Roadrunner United
The All-Star Sessions


3.0
good

Review

by Shadows USER (89 Reviews)
October 31st, 2005 | 150 replies | 15,715 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


10 of 10 thought this review was well written

To celebrate their anniversary, Roadrunner Records has graced us with The All-Star Sessions, a compilation of the finest the label has to offer. While it is a mixed bag, I must say I was pleasantly surprised but much of what this record offers. With team captains ranging from Rob Flynn (Machine Head) to Matt Heafy (Trivium), Joey Jordison (Slipknot) to Dino Cazares (ex-Fear Factory), much musical ground has been covered. Every musician brings some of his influence to every song and the odd mixes of artists make each track something new and unusual. Everything comes together in a very heterogeneous mixture of various metal types, and is strangely appropriate given the bands Roadrunner has to offer.

The album seems to excel in the faster, heavier songs. The album begins more than promisingly with The Dagger. The rolling double bass and catchy riffs work beautifully with the screaming of Howard Jones. Clean singing and overall solid musicianship make this one of the stronger offerings. The follow-up, The Enemy, is better yet. After an acoustic intro the song blasts into a fast, heavy metal track. Growling and layered screaming give this abrasive headbanger a very unique tincture throughout, thanks to Mark Hunter and Andreas Kisser. Annihilation by the Hands of God, with the infamous Glen Benton, definitely stands out in the crowd. This song is easily the most brutal on the album. Max Cavalera seems out for blood on Independent (Voice of the Voiceless), a song rivaling Annihilation in terms of extremity, just as Baptized in the Redemption is a savage death metal track from hell. Punk fans will enjoy Michale Gravesí showing on I Donít Wanna Be (A superhero).

Aside from the insanity, the sessions have some very commendable efforts in the melodic and mellow styles. Matt Heafy may not be The Endís greatest asset, but the instrumentation (Logan Mader especially) is a sweet break from the unrelenting songs so far. A surprising pleasure was the joint effort of Rob Flynn and Corey Taylor on The Rich Man, a song that has a subtle menacing sound to it. Corey Taylor seems more enraged than ever despite the un-infuriated music beneath him. Only the best could be expected from Mikael Akerfeldt on Roads, and only the best was delivered. The only flaw to his incredible acoustic playing was that it lasted less than three minutes. Enemy of the State seems to be an unusual title for such a subdued, melodic song. Pete Steele does indeed give the track a gothic feel. Tim Williams sounds very reminiscent of Shaun Morgan of Seether on the somber song Army of the Sun.

For almost as many strengths as there are, we are given weaknesses. One can only wonder what the hell Roadrunner was thinking when they included In the Fire, a song that makes me want to slowly dissect my own genitals. King Diamond is anything but appropriate among the array of heavier metal songs on the album. The same applies to Dawn of a Golden Age. Apparently Dani Filth had too much influence, because it sounds as though Heafy was desperate to write a song for him instead of staying with something within his range, As much as I love Cradle of Filth, this song is horrid. Jesse Leach seems to imitate King Diamondís laughable showing in Blood & Flames, a song that wouldíve fit perfectly had it not been for the soprano style singing. Despite its promising style, No Mas Control came out a boring, generic song. Consitution Down opens well with a flurry of guitar playing, but Kyle Thomasís voice again forces the song into the forgotten background.

All the musicians, songwriters, vocalists, etc. come together to write songs in every style thinkable. Itís a safe bet that youíll like at least one song on this, because most every musical base has been covered here. It all hinges on whom you like as well. If you donít like any of the bands on Roadrunner, youíll more than likely be disappointed. The songís style is greatly dependent on the songwriter, who is most often the team captain involved. In short, if you like Trivium, Slipknot, Machine Head, and Fear Factory, youíll like The All-Star Sessions. Songs range from excellent to terrible here, so it will be rare for someone to like this release in its entirety. The selection of great songwriting and terrible ideas evens out in the end, but the final product is somewhat positive. I myself enjoy more than half of the songs but dislike several others, so I urge you to give this thing a chance!

Recommended tracks:
The Dagger
The Enemy
The Rich Man
Roads
Army of the Sun

Pros:
- Great variation among songs
- Selection of numerous genres
- Overall great musicianship
- Original ideas topped with interesting combinations of musicians

Cons:
- Some songs sound as though the writing was done for another member of the team (ie, Dawn)
- Many vocalists sound out of place
- Occasionally boring and uninspired

NOTE: More information on the songs and musicians involved can be found [url=http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10238166&postcount=41627]here[/url], courtesy of Jom.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Toaster
October 31st 2005



343 Comments


Does Mikael not growl on his track?? Disappointing. I agree with you on "In the Fire", too. The lyrics are so stupid, it's painful.

