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BETTER UNDEAD THAN ALIVE 2 - Reviews

Discussion in 'code666' started by Emi, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    post here :loco:
     
  2. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    let's start with a good one!

    http://www.metalteamuk.net/jan10reviews/cdreviews-undead.htm

    Artist: Various
    Title: Better Undead than Alive 2
    Type: Album
    Label: Code 666

    This album should probably be advertised as the ultimate uncomfortable listening experience. Davide Tiso, the man behind the avant-garde Jazz Metal sounds of Ephel Duath, is a strange man but highly creative. He is responsible for the fillers by various artists from the Code 666 camp. Even before you’ve heard anything else, he makes sure that your nightmares are well and truly fulfilled. What he has created could have come from a film set. Bleak imagery abounds. “Been Good” conveys the impression of crumbling run down buildings and hopelessness. It doesn’t get happier than that.

    Mr Tiso’s opener “Well”, an industrial interlude featuring the distorted sounds of experimentation, is the perfect lead into the first of the compilation, Minethorn’s “Icons (of the Cursed Earth)”. This album is impressive on a number of levels, not least the fact that every track is an original recording. The styles vary as the album progresses but Tiso was given the job of making the mix coherent, and this he has done by ordering the tracks, and linking them with his own chilling creations. So Minethorn treat to us to a typically ambient, bleak and languid number in an industrial setting, descending into screams. Our invitation to the sounds of Middlesborough continues with more sweeping industrial darkness from The Axis of Perdition. Tiso then develops the mood with “We Have”, in which the sound of a very grotesque fairground is invoked. Indeed, Diabolicum’s “Salvation through Vengeance” is more about mood than darkness. That comes later. The mood is one of penetrating disturbance. The guitar is simple but judging by the singer’s cries, it’s as much mental as physical. The track which follows, Void of Silence’s “Instrumental Void” is shattering. It is a total immersion of deep and majestic sadness. A change of direction then follows this monumental slab of doom. A Tiso electro-nightmare logically precedes the Electro Goth Metal of Herrschaft. So how do you link this with the Symphonic Black Metal of The Oath? Tiso gets it right every time, here with a bleak and minimalist number. In fact the link is more interesting than the track which makes the noises of Stormlord but isn’t inspiring. The same is true of The Prophecy’s “Adrift”, a nondescript melodic track to begin with before transforming into doom. I found it too lightweight and I didn’t get where it was going. It’s Tiso’s interpretations though which make this compilation really interesting. We’re into Black Metal territory now, and in readiness Tiso produces a scary score for a sci-fi drama with “Worth”. “Cumpana” from Negura Bunget follows. As usual from this Transylvanian band, it’s an impressive piece of dark and atmospheric Black Metal with surprisingly Mediterranean touches of both an upbeat and dirge-like kind and interesting sound effects. Tiso’s “It” beams us across to another planet momentarily, and then to finish is the epic “Twilight Descends (Eulogy)” from the UK’s Fen. It’s 15 minutes of slow and deliberate post doom. Inevitably comparisons will be made with Neurosis, Cult of Luna and Isis et al, but Fen place their own mark on it. The sweeping melancholy is gradually overwhelming, and it ends majestically. This compilation from Code 666 is a great idea and excellent value. Moreover it’s not just a few tracks flung together but a well-constructed work with tracks that you won’t have already because they were specially recorded for this album. Of course the styles, whilst uniformly gloomy in their different way, are disparate and whilst I personally didn’t like everything, most of it I did like and it’s great to hear stuff by bands I didn’t know so well. It’s a great advert for what the label does. Then there are the amazing interludes which were more interesting than the tracks themselves and certainly created a unity as well as reinforcing the dark and disturbing message. All in all, “Better Undead than Alive 2” is a thoroughly absorbing and mind-provoking listen.
     
  3. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    http://metal.de/cdreviews.php4?was=review&id=14014

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]VARIOUS ARTISTS - Better Undead Than Alive 2[/FONT] [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif](unbekannter Stil)
    Label/Kontakt: Code666
    19 Songs
    Webseite: www.myspace.com/code666records

    [​IMG]Eine, zumindest vom Prinzip her, erfreuliche Überraschung bietet der vom renommierten italienischen Label Code666 anlässlich seines zehnten Geburtstages ausgegebene Sampler „Better Undead Than Alive 2“ ja eigentlich schon. Schließlich hat man es sich zum Ziel auserkoren eine besondere Zusammenstellung zu erschaffen, welche aus rein unveröffentlichtem Material besteht, um sich so etwas vom schnöden Sampleralltag abheben zu können- ganz dem Anlass gemäß eben.
    Ferner findet sich neben den Leckerbissen für Fans der vom Label engagierten Bands eine weitere Art Novum auf der Langrille wieder: Davide Teso, den meisten wohl von seiner Position bei EPHEL DUATH bekannt, steuerte exklusives Solomaterial bei. Und zwar in Form von neun Interludien, die zwischen den Songs plaziert für Atmosphäre sorgen sollen.

