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Various Artists — Metal Massacre XV

Various Artists
Metal Massacre XV
by Shea Higgerson at 15 July 2021, 4:16 PM

Metal Blade Records delivers the latest installment in the Metal Massacre series with “Metal Massacre XV”featuring an awesome blend of metal genres from various artists. The first song hits hard with a thrashy tune“Masked and Deadly” from Cleveland, Ohio rockers MIDNIGHT ( I thought this was a great way to kick off this compilation of metal artists and get heads banging.

“Demon Wind” by POISON RUIN (  starts off pretty slow, but then at about 1:18 brings all kinds of energy. It feels a little like punk rock and metal tangled together. FUMING MOUTH( brings in another heavy and in-your-face death metal track with “Master of Extremity.” This is one of the best songs on the album with a lot of energy and some killer drumming, plus an awesome guitar solo. My favorite song on the album is, of course, a doom track “The Trees Die Standing” by MANY SUFFER ( It’s brutal in all the best ways and has some gruesome drum work and riffs, and the vocals are absolutely sick.

“Leave the Light Behind” by TEMPLE OF VOID (  begins with a cool deep space-sounding vibe leading to doomy greatness. I really dig the contrast of the traditional doom deep vocals with the clean vocals. This one is heavy and chill all at the same time. It could kind of put you in a trance. “撿骨(Bone Ritual)” by California death metal band RIPPED TO SHREDS.( slams in no holds barred with a sudden drop before returning back to complete chaos — like the calm before the storm. I really liked that delivery. RUDE’S( track “Omega” was one that I’m not a fan of on this album. The vocals sounded a little too much like a caveman trying to do metal.

MIDNIGHT DICE ( comes through with one hell of a guitar intro for “Starblind.” Unfortunately, and this may sound like blasphemy to some, this song is a little too 80s rock for me. Don’t get me wrong, the 80s had some of the best metal musicians to exist, but there’s a lot of it I can’t stand. This misses the mark for me, but the musical talent is undeniable and vocalist Mandy Martillo has an awesome voice. “Warrior Witch of Hel” by SMOULDER (  is another one that just doesn’t do it for me. Vocally it misses the mark even though there’s some great riffs. It’s like power metal mixed with doom and it’s not for me.

The album ends with another death/doom song “In Somber Dreams” by MOTHER OF GRAVES. I definitely preferred this genre’s appearances on the album the most, but it was great to be able to listen to several different styles in one sitting. “Metal Massacre XV” is loaded with musical talent and the cool thing about a compilation album is that it's impossible to get bored listening with all the different styles involved. Of course, not all genres are for everyone, but this is certainly a fun listen.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. “Masked and Deadly” - Midnight
2. “Demon Wind” - Poison Ruin
3. “Master of Extremity” - Fuming Mouth
4. “The Trees Die Standing” - Many Suffer
5. “Leave the Light Behind” - Temple of Void
6. “撿骨 (Bone Ritual)” - Ripped to Shreds
7. “Omega” - Rude
8. “Starblind” - Midnight Dice
9. “Warrior Witch of Hel” - Smoulder
10. “In Somber Dreams” - Mother of Graves
Various Artists
Record Label: Metal Blade


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Edited 27 January 2023

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