Thanks for reviewing this.

Cravinov13
October 31st 2005



3854 Comments


I've been waiting for someone to do a review on this. I heard it was pretty good. Your review made me decide to look into it.

Aakon_Keetreh
October 31st 2005



448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i bought this and it really was pretty good, but i thought it was gonna be way better

Shadows
Moderator
October 31st 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

[QUOTE=Spat]A couple of points: For the team captains you might want to mention what bands they're in; and it's "Michale Graves" not Michael. You might also want to go into more specifics on why you don't like certain songs.[/QUOTE]
Thanks. I'll edit in the band names for captains and fix the name. I was pondering how in-depth to go with this one, because there are so many songs and I didn't want this thing to be 10 pages long. I'll rethink that aspect.

No problem everyone, I was pleasantly surprised. This Message Edited On 10.31.05

Shadows
Moderator
October 31st 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I had already listed the bands they were in later anyway, but I threw them in the beginning. If they can't figure out who's who and from where at this point, they have some major issues.

Shadows
Moderator
October 31st 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Army of the Sun, thanks for pointing it out.

ocelot-05
November 1st 2005



807 Comments


I don't know. I've heard some of these tracks and I don't really like this cd. I can't really imagine why, as I like quite a few of the bands that the artists are in. Good review, though.

spoon_of_grimbo
November 1st 2005



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i thought the melodic ones were best actually, "in the fire" "the end" "tired n lonely" "i dont wanna be a superhero" and "army of the sun" are all amazing. i like the one with max cavalera in too, but i also agree with u about the dani filth one.
and whats wrong with a bit of wailing?! "blood and flames" is not only brilliant, but it also shows how versatile jesse leach is as a vocalist, after the style he used in KsE!

Storm In A Teacup
November 1st 2005



12688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

About time you did this Shadows. I agree with mostly everything you said. Independant(Voice of the Voiceless) and The Enemy are my favorites. The Rich man I found annoying. Great review, I never thought I would read this.

PuNk-O-RaMa
November 1st 2005



18 Comments


good review, i agree with everything apart from what you said on "blood and flames", which kicks some major hiney. another great review, shadowsfallen; wouldn't have it any other way! :D

Aakon_Keetreh
November 1st 2005



448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i really liked the song that danni filth sung...i thought it was pretty good

Shadows
Moderator
November 1st 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

[QUOTE=Kripes]Great review, I never thought I would read this.[/QUOTE]
What the hell does that mean!!?? :mad: :p

[QUOTE=heavymetal axe]how can you not like In The Fire? Its a classic. Did you not pay any heed to the early days of metal? Merciful Fate and King Diamond are classic bands, his somewhat different and exceptionally high voice was an epic in the history of music.[/QUOTE]
I understand that. I appreciate the early days of metal as much as the next guy, but King Diamond's voice was awful on that song. Just because I didn't like it doesn't mean I have shunned every historically significant band in metal. I'm a huge Cradle of Filth fan - high voices don't bother me. This Message Edited On 11.01.05

Apathy
November 1st 2005



645 Comments


I like "In the Fire."
And I want this.
And is "Roads" soft?
And blah.

Shadows
Moderator
November 1st 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Roads is soft. It's all acoustic with some keys and singing.

Mikael Akerfeldt > All :cool:

Apathy
November 1st 2005



645 Comments


Mikael Akerfeldt> all except Glen Benton :p

Shadows
Moderator
November 1st 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Never underestimate a man with an upside down cross branded into his forehead. m/

Apathy
November 1st 2005



645 Comments


I'm scared. He has such a beastly voice, though.

Shadows
Moderator
November 1st 2005



2530 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You should hear the new Vital Remains album. Benton is like a monster on it - it's insane. Great death metal.

Apathy
November 1st 2005



645 Comments


He does vocals for Vital Remains? Al-RIGHT!

Storm In A Teacup
November 4th 2005



12688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

[quote=ShadowsFallen]What the hell does that mean!!??[/quote]

You took so damn long turning in a review for it when you pwomised me you would do it and were doing other reviews.:p



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