Various Artists

Immortalised: 1986-2000

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Immortalised is a three-CD, limited-edition (only 2000 copies pressed) overview of the history of the pioneering grindcore/death metal label Earache Records. The first two discs feature at least one representative track from nearly every recording act in Earache's catalog, while the third appeals more to collectors with its generous selection of rarities and outtakes. It's definitely a sampler that only scratches the surface, and the collection skips around rather than following chronological order, so it's a little difficult to get a sense of the label's growth over time; however, all of that does help play up the diversity of the roster and probably constitutes a more effective approach in the long run. Immortalised is impressive both in its assemblage of big genre names (like Napalm Death, Morbid Angel, Entombed, Brutal Truth, Cathedral, and Godflesh) and in the wide stylistic range covered by the acts present. There's plenty of death metal and grindcore, of course, but also more experimental noise bands, avant-gardists with jazz/improvisational roots (Painkiller, Scorn, Massacre), hardcore techno, experimental electronic music, and more, all tied together by its aggressive intensity. Fans of extreme metal (and other experimental sounds inspired by it) should pick this set up without delay while it's still available.

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