Various Artists

Identity 4

International Country of Origin: International

1. Moonspell - Handmade God
2. The Gathering - The May Song
3. Arch Enemy - Beast Of Man
4. Skinlab - When Pain Comes to Surface
5. Stuck Mojo - Trick
6. Turmoil - Anchor
7. Subzero - Higher Power
8. Rotting Christ - Out Of Spirits
9. Tiamat - Whores Of Babylon
10. Lacuna Coil - No Need To Explain
11. Nocturnal Rites - Pentagram
12. Alastis - In Darkness
13. Emperor - Ye Entrancemperium
14. Theatre Of Tragedy - Seraphic Deviltry
15. Jag Panzer - Future Shock
16. Exodus - Piranha
17. My Own Victim - Waste It Away

Review by Adam on March 31, 2002.

Identity Four was my introduction to underground metal. How I got from Sepultura to this cd I do not know. Maybe it was the fact that the guy on the front looks strikingly similar to my father. Anyways, this is probably the most diverse of the Identity series samplers. Century Media Records has always had some of the best bands in extreme metal and this definitely showcases the incredible range of talent these bands possess. Gothic, dark, black, power, hardcore, melodic death, and old school metal are all present on this disc. So lets get into the tracks one by one and see how they rate.

Moonspell - Handmade God - This song is surely not one of their best songs, but it a good indication of what that album was about for the band. It was a huge departure of the heavier side and more a trip into the gothic side. Not such a great way to open a disc like this...lets move on...

The Gathering - The May Song - Beautiful! This song got me into this band and shows their musical talent, especially the vocalist! It is a pretty mellow song, but perfect to drift away with the headphones. Of course that is until you get to the next track.

Arch Enemy - Beast Of Man - After being relaxed by The Gathering... Boom!... You are then knocked flat on your ass. This song introduced me to melodic death metal and the band itself. It is my favorite song off the Stigmata album and one of the best on this sampler as well.

Skinlab - When Pain Comes to Surface - I do not remember really getting into this track. Skinlab have a very polished metal sound. They are ok in my opinion but nothing really special. If you are into just straight forward heavy music, then you may like this.

Stuck Mojo - Trick - This was not what I was expecting. I was not thinking it would have rapping even though the singer was Black because I try not to make those kinds of rationalities. The thing about these guys is that they have other vocal styles, and when all put together, are quite unique. I liked these guys alright, but it was until their next album Declaration of a Headhunter when they had finally found their niche.

Turmoil - Anchor - This is some in your face stuff right here. Awesome hardcore music!

Subzero - Higher Power - In the hardcore vein as well, but nothing special.

Rotting Christ - Out Of Spirits - Good song from a good band. Rotting Christ have never gotten the respect they deserve. This song is a good representation of them and their style. Good stuff!

Tiamat - Whores Of Babylon - Interesting band with an interesting style. I am having trouble putting my finger their sound. All I know is that it is dark so if that is your thing then dig in!

Lacuna Coil - No Need To Explain - This band just rules! I dig the female vocals and I love their style. I knew these guys were going places when I first heard them! Most of you probably know who these guys are by now!

Nocturnal Rites - Pentagram - What an awesome pure metal track this is. The intensity is off the charts. It is not brutal in anyway. This is just pure, unadulterated heavy metal music. Amazing!

Alastis - In Darkness - The title says it all. It is dark but desolate and dull. It starts off interesting, but never really goes anywhere leaving the listener as lost as the musicians playing.

Emperor - Ye Entrancemperium - This track is off Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk! Do I really need to say anything? If I do, then you need to get off this site now! ;)

Theatre Of Tragedy - Seraphic Deviltry - This is before the band started to suck. The grim and opera type vocals go back and forth as it were a dialogue of some sort. I totally dig this track. What the hell happened to this band?

Jag Panzer - Future Shock - Yes! Makes you want to put the horns up, jump around in your room, and throw a tv out of the window. \m/

Exodus - Piranha - From one killer track to another! This song kills and it is live! I am envious of anyone who was at this concert. What a great song!

My Own Victim - Waste It Away - The cd closes with another hardcore number. Now I am not a fan of hardcore, but with the way it looks on this sampler, Century Media definitely has the best of what that genre has to offer. Cool song, but I would have liked Exodus to close it better!

So all in all this is a fantastic sampler of metal artists. It is my favorite identity compilation. It has the widest variety of artists in my opinion. At the price it is listed at, it is definitely a worthy purchase. Plus, you cannot go wrong with the majority of these releases save a couple. This was such a great door opener for me, and I hope it is for others to come.

Bottom Line: Check out the artists and see if you like a majority of them. If you are not familiar with many of them, then this is still a good purchase to get you into various bands Century Media has or had to offer.

Categorical Rating Breakdown

Originality: 7
Musicianship: 8
Atmosphere: 7
Production: 6
Overall: 7

Rating: 7 out of 10