Nuclear Blast Allstars - Out Of The Dark - 20 Years Nuclear Blast
21 September 2007

Disc I
01. Dysfunctional Hours [feat. Anders Friden - In Flames]
02. Schizo [feat. Peter Tägtgren - Hypocrisy]
03. Devotion [feat. Jari Mäenpäa - Wintersun]
04. The Overshadowing [feat. Christian Älvestam - Scar Symmetry]
05. Paper Trail [feat. John Bush - ex-Anthrax]
06. The Dawn Of All [feat. Bjorn "Speed" Strid - Soilwork]
07. Cold Is My Vengeance [feat. Maurizio Iacono - Kataklysm]
08. My Name Is Fate [feat. Mark Osegueda - Death Angel]
09. The Gilded Dagger [feat. Richard Sjunnesson & Roland Johansson - Sonic Syndicate]
10. Closer To The Edge [feat. Guillaume Bideau - Mnemic]

Disc II
01. The Heretic Hammer [Dimmu Borgir]
02. Tyrants [Immortal]
03. As He Creates, So He Destroys [Nile]
04. Purge The World [Exodus]
05. Ghost [Anthrax]
06. Futile Breed Machine [Meshuggah]
07. Kingdome Of Heartache [Chimaira]
08. Prisoner Of War [All Shall Perish]
09. All Is Not Forgotten [Agnostic Front]
10. Counterbalance [Threat Signal]

Nuclear Blast, one of the biggest labels in metal around right now, and this is the year that the label started in Donzdorf, Germany all that time ago turns twenty. Celebrating this milestone in metal history we have two "all-star" albums featuring the singers of many of the Nuclear Blast bands. "Into The Light" released the first half of the year showcased the more melodic side to the label with appearances from singers from bands such as Sonata Arctica, Blind Guardian, Helloween and Nightwish - however "Out Of The Dark" is the yin to the yang. This album features the more extreme acts of the Nuclear Blast label, revolving more around the melodic death metal genre. Here we have singers from such bands as In Flames, Wintersun, Soilwork and Kataklysm putting their vocal talents to the music written and performed almost exclusively by Peter Wichers.

Twenty years is a long time, and they have given us plenty of classic albums over the years, there would be no reason to assume that they would release something unsatisfactory for this occasion. Well the truth is, if you love modern melodic death metal from the bands of Nuclear Blast then this album will amuse and entertain you for its duration. The album is full of catchy guitar hooks, extreme vocals crossed with melodic vocals and of course the odd flurry of double bass drumming that would easily catch the ear of a keen listener of the genre. "Devotion" featuring Jari Mäenpäa of Wintersun breaks a little from the mould as it is the most extreme track of the album with its furious drumming and great vocals, but still sticking firmly under the melodic death label and "The Overshadowing" is a great showing of the melodic vocals contrasting with the extreme music with Christian Älvestam from Scar Symmetry overbearing with his trademark clean as a whistle vocals. Sure, this is turning out to be a great listen.

Unfortunately one cannot help but wonder why they had to celebrate their twentieth birthday in this way. The music is not performed by a band that has a tight bond like most of the real bands out there and so maybe you could say the album lacks a bit of real soul to it, there are not so many meanings in the lyrics as the lyrics of these musicians respective bands. Also maybe because all the music is written by one man or because of the actual nature of the album and fitting all the different styles of the vocalists - the album never boasts anything spectacular comparing again with the respective bands this album has guests from. Most In Flames songs are better than the song here featuring Anders Friden, and most Soilwork songs are better than the song featuring Bjorn "Speed" Strid if you see what I mean.

Still, twenty years of Nuclear Blast, twenty years of great music so you cannot complain about this party style album. The novelty and unique selling point of this album is of course the inclusion of the eleven musicians from different bands that keep you wondering exactly what the next track will sound like. Putting it simply, if you love modern melodic death metal and feel like listening to something a little lighter in a meaningful sense - i.e. an album that does not command your constant attention, then this album could be worth considering - of course also to show your respect to the mighty Nuclear Blast.


Written on 23.10.2007 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››


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Bararey - 23.10.2007 at 15:52  
I got this album about 2 months ago, and as you mentioned, this album could have been a lot better if it were a collaboration effort vs. the one guy writing all the lyrics and music. So far, I only liked the track in which Marco Hiaetala is featured.
+{Jonas}+ - 23.10.2007 at 20:14  
No songs by Dimmu Borgir?
Jason W. - 23.10.2007 at 22:46  
Hmmm well if I get a chance to listen to this one, I will. But, the "other" version, called "Into Your Light" that's part of this "Allstars" release was absolutely soulless and forgettable, so I have minimal hopes for this release too. But I'm not going to judge it before I hear it, so I will definitely comment later
Szron - 24.10.2007 at 20:19  
I agree with the review. The album is a good listen, but not great. There are really good tracks (The Overshadowing and The Gilded Dagger really got me) and plain good tracks. For me, the most disappointing aspect of the album was it's lack of diversion in music style. I mean, it's an anniversary album, so why make a solely melo-death album to celebrate it? I love melo-death, but I expected something ranging from pure death, through black, ending somewhere in the thrash/heavy ranges.

The album is definitely better than Into the Light (the first of the two anniversary albums), but it's short and mono-stylish, thus being worse than the analogical Roadrunner Records album - Roadrunner United All-Star Sessions. Still, I don't really care that much, since I love practically all the bands, whose members collaborated on this album and hearing them all in a series of tracks ranging from good to very good is something I wouldn's pass up that easily.
Vinnie R. - 29.01.2008 at 22:34  
And the Into the light album?
Lone Reaper - 18.03.2008 at 00:11  
Not so great, but still not so bad modern metal album...
"Dysfunctional Hours", "The Dawn Of All" and "The Gilded Dagger" are very catching songs, others are not so good but kept in standarts...

I my opinion, the anniversary must be celebrated on greatly higher level. Especially, if so major label as Nuclear Blast has enough musical and financial resources...

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