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"BETTER UNDEAD THAN ALIVE" - Compilation - first reviews

Discussion in 'code666' started by Emi, Jan 5, 2003.

  1. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    here's some of the reviews regarding our new Compilation:


    V/A – BETTER UNDEAD THAN ALIVE (code 666)
    Code 666 (http://www.code666.net) distribution: Audioglobe

    In so many years I’ve listened too many use-less compilation but this one is something completely different, first of all there are a lot of unreleased and exclusive track and the overall quality is impressive. Code 666 have decided to expose its squadron. I’ve already talked about the Aborym outstanding album “With no Human Intervention”, here there’s a rough mix song from that one and a very interesting remix of a song from the previous, a more experimental side of their already creative-destructive Industrial Black Metal, this make me feel that for the future that will surely have the opportunity to develop further. Thee Maldoror Kollective come out with a superb song, a different interpretation of the Industrial darkest side of music, with metal rhythmic elements and keybords\synth. played in a awesome way, a psychotic travel hallucinated by sombre colours.
    I can’t say to be avery excited by Black-Death-Thrash bands but Bloodshed are one of those who have something to say, but after all they’re a bit outside the path of the most innovative band of the label, but if you like that kind of old-style metal aggressive fusion they’re great.
    The Enid song is one of those few that I personally don’t like, there are good ideas but I can’t stand the opera-like choirs, their music is a sort of folkish medieval music, with a very moderate metal hedge, but there are too pauses and the involvment is too frequently broken.
    Negura Bunget is where music become mysticism, an unique band, I simply love their art, they’re a Romanian band to totally support, completely involved in their land spirituality, the unreleased track present here is another example of their excellence, another picture, vision, made in the darkest lands. It’s very sad how the bands that have come from the black metal have regressed to thrash-death clones of past memories, this is a totally different way, Negura Bunget have opened their mind to capture forlorn energies, going to another level…a special band.
    Ephel Duath have been already reviewed and they’re one surprising avant-garde act, here there’s a remastered song from their last, like Atrox, a band that have always followed their emotions and instinct, their “Terrestrialis” is an album that I’ve listened frequently, the unreleased song is a bit more metal and rhythmic, but without losing the psychedelic and creative side of this Norwegian sensation. Aghora are a surprise for me the song start very metal and rhythmic but it’s only a moment, than a new horizon open, and it’s total a avantgarde excellence, like Atrox they bear some psychedelic and progressive elements, here melted with an impressive ability, sometimes I think to Fleurety, but it’s only an idea of mine because they’ve a personal research in their music, this one is a very sophisticated music. There’s a skill-full female singer involved in the large spectrum of their music, a surprise for sure…
    Time ago I’ve listened to some Handeful of Hate material and I wasn’t impressed but this song that I listen here can blow-up the last Dark Funeral form, straight in the face Black Metal powered by very fast and devastating drums and monumental riffs, a storm of holocaust, hope they will keep this quality in the future…
    Void of Silence have something to do with doom metal, but their interpretation is electronic and sometimes influenced by ambient music, it’s like to open eyes in a world of shadows, sad and slow melodies for a feeling that you will not forgive.
    Manes where a black metal band, very sombre and full of extreme sadness, this pre-production song from the very near album that will be released in this year haven’t nothing to do with their past and it’s more suitable to a dance-floor, just listen to the vocals, the better parts are those who have a far contact with their roots, if this is the new face of Manes I think that they will lost the respect of the majority of their past fans, I don’t think that dance-like rhythms and melodies are something cool and experimental, just to say… let’s see if it will be the same with the final result of the album.
    Nothing bad the two Rakoth songs, they play folkish influenced metal with quality, a clean singing sometimes a bit strange but after all original, melting metal riffs with a different sensibility, a band that I will look forward to listen in the future…
    Wait those guys are going to drive me to madness!!! I don’t know what the “hell of scouts” Code-666 have but they’re putting up a deadly assault, Unmorred come here to my hears with a demo-track that show a band about to explode, Death metal, Black Metal played with strength and precision then a brake with an evasive clean-vocal part, to re-start back with they rhythmic side, amazing…a way to express something already done in a fresh way.
    When I listen to Diabolicum it seem to me to have a industrial version of the Setherial Black Metal, the band where also plays of one of its member, nothing bad, it’s surely something interesting, another option to the deadly Aborym-The Maldoror Kollective experimental coldness.
    Abortus aren’t of my taste, the play a typical death-thrash, rhythmically executed, with a mature song-writing for this genre but they aren’t able to express the outstanding emotions that the other band present here do, they’re really old-fashion and probably this is the right band for the right people but sometimes in the fast parts they’re aren’t so impressive.

    What to say after that long journey? This compilation is outstanding and it show very dedicated label that is trying with success to create a trademark of quality, where extreme music doesn’t only means something static…looking forward to hear their future releases.
     
  2. Emi

    Emi underdog

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    from BLACK METAL ONLINE.COM:

    AA.VV.
    Better Undead Than Alive
    Code666
    2002


    E finalmente dopo moltissimi ascolti credo di essere pronto per tentare di recensire questo enorme calderone di materiale altamente prelibato... Dunque, prima delle songs vorrei illustrarvi il contenuto effettivo di questa doppia compilation. Intanto 2 Cd contenenti complessivamente 24 canzoni delle bands sotto contratto (alcune non lo sono più ad oggi) con la Code666, poi una traccia multimediale che è la vera ciliegina su questa abbondante torta! Un live show di 5 tracce in mp3 degli Aghora, altri mp3 di Unmoored, Bloodshed ed un remix degli Ephel Duath. Tutte le biografie accompagnate da fotografie delle bands presenti sulla compilation (15) e dulcis in fundo un video clip dei Negura Bunget girato nel 2001 tra le montagne della Carpazia... Che ne dite? Vi basta?
    Ok, ora parliamo delle songs, tutte di altissimo livello anche se ovviamente non tutte Black Metal. Songs inedite o versioni promo, tutte concatenate tra di loro a formare una vera e propria "colonna sonora" (è così che la Code666 vuole far apparire questo suo gioiello, "The Code666 Official Sound Track"). Compaiono dunque songs di altissimo spessore, come nel caso dei Diabolicum che qui sono presenti con 2 delle loro migliori songs di sempre: "Heaven's Die" e "Thermonuclear XTC", oppure l'inedito degli Aborym "Digital Goat Masque" che comparirà sull'imminente nuovo full lenght della band. E altri brani inediti di Maldoror Kollective, Negura Bunget, Handful Of Hate, Void Of Silence.... Più versioni rimasterizzate di altre songs per tutte le altre bands. Qui non è davvero il caso di fare una recensione track-by-track perchè questo disco ha il suo maggiore punto di forza sull'insieme globale delle songs, una dopo l'altra... Insomma, non si tratta della solita compilation che le case discografiche realizzano come biglietto da visita tanto per dare una visione d'insieme di quelle che sono le "proprie" bands, qui siamo di fronte ad un vero album, farcito di songs fresche, inedite o in nuova veste, più ovviamente tutto quello che vi ho già detto sulla traccia multimediale... Io personalmente sono rimasto davvero molto soddisfatto di questo album che proietta la Code666 ancora più in alto rispetto a molte altre etichette "concorrenti" Italiane. E', cosa molto importante, tutto questo al prezzo di un solo Cd! Beh, decidete voi cosa fare, io non l'avessi ancora comperato non avrei dubbi...
    P.S. C'è anche un mega-concorso segreto all'interno della traccia multimediale... Ma qui non posso dire altro!

