Various Artists

This Is Solid State, Vol. 3

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AllMusic Review by

The Christian heavy metal sampler is a strange beast to encounter. It isn't that the Christian rock scene is devoid of good music and intelligent songwriters, but there does seem to be a glut of bands who offer a second-rate alternative to mainstream music without showcasing their own talents. The exceptions here are very obvious; Still Breathing, Underoath, and Eso-Charis deliver solid chunks of hardcore metal that suggest that these bands have been listening to Neurosis and Earth Crisis, while Living Sacrifice continues their decent into heaviness with the Fear Factory-esque "Bloodwork." This would enhance the album greatly if the songs were spread out, but all of these bands appear right next to each other. What that leaves is the imitators, from the Pennywise-lite of Stretch Arm Strong to the slew of Korn imitators. A few genuine death metal songs sneak in, but bands like Demon Hunter are even worse because they sound like they are emulating older Christian metal bands (à la Vengeance Rising) who were already taking their sound from Sepultura and Celtic Frost. This isn't a terrible album, and it offers some safe alternatives for Christian listeners, but the four-song blast of originality that takes up the beginning of the album builds false hopes for the second half. Curious listeners might be better off seeking out the individual albums by these artists, while fans of these bands should already know what to expect.

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