Various Artists

Metal = Life

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The Hopeless and Sub City labels are fine companies indeed, as it appears as though they are constantly aiding the less fortunate (Sub City makes it a point to donate five-percent of the earnings from each release to charity). Around the holiday season of 2005, both labels worked in conjunction with the retail store Hot Topic to issue the triple-disc set Metal = Life. Comprised of two CD's and a DVD (for a low price), all the proceeds earned by the release go to the Hot Topic Foundation, which "aims to support programs and organizations that specifically focus on encouraging and educating youth in music, creative writing, painting, photography, filmmaking and more." Comprised mostly of tracks from either 2004 or 2005, the set is a faithful snapshot of a typical play list on Uranium or Headbangers Ball. Featured are such leading lights of the early 21st century metal world, including "Alaska" by Between the Buried and Me (prog metal meets death metal in a head-on collision), "Unholy Confessions" by Avenged Sevenfold (Iron Maiden-esque guitar work), and "Devilution" by High on Fire (an all-out metallic assault). The DVD portion features 18 clips total, and features many of the compilation's best acts. Good value for the money, and benefiting a good cause to boot.

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