    Ultima considerazione sul voto: Per i "True Blackster" non è un ascolto consigliato di certo, per via delle molte songs non Black Metal, ma per tutte le persone che apprezzano questa label ed il lavoro che negli anni sta svolgendo magistralmente è un 99 pieno! Complimenti ai ragazzi della Code666 che ancora una volta ci hanno regalato un grande album!
     
  3. Michele/Xyphias

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    - ohne Wertung / without points- Ein Sampler aus dem Hause Code 666, einem italienischem Label, wie immer ohne Wertung. Die Aufmachung ist sehr nett gemacht, denn es handelt sich um eine Doppel CD.Mit von der Partie sind: Void of silence, Aborym, Diablicum, Thee Mailorder Kollektive, Rakoth, Bloodshed, Enid, Negura Bunget, Handful of Hate, Ephel Duath, Aghora, Atrox, Manes, Unmoored und Abortus. Mir persönlich gefallen am besten Bloodshed und Abortus. Eine schöne Übersicht über das Labelm und deren Bands. Das Booklet ist sehr gut gestalte, auf jede Band wird eingegangen. Schreibt Code 666 an, wenn ihr euch für die oben genannten Bands interessiert bzw, wenn ihr dieser kennenlernen wollt.
    possessed.de
     
  4. Michele/Xyphias

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    BANDNAME : V.A.
    ALBUMTITEL : "Better Undead Than Alive"

    VERÖFFENTLICHUNGSJAHR : 2002
    GESAMTSPIELZEIT : CD 1 : 68:44 / CD 2 : 51:40 / Gesamt : 120:24
    WELTNETZSEITE von CODE 666
    LABEL : code666
    HERKUNFTSLAND : Italien
    FORMAT : Doppel-CD
    BEWERTUNG (1-10 P.) : 8,5


    Es gibt viele Sampler Schlechte, gute, mittelmäßige, kommerzielle, Untergrund-fördernde, völlig überflüssige....Das italienische Label code666 aber wartet, wie auch immer man das Endergebnis werten mag, mit einem ganz neuen Konzept auf. Während vielen Labelsamplern nicht selten etwas Unkritisches, Einseitiges oder Halbherziges anhaftet und sie gar oft nur Promotionszwecken für Magazine, Labels etc. dienen, versuchen die Italiener etwas Neues auf die Beine zu stellen. So ist zum Beispiel schon das, freilich etwas gewöhnungsbedürftige, Cover dieser Doppel-CD-Kompilation im Stile eines Kinoplakates gestaltet, was ein erster Hinweis auf den Soundtrackcharakter des Machwerkes sein soll. Code666 haben nämlich die Idee gehabt, Lieder ihrer Künstler auf insgesamt zwei CDs aneinander zu reihen und dabei ineinander übergehen zu lassen, so dass es jeweils von der Atmosphäre her passt, und so einen finsteren und eigentümlichen Soundtrack zu kreieren. Doch das wäre noch nicht alles. Das eigentlich Interessante dabei ist, dass die Gruppen normalerweise recht unterschiedlichen Musikarten verschrieben sind, wobei das Spektrum von Blackmetal, Industrial(-Blackmetal), Death-Blackmetal, Deathmetal, über Gothicmetal, bis hin zu epischerem "normalen" Metal / Darkmetal reicht. Mit von der Partie sind : ABORTUS, MANES, ABORYM, NEGURA BUNGET, THEE MALDOROR KOLLECTIVE, ENID und viele andere. Wem das noch kein zu Genüge ausreichendes Argument darstellt, sich dieses - zugegeben ungewöhnlich konzipierte - Doppelalbum zuzulegen, den locken code666 mit einigen unveröffentlichten und exklusiven Liedern : VOID OF SILENCE "The Undead Overture", THEE MALDOROR KOLLECTIVE "HOD", ENID "Exemption", NEGURA BUNGET "Vazduh" und HANDFUL OF HATE "Hell's Carnal Scream". Ob das alles in Zeiten der kleinen Geldbeutel und des Veröffentlichungswahns ausreicht um sich das Album zu holen, muss jede selbst entscheiden, zumal man erfahrungsgemäß immer kritisch sein darf, ob denn alles wirklich auf ewig "unveröffentlicht" und "exklusiv" bleibt (obwohl code666 eine sehr glaubwürdige und ehrliche Firma sind). Aber wenn es um die Zusammenstellung, das Konzept und die Qualität der hier vertretenen Tracks geht, dann ist das Album auf jeden Fall eine lohnenswerte und gelungene Sache - zumal man einige Stücke vorerst exklusiv nur hier zu hören bekommt.


    Von: WOLOS
    TWIERDZA
     
  5. Michele/Xyphias

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    VARIOUS ARTISTS (ITALY)
    BETTER UNDEAD THAN ALIVE (68:44 AND 51:40)
    CODE666

    Reviewed by Vincent on January 12, 2003.
    Mail this article to a friend!

    The Italian record label Code666 might not be the best known record label in the Metal world. I had heard bands like ABORYM, BLOODSHED and DIABOLICUM, but that’s where my knowledge concerning this label ended. But with the release of the compilation CD “Better Undead Than Alive”, Code666 allows the Metal world to explore the label’s arsenal.

    And seemingly they did everything possible to offer the buyer of the album as much as possible, as “Better Undead Than Alive” contains 2 CDs with a total of 24 tracks and two hours of material. The songs on the compilation are either remastered album tracks or unreleased material. Take for instance ABORYM that has two tracks on the album: one remix of “Love The Death As The Life” from the “Fire Walk With Us” record, and a preview track from the upcoming “With No Human Intervention” album, due out early 2003. When listening to the compilation it’s rather clear why this band was signed to Code666, because on this recording you’ll find quite a few bands that have a similar sound to ABORYM. At least most bands on the label play Black Metal, and many also use samples in their music. Exceptions to some extent are Death Metallers BLOODSHED and UNMOORED, progressive bands AGHORA and ATROX and the fantastic ENID! The latter band proved to be a revelation to me, with a blend of atmospheric Black Metal and orchestral elements. To give you a brief idea of the band sounds, here's a brief description of the featured bands: VOID OF SILENCE writes atmospheric electronic music, which is the same for MANES! The bands ABORYM, Thee MALDOROR KOLLEKTIVE, NEGURA BUNGET and HANDFUL OF HATE all play raging Black Metal with high-pitched screams and often samples. DIABOLICUM also plays raging Black Metal, but the grunts make the music very interesting. They also use keyboards and samples, but those are well-incorporated in the music. RAKOTH is Black metal, but the folk elements, and instruments likes flutes, as well as clean vocals, screams and grunts make this a very unique and interesting band. Then to BLOODSHED, who are a killer Death Metal band that also takes elements from Black Metal. ENID mixes orchestral elements with Black Metal (nothing like THERION), and sound very diverse and original. EPHEL DUATH, AGHORA and ATROX are all very progressive, the first in the Black Metal genre, the other two more towards Death Metal. Then there’s UNMOORED and ABORTUS left, who both play brutal Death Metal, for UNMOORED also with very dark-sounding keyboards.