    Leider gelingt dies dem guten Herrn nur im Ansatz. Die gebotenen schrägen Gitarrenläufe, welche mal dissonanter, mal sphärischer daher kommen passen einfach nicht so ganz zum industriell anmutendem Drumcomputer, welcher zu allem Überdruss auch noch verdammt dumpf aus der Anlage kommt. Ansonsten bietet die zweite Auflage von „Better Undead Than Alive“ allerdings ein paar wirklich gute Momente. So waren mir MINETHORN, welche mich mit ihrem psychedelischen, düster-schleppendem Industrial-Doom noch gar nicht bekannt. Sollte man ändern. Weitere sehr gute Auftritte liefern VOID OF SILENCE mit einem wunderbar keyboardlastigen Instrumentalstück oder FEN, welche trotz massiver Überlänge auf voller Distanz den Gänsehautgenerator angeschmissen zu haben scheinen.

    Ferner klingt „Cumpana“, der von mir wohl mit größten Interesse erwartete Beitrag NEGURA BUNGETs, gewohnt gut. Da ist es in Anbetracht der jüngsten Besetzungsquerelen ebenso erfreulich wie überraschend, dass man zumindest an ein Niveau von „Om“ anknüpfen vermag. Eine weitere nette Randerscheinung kriegt man in Form von Kvarforths DIABOLICUM auf die Ohren, welche mit „Salvation Through Vengeance“ ein durchaus packendes Black-Metal-Brett beitragen konnten.
    Auf der anderen Seite gibt es jedoch ebenso Songbeiträge,welche ich persönlich nicht gebraucht hätte. Die Speerspitze dessen bilden im Verlauf HERRSCHAFT, welche mit ihrem Industrial(Metal?) ziemlich an den Nerven zehren. Ebenso unspektakulär sind die Beiträge vom CRYPTIC WINTERMOON Abklatsch THE OATH oder THE PROPHECY, welche sich scheinbar nicht entscheiden können, ob sie nun Deathcore oder Akustikrock sein wollen.

    Im Grunde bleibt es also bei einem Sampler wie man ihm in Grunde auch andernorts vorgesetzt bekommt. Die Idee hinter dem Projekt ist jedoch durchaus interessant und dürfte manchen Hörer durchaus zu begeistern wissen. Für mich stellt „Better Undead Than Alive“ im Gesamten jedenfalls eine wirklich ordentliche Compilation dar, der man ruhig einmal gehör schenken darf. Happy Birthday, Code666.
    [/FONT]
     
  4. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    http://www.audiodrome.it/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=5828

    4/5

    Sette anni dopo il primo episodio, per il proprio decimo compleanno la code666 fa uscire Better Undead Than Alive 2.

    [​IMG]Si tratta di un compilation di brani inediti a firma delle principali band dell’etichetta e pensati apposta per l’occasione. Davide Tiso (gli Ephel Duath, prima di approdare alla Earache, erano passati da queste parti) li ha ordinati e ha provato a incastrarli assieme, suonando delle brevi parti strumentali che facessero da “ponte” tra un pezzo e l’altro, operazione durissima e per questo non sempre convincente. Better Undead Than Alive 2, comunque, dà quasi solo conferme. L’accoppiata Minethorn/Axis Of Perdition, band che condividono gran parte della line-up, mostra quanto si può essere ancora assassini nel prendere stilemi e suoni “industrial” e usarli per il metal estremo. Curioso che qui quasi invertano i ruoli, con i primi più malati e lenti e i secondi più veloci e d’impatto. Lo stesso discorso vale per i due autentici “undeads” della compilation, visto quando sono usciti i loro ultimi dischi: Diabolicum (ferocissimi) e Void Of Silence, anche se i secondi – qui splendidi - combinano doom e dark ambient, quindi si distinguono totalmente dagli altri. Chi conosce code666 sa quanto quest’ibridazione di generi segni già il catalogo dell’etichetta, ma ci sono i Fen a portare nuovo sangue, col loro mix di black metal e influssi shoegaze: un modo eccellente di chiudere la compilation. In sintesi, mezza selezione è di altissimo livello, mezza presenta due punti di domanda (Herrschaft, troppo piatti, e Damned Spirit Dance, “troppo Arcturus”) e tre incertezze (la nuova formazione dei Negură Bunget, The Oath e The Prophecy). Fa riflettere l’energia dell’insieme, come se qualcuno volesse dire che nei prossimi anni usciranno nuovi Phormula, Vilosophe, With No Human Intervention, Human Antithesis, Vermiculatus...


    A cura di: Fabrizio Garau [fabrizio.garau@audiodrome.it]​
     
  5. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    Imperiumi

    Levy-yhtiö Code666:n kymmenvuotista taivalta juhlistamaan suunnitellun Better Undead than Alive 2 -kokoelman takana on kaunis ajatus: 10 bändiä, Ephel Duathista tutun Davide Tison säveltämät interludit, 35 muusikkoa ja yksi 79-minuuttinen konseptialbumi. Ajatus ei ole ainoastaan kaunis vaan myös kunnianhimoinen. On kuitenkin vaikea kuvitella, että bändit olisivat oikeasti säveltäneet kappaleensa johonkin tiettyyn konseptiin, tai että he antaisivat lafkakokoelmalle demosessioidensa parhaita kappaleita. Eivätkä mutta-lauseet, ennen kuin levy on edes laitettu lautaselle, lopu siihen. Kun mukana on niinkin erilaisia bändejä kuin Damned Spirits Dance, The Prophecy, DiabolicuM ja Negura Bunget, ei levystä saa millään linjakasta. Onko Davide Tiso sitä paitsi oikeasti mikään avantgarde metal -velho? Kun lisäksi miettii sellaisia vanhoja tuttuja kuin Minethorn ja Damned Spirits Dance, ei ensimmäinen reaktio näiden bändien eksymisestä samalle kokoelmalle ole riemunkiljahdus.

