Various Artists

Ain't Your Older Brother's Heavy Metal

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This promotional release from Century Media plays off the harsher, older brother stereotype wonderfully, offering snapshots of variously-mulleted dudes undoubtedly named Ron, or Chuck, or another monosyllabic moniker that looks good on coveralls. Then, just as wonderfully, the compilation utterly destroys the Deep Purple and Dokken fantasies of such siblings with 20 tracks of pineal-pummeling mayhem from outfits like Shadows Fall, Naglfar, Vital Remains ("Unleash Hell" -- subtle!), and "Behemoth." Newly minted fans of Century and its associated labels should already have most of this material -- besides Eyes of Fire's demo version of "One More," all of Older Brother's Metal is culled from recent releases. And yet, what metal freak wouldn't want to hear the triumphant prowl of Lacuna Coil's "Unspoken" abutting Into Eternity's progressive, churning "[Unholy] Fields of the Dead?" Older Brother's Metal continues on, flowing jerkily into the free association metal of Yakuza ("Chicago Typewriter," from 2002's amazing Way of the Dead), through Labrat, and finally ending amidst the Florida death metal throes of Divine Empire, and the frenetic "Aggravated Battery." While Ain't Your Older Brother's Heavy Metal is 100% speaker-shredding heebie-jeebies from beginning to end, standouts include Strapping Young Lad's startlingly appropriate "Relentless," the frenzied epic "I Am Vengeance," from Sweden's Naglfar, and both contributions from Shadows Fall's Art of Balance.

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