F U L L . R E V I E W S

Various Artists
Armageddon Over Wacken
Type: CD
Company: Armageddon
Release: 2005
Genre: Heavy/Extreme
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Published: 3/17/2005
A ton of live music while showing the finest new and classic metal
Various Artists - Armageddon Over Wacken - 2005 - Armageddon Records

Track Listing
CD 1
Dio - Holy Diver
Dio - Donít Talk To Strangers
Motorhead - We Are Motorhead
Motorhead - Life Is A Bitch
Nevermore - Enemies Of Reality
Bal Sagoth - The Emperial Lexicon
Orphanage - Five Crystals
Weinhold - Strike
Death Angel - Thicker Than Blood
Brainstorm - Hollow Hideaway
Mayhem - Pagans Fears
Children Of Bodom - Six Pounder
Cathedral - Stained Glass Horizon
Cannibal Corpse - Dormant Bodies Burning
Doro - Fur Immer
Elekalaiset - Humppa (Jump)
CD 2
Anthrax - Indians
Anthrax -Only
Destruction - Nailed To The Cross
Kotipelto - Reasons
Mystic Prophecy - In The Land Of The Dead
Feinstein - Rebelution
Vanguard - Forgive
Gutbucket - Hours Bus Hellride
Mnemic - Ghost
Ektomorf - Destroy
Reckless Tide - Death Train
Zodiac Mindwarp - Like A Hurricane
Unleashed - To Asgaard We Fly
Blaze Bailey - Fear Of The Dark
J.B.O. - Arschloch Und Spass Dabei (Jump)
Armageddon Music is one of those up and coming record labels that seems to be concentrating on really good power metal and cutting edge entertainment. Last year's Seventh One release was absolutely phenomenal. This year they are loaded up again with the likes of Suidakra and Metalium. Looking ahead of that however, we now have in our filthy paws a glorious compilation entitled "Armageddon Over Wacken". What is Wacken? Do yourself a favor and leave now. Obviously you aren't a metalhead. With that being said, the 2004 Wacken fest was professionaly recorded by the Armageddon folks and now their live footage is available to you, the die hard metal fanatic.

"Armageddon Over Wacken" is probably the closest I will ever come to the Motherland, Germany's holy paradise of heavy metal entertainment. Anyone who is anyone has at some point or another played the Wacken Open Air fest. Forget about the small venue dates we have here in the US, THE Wacken fest beats them all. Now folks like me, who can't afford to go across town much less across the globe, can enjoy the experience of this huge metal extravaganza. The label brings us three discs completely loaded with live audio. Everyone from Dio to Anthrax gets the royal treatment here, with plenty of underground staples thrown in to give the listener the full spectrum. Each disc covers a certain style or format. Disc one is Thrash/Black/Death, disc two is Power/Traditional, and disc three is Underground.

Starting with disc one we get the metal icon, the living legend Ronnie James Dio. His band pulls out classic cuts with "Holy Diver" and "Don't Talk To Strangers". I'm sure his setlist was huge and judging from these two examples very entertaining. Along with the classic feel of Dio comes Motorhead, with two of their gems in "We Are Motorhead" and "Life Is A Bitch". Doro steps in to bring a female assault to the masses, checking in with "Fur Immer". Thrashers Death Angel continue their reunion tour, stopping in to perform "Thicker Than Blood" for their German faithful. Other choices for disc one include Cannibal Corpse's "Dormant Bodies Burning", Brainstorm's "Hollow Hideaway", and Nevermore's "Enemies Of Reality". Every cut sounds exceptional, really not sounding too made up or edited. These cuts really sound live, capturing the raw energy of the German crowd.

Disc two is highlighted by two thrash legends, Anthrax and Destruction. The New York badboys perform "Indians" and "Only" while Destruction storms through "Nailed To The Cross". The most interesting cut for me has to be Blaze Bailey, who pulls out an Iron Maiden tune in "Fear Of The Dark". Ex-Rods member Feinstein supports his newest record by peforming "Regeneration". Underground power metal sensations Mystic Prophecy is captured with "In The Land Of The Dead". Sweden's death metal pioneers Unleashed bring their viking charge to the masses with "To Asgard We Fly" while Finland's Stratovarius mainman Kotipelto plays "Reasons" for the audience.

This is a perfect compilation, capturing a ton of live music while clearly showing some of the finest new and classic metal. Fans get the chance to "relive" the Wacken fest, and for folks like myself, get introduced to the live sounds of the event. This is a great companion piece to some of the band's albums that you already own. Armageddon has really gone out of their way to deliver a quality official "program" of this mighty metal fest. Hopefully in 2005 the label will be planning the same thing! I'm looking forward to it!

Note - A DVD is also offered by Armageddon.

--EC 03.14.05

About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

Armageddon Over WackenVarious Artists
Eric Compton3/17/2005


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