    Vaikka Better Undead than Alive 2 ei monessa mielessä olekaan tavallinen kokoelmalevy, on se sitä valitettavasti siinä tärkeimmässä suhteessa: levyn kappaleista alle puolet ovat nimittäin oikeasti hyviä tai kiinnostavia. Jos aloitetaan siis niistä muutamista onnistumisista. Vuoden 2004 Human Antithesis -albumista lähtien Void Of Silencen melodisen tuskainen hidastelu on miellyttänyt minua, ja vaikka bändi nyt esittääkin asiansa instrumentaalisesti, kuuluu Instrumental Void ehdottomasti levyn parhaisiin kappaleisiin. Toinen positiivinen poikkeus levyn keskinkertaiseen linjaan on heikon ärinäalun jälkeen keskivaiheilla herkän melodiseksi rockiksi taittuva The Prophecyn Adrift, joka muistuttaa yllättävän paljon Pain of Salvationin materiaalia. Levyn ylivoimaisesti kovimman vedon takana on kuitenkin ruotsalainen DiabolicuM, jonka kylmässä black metalissa on mukana myös todella komeita industrial-sävyjä. Bändin vokalistina toimii tätä nykyä - kukas muukaan kuin - Shiningin Niklas Kvarforth, joskaan en Salvation Through Vengeancen perusteella osaa sanoa, laulaako mies jo kyseisessä biisissä.

    Negura Bungetin kappale Cumpana esittelee bändin hieman suoraviivaisempaa ja blackmetallisempaa puolta, jossa vahvalla tunnelmalla on toki iso osansa. Fenin Twilight Descends (Eulogy) on puolestaan bändille tyypillisesti eeppisen tunnelmallista post-black metalia. Molemmat nämä kappaleet ovat bändeille ominaisesti laadukkaita ja jopa mielenkiintoisia, mutta eivät edusta yhtyeiden ässämateriaalia. Etenkin Fenin 15-minuuttinen raita alkaa käydä paikoin kovin tylsäksi. Minethorn ja The Axis Of Perdition selvittävät hommansa vielä kelvollisesti, mutta Damned Spirits Dancen tekno-Mayhem-pastissi, The Oathin tukkoinen, ohut ja ideaköyhä black metal -hevistely ja Herrshaftin eltaantunut elektrometalli ovat ainakin itselleni ajantuhlausta. Pahin floppi ovat kuitenkin Davide Tison säveltämät väliraidat. Useimmiten ne eivät todellakaan kytke kappaleita toisiinsa, vaan vievät niitä entistäkin kauemmas toisistaan. Lisäksi ne ovat yksittäisinä raitoina paitsi yleensä tarpeettomia, myös ideoiltaan selkeää b-luokkaa, minkä vuoksi keskittyminen alkaa niiden aikana herpaantua, jos se ei jo levyn heikompien raitojen aikana ole sitä tehnyt. Tisolle uskottu tehtävä oli toki alkujaankin mahdoton, mutta silti miehen olisi ehdottomasti pitänyt pystyä parempaan.

    Lopulta levyltä löytyy ehkä yllättävänkin monta hyvää tai vähintään kelvollista raitaa, mutta toimivaksi kokonaisuudeksi Better Undead than Alive 2:ta voi hyvällä tahdollakaan sanoa. DiabolicuMin, The Prophecyn, Negura Bungetin, Void Of Silencen ja Fenin näytöt ovat kovat, mutta muut Davide Tison johdolla ankkuroivat kokonaisvaikutelman tavanomaiseksi.
     
  6. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    http://www.teethofthedivine.com/sit...ural-musiccode666-better-undead-than-alive-2/

    Various Artists
    Aural Music/Code666: Better Undead Than Alive 2 (Code666/Aural Music)

