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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 25 October 2005
This long-awaited, revolutionary record is shaping up to be not only the best metal compilation of the year, but ever.
The idea was that Roadrunner Records needed something to celebrate their 25th anniversary that showed the great diversity, history, and most of all quality present on their roster. A simple 'best of' cd, or a boxset with a few classic releases, wouldn't be enough. So the idea of gathering together the cream of the Roadrunner crop from the past 25 years to write new songs, was born.
It was decided that 4 'team captains' were required, who would decide on who else they wanted to play/sing on their tracks. Each has a different vocalist, which makes for one hell of a varied listen! The captains were chosen to represent the past, the present and the future of Roadrunner Records. The 4 chosen were:
Robb Flynn (Machine Head)
Joey Jordison (Slipknot)
Dino Cazares (ex-Fear Factory)
Matt Heafy (Trivium)
Once the songs were written, the vocal tracks recorded, everything was set for the release of an awesome collection of music!
1. The Dagger (Robb Flynn, Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage)) - This, as you'd expect, has a very 'NWOAHM' feel to it, with the screamed verses and hooky, melodic choruses. This also features vocals by Robb, and these two fit perfectly, two of modern metal's greatest vocalists on the same track. One of my favourites off the album.
2. The Enemy (Dino Cazares, Mark Hunter (Chimaira)) - Starts out melodic, but soon kicks in hard! If you've heard Chimaira you'll know what to expect. The lyrics are hate-filled and the vocals furious.
3. Annihilation By The Hands Of God (Joey Jordison, Glen Benton (Deicide)) - Kicks off as it means to go on, with a typical Deicide style roar, followed by an extended drum fill. Heaviest track on the album in my opinion, and one of the best.
4. In The Fire (Matt Heafy, King Diamond) - This song has a very classic feel, I'm impressed with Heafy's ability to write such a track. The vocals are what make this song though, with King Diamond's unique style meaning that while it may take a while to grow it'll likely end up as one of your favourites!
5. The End (Dino, Matt Heafy) - A little confusing, being as it features vocals from Matt Heafy, but it was in fact written by Dino! The first single, and it's very radio-friendly, with it's melodic intro and vocals, and clocking in at 3 and a half minutes long, but don't hate it for it's wide appeal. A good track.
6. Tired N' Lonely (Joey, Keith Caputo (Life of Agony) - Although it's written by their drummer, this would never appear on a Slipknot album! Not being familiar with Life of Agony, I wasn't sure what to expect, but to me he sounds like Scott Weiland here. A catchy chorus as well!
7. Independent (Voice of the Voiceless) (Robb, Max Cavalera (Soulfly)) - Heavy. Very heavy! Max is an awesome singer and it shows here, imagine Machine Head crossed with Soulfly and you know what to expect.
8. Dawn of a Golden Age (Matt, Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth)) - The blastbeats and vocals here make this quite obviously a black metal song. Not to everyone's taste maybe, but a good example of the variety in Matt's songwriting ability.
9. The Rich Man (Robb, Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour)) - A distorted news report starts this song which provides a break of sorts in the album. Soft singing in the verses, slowly ascends to a vitriol-fuelled chorus. A very good song.
10. No Way Out (Joey, Daryl Palumbo (Glassjaw, Head Automatica)) - Another melodic song from Joey here, I give him credit for not producing a set of identical songs. A good song, with all clean vocals, providing something of a break in this album.
11. Baptized in the Redemption (Dino, Dez Fafara (Devildriver, ex-Coal Chamber)) - Normal service is resumed, with this relentless song. Unstoppably heavy, if it's ever played live, a good song to mosh to!
12. Roads (Josh Silver, Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth)) - An unusual song, being that it isn't written by any of the team captains, but by Josh Silver of Type O Negative. A beautiful acoustic song, no thrashing guitars or blastbeats here, something different.
13. Blood & Flames (Matt, Jesse David Leach (Seemless, ex-Killswitch Engage)) - A soaring, epic song, albeit with a classic headbanging riff in there as well. Probably my favourite on this album.
14. Constitution Down (Joey, Kyle Thomas (ex-Exhorder, Floodgate)) - Some impressive drumming by Joey sets this track off, a pretty heavy song, with good vocals. Not one of my favourites, but it's still good!
15. I Don't Wanna Be (A Superhero)(Matt, Michale Graves (ex-Misfits) - A punk song effectively, and an enjoyable one at that. Short and fast, with quality singing. Just basically a great song!
