Various Artists
Blessed by the Night

Subtitled The Dark Metal Compilation, this double-disc European compilation collects the top acts in goth metal and others who’ve forsaken their heavy roots for the love of money.

Aesma Daaeva’s “O Death (Rock Me Asleep)” is reminiscent of old Paradise Lost but colder and with female vocals. Tiamat and resident freak Johan Edlund check in with the lame “Brighter Than The Sun,” which, with its female backing vocals, sounds more like Pink Floyd than formerly one of the most exciting metal bands. Crematory thankfully throws their weight around the catchy death romp “Welcome To…,” while Mayhem aspires to be the Biohazard of black metal with the cheesy “View From Nihil.” Vintersong shows some expert acoustic picking before the goofy Enya/Gaelic sea shanty-ish vocals kick in on “Svoltvinter,” and Otyg (another interest from Vintersorg) doesn’t fare much better on the similar “Backahasten.” Despite some seriously wimpy recent albums, Amorphis really hearkens back to their doomy death roots on “Greed.” Samsas Traum is a throwback to the �’0s on the new-wave “Fur Immer,” and The Sins Of Thy Beloved don cowboy hats over their corpse paint with the fiddle-lickin’ “Partial Insanity.”

Leave it to Dimmu Borgir and Satyricon for the comp’s heaviest tracks, but the best cut is Hypocrisy’s “Disconnected Magnetic Corridors,” which shows a more melodic side of the band though totally uncharacteristic for these Swedish metal pioneers. Danzig rears his knucklehead on “Five Finger Crawl,” fitting in perfectly with these Eurogoth trendsetters. Love Like Blood sets aside their old Killing Joke angular guitar for the more streamlined goth (which smacks of new My Dying Bride) of “The Silver Shot.” Umbra Et Imago sounds like a robotic Wall Of Voodoo on “Mea Culpa.” Cultus Sanguine unsuccessfully sips of Tiamat’s Wildhoney on “The Future Unveiled,” while Near Dark tries a mix of Rammstein and AC/DC with “Samhain.” Ultimately, those even remotely interested in this scene cannot go wrong with this 28-band comp.

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Written by Dan Woolley
October 2nd, 2000

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