    [​IMG]
    These days, if you want to find out about a band – or a whole label’s roster – there are plenty of options. Websites, Myspace, streaming e-cards, YouTube, you name it. The days of picking up a compilation are pretty much over. So it was a pleasant surprise to receive Better Undead than Alive 2, which is the compilation that Aural Music/Code666 has put together to celebrate their 10th anniversary. ‘Cause it’s more than just a compilation – it’s a collection of all-new tracks by some great bands – both familiar and new – and it’s a complete album in its own right.
    And just to drive that home, Code666 enlisted the skills of Ephel Duath founder Davide Tiso, who has composed short interstitial pieces that bridge one song to the next. Most feature the same kind of bleak, vaguely industrial noir that’s characterized most of Code666’s releases, although the pieces vary depending on what tracks they’re connecting. Bigger beats and active tempos for some, melodic drone and post-rock for others. It’s an almost painterly approach that worked really well when Trent Reznor assembled the soundtracks for Lost Highway and Natural Born Killers (although his efforts were even more like crazed, cross-genre tapestries), and it elevates this from an arbitrary sequence of songs to a focused and holistic listening experience.
    I’ve bought a few of Code666’s releases over the years (Manes‘ Vilosophe being the most memorable), but I’d only heard of half of these bands. Here, The Axis of Perdition contributes “Chained in the Damnation Asylum,” which sounds like Behemoth or Zyklon playing in Freddy Krueger’s boiler room. Negura Bunget contributes “Cumpana” – a typically stunning piece of grandiose, savage and scrambling black metal. If you had any fears that the band had become just a pale shadow now that two of its founding members are gone, this should change your mind. And the UK’s Fen close out the album with “Twilight Descends (Eulogy)” – a 13-minute, storm-on-the-horizon crescendo of organic black metal. It’s also a great preview of their next release – particularly the clean vocals, which are performed better and mixed lower than they were on last year’s The Malediction Fields - my only complaint from that otherwise-excellent debut.
    Then there’s the new bands – new to me, at least – and there were some nice surprises there too. France’s The Oath has a chunky blackened thrash approach with layered electronics – they sound like And Oceans‘ AMGOD or The Symmetry of I, Circle of O. Italy’s Void of Silence captures the wistful melodies of Tiamat’s Wildhoney, so much so that it sounds like an unreleased track. The Prophecy, out of the UK, takes the light/heavy Opeth approach with their lush doom/death, except their softer moments sound like early 80s AOR balladry instead of soft 70s prog. And Hungary’s Damned Spirits Dance smashes together churning death metal with a progressive ear for rhythm and structure, plus two dramatically different clean vocals. One is clean, sonorous and Garm-like, and the other is a strange Zack de la Rocha rap attack that should probably annoy the crap out of me, yet the whole song holds together and is one of the most energetic and intriguing things on the entire album.
    Only a few things here didn’t really hold my interest. Herrschaft, who kicked all kinds of thrashy EBM ass with their 2008 release Tesla, sound curiously muted and less metallic on “Abyssal Wounds.” Sweden’s DiabolicuM ignites a hellish furnace blast of black/death mayhem, but it’s nothing all that unique. And Minethorn plays a dour style of industrial sludge – kind of like Mindrot meets Skinny Puppy – it would have been okay had it been buried somewhere in the middle of the album, but it’s the first track (maybe a bit of history at work, since the band members eventually went on to form The Axis of Perdition). None of these are bad songs, though, not by any means, and once again, having them all flowing together with Tiso’s interstitials still keeps your interest over the album’s 79-minute running time.
    So look, the fact that I just wrote up a normal review’s worth of coverage for what should ordinarily be considered a compilation should be a convincing enough reason to check this out. Plus I’ve now got three bands’ upcoming releases on my to-buy list (Axis, Negura and Fen), and four more on my to-check-out list. And I’ve got another varied and interesting album that I’ll be playing for awhile. Happy 10th, Code666.


    Written by Jordan Itkowitz
    February 10th, 2010
     
  7. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    http://www.zwaremetalen.com/recensie/15152/Various-Artists-Better-Undead-Than-Alive-2.html

    Various Artists - Better Undead Than Alive 2
    Code666, 2010 Code666 bestaat dit jaar 10 jaar (net als ons eigen Zware Metalen voor die enkeling die dat nog niet was opgevallen!) en viert deze mooie prestatie met een bijzondere verzamelschijf. Bij een label dat door de jaren heen toch een aantal bijzondere en eigenzinnige releases heeft gebracht (denk Aborym, Negura Bunget, Ephel Duath, Voice of Silence, Diabolicum, Rakoth) past een bijzondere en eigenzinnige verzamelaar die echt iets toevoegt.
    Wat maakt Better Undead Than Alive 2 nu zo aangenaam? Eén: alle nummers zijn exclusief voor deze collectie gemaakt. Twee: alle nummers zijn van een redelijk tot hoog niveau. Drie: het is te zien waar Code666 zich qua genre op richt want muzikaal liggen de bands niet enorm ver uit elkaar, net ver genoeg om het afwisselend te houden en toch een soort rode lijn te behouden. Vier: David Tso van Ephel Duath is ingehuurd om de bands door middel van korte instrumentaaljes en soundscapes aan elkaar te knopen zodat er toch wel redelijk het idee van een conceptalbum ontstaat. Denk qua stijl aan de tussenstukjes van Satyricon's Rebel Extravaganza. Ik kan geen vijfde argument bedenken maar hier is dan nog een zesde om in stijl (666) af te sluiten: prachtig om weer een teken van leven te zien van Diabolicum! Hun track: Salvation Through Vengeance grijpt weer terug naar het werk van The Grandeur of Hell (en doet ook enigzins denken aan Mayhem's Grand Declaration of War): oude tijden herleven!
    Al met al een leuk idee en een prima uitvoering van Code666. Hoogtepunten zijn het dodelijk kille industrial black metal-nummer van Diabolicum, de warme doomklanken van The Prophecy, Negura Bunget's folky en atmosferisch getinte Cumpana en de lange afsluiter van Fen waar fans van Agalloch zeker mee uit de voeten kunnen.
    Tracklisting: [​IMG]
    1. Davide Tiso - Well
    2. Minethorn - Icons ( of the cursed Earth)
    3. Davide Tiso - Done!
    4. The Axis of perdition - Chained in the Damnation Asylum
    5. Davide Tiso - We Have
    6. Dsd - Abandoned Emptiness
    7. Davide Tiso - Been Good
    8. Diabolicum - Salvation Through Vengeance
    9. Void of Silence - Instrumental Void
    10. Davide Tiso - At
    11. Herrschaft - Abyssal Wounds
    12. Davide Tiso - Holding On
    13. The Oath - Abstract Emotion
    14. Davide Tiso - it Was
    15. Negura Bunget - Cumpana
    16. Davide Tiso - It
    17. Fen - Twilight Descends (Eulogy)
     
