various artists


While the mood of the do-it-yourself attitude of early second-wave black metal is all but absent on this tribute record, it is still a delight in terms of nostalgic charm – and while the holistic impression of the record is a little awkward and (obviously) not fresh, original creative output – but the admiration these bands hold for the halcyon days of black metal yore, and for Burzum, is undeniable.

This Is Your Life, is a brand new compilation album that celebrates the life and career of one of the most iconic figures in hard and heavy metal, Ronnie James Dio. The list of contributors to this project reads like a veritable who’s who in the metal world with the proceeds from the record going to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund (diocancerfund.org).

Over the last 20 years, Halifax has become known for a very particular coastal music scene, churning out explosions of slick, melodic indie-pop. Yet below the sheen of the limelight, Halifax has also been home to an underbelly of angular and aggressive music that has excelled on the fringes. Bands such as The Plan, North of America, and Equation Of State carved out the gritty niche for others like Contrived, Slight Return, Attack Mode, and Radarfame – paving the way for a new generation of musicians embedded in the history of start-stop rhythms, atypical time signatures, and dissonant guitar riffs.

What a great concept. Take a legendary singer like Frank Sinatra and have some of the best players in the hard rock/heavy metal world reinterpret his classic tunes. Where else can you possibly hear dUG Pinnick of Kings X fame crooning on the old time standard, “I’ve Got The World On A String” or Joey Belladdona of Anthrax belting out the fan favorite, “Strangers In The Night?”

In the Canadian east coast lies some of the heaviest music that can be found in this Country. Sadly, because of the location, many of these bands have a harder time getting their name out to a broader audience. Thankfully, Diminished Fifth Records has taken it upon themselves (for the third time) to help spread some of these names abroad via a compilation entitled The Music Of Artisanship And War Volume III.