VARIOUS ARTISTS - Imperative Music - The Global Metal Compilation (Volumes XIV and XV)

Various Artists - Imperative Music - The Global Metal Compilation (Volumes XIV and XV)

Imperative Music

DVDs and Blu-rays still sell today, but due to increasing offer in streaming platforms, the demand has declined during the course of the current decade. Bands still release regularly their live shows on physical support, but video compilations become rarer and rarer in the age of YouTube.

Imperative Music from Brazil still like these compilations, and only last year they released their editions 14 and 15. Yet you canít play them on a regular DVD/Blu-ray player, but have to watch MP4 files on your computer. As modern-day laptops often come without such a player, one wonders if these kinds of releases still make sense today. I was lucky enough that my laptop has a DVD player, so I took the time to watch both DVDs. As there are just too many artists to mention, I decided to make up some Top-3 lists.

The Top-3 Classics

1. KREATOR were already a household name when I was a teenager back in the Eighties. Even though I donít follow them as much anymore as I did thirty years ago, one must say that they still sound great. Satan Is Real is not only a solid slab of thrash metal, but also comes with a really great video clip.
2. There is probably no other band that defined the death metal genre as much as American pioneers DEATH. Their frontman Chuck Schuldiner passed away way too young already in 2001 due to cancer. One may wonder if it makes sense to add one of his songs, but The Philosopher is still a classic example of intelligent death metal.
3. I dare say that OBITUARY are just as popular. Sentence Day offers thoroughbred death metal, but the video clip is only a slide show, which was not so interesting to watch.

The Top-3 Hopefuls

1. New Zealand is right on the other side of the world form where I live, which makes it geographically hard for bands from there to get popular in Europe. And yet WEST OF HELL play good, old Eighties influenced thrash metal. We really have to keep our eyes open for them.
2. DIXIE HEAVEN are a female fronted power metal band that offers a very energetic song. Villu Castelo shows that Nervosa are not the only women active in the Brazilian metal scene.
3. As I really love thrash metal, I also want to mention GENERATIONS ARMY, a young Swedish thrash metal band. World Cop is not only a great track, but also comes with a very watchable video clip. Many band would be happy if they had so much class as them.

The Top-3 Frustrations

1. Video clips were originally meant to entertain. Either I want to watch a music backed story, the way it was done in the Eighties, or a live set brimming with energies. Itís therefore a shame that more than half of the featured clip are banal lyric videos.
2. A few clips on the compilation come with subpar sound. Back in the Eighties and early Nineties, it was possibly ok if demos sounded as if they had been recorded on a bread toaster, but not so today! DEATHROLL and HANGING DEATH are two such bands who should have put more effort into their production.
3. The layout could be more elaborate. The cover photos are ok without being great. It would also be nice if you could play the discs in your DVD or Blu-ray player. There are mistakes with the track numbers, which is rather irksome.

The Top-3 Curiosities 1. ENZO AND THE GLORY ENSEMBLE not only have a weird name, they also sound quite strange. The Italian musician is a genuine hardcore Christian and plays a white metal opera. It takes him quite some time to get to the point in his nine-minute song. From a music point of view, this is still quite alright, but donít get me started on the religious message.
2. Another such band are Brazilian white metal band KARYTTAH who sound so tame that compared to them, even Stryper sound like an extreme metal band.
3. Luxembourg is featured on compilation number 14 with symphonic metal hopefuls SHADOWHISPERS. I was already familiar with their bondage themed video clip of Slow Death, and even without patriotic ulterior motives, they are one of the best band on the disc.

As is usually the case with Imperative video compilations, there is light and shadow. The project makers mean well, I donít doubt that, and they give young artists to present their music to a wide audience, and putting them next to established bands will surely help. And yet I wonder if it werenít more convenient and less expensive to establish a YouTube channel where advertisements might even generate some income for the artists.

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