  8. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    wow


    http://www.bigdistraction.com/2010/02/various-artists-better-undead-than-alive-2-album-review/

    Various Artists – ‘Better Undead Than Alive 2′ Album Review
    There was a time when a label celebration consisted of nothing more than a sampler CD with a hefty price tag (Dischord’s wonderful box set stood apart as the sole example of celebration over marketing for some time) but in recent years labels have been somewhat more inventive. Roadrunner produced the mostly excellent Roadrunner United compilation, Nuclear Blast managed a double set (the dark and light sets) and Century Media had established artists covering some of the label’s biggest hits. This is something different however and, as far as I am aware, something that has not been attempted before. A concept album recorded by artists from across the roster, tied together by oneman (Davide Tiso of Ephel Duath) to give the whole thing a seamless feel. That a label might attempt such a thing strains credibility, that it works, and fantastically so, pushes the boundaries of belief even further, but then Code 666 (home to the genuinely astonishing Axis of Perdition amongst others) has never been afraid of taking risks.
    Rather than tie all the artists into a straight jacket, Code 666 gave their artists the task of recording one song (all the tracks had to be original) and then Davide set to work ordering the tracks and linking them with his own twisted industrial pieces. As a result the set works in a similar vein to the Trent Reznor orchestrated soundtracks to natural Born Killers and Lost Highway, with the album having an overall aesthetic of industrial gloom, and indeed the album has a soundtrack feel to it as it progresses seamlessly through moods. Picking highlights is difficult, because there are no weak tracks here, but Void of Silence and Axis of Perdition do, just about, stand out with their two contributions. The real star of the show, however, is Davide whose work on the record is truly outstanding. Bringing together such a mix of artists is not the most enviable of tasks, but here he rises to the occasion with admirable skill creating the ultimate industrial/ambient soundtrack to hell.
    While not the cheeriest of listens, then, ‘Better undead than alive 2’ succeeds where so many other compilations fail by having entirely strong source material, a strong overall link, and it works as an album where you want to sit down and listen to the thing as a whole, rather than skip through for the highlights, a feat not even Roadrunner United pulled off. While you may be new to some, or even all of the artists here, this is an excellent introduction to a label who have burned brightly in the underground scene for ten years and if you do know all the artists then you’ll never find the tracks elsewhere making this a damn near essential purchase. This is a magnificent achievement – here’s to another ten years for the mighty Code 666.
     
  9. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    http://www.fueled-magazine.com/inde...-undead-than-alive&catid=34:reviews&Itemid=53

    85/100

    Band: Various Code666 artists
    Album: Better Undead Than Alica 2
    Label: Code666

    alt


    Review:
    This album should probably be advertised as the ultimate uncomfortable listening experience. Davide Tiso, the man behind the avant-garde Jazz Metal sounds of Ephel Duath, is a strange man but highly creative. He is responsible for the fillers by various artists from the Code 666 camp. Even before you’ve heard anything else, he makes sure that your nightmares are well and truly fulfilled. What he has created could have come from a film set. Bleak imagery abounds. “Been Good” conveys the impression of crumbling run down buildings and hopelessness. It doesn’t get happier than that.

