Various Artists

The Best of Metal

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The Best of Metal is a somewhat misleading title for CMC International's 10-track metal collection. There are certainly some famous names here -- Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Deep Purple, Bruce Dickinson, Warrant, Slaughter, Overkill, L.A. Guns -- but they're all represented by cuts from their late'-'90s records for CMC. In other words, there's no familiar songs here, only familiar names. Since metal is notorious for its legions of bands that have not aged gracefully, a compilation of latter-day recordings by aging bands doesn't seem appealing. For casual listeners, that may be the case, but anyone that loves metal will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of music on The Best of Metal. All of these bands sound looser, harder and better than they did on their late '80s/early '90s records on major labels -- CMC knows that the bands and fans want their metal hard, and they give it to them the way they want it. Warrant, L.A. Guns and Slaughter have never sounded tougher than they do here, while Motorhead, Dickinson, and Deep Purple sound revitalized. And for fans of truly heavy heavy metal, that's a good reason to take a chance on this mid-line-priced sampler.

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