MTV2 Headbangers Ball: Volume 2
Ok, I’ll be honest. I haven’t been paying much attention to MTV2’s new Headbangers Ball program. I can only assume that they are carrying on the tradition of the original, showcasing the current stars of mainstream hard rock and opening up the airwaves to some lesser known acts for some much needed exposure. If this 2-CD set is any indication of the actual program, they are doing a fine job of it.
Disc One contains a good sampling of all types of hard rock that can be found on any good radio station around the country. The highlights include a renewed Dave Mustaine with reportedly all-new backers in Megadeth, Drowning Pool’s track from The Punisher, “Step Up,” Black Label Society’s “House of Doom,” from their recent sorta-plugged album Hangover Music Vol. 6, and probably the heaviest Damageplan track I’ve ever heard, “Breathing New Life.” The twenty-track disc also includes good cuts from Slipknot, Korn, Machine Head, Fear Factory and a live cut from Probot. As a well-rounded sample of current mainstream rock-metal, this disc alone is worth the purchase price of the set.
That said, how does Disc Two stack up? Well, its intention should be to generate enough interest in previously unknown bands to incite listeners to get off their asses and seek out more work from them. It’s partially successful. Disc Two is a little heavy on the death metal. But if that is your thing, this has some of the best examples of angry vocals with dark lyrics and teeth-rattling guitars to back them up that I have heard in quite some time. I’ve heard little from Cradle and Filth previously, but “Medusa and Hemlock” is the best song I’ve heard from them so far. Bleeding Through impresses me with “Love Lost in a Hail of Gunfire,” enough to seek out their website (only to find a “New website coming soon” message). The tracks from 3 Inches of Blood and Himsa are also interesting enough to make me pay attention to the bands.
As I said, Disc One alone makes this set a good deal. Factoring in the artists on Disc Two, and the fact that you may find some bands you hadn’t heard of before, makes this an exceptional bargain. If you are a hard rock/metal fan and even just a few of the bands on this set appeal to you, go ahead and give this set a shot. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.