    Mr Tiso’s opener “Well”, an industrial interlude featuring the distorted sounds of experimentation, is the perfect lead into the first of the compilation, Minethorn’s “Icons (of the Cursed Earth)”. This album is impressive on a number of levels, not least the fact that every track is an original recording. The styles vary as the album progresses but Tiso was given the job of making the mix coherent, and this he has done by ordering the tracks, and linking them with his own chilling creations. So Minethorn treat to us to a typically ambient, bleak and languid number in an industrial setting, descending into screams. Our invitation to the sounds of Middlesborough continues with more sweeping industrial darkness from The Axis of Perdition. Tiso then develops the mood with “We Have”, in which the sound of a very grotesque fairground is invoked. Indeed, Diabolicum’s “Salvation through Vengeance” is more about mood than darkness. That comes later. The mood is one of penetrating disturbance. The guitar is simple but judging by the singer’s cries, it’s as much mental as physical. The track which follows, Void of Silence’s “Instrumental Void” is shattering. It is a total immersion of deep and majestic sadness. A change of direction then follows this monumental slab of doom. A Tiso electro-nightmare logically precedes the Electro Goth Metal of Herrschaft. So how do you link this with the Symphonic Black Metal of The Oath? Tiso gets it right every time, here with a bleak and minimalist number. In fact the link is more interesting than the track which makes the noises of Stormlord but isn’t inspiring. The same is true of The Prophecy’s “Adrift”, a nondescript melodic track to begin with before transforming into doom. I found it too lightweight and I didn’t get where it was going. It’s Tiso’s interpretations though which make this compilation really interesting. We’re into Black Metal territory now, and in readiness Tiso produces a scary score for a sci-fi drama with “Worth”. “Cumpana” from Negura Bunget follows. As usual from this Transylvanian band, it’s an impressive piece of dark and atmospheric Black Metal with surprisingly Mediterranean touches of both an upbeat and dirge-like kind and interesting sound effects. Tiso’s “It” beams us across to another planet momentarily, and then to finish is the epic “Twilight Descends (Eulogy)” from the UK’s Fen. It’s 15 minutes of slow and deliberate post doom. Inevitably comparisons will be made with Neurosis, Cult of Luna and Isis et al, but Fen place their own mark on it. The sweeping melancholy is gradually overwhelming, and it ends majestically. This compilation from Code 666 is a great idea and excellent value. Moreover it’s not just a few tracks flung together but a well-constructed work with tracks that you won’t have already because they were specially recorded for this album. Of course the styles, whilst uniformly gloomy in their different way, are disparate and whilst I personally didn’t like everything, most of it I did like and it’s great to hear stuff by bands I didn’t know so well. It’s a great advert for what the label does. Then there are the amazing interludes which were more interesting than the tracks themselves and certainly created a unity as well as reinforcing the dark and disturbing message. All in all, “Better Undead than Alive 2” is a thoroughly absorbing and mind-provoking listen.

    85/100
     
  10. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    http://www.lordsofmetal.nl/showreview.php?id=15840&lang=en

    Various Artists - Better Undead Than Alive 2
    Code 666
    file under Black/pagan metal
    [​IMG]Richard G.: This one goes out to all those lazy compilation makers: THIS is how you do it! The Italian Code 666 label, specialized in experimental extreme music, celebrates its tenth birthday with a very special collector’s item. The artists on their roster were asked to compose a new song exclusively for this compilation. Consequently, Davide Tiso (Ephel Duath mastermind) was asked to provide some instrumental interludes in order to glue all the tracks together smoothly.

    Of course this initiative is extremely admirable, to say the least, but it should be pointed out immediately that all the tracks differ a bit too much stylistically for the CD to achieve its ultimate goal of being a concept album. Not even Tiso’s subtle, unobtrusive transitional bits can change that. Apart from adventurous fans of extreme metal, ‘Better Undead Than Alive 2’ will most probably appeal the most to those fans who collect absolutely everything that their favourite underground band puts out. For instance, illustrious combos like DiabolicuM (razorsharp and raw black metal eruptions) and Void Of Silence (atmospheric ambient doom), who have not been very productive of late, have magnificent contributions. Other personal favourites are the organic nature worshipping black of Negura Bunget and the Agalloch-esque blackened folk by Fen, who contribute no less than fifteen minutes of new music!). The noisy industrial racket produced by DSD, Minethorn and the creeps from The Axis Of Perdition are also highlights in this more than interesting amalgam of Code 666’ers.

    List of participants:
    Minethorn
    The Axis Of Perdition
    DSD
    DiabolicuM
    Void Of Silence
    Herrschaft
    The Oath
    The Prophecy
    Negura Bunget
    Fen
    Rating: 85/100 (details)
    http//www.myspace.com/code666records
     
  11. Emi

    Emi underdog

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  12. dg

    dg Member

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    Hi,
    Here's the review I did for Transit Mag (switzerland). For those who can't read French, it's à good one :)

    COMPILATION | Better Undead Than Alive 2 (2009)
    Code666

    Code666 n’en fait jamais qu’à sa tête. Non content d’avoir lancé des formations aussi improbables et avant-gardistes que Manes, Ephel Duath ou Negura Bunget, l’écurie italienne décide de célébrer ses 10 ans d’existence à sa manière. Là où un label quelconque se serait contenté de sortir une compilation alignant les extraits de ses futures réalisations, Code666 livre ce ‘Better Undead Than Alive 2’, véritable fresque musicale, album conceptuel, écrit par 35 musiciens et orchestrés par Davide Tiso (Ephel Duath). Résultat : un portrait d’une variété infinie mais, paradoxalement, d’une consistance rare. L’indus oppressant de Minethorn, le black dévastateur de Diabolicum, le death-prog chatoyant de The Prophecy, la beauté douloureuse de cet instrumental de Void Of Silence… Mille et une couleurs qui cohabitent en un même tableau, reliées entre elles par les touches ambient, metal ou trip hop de Davide Tiso. Chaque artiste s’est surpassé. Tous livrent une œuvre personnelle et hors-classe, à l’image de la ténébreuse intervention de Negura Bunget (‘Cumpana’) et, plus encore, du somptueux ‘Twilight Descends’ de Fen, monument de 15 minutes où cohabitent black et postrock. [Dave]
     
  13. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    merçi Dave! :headbang:

     
  14. dg

    dg Member

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    Cheers!
    I'm gonna put the Negura BUnget and Kkoagulaa reviews on this forum asap. Just waiting for the next mag issue to be released.
     