    Overall the quality of the bands is impressive, with ABORYM, BLOODSHED, DIABOLICUM, ENID and RAKOTH claiming the prizes of most impressive bands, either through quality or originality. Admittedly, ABORYM also brings the listener the in my opinion worst track, with the overdone remix version of “Love The Death As The Life”, but the preview track shows that the next album of this band might be just as exciting as “Fire, Walk With Us”. Also it should be said that, to my knowledge, two of these bands are not with Code666 anymore: Both RAKOTH and EPHEL DUATH signed to a sub-division of Earache. Still there remains more than enough quality on this label! What of course is striking is the differences in production of the different bands, who obviously have recorded their material in different studios and with different sound settings. Oh, before I forget: CD two is enhanced, and in the PC it will reveal an exclusive NEGURA BUNGET video, as well as information about the label and all the bands! It also shouldn’t go without saying that the booklet of this double CD is excellent, with information on the bands, as well as pictures and web-links!

    Especially for the open-minded Metalheads “Better Undead Than Alive” is well worth checking out, but you have to be able to tolerate the samples and beats in the music of most of the featured bands. The presence of the unreleased and remastered songs makes this album also interesting to obtain… Not to mention the chance that you, like me, will find bands you never heard of before that are pretty damn interesting! And with all the nice features found in the booklet and on the CD-ROM, this is quite possibly the best label compilation in existence!
    (Vampire magazine)
     
  6. Michele/Xyphias

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    V.A. - Better undead than alive
    24 Songs - 120:20
    Code666
    Ja, eigentlich sind Sampler nicht so ganz das Wahre, da man in den meisten Fällen schon einmal gekautes und wiederverdauhtes präsentiert bekommt, aber bei diesem Label Sampler von Code666 sieht das glücklicherweise anders aus, denn hier bekommt man echt was geboten. Nicht nur dass alle Bands vom Label hier vertreten sind und die verschiedensten Stücke beisteuern, es handelt sich in allen Fällen entweder um nie veröffentlichte Songs oder sie wurden zumindest überarbeitet und neu aufgenommen. Und auch die Vielfalt an unterschiedlichen Stilen ist sehr beindruckend, doch nun mal zu jeder einzelnen Band: Void of Silence steuern gleich drei Songs bei und wie immer gehen sie richtig unter die Haut. Die Band versteht es wirklich fantastisch düsteren Industrial zu komponieren und schon der Opener der ersten CD "The undead overture" ist ein wahrer Ohrenschmaus! Diese Band, in der niemand anderes als Malfeitor Fabban von Aborym mitmischt hat meinen höchsten Respekt! Aber auch die eigentliche Band Aborym ist mit zwei Songs vertreten und wer die extremen Italiener kennt, weiss dass einen Black Metal der extremsten und infernalischsten Art erwartet. Aber halt auch extrem gut! Diabolicum kann man meiner Ansicht nach in der Pfeife rauchen, denn auch wenn die beiden Songs eigentlich nicht schlecht sind und vorallem recht düster klingen, komme ich einfach nicht mit dem scheiss Drumcomputer klar! Die Drums klingen wie billige Ravioli Büchsen, sorry! Thee Maldoro Kollektive sind mit zwei Songs vertreten und bieten extremen und sehr atmosphärischen Black Metal, der ziemlich keyboardlastig ist aber dennoch recht anständig klingt. Nicht übel. Rakoth sind da schon eher buntere Vögel und sie passen nicht so ganz zu den anderen vertretenen Bands, aber in Punkto Songwriting stecken sie viele der Bands in die Tasche. Die Songs sind sehr ansprechend und hymnisch, sie kombinieren astreinen Metal mit Instrumenten wie z.B. Flöte. Ebenfalls hervorragend. Zu den absoluten Highlights gehört für mich auf jeden Fall die Death Metal Haudegen Bloodshed, die ja schon mit ihrer MCD so überzeugen konnten. Die Band hat deutlich dazugelernt und liefert hier zwei Songs ab, die es wirklich in sich haben und zu gnadenlosen Ohrwürmern mutieren. Hut ab, freue mich schon auf die nächste CD!! Mit Enid kann ich mich leider nicht so ganz anfreunden, der komische Gesang verschafft mir einen wilden Brechreiz. Sorry, ziemlich überflüssig, vorallem weil sowas gleich hinter Death Metal Perlen wie "Death by hanging" von Bloodshed kommt. Zu Negura Bunget muss ich nicht mehr viel schreiben, natürlich servieren uns die Jungs wieder astreinen Black Metal, der ohne Zweifel überzeugen kann. Ebenso geil finde ich Handfull of Hate, die mit ihrem krassen Black/Death Metal auch voll auf den Putz hauen und bei dem kein Kopf still bleibt. Sehr gut! Ephel Duath sind da schon wieder zu abgedreht, zu ihrer Musik finde ich keinen Hang und vorallem der Bass in diesem Song bringt meine Boxen schon bei niedriger Laustärke zum aufstöhnen. Nenene, diese Band ist für die Füsse. Mit Aghora komme ich auch alles andere als klar, denn der nervenden weibliche Gesang macht mich alles andere als geil. Das trifft auch auf Atrox zu, die mit dem nervenden Weibergesang (sorry für den Ausdruck, aber anders kann man es in diesem Fall net bezeichnen) auch einen Waffenschein benötigen. Zum Glück gibt es ja Void of Silence, die zum Ende der ersten CD wieder alles halbwegs ins rechte Licht rücken. Auf der zweiten CD gibt es dann von fast allen Bands ein zweites Stück zu vernehmen, sowie einen Multimedia Track. Insgesamt also recht gut was man hier vorgeliefert bekommt, ausserdem ist das Booklet sehr schön gestaltet und beinhaltet alles was man über die Bands wissen muss. Anständiger Sampler!
    (ad noctum)
     
  7. Michele/Xyphias

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    Evil Dr. Smith: Kijk ‘es aan, dit is pas een interessante verzamelaar! Normaliter zijn label-samplers maar bar weinig de moeite waard, omdat het een simpele opeenhoping is van diverse CD-tracks. Handig voor de armlastigen, de gematigd geïnteresseerde of als eerste kennismaking, maar voor de wat fanatiekere verzamelaar uitermate onboeiend. Nu timmert Code666 de laatste paar jaar al flink aan de weg met een hele rits spannende releases in het extremere metalwereldje. Men heeft nu gedacht deze op een wat meer spitsvondige wijze dan normaal aan de consument te moeten voorstellen. Zo is het geheel in de stijl van een (horror-)soundtrack gepresenteerd – de grauwige zwartwit-hoes met dat verlaten huis zou zo een ‘still’ kunnen zijn uit Friday The 13th of Evil Dead – en lopen de nummers “geruisvol” in elkaar over. Daarbij staan er diverse unreleased tracks op en pretendeert men dat de overige nummers allemaal nog een extra geremastered zijn (wat dat laatste betreft is me daar weinig van opgevallen).

