Various Artists
Metal=Life 2

Though this nice 2CD/DVD combo will only appeal to the Hot Topic Crowd, (5% of the profits from this DVD go to the Hot Topic Foundation), it’s still a well put together package that feature most of the bands that today’s kids are digging.The 2 CDs (38 tracks in all) contain nothing too special, mostly tracks of already available albums from the usual big name suspects; God Forbid (“To The Fallen Hero”), Bleeding Through (“Love in Slow Motion”), Every Time I Die (“The New Black”), He Is Legend (“Attack of the Dungeon Witch”), The Black Dahlia Murder (“Miasma”), In Flames (“Reflect The Storm”), Converge (“No Heroes”) and As I Lay Dying (“The Darkest Nights”) as well as a few up and comers such as Imperial, Chiodos, Misery Signals, The Human Abstract, Seemless and Nights Like These. Surprisingly, the 2 CDs also offer up a couple of more extreme tracks from the likes of Misery Index, Goatwhore and even Burst, but these are certainly fringe, “trendy” extreme bands that the kids seemed to have latched on too. Again, no rare or unreleased material but a solid offering of modern, mostly American music that shows pretty much a gauge of where metal (unfortunately) is nowadays.

The 18 videos on the DVD are from the more popular side of things and show lots of crop topped, tight panted guys screaming and jumping around with the only truly extreme offerings being Despised Icon’s “The Sunset Will Never Charm Us” and Hewhocorrupts “Master of Profits.” The other videos you have no doubt seen on MTV2’s Headbangers Ball or even regular MTV programming; God Forbid, As I Lay Dying, Every Time I Die, In Flames’ insipid “Come Clarity,” A Life Once Lost , Evergreen Terrace, Calico System, Bleeding Through Converge, The Black Dahlia Murder, etc). That being said, other than Despised Icon and Hewhocorrupts, the videos from The Human Abstract (“Crossing the Rubicon,” though I would have preferred “Mea Culpa”), the excellent Misery Signals with utterly rending “The Failsafe” and Parkway Drive’s crushing “Smoke ‘Em if You Got ‘Em” and Inked In Blood’s “Lest I Sleep the Sleep of Death” were very enjoyable, more so because I liked the respective bands/songs. The inclusion of “Alien Angel” from prog rockers 3 was the only really odd choice.

As you would expect from a fairly high profile DVD from some fairly high profile bands, the videos are all well done and professional, as if the overall presentation and package of this nice looking 3 disc set and at a mere $10 is a cheap and decent look into the current popular metal scene.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 4th, 2006

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