"Neoblast Compilation 3: Blast from the Underworld" (NeoBlast Records; 2003)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

I consider myself to be pretty well-versed in most things metal. So I was a bit surprised when I received the 21-track compilation "Neoblast Compilation 3: Blast From The Underworld" and I only recognized one (one!) band. That band was Thy Pain and even I have to admit that I was turned onto that band by a friend rather than by some of my own effort! A total of ten countries are represented by the bands on this compilation (United States, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Australia, Italy, France, Chile, South Korea, and Malta). The fact that ten separate countries are represented on this compilation is enough to remind me of the breadth and width of the influence of death metal over the last twenty years.

Most of the 21 bands on this particular compilation are limited to the brutal death metal genre which is admittedly not one of my favorite genres. But after completely ignoring death metal most of my life, and especially the brutal death metal genre, once I started expanding my horizons with my Rough Edge duties I feel that I can at least quickly identify those bands that I like.

Bands/tracks that struck my fancy included Ashes Of Eden's "Cerebral War" and Stormrider's "Odin’s Ride." Ashes Of Eden's "Cerebral War" sounded like mainstream death metal fused with Fear Factory-like melodic choruses, which sounds very original to these ears at this moment. Stormrider's "Odin's Ride" sounds like an intense version of Amon Amarth. I somewhat enjoyed the technical approach of Finland's Dauntless’ track "The Distorted Facts." I also liked the jazz-influenced styled of Virulence's "Painting" – it seemed as though Virulence was a death metal version of Candiria. Additionally, the deliberate pacing of Kabbal's "Trihedron" was interesting before the traditional death metal kicked in, but it ends up being a decent tune anyway. 

As you might guess, the bands/tracks that I like are decidedly more mainstream than most of the brutal death metal bands on this compilation, but they are what appealed to me. Five years ago this compilation wouldn't have lasted more than one spin in my player; at least now I know I would listen to a subset of the tracks for actual listening pleasure when I'm in one of my death metal moods.

There isn't a lot of information about the bands and their contributions to this compilation on the disc's packaging, but each band has their logo (often a telling indicator of a band's style) and website so that purchasers of this compilation have a set of resources to go to discover more about those bands that each listener might interesting. That's definitely a big plus.

Despite my two and a half chainsaw rating I think fans of underground metal would be pleased by the offerings on "Neoblast Compilation 3: Blast From The Underworld."

"Neoblast Compilation: Blast From The Underworld" was executively produced by the folks at Neoblast Records.

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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 © 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Oct 2018 19:54:49 -0400.