This is SolidState Volume 2
Although the Christ-crushing controversy of the nascent black metal scene dimmed some years back, in its stead arose a coalition of Christian metal and hardcore bands just as firebreathingly intent on counteracting such actions (church burnings, etc.). The label where most of these salvation-minded bands reside is SolidState Records, actually a branch of the long-established Tooth & Nail one. Granted, many ‘bangers might be otherwise leery of the label’s spiritual standpoint, but This is SolidState Volume 2 should serve as a handy ground zero for the treasure trove SolidState possesses. Among their best, then: the stymieing avalanche-crush of Zao, the Believer-informed tech-deaththrash of Extol, the Converge-meets-emo mathcore of Spitfire, the Gorgorothic minimalism of Lengsel, the discordant dirge/scourge of Training For Utopia, the new Hammerheaded hopefuls of Luti-Kriss, and the nu-metalled makeover of ol’ school thrashers Living Sacrifice (“Skinlab syndrome,” anyone?). Conversely, for as killer as the above bands are, SolidState also has its share of swill: among a few others, the simpering “emotion” of Embodyment, the overrated Stretch Armstrong, and the unfocused (and suitably disbanded) Focal Point. Like most comps, Volume 2 is a hit-or-miss affair, but the strength of the label’s best bands for outweighs the mediocrity of their lesser ones.
SolidState, PO Box 12698, Seattle, WA 98111; http://www.solidstaterecords.com