    En wat krijgt de luisteraar dan een volle 2 uur voorgeschoteld? Exclusieve nummers van de bands Void Of Silence (intrigerende dark wave-vormgevers), Thee Maldoror Kollektive (Italiaanse, maniakale cyber-industrialisten), Enid (Duitse knipoog naar Hollenthon), Negura Bunget (Vlammende vampierenmetal uit…Transylvanië! Judas Iskariot-fans: check this out!), Handful Of Hate (Aardige Italiaanse Cradle Of Pizza), Manes (Noorse ex-black metalveteranen gooien het roer drastisch om), Rakoth (Russische schaakgrootmeesters in de folkblack), Unmoored (Zweedse progblack met Vintersorg-trukendoos) en Atrox (samen met Aghora de vreemde eenden in de op zich al vreemde bijten met een soort van jazzy technometal met zangeres uit resp. Noorwegen en de V.S.). Tevens een demonummer van Bloodshed (giftige Zweedse black-death) en een remix van Aborym (Italiaanse post-blackmetal elektronicafreaks). Van de al uitgebrachte nummers staan er naast een aantal van voornoemde bands ook nog nummers op van Diabolicum (Zweeds: exploderende black metal!), Ephel Duath (Italiaanse industrial black metal van grote klasse welke nieuwe CD binnenkort uitkomt via Elitist), Aghora (die vreemde eend dus) en tenslotte Abortus (thrashy death uit Australië). Nagenoeg alle bands spreken me wel aan, alleen snap ik niet wat het vrij middelmatige deathmetalbandje Abortus nu bij Code666 te zoeken heeft? Ze zijn niet echt slecht, maar nogal middelmatig en dat is nu juist wat absoluut niet past bij het “format” van Code666. Want of je nu een bepaalde Code666-band een hopeloze droge kut met sperzieboon vind of juist een horde geniale ejaculaties: dat is aan eenieder om zelf te beslissen… maar middelmatig is het nimmer! Behalve Abortus dan…

    Ook het bijgevoegde CD-Rom gedeelte is niet misselijk: naast uitgebreide biografieën van alle artiesten staan er diverse niet eerder uitgebrachte tracks op MP3 formaat (waaronder een complete show van Aghora!) en tevens een werkelijk prachtige videoclip van Negura Bunget. En voor de puzzelfreaks zit er ook nog een verborgen spelletje op die CD-Rom. En als je de eerste bent die het weet op te lossen, krijg je voor de rest van Code666’s leven alle releases gratis opgestuurd! Nou, ik natuurlijk zoeken waar dat spelletje verborgen zit! Maar na een uur van m’n leven zinloos te hebben verspild heb ik het maar opgegeven: ik kon dat spelletje niet eens vinden! Laat staan oplossen…

    Evil Dr. Smith diagnostiseert: 80/100
    (lords of metal)
     
  8. Michele/Xyphias

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    VERSCHILLENDE ARTIESTEN
    BETTER UNDEAD THAN ALIVE
    CODE666
    JANUARI 2003
    www.code666.net


    Better Undead than Alive



    Code666 is zondermeer een van de beste platenlabels van dit moment. Het label heeft zich nooit druk gemaakt om trends en heeft de afgelopen jaren verschillende bands voortgebracht die bij andere labels als moeilijk zouden worden omschreven. Echte kaskrakers heeft Code666 dan ook niet voortgebracht, maar wel ontzettend veel en hoge kwaliteit. 'Better undead than alive' biedt een overzicht van wat Code666 allemaal te bieden heeft, al staan er ook verschillende bands op die in de loop der jaren door een groter label werden overgenomen.

    Het aantal niet eerder uitgebrachte nummers is groot. Van de vierentwintig nummers is de helft nog niet eerder op een album verschenen. Voor de overige twaalf nummers geldt dat ze of geremastered zijn. In totaal leverden vijftien verschillende bands nummers aan. Dat betekent dus automatisch dat er verschillende bands zijn die twee keer op deze compilatie staan, het fantastische Void of Silence komen we zelfs drie keer tegen. Omdat Code666 aan allerhande verschillende 'Metal' bands onderdak biedt komen we de meest uiteenlopende dingen tegen. Zo is er de meer extreme (Black, Death, Trash) Metal van bands als Aborym, Diabolicum, Handful of Hate, Unmoored en Abortus. Daartegenover staan experimentele bands Ephel Duath, Negura Bunget, Three Maldoror Kollektive en Manes. Of wat te denken van Rakoth, Atrox en Enid? Standaard Metal komen we eigenlijk helemaal niet tegen bij Code 666. Elke band heeft iets unieks, iets aparts, maar daardoor vaak ook iets ontoegankelijks. Mooiste voorbeeld van een Code 666 band is Void of Silence. Niet alleen verzorgde Void of Silence het intro en het outro van het album, Void of Silence staat met "The ultimate surpreme intelligence" ook nog eens garant voor het langste nummer (9.54). Verder nog een complimentje voor de twee fantastische songs van het mij nog onbekende Enid, waarop Metal, Gothic en Klassiek wel heel mooi samenkomen. Cd 2 heeft trouwens een hele aardige cd-rom track, een leuk extraatje op een uitstekende verzamelaar van waarschijnlijk het meest vooruitstrevende label van dit moment.



    8,5

    Ate Hoekstra

    19-01-03
    (gothcore.nl)
     
  9. Michele/Xyphias

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    V/A 9

    Better Undead Than Alive

    Code666

    Within three hours of various sonic scapes the most awe-inspiring moment was of course to touch the new Manes. The wait was simply too long to expect something as brilliant as their old tunes were, but the result has surpassed any predictions, actually. To put it short: they would have better renamed the band. New music might be good by its own, not sure yet, moreover that it is just one single track and not any finished product, but hell yeah: it has nothing to do with that Manes we all adored. I hope that interview in our #2 at least a bit revealed the old manifestation of them… I’m curiously looking for their new album though.

    Oh yeah, it is right about the exceptionality of this label compilation. Effort of both label and its bands is evident. Lots of exclusive contributions or at least reworked tracks, and label has put a hand presenting the whole crew in an intelligent multimedia vision, including bunch of unreleased mp3 material and Negura Bunget video. So, anybody who wishes to check what the hell is that Code666 needs just to get this double CD a spin, and it is more than enough. All the artists that are signed by them at the moment are presented. Well, Rakoth and Ephel Duath have left the label already, but they were a very important part of the whole anyway, up until now. I’d better utter few words on those new bands within their ranks, as others are well familiar to you I believe. Unmoored still serve a doze of heavy weighted Swedish Death and prove to make it with taste. I guess they have improved through years and almost rid off Hypocrisy label over them. Handful Of Hate is another seasoned band that has knocked at Code666 doors. Their stellar fast Black Metal quite impress as well – forget those untight tryouts of them earlier. To sum the whole experience up, I guess to enjoy the entire roster of the label you must be an idiot or a genius, as music is very diverse and quite shocking at times. So, this whole compilation idea is more like an utopia, heh? Well, yes and no. It truly manifests their nonconformistic way what is always thumbs up thing. But I’d rather check these bands one by one, not to fuck up the mind completely!

    ledo takas
     
  10. Michele/Xyphias

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    V.A.