  15. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    http://www.metal-temple.com/site/catalogues/entry/reviews/cd_3/v_2/various_artists_20.htm

    Various Artists
    Better Undead Than Alive 2
    by Yiannis Dafopoulos at Yesterday, 2:03 PM


    As the label claims, most of the label compilation released out there are boring and useless, since they only contain tracks from albums that are due to be released, old "best of" tracks, remastered versions of old tracks etc. Code666 decided to do something different in its own compilation and let's not forget that this is their way to celebrate their 1-th anniversary.


    Code666 is an Italian label that specializes in Black Metal, as well as weirder versions of it like Avant Garde etc. The band participating in here wrote these songs exclusively for this compilation and EPHEL DUATH's Davide Tiso was the man to "compose" little tracks that connect the one song to the other. Let's see what we have in "Better Undead Than Alive 2".


    MINETHORN, a Black Metal band with some slight Industrial touches presents "Icons Of The Cursed Earth", a track that is based on its monotonous cold riff and epic atmosphere.


    THE AXIS OF PERDITION, one of the many British bands in this compilation is one more Black Metal band with Industrial touches that are more "audible" this time, that reminded m of acts like BLUT AUS NORD and ABORYM. Not bad, not bad at all…


    DAMNED SPIRITS DANCE? A kind of cliche name, don't you agree? The Hungarian melodic Avant Garde Black Metal sextet delivers something like a hellish version of ARCTURUS. Clever composition with a really solid structure.


    There are not many things to say about DIABOLICUM. The Swedish black metallers have been active since 1994 and it is one of those love or hate bands. With members from SETHERIAL, SHINING and MANES you know that you can expect nothing less than pure Black Metal chaotic madness!


    VOID OF SILENCE is an Italian atmospheric Doom Metal trio, featuring members from bands that have been mentioned above (MINETHORN, THE AXIS OF PERDITION). "Instrumental Void" is exactly what its title describes. An atmospheric instrumental track with a really melancholic and "doomy" essence lurking around…


    HERRSHAFT is a French Industrial act with this more "metalized" sound drawing influences from bands like THE KOVENANT etc. A band that probably appeals to both fans of Metal and dark electronic music.


    One more French band here. THE OATH features DESTINITY's ex drummer Tyrael and is more into Black/Death Metal sounds. Hmmm, probably the most brutal band of this compilation.


    THE PROPHECY… This band is the very first band that amazed me with its exceptional music in this compilation. The British quartet surely knows how to mix brutality with atmospheric parts and delivers something that reminded me of bands like MY DYING BRIDE, OPETH, RIVERSIDE. This Death Metal meets atmosphere meets PINK FLOYD is surely what fits them…


    NEGURA BUNGET. What can I say about these Romanian beasts? They have managed to gain the respect of the underground and "upperground" Black Metal scene with their combination of extreme and progressive Black Metal tunes.


    Last but not least, we have FEN, a pretty fresh band (formed in 2006) that has surprisingly managed to gain attention from many people with their debut EP "Ancient Sorrow" and their debut full-length work "The Malediction Fields" which came out last year. If you are looking for cold mid tempo Black Metal tunes mixed with Post Rock landscapes, then FEN is surely your band. Did I mention they are British, too?


    So, since I am not here to judge the bands, I just want to take a close look at this compilation. Hmmm, Code666's people were right after all. It is surely a unique compilation with talented bands and songs that were written exclusively for this release. The fact that Davide Tiso has helped a lot with the "binding" of this compilation makes it even more beautiful. I guess that people who are into this sound should check it out. Let's not forget that this is probably the best way for someone to get to know Code666 and its bands. I believe I have said enough. No rating here. Let yourself decide…
     
  16. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    http://www.metal1.info/reviews/reviews.php?rev_id=3889

    Zehnjähriges Bestehen mag sich auch für ein Metal-Label nicht übermäßig lang anhören, wenn man jedoch eben nicht der Mainstream-Szene angehört, dann ist so eine Dekade des Durchhaltevermögens durchaus eine Leistung. Code666 hat die Zehnermarke 2009 erreicht und das hauseigene Geburtstagspräsent lieferte man dann etwas verspätet Anfang dieses Jahres mit der "Better Undead Than Alive 2"-Compilation. Ein so monströses Projekt wie es Roadrunner United vormachte konnte man zwar nicht aufbieten - was bei der Verschiedenartigkeit der Bands auch so kaum zu realisieren wäre, wenn man nicht grade mehrere Jahre Arbeit dafür investieren kann - aber trotzdem gibt es genügend Anlass "BUTA2" nicht als eine von vielen Kompilationen abzukanzeln.

