Various Artists

Rebirth of the Heavy

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Compiled by independent rag Bully Magazine in association with Music Cartel, Rebirth of the Heavy is a collection showcasing some of the new millennium's most overlooked underground rock talent. True to the mission stated in its liner notes (to prove that there are plenty of good bands out there if you just look hard enough), maximum commercial potential is the least of concerns here -- a fact which is immediately driven home by the first track, "Mile High," performed by ultra-inaccessible feedback bandits Sons of Otis. Not surprisingly, most of the featured acts are signed to the Music Cartel and fall under the hard rock/stoner rock umbrella, but as the title says, it's Rebirth of the Heavy, not "Rebirth of the Variety." And along with such secret legends as the Antiseen, Fireball Ministry, and the mighty Electric Wizard, the disc also introduces many absolute nuggets by lesser-known acts such as Thulsa Doom, the Sabians, and even Brazilian hardcore legends Ratos de Porao. Recommended.

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