    Better Undead Than Alive

    Double CD

    68:42 min

    51:38 min

    Code666 / SPV



    Not bad for a record company compilation, not bad at all! Code666 put together 24 more or less unreleased songs (rough mixes, rare tracks and exclusive stuff) that are supposed to create an album that also works as a unit – despite all those different bands. And, indeed, the music is floating – every new song neatly fits in its place. The sampler features bands such as ABORYM, RAKOTH, BLOODSHED, MANES, NEGURA BUNGET or AGHORA (feat. CYNIC members Sean Reinert and Sean Malone). A broad variety from (Industrial) Black or Death Metal over sort of Folk and Medieval Metal to jazzy Progressive Metal. My faves are the proggies AGHORA and ATROX (both with female vocals), THEE MALDOROR KOLLEKTIVE, ENID (a bit like FALCONER), VOID OF SILENCE and NEGURA BUNGET. You see, the list is getting longer and longer while I’m typing. That’s because there is something for almost every mood, besides, the sampler puts you into the right mood anyway, you don’t have a choice. Finally, the second CD contains a multimedia section like a complete MP3 live performance by AGHORA in Florida, a NEGURA BUNGET video shot in the Carpathian Mountains in 2001 and a hidden game (haven’t found it yet). The first one to win the game gets a free life-time subscription of all the code666 releases! The more I listen to ‘Better Undead Than Alive’ , the more I use the multimedia section and the more I think about it, the more I’m sure I can recommend this compilation to you whole-heartedly. In case you’re a little open-minded in terms of Metal you’ll recognize that code666 do have a couple of jewels that avoid the paths of the masses.

    www.code666.net

    Ramon Claassen
    (voices from the darkside)
     
  11. Michele/Xyphias

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    A soundtrack ? From a label ??? I guess a lot of people will look pretty weird out of their socks. But hey ... it’s damn true! Instead of producing a typical label sampler with advanced tracks of upcoming releases which has to been thrown into the throats of the staff writers CODE666 comes up with something really special:
    All their label bands (except NORDVARGR) got compiled to a soundtrack. The transitions are smoothly and all the different styles of the band got chosen very excellent and combined well so that it sounds like of a piece. On Better Undead Than Alive you will only find unreleased and exclusive tracks as well as re-mastered rare album or demo versions and advanced tracks from upcoming albums. And if it’s not enough, you will also find an extensive multi media part on the second CD with information to all bands, an exclusive video from NEGURA BUNGET, photos and special mp3’s. Of course the cover and booklet got illustrated very well and fitting to the theme of the soundtrack. Every band owns an own site to present themselves.
    A really exceptional matter!
    Better Undead Than Alive starts out with the dark metaller VOID OF SILENCE who have exclusively written an intro – The Undead Overture (CD1) and an outro – Undead Manifesto (CD2) for this soundtrack. Atmospheric, sick, great! Besides you will also find a re-mastered version of The Ultimate Supreme Intelligence you can find on their current album Criteria Ov 666 (9,5 of 10 points on NH). Of course it was especially interesting how VOID OF SILENCE sound nowadays with a new singer. Well … Malfeitor Fabban’s voice is hard to replace.

    ABORYM already present with Digital Goat Mask a black metallic tidbit to their brand new album With No Human Intervention, due on 27th January. In addition they gave us an unreleased Remix of Love The Death As The Life RMX.

    DIABOLICUM also present themselves with 2 re-mastered album versions Heaven’s Die from The Dark Blood Rising (2001) and Thermonuclear XTC from The Killing Spree compilation.

    The industrial hopefuls THEE MALDOROR KOLLECTIVE serve us with HOD an to date unreleased and exclusive track and a revised version of Xaos DNA Released from their current album New Era Viral Order (7,5 of 10 points on NH).

    The Russian Avantgarde metaller RAKOTH first please us with a new version of Return Of The Nameless from the Jabberworks album and server us later with L’Honglath a brand new unreleased and exclusive track.

    The next appetizers are the Swedish Black / Death crusher BLOODSHED who zap a re-mastered version of Death By Hanging from their current album Inhabitants Of Dis (6,5 of 10 points on NH) around our ears and a revised version of Act Of Retaliation from their second and sold out demo Laughter Of Destruction. That’s a rare track!

    Of course the German fantasy metaller ENID are not missed as well and present with Exemption a brand new track you will find on their upcoming album which is set for a March release. And this track promises a significant progression to their current album Seelenspiegel from which comes Land Of The Lost as re-mastered version.

    The new Black Metal gods from Transylvanian NEGURA BUNGET give us with Vazduh not only an unreleased track but also an exclusive video which you can find in the multimedia part on CD2. Their brand new album N‘ Crugu Bradului due on 27th January gained fat 9,5 of 10 points on NH!

    Code666 new entrant HANDFUL OF HATE give their tryst with Hell’s Carnal Scream an unreleased track. Their label debut is titled Vicecrown and set for an early summer release. So fans of technical Black Metal watch out!

    EPHEL DUATH just contribute one re-mastered track – Embossed - from their Phormula album, released back in 2000. The band is currently working on their new album titled The Painter’s Palette upcoming soon via Elitist Records.

    The American Dark / Progmetaller AGHORA serve us an unreleased live version of Immortal Bliss you also can find in the multimedia section.

    The Norwegian Schizo’s ATROX recently signed over to code666. Since their 2 previous albums were been extremely Progmetal-driven, their brand new unreleased exclusive track Dead End sounds way more straighter. Monikas voice stays even in the background and just supports male singing!!! Now I’m really excited about their new album, which should be released soon. Besides there is also a re-mastered version of Lay from their sophomore Terrestrial.

    MANES … well, it’s impossible to describe this band. The music must been heard! Redeemer is an advanced pre-production song you will probably find on their upcoming album titled Vilosophe.

    Last but not least the Death / Thrasher ABORTUS from the land of the kangaroos finish the round dance of the bands. The re-mastered version of Dollar Signs Smile comes from their brand new album Process Of Elimination.

    Upshot: It’s an absolutely great idea to present label bands in this way. Already the idea is worth to give 10 points. Well, I have to concede the re-mastered album version don’t differ that dramatically from the original versions. But it doesn’t greatly matter. In fact all these unreleased and exclusive tracks or rare re-mastered live / demo versions are the icing on the cake. Those who like one of these code666 bands should definitely purchase this soundtrack! It’s worth it!!!
    NocturnalHall
     
  12. Ebullition

    Ebullition New Metal Member

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    This is without the very best label sampler that I have ever heard!!!! There are so many good tracks on it!! As soon as I have money again I'm going to order a few of those albums that represented on their. (Enid, Rakoth, Void of Silence & Aborym)
    The songs that stand out the most for me are Enid - Land of the lost.
    The Thermonuclear XTC song by Diabolicum is very haunting, every time I hear it I feel like cutting myself open (that's positive because that means that the song is getting to me on some level).
    Musicly I like the new Manes sound, but I don't really like the sound of the voice.

    Well, I gotta listen to this disc some more. Thanks ofor the promo's I'll distribute them as soon as possible among (radio)-DJs and some local zine's

    wow, this disc, I listend to disc #2, is still haunting me now even tho it stopped playing 20min ago!
     
