Various Artists

The Hard + the Heavy, Vol. 1

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The Hard and the Heavy, Vol. 1 is a double-disc compilation surveying the state of heavy metal -- never mind tags like "hard music" or anything ending in the suffix "-core," that's what it is -- at the close of the '90s. There are plenty of pretty well-known contributions by major artists, but there are also some relative obscurities -- some of which are worthwhile and others of which are kind of generic and slow down the collection's momentum. Nevertheless, there's more than enough good stuff to make it worthwhile for fans who don't have (or want) a bunch of the albums these songs came from. Some highlights are provided by Machine Head ("From This Day"), Rob Zombie ("Living Dead Girl"), Sepultura ("Choke"), Soulfly ("Eye for an Eye"), Coal Chamber ("Big Truck"), Monster Magnet ("Gimme Danger"), Limp Bizkit ("Counterfeit"), Fear Factory ("Edgecrusher"), and Kid Rock ("I Am the Bullgod"), among others.

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