16. Army of the Sun (Robb, Tim Williams (Bloodsimple, ex-Vision of Disorder)) - A cracking song, with impressive vocals. Again pretty radio-friendly, being just shy of 4 minutes long and with a very modern sound.
17. No Mas Control (Dino, Cristian Machado (Ill Nino)) - All of Team Cazares' songs are heavy, and this is no different. Energetic vocals, a quality song to jump around and mosh to. If you like Ill Nino you'll like this!
18. Enemy of the State (Joey, Peter Steele (Type O Negative) - Slow, epic, crushingly heavy, with Peter Steele's apocalyptic singing style very obvious in the choruses, and evil-sounding verses. A dark, amazing piece of music.
Overall, there really is something for all fans of metal. Records like this don't come along very often, and this is not to be missed. 5/5
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on 16 October 2005
So after 25 years Roadrunner decides to celebrate, by calling together 4 'captains' of established bands in an effort to create the most groundbreaking album in the history of metal. Have they succeeded? A tough one to call.
The 4 captains (Matt Heafy - Trivium, Rob Flynn - Machine Head, Dino Cazares - ex-Fear Factory, Joey Jordison - Slipknot) have done well to call in a vast array of roadrunner artists, past and present. Every artist is really at the top of their game here, resulting in some amazing musicianship - notably solos on "The Dagger" and "In The Fire", Jordison's drum work on "Annihaltion By The Hands Of God" and Max Cavalera's trademark growl on "Independant (Voice Of The Voiceless)". Generally the quality of music on offer here is excellent, with far more tracks being enjoyable than those disappointing. Every listener who looks to Roadrunner for quality metal will find a lot to smile about on this CD.
Something really striking about this album is the range of stlyes catered for. Loosely branded under "metal", the album in fact covers everthing from Death to Thrash, from Old Skool Riffage to borderline Punk (think a heavier version of Bad Religion). Yet the variety is perhaps the weakest point. Unless you're music taste is far more eclectic than anyone I've ever met, the album won't quite satisfy. The CD doesn't quite "flow" the way an album should, and you will find yourself skipping the weaker tracks to return to those that do stand out.
A note on the DVD is certainly in order - this isn't one of those pointless add-ons given to encourage sales. The 4 main films (each about 15 minutes) follow each captain into the recording studio, with interviews and footage of recording. To see such a range of artists all working together and having fun at the same time is enjoyable TV, and interviews with participants such as Max Cavalera and Glen Benton are often interesting and amusing. And being able to watch the musicians doing what they do best is, at times, utterly awesome to behold - the aforementioned guitar work particularly shines.
So in the end it will come down to each listener to rate this album as they see fit. There will undoubtedly be a huge range of opinions, but this album comes highly recommended nonetheless. As for the term "groundbreaking", technically it does apply. Nothing like this has been attempted before, and for that Roadrunner deserve their credit. But groundbreaking connotes true greatness, which this album just falls short of. However, I don't want to put people off of buying the CD. It is superb, and in places truly excellent. The DVD especially is worth a purchase. And with 18 tracks, all very definitive, this album can be listened to again and again, without fear of getting bored. It'd have 4.75 stars if amazon would let me do that.
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on 27 October 2005
Ever heard an album containing 56 artists, from 45 different bands? No, didn't think so. Well that's exactly what this plastic disc of pure genius contains. To celebrate Roadrunner Records' 25 year history (no small feat for a indie/major label) they decided to pay homage to their rich heritage of metal and rock, by getting 56 some-time Roadrunner artists to make 18 original tracks. Well, anyone could have done a compilation couldn't they?
At first I was slightly weary of this album. After all how much effort were these people going to put into these tracks when they didn't directly benefit their own bands? Well the answer is a great deal of blood, sweat and tears. Instead of coming out with a slew of filler tracks rolled out just to make the record company happy, which this album could have so easily become, every musician has given 100% to make some of the best tracks ever to be thrown into the metal and rock spectrum.
This album is so hard to fault. Every single track makes you stand up and take notice. But then again it's hardly surprising with inspiration coming from some of the most archetypal bands of the past two decades.
If you've ever owned a Fear Factory album, ever loved one of those tracks by the Misfits, nodded you head to a Glassjaw song, then this album will satisfy you no end.