  13. Michele/Xyphias

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    I admit to having very little exposure to Italy’s Code666 roster prior to listening to Better Undead Than Alive. Being familiar with only a handful of bands from Code666, it was with skepticism that I listened to this thorough compilation. Before I describe each band individually, I must say that this compilation is one of just a few that I can actually listen to from beginning to end. For me, label compilations are always disappointing in that they usually consist of the most accessible track from each band, making the listener believe that the entire album from each band must sound similar. Better Undead Than Alive avoids this tag and is an entire beast altogether. Not only are the packaging and presentation of the compilation like that of a movie soundtrack, but also the music itself runs together as one track. As soon as one song ends, the next begins, giving off a certain “one-ness” to the aura of the two CD’s. All the songs are either unreleased, exclusive tracks or have been re-mastered strictly for this compilation. Inside the booklet you will find a description of each band presented with a style definition, line-up information and a homepage URL. Also found within the booklet is a brief summary of Better Undead Than Alive written by label manager Emilio Lanzoni. In this well written dialogue, he states his intents and purposes with Code666 and also tells about the secret game hidden inside the multimedia track of Negura Bunget’s “Vazduh” video. The first one to solve this “game” wins a free subscription to receive all Code666 releases- past, present, and future. Now lets break these bands down, yo! Remember, a lot of these band reviews are based on one or two songs.
    Handful of Hate plays unrelenting fast-paced black metal. I am usually not a fan of this sort of music, but “Hell’s Carnal Scream” actually kept me interested. I can’t imagine myself listening to a full album of this sort of stuff. However, Handful of Hate will certainly please those who continually cry for Emperor’s old days. The main difference being that you can actually discern what each instrument is doing in “Hell’s Carnal Scream”. Fanatics of old school black metal will find something special in Handful of Hate’s upcoming album.
    I am having a hard time pinpointing Ephel Duath. Existing in the nether-regions between Solefald and old Fleurety, Ephel Duath is, if anything, original. Whether that’s good or not, is entirely up to the listener. If I were to judge Ephel Duath on this one song (“Embossed”), I would not be hunting for releases by this band any time soon. I would recommend Ephel Duath to fans of avantgarde weirdness and for metal listeners looking for someone different for their collection.
    Aghora is fantastic. All should hunt down their self-titled debut. Combining Cynic/Gordian Knot technicality with soothing female vocals, Aghora creates a whirlwind of activity with “Immortal Bliss”. Expect Aghora’s upcoming release, Formless, to floor critics and cynics alike.
    Atrox is not for me. This is off-the-wall nutty music. “Lay” features odd female vocals on top of weird drum patterns. “Dead End” is much more accessible, but still, not my thing. The male vocalist sounds strained and constipated. I can see where Atrox can relate to many listeners, but compared to the other bands presented here, Atrox will not be on my “to get” list any time soon.
    Here we go! Some brutal pummeling death metal. Being a huge fan of this genre, I’m surprised Unmoored escaped my sight for so long. With demonic death growls and a better than average clean voice, combined with heavy riffing and constant blast beats, Unmoored don’t offer anything new. However, when a common type of music is played this well, who can complain? Needless to say, I will seek Unmoored’s future Code666 album out. Sounds like a winner!
    For you death-thrash fanatics out there, Abortus should kick your ass. Like Unmoored, Abortus don’t really offer any originality, but if “Dollar Signs Smile” is any indication, Process of Elimination will give you a boner. Certainly worth a look.
    Russia’s Rakoth sounds like a poor man’s Cruachan. Clean vocals, a flute, some badly placed growls, and slow-paced guitars and drums are abound here. Nothing ever happens though. “Return of the Nameless” is just boring. I love folk metal ala Cruachan and to some extent, Waylander. “L’Honglath (facing the clam)” isn’t that bad, but would have been more effective if it was void of all vocals.
    Anyone who has read my review of Seelenspiegel knows that I like Enid. However, the unreleased track, “Exemption”, does absolutely nothing for me. This song is based more in the classical spectrum than metal. Enid shines when they combine both metal and classical, and not alienating one or the other. “Land of the Lost”, on the other hand, shows what Enid is capable of. If you are not familiar with Enid, judge them on “Land of the Lost”, and ignore “Exemption”. I see good things in Enid’s future if they stick to what they do best.
    Alright! Some more death metal, but this time with a little black metal feel. Bloodshed could easily be compared to The Fourth Dimension or Abduction era Hypocrisy. Which is a good thing! Solid riffing, strong vocals, and a good sound are what Bloodshed is about. I would recommend this band for those that can’t get enough of the death/black hybrid.
    Black metal now has a new driving force called Negura Bunget. Primitive black metal from Transylvania is what Negura Bunget has on tap. Although not sounding too primitive, “Vazduh” certainly warrants fans to seek out this band’s albums, past, present, and future. Expect their upcoming album, ‘N crugu bradului, to have a considerable impact upon the metal scene.
    The entity known as Void of Silence dominates the compilation with three songs. That’s not to say they are the best band presented. Like I said, this compilation works like a soundtrack, and Void of Silence’s music is perfect for opening and closing a movie. Slow, melancholic, ambient, and cold. This is music for the manic depressed on the brink of suicide. Bring out the razors!
    Post black metal is an acquired taste. Aborym is ample proof of that, as one cannot grasp this band with simply a few listens. “Digital Goat Mask” shows the progression of the band since the modern classic Fire Walk With Us! If you haven’t heard Aborym, then you are just plain sad. With No Human Intervention will make all other black metal bands look foolish. Look no further than Aborym for perfect black metal.
    “Heavens Die” convinced me to buy Diabolicum’s The Dark Blood Rising, and I was not disappointed in the least. So similar, yet so different from Aborym, Diabolicum incorporate industrial/techno beats with black metal aesthetics to create a sonic landscape of brutality and pain. Their upcoming album is on my “Highly Anticipated” list. Diabolicum is one of two serious contenders of overtaking Aborym’s throne.
    The other contender is Thee Maldoror Kollective. “Xaos DNA Released” is a killer song, and one of the best from New Era Viral Order. Forget Thorns, Dodheimsgard and Satyricon; get the real shit like Aborym, Diabolicum, and Thee Maldoror Kollective.
    Lastly, we have Manes. With only one song on this entire compilation that will be included on their upcoming Code666 release, Vilosophe, they manage to steal the show. Apparently, Manes used to be a harsh black metal band. One wouldn’t think it by listening to this song. Powerful clean vocals, strong guitars, industrial beats, and eerie synths make this song the biggest surprise of the lot. Needless to say, I am eagerly awaiting Vilosophe.
    So there you have it. Better Undead Than Alive ranks among the most professional, thorough, and just plain entertaining label compilations I’ve had the pleasure of hearing. It was an excellent introduction to many bands I had never heard of. Without it, Unmoored, Diabolicum, Thee Maldoror Kollective, Negura Bunget, and Manes would have gone unnoticed. This compilation gets my rare highest recommendation. Now if I can only find that damn game….

    -Dreamlord
    AppropriateApocalypse
     
  14. Michele/Xyphias

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    Come si affretta a precisare il 'Code666 exectuive producer' Emiliano Lanzoni, nel booklet che accompagna questa uscita, le raccolte solitamente nascono più come mezzi promozionali che non come oggetti indirizzati ai fans. Ma si dice anche che "Better Undead than Alive" rappresenta un'eccezione alla regola, e ci sentiamo di sottolineare questa affermazione.
    L'impegno profuso dalla label è stato incentrato alla raccolta di advanced track, brani inediti e rimasterizzati di tutte le formazioni che occupano la già rilevante scuderia nostrana, e alla presentazione degli stessi attraverso un mixaggio teso a creare un trait d'union fra tutte le composizioni. L'apertura e la chiusura di questa traccia che sfiora i 120 minuti di musica è affidata ad uno dei gruppi portanti dell'etichetta: i Void of Silence presentano una intro ed outro inediti, oltre che una versione di "The The Ultimate Supreme Intelligence". Nonostante il minutaggio contenuto, i due pezzi presentano tutta che ha caratterizzato l'ultimo "Criteria ov 666".
    Segue un brano di quello che sarà uno degli album più discussi di questo 2003: "Digital Goat Mask" è il brano selezionato per presentare "With No Human Intervention", nuovo lavoro degli Aborym.
    Dopo alcune buone versioni rimasterizzate - tra le quali spiccano quelle di Rakoth e Aghora - l'attenzione ricade sull'inedito degli Enid, il cui genere rimane sempre piaceovlmente originale, e degli Handful of Hate, dal cui esordio su Code è necessario attendersi qualcosa in più di quanto qui proposto.

