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This is an interesting little (actually it's not little, it's over 75 minutes long) compilation from German deathrashers Dew-Scented, which includes 5 original songs (one of which is an intro), an entire live show, and 7 covers. 2 of the originals and one of the covers are brand-new, recorded just for this album, one of the originals was recorded during the Icarus sessions, and then the other two were from the Invocation recordings. Everything on here has been virtually unreleased by the band and unheard by the public, with the exception of the people who were there for the live show. I'm going to split the review into three chunks: The original, Dew-Scented penned studio stuff, the live tracks, and then the covers.
The original songs were a bit of a disappointment at first, as I was hoping for another "Reawakening" or "Final Procession", and none of these songs have the mind-crushing heaviness of the former or ridiculous catchiness or the latter, but with time I have come to appreciate them. I have yet to hear a song recorded by this band that I don't enjoy, and their newer albums are my favorites of theirs. In terms of quality, all of these songs are good but not really all that...special, save the final one - "The Death Of Common Sense". The coolest Dew-Scented songs have some kind of defining feature - duel guitar riffs that sound stupidly heavy and awesome (Reawakening, In Defeat), or songs that pan between channels (Rituals of Time, Vanish Away), or some other kind of complex coolness, and none of these songs have...that, besides the aforementioned final original track, easily the best one, which makes use of some channel panning and generally awesome riffage. They rest of these songs are not too memorable, but still great slices of deathrash.
The live songs all appear from either Icarus, Impact, or Issue VI. I was hoping for a bit more diversity in the selection, but all of these are serviceable tunes. They appear to have included most of the more well-known DS songs, like "Soul Poison" and "Turn To Ash" A lack of "That's Why I Despise You" is odd, but hey - this is their album, not mine. All of these songs work well for what they are. The sound quality is nice, better than some band's studio albums (*coughcoughDESTRUCTIONcoughcough*), and all of the instruments are clear. You can hear everything perfectly, no complaints there. Leif Jensen's singing is just as raw as ever, not quite a death growl, not a hardcore shout, and not even close to anything resembling average thrash singing. Guitars sound more or less the same as they do in studio. the drums still pound just as hard, and the bass is still fairly inaudible but more hearable than it is for most thrash bands. I'm not really one for live albums, but if you really dig them, this should be perfect.
Then, there are the covers, and this is where this album really shines. These songs are fucking obscure, at least as far as I can tell. I'd only heard of two of the bands that are covered here before I bought the record, and I hadn't actually heard anything by any of them. Most seem to be crossover/punk, although a few are strait up metal bands.
Every single goddamn one of these covers is amazing.
Seriously. I can't explain what it is, because they don't really sound like the Dew-Scented that I know and love, but they're awesome. They're diverse, ranging from slow and menacing (The Storm) to balls-out mean, fast thrashers (Sadistic Sinner), to uptempo punk songs (Superstar Destroyer), and everything in between. The best ones, if I had to pick, would be "No Spiritual Surrender", with it's awesome drum intro and slow, deliberate feel, and "The Storm", because it's SO FREAKIN' AWESOME.
So. Summary. Buy this album if you are a fan of Dew-Scented, if you are interested in checking them out, or if you like any kind of death or thrash metal. It doesn't sum up everything about this band perfectly, but it's a great compilation, much better than any crappy "Best Of" cash-in you'll find (not that Dew-Scented would ever release such a thing).