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on 11 November 2005
What an unbelievable idea? Something that no one else has done before, just superb getting all these artists together for a massive collaboration! The All Star Sessions is a fantastic way to celebrate ROADRUNNER RECORDS's 25th Anniversary, Roadrunner has an astonishing history and has given rise to some of the best and greatest well-known artists in hard rock and metal. It consists of 18 killer songs which are totally stand out, I don't really need to be more descriptive!
The four team captains were Dino Cazares (Fear Factory, ex-Brujeria), Joey Jordison (Slipknot) Matthew K. Heafy (Trivium) and Robert Flynn (Machine Head). Those 4 were all primary songwriters in their own bands. Each teams would consist of a core of musicains-- two guitarists, bassistand drummer-- who would lay down the basic tracks for four original songs written by the team captain. Each song would use a different vocalist who would eventually shape the song. The captain would select a studio for him and all the musicians to work at whilst the voclaist chose whichever studio was convenient for him.
Some songs in my opinion are way better than others, for example Dino Cazares could write killer songs in only a couple of minutes, so he was pretty intelligent when it came to songwriting, Machine Head's Robert Flynn, is a good songwriter I must admit, but I have'nt heard all the songs he's written though. Joey Jordison is a key songwriter for his band Slipknot, I am a very keen Slpiknot fan, and own all their albums (Oh no, bettewr get their live album 9.0 before it's too late!) Matt Heafy from Trivium is someone all youngsters will look up to, seeing he is only a teenager, he is a mind-blowing songwriter, it's amazing talent he's got, at such a young age.
This album reveals all of Roadrunner's history, past and present, by having the earliest signings such as King Diamond, Fear Factory, a couple death metal bands in the past as well, to the recent signings such as 3IOB, Trivium and Still Remains. My most favourite Roadrunner artists on this include the team captains, King Diamond, Keith Caputo (LOA), Matt Baumbach (ex Vision of Disorder), Cristian Olde Wolbers (Fear Factory), Andols Herrick (ex Chimaira), Josh Silver (Type O Negative) Tim Williams (ex Vision of Disorder, Bloodsimple) Peter Steele and many others!
This album and DVD is definetly THE METAL EVENT OF THE YEAR, because the artists and songs on this are all groundbrwaking and superb. This album is a must-have for all roadrunner fans (kids out there who just buy Roadrunner Records stuff), and all metal fans worldwide!
~Calum Fairweather (RR fan)
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on 14 October 2005
It's not often that an album captures ALL of what alternative music has represented over the past few decades... but this one does... and then some! Bringing together 55 artists from 25 years of Roadrunner Records history this album is a MUST for ANY listener of rock/metal, no matter what your favourite genre is: metal/metalcore/thrash/death/black/disco/rock/punk - all are presented here by the creme de la creme of musical artists from bands such as Slipknot, Fear Factory, Annihilator, The Misfits, Chimaira, Killswitch Engage etc etc. Basically, this IS your new favourite album from your ever-favourite label.
From 1980-2005 Roadrunner has dominated the alternative market... why you ask?? Listen to this album - and bear witness unto the greatest and most inventive album of the past few years - bar none. From artists as old as King Diamond, to the new kids Trivium, this album covers it all - you cannot fail to fall in love with the album. Plus you get the DVD too!! So you can SEE your favourite musicians laying down their tracks. All of this for such a meagre price is pretty astonishing, so how can you afford to miss out on a metal classic?! It's not going to be done again, though i certainly wish it would be after hearing this aural delight!
Simply put: buy this album now or miss out on what everyone's going to be talking about for the NEXT 25 years. Other labels whould take notice of the flagbearers of modern metal's most creative and inventive album to date. Roadrunner Records - I salute you!!
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on 25 October 2005
What happens when you turn 25? Normally some family and friends say happy birthday and your happy? Well roadrunner decided to go all out and well show off really :P
They took 4 people and made them team captains (Rob Flynn from Machine Head, Dino Cazares-Ex-Fear Factory, Joey Jordison-Slipknot and finally Matt Heafy-Trivium)
There job was to find artists from the current bands,as well as bands no longer on Roadrunner Records. After they did this, they then went and wrote the songs on the album. 18 in total! Does that look an easy feat to accomplish? 55 artists from all over the world helped create this!
This doesnt just stick to one genre of metal. There is everything! From stoner rock through to death metal.
With so much potenial there was a chance of this going downhill and being crap but this a true masterpiece and will be around for YEARS!