    Un'attesa spasmodica circonda il nuovo lavoro di Manes, leggenda norvegese recentemente accasatosi presso l'etichetta di Imola, e proprio su questa compilation abbiamo l'occasione di coglierne un'anticipazione.
    Tutti coloro che avevano amato l'originale black metal proposto su "Under ein blodraud maane", rimarrà sicuramente stupito ascoltando "Radeemer", una electro song sorretta da uno spiazzante EBM, tra l'altro non esaltante.
    Molto più incoraggiante è la proposta dei norvegesi Atrox, una band che ha cercato di creare una formula alternativa, proponendo un gothic metal variamente contaminato e libero di muoversi fra i generi. Altra formazione sulla quale si punta per questo 2003 sono gli Unmoored, il cui sound - sicuramente più tradizionale - potrebbe sicuramente interessare tutti gli amanti del thrash made in Sweden.
    Ultima annotazione va all'ottima realizzazione della traccia multimediale, inserita all'interna del secondo cd per fornire una ricco ventaglio di informazioni riguardo al roster, e per proporre unenigma, la cui risoluzione consentirà al vincitore di ottenere per sempre l'intera discografia dell'etichetta.

    Lo sforzo elargito dai ragazzi della Code666 per realizzare una compilation fuori dagli schemi appare evidente, come quello di voler tracciare una strategia commerciale che cerca di combinare originalità e qualità.

    (music boom)
     
  15. Russell

    Russell __

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    Various Artists – Better Undead Than Alive
    code666 code16 2003
    By Russell Garwood

    To quote code666 manager Emi, “usually a record label compilation is not that interesting for the fans”, an unfortunate truth shattered by “Better Undead Than Alive”. code666 have managed to produce a debut compilation with so many special features and unreleased tracks it is hard to know where to begin. A double album, CD two has a multimedia section with an exclusive Negura Bunget video, information on the label’s roster, and MP3’s of remixes, unreleased tracks and an entire live set from Aghora. Additionally, hidden within the section is a secret game linked to the labels past, its website and the compilation’s cover art. The first person to send Emi the correct solution will win all the Italian label’s past, present and future releases – for life.

    Of course, from code666 the music is excellent, and half the songs on the two CD set are previously unreleased. The remainder are re-mastered album tracks and all serve as great introductions to the groups concerned. The label’s roster includes names like Ephel Duath, Aborym, Rakoth, Enid, Atrox and Aghora, so, while much of the music is black metal based, the ground covered varies greatly. My favourite tracks include the dreamy, epic mediaeval metal of Enid’s unreleased “Exemption”, an emotional live version of Aghora’s Immortal bliss, the ice-cold post black metal of thee MaldoroR Kollektive’s “Xaos DNA Released” and an unreleased Rakoth track “L’Honglath (Facing The Clam)”. These are personal favourites, however, and the high quality is maintained throughout.

    For those new to code666 this compilation is essential to familiarise yourself with one of the foremost contemporary avant-garde metal labels. If you have their entire back catalogue, this compilation is still well worth having for all the exclusive extras. Truly an unusual and exceptional compilation, other record companies take note!

    :)

    I could have gone on for hours but I thought maybe it was better to cut it down a bit incase people didn't bother reading all of it :lol:
     
  16. Michele/Xyphias

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    Code666 beehrt uns hier mit einem Sampler, der einen Überblick über die Bands des italienischen Labels schaffen soll. Beteiligt sind an dieser Compilation unter anderem "Aborym", "Diabolicum", "Thee Maldoror Kollective", "Rakoth", "Bloodshed", "Manes", "Enid" und "Void Of Silence", sprich fast nur Black Metal Combos, wobei vor allem die beiden letztgenannten Bands mit ihren Beiträgen hervorstechen.
    Die eine Hälfte der Songs sind unveröffentlichte, der Rest besteht hauptsächlich aus remasterten Tracks. Davon sind viele exklusiv nur auf dieser Sammlung erhältlich. Auf Disc 2 findet man zusätzlich noch einen Multimedia Track, in den jede Menge Informationen bezüglich des Labels und der Bands und andere Sachen gepackt wurden, wie z.B. exklusive Fotos, eine komplette Live-Aufnahme der Band "Aghora" oder das bisher nicht erschienene neue Video zu "Vazduh" von "Negura Bunget" u.v.m.
    Wer sich über das Schaffen der Italiener und deren Bands informieren will, der kann hier ruhigen Gewissen zuschlagen.
    TF
    (heavy hardes)
     
  17. Michele/Xyphias

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    Buonissima l'idea della Code666 di far uscire questa favolosa compilation (doppio cd al prezzo di uno), inoltre molto originale e azzeccata la scelta di presentare questa compilation come la propria colonna sonora (infatti tutte le canzoni sono collegate tra di loro senza una minima interruzione).
    I gruppi che hanno partecipato sono: Void Of Silence,Aborym,Diabolicum,Thee Maldoror Kollective,Rakoth,Bloodshed,Enid,Negura Bunget,Handful of hate,Ephel duath,Aghora,Atrox,Manes,Unmored e Abortus.
    In entrambi i cd sono presenti tracce inedite,rimasterizzate...insomma tutte perle...ed inoltre nel secondo cd è presente anche una traccia multimediale dove potrete trovare un sacco di mp3, pezzi live,bio, foto inedite di tutti i gruppi sopra elencati, la traccia video dei rumeni Negura Bunget e per concludere un gioco nascosto che vi permetterà di partecipare al concorso della code666 ( il primo che lo risolverà, avrà diritto a ricevere GRATIS tutti i cd che sono usciti e che usciranno per Code666...vedete un po voi!!!)
    Per fortuna non siamo davanti alla solita noiosa compilation che non mostra niente di nuovo ma ci troviamo di fronte ad una grande lavoro innovativo e originale!
    Sono da sottolineare le ottime prestazioni di tutti i gruppi soprattutto quelle di Void Of Silence,Aborym,Diabolicum e Manes.
    Tutto ciò conferma che la nostrana code666 si sta muovendo ottimamente senza sbalgiare nemmeno un colpo.
    (extremezine)

    The young italian label code666, interested in the darker side of metal music and in all kind of experimantations, now decided to publish this compilation which features all the bands in its roster. It ranges from the most important bands of the label such as the post blackster Aborym, Thee Maldoror Kollektive, Ephel Duath and the great Void Of Silence (the elite of the Italian Post Black Metal bands) going through the fresh proposal of original bands such as Enid or Rakoth, or the gothic metal of Atrox and Aghora, to the Death Metal of Unmoored and Abortus […]"We are planning this release since the very beginning of the label, this means an hard work for us and our bands to create this double CD, with the constant aim to compose the first "code666 soundtrack"…as you'll notice, all the songs are linked together in one long track for each CD, and each tune spot has been carefully selected to fit the mood of the whole soundtrack "[…]

    That was the aim of the creators of that compilation as they tell us inside the CD’s booklet. It was an ambitious aim indeed, and, in my opinion, they achieved it. All the songs are in fact well linked between each other, even if the genres are often pretty different: how to link an Aborym blasting song to a gothic track from Atrox? Anyhow, the positioning of the tracks is well structured, avoiding harsh matchings, and the overall impression is of a really complete soundtrack.
    Obviously the strong point of the compilation are the bands, whose average quality is really high, and the songs that we can find are not only good remasterings of some album original, but we can also find many unreleased songs written purposely for this compilation. Moreover, in the CD2 we can find a ROM track with a huge multimedia section with all kinds of information on the bands, a video, pictures, songs, hidden games and so on, which gives the compilation an additional value. I find it a really good product, capable of offering an overlook on the label roster and of giving some good moments of good music. I don't know the selling price of this double CD, but if it isn’t too high, I suggest to give it a try.

