2016 Reviews

Published on December 19th, 2016 | by Justin G.

Masters of Metal Volume 1

In the spirit of classic heavy metal compilations like Metal Blade’s Metal Massacre series and Roadrunner’s Stars on Thrash, the Divebomb label has launched its own compilation series titled Masters of Metal. The series will focus on new and established bands, and instead of just having a song by each featured artist, Masters of Metal will include complete demos and EPs.

The bands featured on the Masters of Metal Volume 1 collection are:

Crypt Sermon – This Philadelphia-based doom metal band made a big impact last year with their debut full-length Out of the Garden. Here we have their 3-song 2013 demo, which was originally only available digitally and on cassette. It’s a bit rawer, but still hits right in that classic Candlemass-meets-Sorceror area.

Riot City – The high-speed, high-pitched Canadian traditional heavy metal band’s 3-song 2014 demo Livin’ Fast, which was previously available only on cassette, is included here. So is an additional song “Burn the Night.” Think Enforcer or Skull Fist, but rougher around the edges.

Hellrazor – This North Carolina-based power/thrash outfit released their 4-song Soothsayer EP independently (and on CD-R) back in 2010 to little fanfare. Hellrazor’s Iced Earth-inspired metal was way too strong to go unnoticed though, so it’s great to see Soothsayer getting another chance here. This is probably the most polished material on this disc.

Old Wolf – This Kentucky-based heavy metal band’s 3-song 2015 demo, previously available on cassette and CD-R, is included here. Only three songs, but there’s a ton of power, heaviness and melody here from a band that has real potential.

The Masters of Metal series is a fantastic way to spotlight bands that really deserve another look as well as to give fans a proper CD version of these limited releases. If you’re the kind of metal fan who likes to dig a bit deeper than the major label offerings and find true diamonds in the rough, you’re going to love this series.


Masters of Metal Volume 1 Justin G.
Album Rating

Summary: I love the idea behind this series, and the bands are great too.


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