I cant really describe the feeling you can get listening from the dagger through to the end! Its just something special.
Each song is special and alot of effort and talent has gone into this and you can tell. Not one song is bad on this album. I cant get enough good words to describe it!
Then you add in the dvd which is avaliable on the album everytime you buy it!! This goes through the making of the album and is a good watch and nice to see how the album came together!
This a must for any music fan due to the genres it covers and its groundbreaking nature.
To be honest if you take on a project like this again it has something special to live up to and that could be difficult!
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on 27 October 2005
When it was announced that many artists from the Roadrunner records books were to come together and produce one album of original songs marking the anniversary of the label I was a little wary. I was even more surprised when it actually came about and I started seeing even more press on it.
Well, my doubting sure was proved wrong when I heard the album in all its glory. The range of style on this album is vast, going form Deicide style death metal to MCR style emo-punk-ish. Everything rock and roll is on this album, no matter what your preference musically (rock), you will find something on this album for you.
The first track, 'The Dagger' kicks in with a powerful guitar riff from Rob Flynn of Machine Head and fantastic vocals by Howard Jones from Killswitch Engage. This track really sets the pace for the rest of the album. The pace does not cease. The pulse pounding contributions of Trivium's Matt Heafy, Chimaira's Mark Hunter and Slipknot's Joey Jordison, to name a few, all add there own little characteristics into the music.
The album is not all bone grinding heavy metal. The first single off the album 'The End' is an epic melody focused around the vocal styling of Matt Heafy. 'Roads' written by Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt is a breathtaking example of gothic vocal/keyboard harmony.
As if the album itself wasn't enough, the bonus DVD also provides an interesting insight into the whole project, including the production of some tracks. You may even get a glimpse of Joey unmasked!
All in all, this album is a must for any true fan of 'alternative' music. There really is something on here for everyone, so do not be put off by some of the more hardcore offering. If you feel that this isn't your thing, too heavy(?), check out the single version of 'The End' (7th Nov 05), it wont let you down!!
Well deserved 10/10 - great effort guys.
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on 27 October 2005
Well, when i first heard of the concept of this album is didn't really know what to expect, 56 different artists from roadrunner records, all with different sounds/influences to be mixed together to make one record.
I was very interested to say the least, as trivium, slipknot, fear factory and machine head are some of my favourite bands and the 4 team captains come from these bands. (Matt k Heafy, Joey Jordison, Dino Cazarez and Robb Flynn).
The album itself a masterpeice, it has all sorts on it: some hardcore metal, black metal, hardcore, power metal, rock, and even an acoustic song! And it all works so well for the album. The songs like 'The Dagger' 'the end' and 'the blood and flames' are some of my favourites.
It's such an amazing project and i thank god that roadrunner had this great idea instead of releasing the usual old complination album of classic songs. You can really hear the contribution of all the artists playing on each song.
The dvd included also gives an interesting insight to the making of this album as it follows the four team leaders as they go about recording.
If you are into any bands on roadrunner records or just rock music in general i would check this out, as it has something for everyone, and i don't think we are going to see such an amazing poject like this for a long while.
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on 16 October 2005
This is a great package, for those who've followed Road Runner bands from the beginning and for those who are not familiar with some of the older bands on the label.
I'm sure we've all responded to the 'Ideal Super Group' question at one time or another so it's great to see what transpires when your ideal line-up becomes a reality.
The DVD is very interesting and to be honest I'd have paid the money for that alone. The genuine affection and respect the road runner bands have for each other is inspiring, and if I was an unsigned band or artists I'd want to be on this label.
The only reason this package loses a star is because I thought the DVD could have gone into a little more detail about the technicalities of making an album, but that's got more to do with me being a nerd that anything else and I'm sure the average music lover with be very satisfied with the content of the DVD.
I sincerely hope that Roadrunner don't wait another 25 years to release another project like this, as the results are very pleasing.
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on 17 October 2005
The RoadRunner All Star Sessions is the best tribute to not only a single record company but to it's fans and bands, past and present.
It is a album that has broke bounderies, with its varied approach to each track, with each of the musicians leaving there mark on this CD.
If your a fan of a RoadRunner band or even if your not this CD/DVD is what your CD collection needs!!
The bonus DVD is a great accessory allowing you to see the process behind such great tracks, or watching Joey Jordison fighting with a cat which ever floats your boat (the cat wins by the way).
over all the All Star Sessions is a must have!!
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