Release DetailsLABEL Nuclear Blast
RELEASED ON 10/2/2007
Nuclear Blast Allstars
Out Of The Dark
posted on 12/2007 By:
To celebrate 20 years of releasing genre defining heavy metal Nuclear Blast felt it would be a great idea to jump on someone else’s idea, namely Roadrunner Records’, and release an “All Star” album. In the process they took two of their more successful songwriters, or at least the ones that had the free time, and had each of them compose an album’s worth of music where each song on the album would be sung by a vocalist from another band on the Nuclear Blast roster. Earlier in the year Into the Light was released, the first of the two albums, this one being written by Victor Smolski of Rage. The unfortunate problem with this disc was that Smolski didn’t really write around vocalists but merely took, at least what I think were, a handful of leftover Rage songs and gave them to different singers. In the end it came down to how creative each singer could be and how much of themselves they could incorporate into each song, as the music surrounding their voice wasn’t worth of the price of admission alone.
Now a few months later comes Out of the Dark; this companion piece being the first release by Peter Wichers post-Soilwork. Here Peter picks up all the guitar, bass, and keyboard work leaving Henry Ranta (ex-Soilwork) and Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork) to split the drum duties. Much like Victor Smolski, Peter Wichers has decided to stick quite close to his signature style and unfortunately it also seems as though Peter didn’t bring his A game to the table either.
To break it down simply, the music is dull. While part of the problem can be nailed down to Peter Wichers' inability to write many interesting melodies or riffs, some blame must also be placed on the vocalists as many of them seem to have put little thought or effort into their performances. I can only assume such tired and boring performances come from a mindset that places little weight onto a project such as this, it’s rather frustrating to hear singers who usually have so much power and passion behind their voice sound so uninspired.
Bigger problems occur when Peter attempts to step a bit outside his typical style with heavier tracks like “Devotion” (featuring Jari Mäenpää ) and “Cold is My Vengeance” (featuring Maurizio Iacono ) as things start to feel rather awkward, though a song like “Paper Trail” (with John Bush), which may not be an amazing track, is a good stab at a traditional rock and roll song. Not surprisingly it ends up being the songs with Björn Strid and Christian Älvestam that have any kind of redeeming value. It’s actually “The Overshadowing” that makes me wonder why Christian and Peter Wichers have not written together before as there’s definitely something worth investigating here.
The bottom line is that the dull, and sometimes awkward songwriting mixed with the bland vocal performances leaves me feeling as though this release was more of an obligation to the label than of any real creativity coming from the artists themselves.
The vocalist breakdown:
01 – “Dysfunctional Hours” - Anders Fridén - In Flames
02 – “Schizo” Peter Tägtgren - Hypocrisy
03 – “Devotion” - Jari Mäenpää - Wintersun
04 – “The Overshadowing” - Christian Älvestam - Scar Symmetry
05 – “Paper Trail” - John Bush - ex-Anthrax
06 – “The Dawn of All” - Björn Strid - Soilwork
07 – “Cold is My Vengeance” - Maurizio Iacono - Kataklysm
08 – “My Name is Fate” - Mark Osegueda - Death Angel
09 – “The Gilded Dagger” - Richard Sjunnesson and Roland Johasson - Sonic Syndicate
10 – “Closer to the Edge” - Guillaume Bideau - Mnemic
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