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"Identity 5" (Century Media)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

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Century Media have once again put out a quality product at an unbelievably low price. As compilation CDs go, you can't get much better than this. Century Media have a roster that has power metal (Iced Earth),  hardcore (Turmoil), death (Cryptopsy), melodic European metal (The Gathering), and black metal (Old Man's Child) as well as other styles of metal. The CD is also a virtual trip around the globe as the bands represented here are from the United States, Canada, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Holland, Norway, and Brazil.

The best tracks on this compilation are from Lacuna Coil, Theatre Of Tragedy, Angra, and Opeth. I continue to be enchanted by the soaring and sweet melodic voice of Lacuna Coil's Cristina; over the soaring and crushing music of this Italian band, Cristina continues to impress.

Theatre Of Tragedy's "Lorelei" is more gothic than death and balances keyboards and guitars, male and female vocals, and drama in an engaging fashion. Angra's "Mystery Machine" should appeal to fans of progressive rock as it contains stellar guitar and keyboard interplay as well as astonishing guitar solos. Opeth's "When" is an near-epic masterpiece (nine minutes long) combining many of the various elements found in old school metal; at times ethereal, the music is differentiated by shards of controlled aggression, beautiful arpeggios, lush keyboards, and haunting vocals.

Other songs, among many others, include Iced Earth's "Burning Times," Skinlab's "So Far From The Truth" (think of Machine Head), the Gathering's "Liberty Bell" (melodic metal from Holland), Jag Panzer's "Age Of Mastery" (classic metal from Colorado), and Borknagar's "Oceans Rise" (brutal black metal with elements of texture and atmosphere).

There isn't a single track that I wouldn't mind hearing over and over again. Century Media have a roster of bands that should appeal to any fan of heavy metal. Century Media's motto -  "Diversity in Extremes" - is a concise way to describe the wide variety found on this sampler. Century Media is a breath of fresh air when compared to the major labels. Each individual listener will probably split this disc fairly evenly into songs that they like and don't like, but for $2 plus shipping and handling you can't go wrong. You just might find your next favorite band!

Check out Century Media's website and on-line ordering catalog at

Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Oct 2018 19:54:50 -0400 .