1) METALIAN - The Traveller
2) NOCTUM - Until Then... Until The End
3) GATEKEEPER - Bell Of Tarantia
4) ASSASSIN'S BLADE - The Demented Force
5) COBRA - Denim Attack
6) STONE DAGGER - The Siege of Jerusalem
7) CRYPT SERMON - Will Of The Anicent Call
8) SAVAGE MASTER - The Ripper In Black
9) OUTCAST - No Tomorrow
10) CORSAIR - Brothers
OUR RATING (out of 10)
All the way back in 1982 a metal compilation was released by the venerable Metal Blade Records that brought some previously unknown bands into the spotlight, like Metallica and Ratt to name a couple. Now Metal Blade is repeating this process and giving another ten relatively unkknown bands a chance to showcase themselves. The result is as you would imagine a very interesting one. There are some real diamonds in the rough here that, if given the chance and the backing, could really take off in a big way. On the other hand, there is one act featured here that is just plain awful if I speak directly.
To start, we have 'The Traveller' by Metalian. This is basically a Kiss style vocal over a traditional metal twin guitar backing, and a good track to start on as it pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the compilation. Next up, we have Noctum with 'Until Then... Until The End' which basically sounds like Europe's Joey Tempest in the early years ...so far so good.
My personal favourite, a band called Gatekeeper gives us a medieval sounding treat called 'Bell Of Tarantia', a potential power metal classic in my opinion. 'Demented Force' by Assassins Blade made me smile, bringing back fond memories of early Judas Priest, the vocals sounding like Halford to a tee.
'Denim Attack' by Cobra follows in the same style with over excitable falsetto wails and power metal backing. Not the best of executions concerning power/thrash metal, but not too bad either. We then have Stone Dagger with 'Siege Of Jerusalem' a good but unoriginal effort that includes a riff blatantly stolen from Iron Maiden's 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son'. Crypt Sermon with 'Will Of The Ancient Call' rescues us with it's originality, moody atmospherics, and twin guitars.
You will remember my mention of a plain awful act on here? Yes, Savage Master's 'Ripper In Black' was a cringe-worthy experience that marred my otherwise very pleasant experience of this compilation. The vocals literally sound like a Tasmanian devil on helium, and not a very talented one at that. This is really unfortunate, because the rest of the band sound like they play extremely well, with a lot of talent.
Outcast's 'No Tomorrow' thankfully brings back the trad metal wails with an otherwise average track that then opens into the final and possibly one of the best tracks on the album; this being Corsair with their well written and brilliantly executed metal classic offering called 'Brothers'.
All in all, Metal Massacre 14 which releases 8th April 2016 is a decent collection of new talent in one place, and here's hoping at least some of the acts here get that lucky break and enjoy some measure of success.
Words by Paul Clarke.