    Es handelt sich hierbei nämlich um eine Art Konzeptalbum, bei der DAVIDE TISO (Ephel Duath) dafür sorgte, dass ein gewisser roter Faden über die gesamte Albumlänge vorhanden ist. Zum Einen sind die Songs natürlich soundmäßig überarbeitet worden, so dass nicht gezwungenermaßen der Eindruck entsteht hier handele es sich um eine bloße Aneinanderreihung von Stücken verschiedener Künstler - wie bei stinknormalen Kompilationen eben. Zum Anderen lässt sich anhand der Trackliste erkennen, dass Tiso auch selbst musikalisch zu "BUTA2" beigetragen hat in Form von Überleitungen. Diese gestalten sich je nach kommendem Stück mal mehr gitarrenlastig, elektronisch oder ambientmäßig, sind aber auch nur so maximal 1 1/2 Minuten lang und nicht sonderlich spektakulär; eben nur Überleitungen. Kritikpunkt an dieser Stelle ist, dass es sich einfach zu sehr nach Studioarbeit anhört. Um hinter das lyrische Konzept zu steigen ist übrigens ein wenig Kopfarbeit gefragt, wie Labelchef Emiliano im Interview preisgibt.

    Bei einer vollgepackten Compact Disc mit einer Laufzeit von 79 Minuten bleibt dann abzüglich der Interludes immer noch eine große Menge Platz für jeden einzelnen der zehn Songs der verschiedenen Code666-Bands übrig. Bei der Auswahl achtete man in vielerlei Hinsicht auf Vielfalt, so findet man Label-Veteranen wie NEGURA BUNGET oder VOID OF SILENCE genauso vertreten wie eher kürzlich unter Vertrag genommene Gruppen wie MINETHORN oder DAMNED SPIRITS' DANCE, die 2009 gerade erst ihr Debüt-Album veröffentlichten. Bemerkenswert ist der Beitrag von DIABOLICUM, da die Schweden zuletzt 2001 mit einem Langspieler von sich Reden machten.
    Auf musikalischer Ebene führt der Weg von den düsteren Industrial-beeinflussten Kapellen MINETHORN und THE AXIS OF PERDITION hin zu den abgedrehten Ungarn von DAMNED SPIRITS' DANCE, rüber ins elektronische Lager von HERRSCHAFT und THE OATH und schlussendlich zu den naturverbundenen Black-Metallern NEGURA BUNGET und FEN. Nicht vergessen sollte man, dass Code666 ein Kultlabel für extreme, avantgardistische Musik ist, d.h. die Haupt-Metal-Komponente kommt meist aus der Todes- oder Schwarzmetall-Ecke. Die Briten von THE AXIS OF PERDITION gehen daher wieder mehr in die Richtung des Debüts "The Ichneumon Method" mit ihrem Beitrag - was bei einem einzelnen Stück auch der logische Schritt ist - und auch NEGURA BUNGET gestalteten eines ihrer letzten Stücke in der alten Formation nicht so progressiv wie zuletzt auf "OM", sondern wieder etwas roher. Der "ruhigste" Beitrag stammt von den britischen Doomern THE PROPHECY, die zwischenzeitlich mit Klargesang und Piano-Einsatz punkten. Ein wenig irritiert könnte man zunächst bei "Abstract Emotion" von THE OATH sein, denn der Einstieg erinnert doch ganz schön an Cradle Of Filth, was sich dann aber im Laufe der recht geradlinigen Nummer bald wieder legt. Von gebührendem Ausklingen kann man dann mit Sicherheit bei FENs "Twilight Descends (Eulogy)" sprechen, denn das auf fünfzehn Minuten ausgedehnte Stück lässt sich alle Zeit der Welt um den Spannungshöhepunkt aufzubauen, bevor überhaupt mal die Vocals einsetzen; mit dem Anziehen des Tempos zum Ende des Stückes lässt man dann eventuell gewollt ein imaginäres "To be continued..." im Kopf entstehen. Die Weichen für ein "Better Undead Than Alive III" wären also schon mal gestellt.

    Für sich gesehen ist "Better Undead Than Alive II" ein gelungenes Projekt und ein würdiges Jubiläumsgeschenk an die treuen Label-Fans. Wenn man aber kein solcher Anhänger von Code666 ist, dann muss man schon ein Paar offene Ohren für verschiedenste Stilrichtungen mitbringen. Wer NEGURA BUNGET oder FEN mag, wird eben nicht automatisch auch THE AXIS OF PERDITION oder HERRSCHAFT was abgewinnen können. Insofern geht die Empfehlung für "BUTAII" in erster Linie an Leute, die "labelerfahren" sind oder eben diejenigen, die von der hauptsächlichen Mischung aus Industrial-, Electro-, Death- und Black-Metal mit jeweilig bandeigener Note angesprochen werden könnten. Man darf jedenfalls gespannt sein, wie man die nächste Compilation auf ein neues Level hieven wird, vielleicht wird es dann ja wirklich etwas mit einem zugehörigen Film.
     
  17. Scylth

    Scylth New Metal Member

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  18. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    coooool!!!!! hehehe :lol:
     
  19. Darkcrawl

    Darkcrawl Member

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    Heh...good interview Emi! I like what you said about Urfe. As I bought 2 copies (after loosing one on a British Airways flight), I assume I'm extra-special right? :saint:
     
  20. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    yep, you own half of the copies sold worldwide :lol:
     

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