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"Metal Hangover 0.1 - Unleashing The Beast" (CD)

Albatross - "Metal Hangover 0.1 - Unleashing The Beast" CD cover image

"Metal Hangover 0.1 - Unleashing The Beast" track listing:

1. A Tragedy Befallen – Demonic Resurrection (6:14)
2. This Brutal Embrace – Shift (4:41)
3. Battle Cry – Devoid (4:50)
4. Mama Knows – Testing Tomorrow (4:09)
5. Soldier – Slain (5:23)
6. The Dining Table – Albatross (5:42)
7. The Trojan – Phobia (5:38)
8. Andulon – Shades Of Retribution (3:23)
9. Labyrinth Of Lies – Weeping Roses (4:46)
10. Bloody Thursday – Violent Edge (3:43)
11. Mass Society Theory – Asylum (5:05)
12. 1671 - Doorstep Casket (3:12)

Reviewed by on April 3, 2011

"Easily the most compelling aspect of the compilation is that nearly every band has something unique to set it apart even from other bands in the same genre. "

To spotlight bands from India, a country not traditionally known for extreme music, Indian Music Mug has put together a 12 track compilation album that covers the whole spectrum of metal genres. Anyone interested in expanding their musical horizons and getting acquainted with what India has to offer should make a beeline for the free download. From symphonic metal to death metal and even metalcore, “Metal Hangover 0.1” not only has a song representing any given style, it has a fantastic song that provides unexpected twists and turns.

Easily the most compelling aspect of the compilation is that nearly every band has something unique to set it apart even from other bands in the same genre. It’s never just a power metal song, it’s a power metal song with flourishes of other sounds. It’s not just another death metal track, it’s death metal with symphonic elements and bouts of clean singing, and so on.

The album starts with its best foot forward, offering up the song “A Tragedy Befallen” from Demonic Resurrection. The band blends death metal with symphonic metal, and throws in plenty of interesting song arrangements that takes the music towards the avant-garde or progressive end of the spectrum. Demonic Resurrection’s offering manages to combine all the different sounds so that the track is both incredibly heavy and heavily melodic.

Despite coming from an Indian music source, two international bands also made their way onto the compilation. Shift, which hails from Australia, is far more groove oriented, providing a nice counterbalance from the opening death metal song. California’s Testing Tomorrow is also much different than the rest of the bands on the release, mixing the repeating chorus and catchy hooks of pop music with industrial sounds to create a sort of “alternative metal” package. The band’s lyrics and overall style probably won’t be well received by fans of death metal, but the song is undeniably good and gives some nice variety to an otherwise extreme album.

Although every song has something outside the normal boundaries of metal, Albatross deserves a special mention for pushing the limits. Thrash meets power metal meets horror stories is probably the best way to describe the band’s sound, which is constantly over the top to the point of being bizarre. Although some parts are almost comical in their absurdity, it all still manages to be just serious enough to remain awesome.

On the thrash front, Devoid gives a messy and in-your-face approach that throws in liberal amounts of death metal. Slain fills in the melodic power metal niche, also using a bit of an ‘80s rock feel in parts. Covering the chugging, breakdown-laden metalcore domain are both Phobia and Weeping Roses.

Rather than being a turn off, the wide range of styles offers a deeper look into the Indian metal scene and should help create many new fans for each of the bands. Metal is still alive and kicking, and this compilation shows that India is keeping it going strong.

Highs: All the songs have something unique to offer and show a range of what India has to offer.

Lows: One song leans more towards pop than death metal, and the later songs on the compilation tend to have lower production.

Bottom line: A compilation that shows the best of what India has to offer, from death metal to power metal to metalcore and plenty in-between.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)