(Baden Metal Records)

Review by Sloof

After some Baden Metal compilation albums (Flight Of The Griffin, The Griffin Has Landed), it’s time took hook up with another volume. This time, it’s called Swabia Metal Compilation, and Volume 1 gets the title: Barbarossa’s Return. Well, I was glad to receive another overview of that German scene, as the quality of these compilation albums is always top notch, and this time, they surpassed their own high level on every item. Let’s have a look at the bands that are mainly unknown so far.


Circle Of Silence opens this 17 track album with a fantastic track, probably the best start they could hope for, with an outstanding song. ‘Blood Of Enemies’ has a good melody, a modern approach, great vocals by Nick which result in a band that we will keep our eyes on. This is the best way to start a compilation album, and luckily, there are many more bands to follow that have the same ambition! Warcry their track ‘Storming The Gates’ has a more dated sound and a twist to the NWOBHM scene, but all in all, it’s a good continuation with nice pace and awesome guitar solos by The Axeman and The Gravewarrior.


We continue with Strangelet and their ‘The Privilege Of Power’ where heaviness seems to be an important factor. The quality increases with Vanish with a track from their ‘Come To Wither’ album. This one is originally released by Massacre Records and I reviewed this German high class band with a total score of 90/100 points! (check this link to read the whole review: http://metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_UVWXYZ/vanish_cometowither.html). Their song ‘Bless The Buried Child’ is one of the highlights on this Swabia Metal Compilation album! TwentyDarkSeven delivers a high Speed Metal song that has resemblances with the U.S. Metal scene. The vocals of Marcus Jurgens interact perfectly with the guitars of Peter Wagner and halfway the track, we get some rock’n roll twists when the chorus appears. There are many great vocalists on this compilation album, for example Astoryas who have some Hammerfall influences in their arrangement, and again, I must mention the chorus line as it lingers on and on in my head afterwards!


Deathiny is the first band that has Gothic/Epica influences and when the vocals of Julia Mann contribute, we get a total different band, compared with the first 6 acts. Their song ‘Descending’ ads a lot of variety and it turns out to be an outstanding arrangement! Some eastern/oriental influences appear in the song Scylla from Mooncry. It’s a combination of Pagan with a very own identity, and the end result is good, but not striking. If I have to mention the most surprising band from this Volume 1, I guess that I will mention Circus Of Fools who contributed with ‘Visions Fade’. Melancholy meets Gothic, female vocals interact with male vocals, and the songs will need a few spins to discover the gem. Sure, it’s something to check out!


We continue with an extreme approach as Crystal Crow delivers a song with grunts and growls but also with outstanding vocals in the second part of the track. For some reason, I had to think on Epysode while listening to ‘Dorian Gray’. Nice job, Crystal Crow! Totengefluster is a Black/Death metal act that likes to bring their metal in the vein of Cradle Of Filth, albeit it lesser extreme. Some bombastic moments are presented by An Act Of Grace that I consider as average. If you want a wall of sound, listen to Thy Final Pain, that succeeded in some Amon Amarth vocals, combined with a musical impression that surprised me! Their track is called ‘Obedience’, and it all sounds very heavy for a trio! Same story goes for the band Crimson Death and their track ‘Once They Tasted Blood’. I told it already a few times, but I definitely have to mention the band Zanthropya Ex and their vocalist Schinder Papst! What a voice! Awesome, once again!


Doom Division is decreasing the quality with their ‘Jesus Chrysler’ and the last band could be described as the band with lesser quality: Unbound… sorry dudes, but this time, last but not least isn’t valid… I’m not convinced about their ‘Race Against Time’, but that’s one of the exceptions on this whole compilation album.


Conclusion on Barbarossa’s Return? Outstanding compilation, that is available at very cheap price and there are really interesting bands on it! Keep up the good work, and I’m already longing for the successor! Available for only 5 Euro, send your order request to: shop@baden-metal.de Visit Baden Metal's FB page at: https://de-de.facebook.com/BadenMetal/


My rating: 85 / 100



95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !

Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan

Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it

Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing

Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate

Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard

50- : Rubbish