Nuclear Blast All Stars
Out of the Dark

Contending with 2005’s Roadrunner United All Star Sessions, Nuclear Blast Records has utilized its 20th anniversary to release a similar set of albums, bringing together different musicians from the label to collaborate on songs and create an orgy of metal. I admire these ideas and I thoroughly enjoyed the Roadrunner release. Although Nuclear Blast has good intentions, it doesn’t strike me quite as well.

Out of the Dark is the evil twin predecessor of Into The Light, the power/prog cheese ball end of the label. The idea of pulling musicians together from different bands and celebrating a label is awesome. I really would like to see more labels do this. Nuclear Blasts attempt isn’t bad, but it seems rushed. All ten of these tunes are composed and played by Peter Wichers (founding member of Soilwork who has previously left the band). He is accompanied by Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork, Scarve) and Henry Ranta(ex-Soilwork) for drums. The problem is nothing on the record is really memorable. There’s some good stuff but I won’t be reaching for this anytime soon.

The only thing musically that changes on this record is the vocalists. Each song has it’s own vocal talent from someone on the Nuclear Blast roster. Bjorn “Speed” Strid of Soilwork, Anders Friden of In Flames, Jari Maenpaa of Wintersun, and Peter Tagtgren of Hypocrisy are just a few of the guys you’ll hear on Out of the Dark. Even Jon Bush (ex-Anthrax) steps in and gives his first studio vocal performance in years. Peter does his best to write the songs to best fit the vocalist style. He doesn’t do to shabby either. The standout vocal performances are directed towards Christian Alvestam of Scar Symmetry on The Overshadowing and Bjorn Strids performance on The Dawn Of All. Christian of Scar Symmetry always blows my mind. He is one talented vocalist.

The other huge fault here is the fact that on man and two of his buddies composed all this music. It would have been nice to hear some other talents. Maybe a few guitar stars for example. Possible even some drummers. Mix it up a little. It is a damn shame that Jari from Wintersun did nothing but sing. Give that man a guitar for god sake. It also seems a little demeaning to the other “employees” of Nuclear Blast to just feature vocalists.

All in all this isn’t a bad record but compared to what I seen with Roadrunner’s All Star Sessions, this doesn’t cut it. Fans of the Nuclear Blast roster may find this appealing. The next label to pull one of these bad boys out better make sure they aren’t just jumping the bandwagon. It seems Nuclear Blast was trying.

By: Shane Wolfensberger

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shane Wolfensberger
September 26th, 2007

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