Black" while another pair of melodic death bands, In Flames and Gardenian, present strong tracks called "Embody The Invisible" and "Deserted" respectively.

The second disc was a bit more satisfying overall even if it did lack some of the high energy of the first disc. Hollow's progressive "Rebellion" is sonically enticing and Primal Fear's "Save A Prayer" sounds like it has superstardom written all over it. Power metal is well represented with Steel Prophet's "Mentag" and Hammerfall's "Legacy Of Kings." Australia's Peguzas update an old track with a heartier sound on "Apache Warrior" which recalls classic '80s metal. Sinergy keep things interesting with a female vocalist and boasting band members that have paid their dues with Mercyful Fate and In Flames. Even the German metalcore outfit, Drecksau, display a unique heaviness I've never heard before.

This compilation is a great introduction to many bands. To learn more about the Nuclear Blast roster check out the label's website at for more information.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 1999 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Oct 2018 19:54:50 -0400 .