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VARIOUS ARTISTS "The Metal Years: Gothic Doom Metal" (Spitfire)
VARIOUS ARTISTS "The Metal Years: Power Metal" (Spitfire)
VARIOUS ARTISTS "The Metal Years: Progressive Metal" (Spitfire)

VARIOUS ARTISTS "The Metal Years: Gothic Doom Metal" (Spitfire)

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VARIOUS ARTISTS "The Metal Years: Power Metal" (Spitfire)

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VARIOUS ARTISTS "The Metal Years: Progressive Metal" (Spitfire)

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Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


One thing that's always bothered me is why there are so damn many different genres and sub-genres for hard rock and heavy metal. I mean, there's the old classics: death metal, speed metal, hardcore, etc. And then there's the new stuff: aggro, nu-metal, and so on. I could never understand why we have to break it down into all these ridiculous sub-categories - if the guitars are loud and fast enough, it qualifies. Right?

Okay, I'll admit it: The biggest reason I hate all these labels is because I have trouble telling one genre from another. It's all rock'n'roll to me. 

Thankfully, Spitfire Records has released these three CDs to make all of our lives easier. First, if we want to, we can accept the genres that Spitfire has decided these bands fall into and, from now on, when someone mentions the new Tiamat CD, we can be pretty sure its Gothic Doom Metal. Liner notes by Jon Paris help out as well (although they could have been a little more extensive). Second, this is a terrific opportunity for listeners to choose their favorite genre of metal and find out what bands they haven't heard of before actually sound like.

Reviewing these CDs individually is kind of pointless. They're all equally great although you may like one album better than another because it's got more of your favorite genre. The musical selections on each are terrific; fine examples of some of the best metal bands at work. And the fact remains that - if you know you like one of the bands on a particular CD - chances are you're going to like the others.

So - rather than tear each CD apart piece-by-piece, I thought I'd just list the bands and tracks that appear on each CD. I think you'll get a picture of what each album is like this way and a taste of what to expect. I can tell you this much: Listening to these CDs certainly broadened my mind on many of the bands contained herein and I'll be out hunting their CDs down in the coming weeks.

Finally - special thanks to metal labels Metal Blade, Century Media, Nuclear Blast, Candlelight, Double Dutch, Ayreon and Breaker, whose cooperation made these CDs possible.

Track Listings:
THE METAL YEARS: Goth Doom Metal
ANATHEMA - Pitiless
CHRISTIAN DEATH - Romeo's Distress
CATHEDRAL - Vampire Sun
MY DYING BRIDE - The Forever People
TIAMAT - Whatever That Hurts
PARADISE LOST - Colossal Rains
MOONSPELL - Ruin and Misery
TRISTANA - Beyond the Veil
LAKE OF TEARS - A Crimson Cosmos
THE SINS OF THEY BELOVED - Perpetual Desolation
CEMETARY - Closer to the Pain
CANDLEMASS - Bewitched (Live)

DEMONS AND WIZARDS - Blood on My Hands
IN FLAMES - Moonshield
NEVERMORE - The Politics of Misery
HAMMERFALL - Steel Meets Steel
DARK TRANQUILITY - The Wonders at Your Feet
TAD MOROSE - Goddess of Chaos
GAMMA RAY - Changes
IRON SAVIOR - Iron Savior

OPETH - Demon of the Fall
FATES WARNING - Nothing Left to Say
THE GATHERING - Liberty Bell
JAG PANZER - Take to the Sky
YNGWIE MALMSTEEN - Prophet of Doom
WHITE SKULL - Time for Glory
ANGEL DUST - The Human Bondage
CRIMSON GLORY - Astronomica
STEEL PROPHET - Burning Into Blackness
AYREON - The Dream Sequencer
ANACRUSIS - I Love the World
ICED EARTH - The Funeral
STRATOVARIUS - Hunting High and Low

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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 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Oct 2018 19:54:50 -0400.