    I will finish my review using, once again, the contribute of the written words of Emiliano Lanzoni, Label Manager:
    "Usually a Record-label Compilation is not that interesting for the fans, I know…It's just a promotional tool, mainly directed to the Businnes Partners instead of being an appealing product for the fans. But ther are some exceptions of course, and "Better Alive Than Dead" is one of those."

    metalstorm.ee
    review by Sephiroth

    I've been working with this upstart label for a little bit since Summer of 2002 and I enjoy what they are doing as far as finding bands that are really obscure or different in some way compared to some of the other European and American labels. This compilation is 2 CD's long, 24 tracks and a truckload of bands from the Code666 roster. Some of the bands included are Void Of Silence, Aborym, Thee Maldoror Kollective, Enid, Aghora, Atrox, Unmoored, Manes and Bloodshed. The company carefully selected these songs as they wanted to do a total concept on both cd's as if it were a movie soundtrack; works pretty well and amazingly they do fit together in a way.

    The other few things that make this release a grand purchase is that alot of these songs are unreleased, new takes from past album releases, demo tracks, and rough mixes of advance upcoming material from the label. The main ingredient on most of these bands lies in the vein of Black Metal, Death Metal or Industrial or in some cases, many of each and quite a few of these bands sound really ahead of their time and "futuristic" using Techno, Trance, Darkwave, Goth and sound samples from movies or spoken word; quite a listening experience once you hear 3 or 4 of these bands from the start.On a final note is the multimedia section where Code666 have hidden a game you can play and you have to beat the game! What do you win, you ask? A lifetime's worth of all Code666 releases (pretty much if the label fizzes out before you die, the promotion is over or vice versa). Well worth checking into this compilation to hear the future of brutal, extreme Metal and seeing if you can solve the game and prove being undead is just as fun as being alive.
    (quintessence metal webzine)

    Non vi fate distrarre da quella etichetta, "Transilvanian Black Metal", non sta a indicare i soliti gruppi che mettono una mignotta in copertina e scrivono due stronzate sui vampiri. I Negura Bunget provengono dalla Transilvania, e sono l'esempio di come solo chi ha una scintilla dentro può trasportare in musica le sensazioni che il vivere a contatto con un particolare paesaggio può dare. Ascoltate questo album e provate a chiudere gli occhi: vi troverete anche voi trasportati tra i Carpazi, tra paesaggi che lasciano a bocca aperta e passagg invalicabili che celano segreti di ogni tipo. Quasi un'ora per quattro pezzi, un concept album che racconta le quattro stagioni e il loro passare, con i relativi influssi sulla vita umana. Una scelta che si potrebbe anche etichettare come trita e ritrita, basti pensare ai Dream Theater, ma cerchiamo di non confondere l'acqua delle fogne con quella cristallina e fresa delle fonti. I Negura Bunget intraprendono il loro viaggio mistico utilizzando un sound tutto loro, fatto di raw black metal, ritmi folk, tastiere e strumenti fuori dagli schemi. Attenzione, niente pezzi ipersinfonici, orchestrali o simili, in questo caso questi strumenti sono utilizzati solo per esaltare alcuni momenti, non per ammorbare l'ascoltatore. La caratteristica principale della band rumena rimane il black metal grezzo ma suonato con una perizia spaventosa, e dando vita a un sfera caotica fatta di momenti eterei e momenti brutali che si rincorrono come due calamite impazzite. Sembra incredibile, eppure questo trio riesce a suonare con una tecnica spaventosa ma senza sembrare un band prog!! Forse questo aspetto è quello che maggiormente me li fa accostare a una grande band che ha questa stessa capacità, ovvero i norvegesi Forgotten Woods (ora Joyless), l'unica alla quale posso avvicinare in qualche modo i Negura Bunget, che però vivono decisamente di vita propria. Sono rimasto sbalordito, possedevo il loro precedente "Maiastru Sfetnic" che già presagiva a un certo tipo di sound, ma il risultato ottenuto con questo "'N Crugu Bradului" è decisamente oltre qualunque aspettativa terrena. Un acquisto obbligatorio, e se considerate che il disco sarà disponibile sotto forma di digibook cartonato fatto a mano dalla band e contenente una foglia dell'albero sotto il quale sono stati concepiti i pezzi, capite che si tratta di un vero e proprio oggetto da collezione. Ennesimo plauso alla Code666, capace di scommettere su band sconosciute ma di caratura incredibile. SALA MOLSKA!!!

    Pesten

    (gate of metal)
     
  18. Michele/Xyphias

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    sorry, a Negura review added beside the compilation....
    better go sleeping for a while....
     
  19. Michele/Xyphias

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    A soundtrack ? From a label ??? I guess a lot of people will look pretty weird out of their socks. But hey ... it’s damn true! Instead of producing a typical label sampler with advanced tracks of upcoming releases which has to been thrown into the throats of the staff writers CODE666 comes up with something really special:
    All their label bands (except NORDVARGR) got compiled to a soundtrack. The transitions are smoothly and all the different styles of the band got chosen very excellent and combined well so that it sounds like of a piece. On Better Undead Than Alive you will only find unreleased and exclusive tracks as well as re-mastered rare album or demo versions and advanced tracks from upcoming albums. And if it’s not enough, you will also find an extensive multi media part on the second CD with information to all bands, an exclusive video from NEGURA BUNGET, photos and special mp3’s. Of course the cover and booklet got illustrated very well and fitting to the theme of the soundtrack. Every band owns an own site to present themselves.
    A really exceptional matter!

    Better Undead Than Alive starts out with the dark metaller VOID OF SILENCE who have exclusively written an intro – The Undead Overture (CD1) and an outro – Undead Manifesto (CD2) for this soundtrack. Atmospheric, sick, great! Besides you will also find a re-mastered version of The Ultimate Supreme Intelligence you can find on their current album Criteria Ov 666 (9,5 of 10 points on NH). Of course it was especially interesting how VOID OF SILENCE sound nowadays with a new singer. Well … Malfeitor Fabban’s voice is hard to replace.

    ABORYM already present with Digital Goat Mask a black metallic tidbit to their brand new album With No Human Intervention, due on 27th January. In addition they gave us an unreleased Remix of Love The Death As The Life RMX.

    DIABOLICUM also present themselves with 2 re-mastered album versions Heaven’s Die from The Dark Blood Rising (2001) and Thermonuclear XTC from The Killing Spree compilation.

    The industrial hopefuls THEE MALDOROR KOLLECTIVE serve us with HOD an to date unreleased and exclusive track and a revised version of Xaos DNA Released from their current album New Era Viral Order (7,5 of 10 points on NH).

    The Russian Avantgarde metaller RAKOTH first please us with a new version of Return Of The Nameless from the Jabberworks album and server us later with L’Honglath a brand new unreleased and exclusive track.

    The next appetizers are the Swedish Black / Death crusher BLOODSHED who zap a re-mastered version of Death By Hanging from their current album Inhabitants Of Dis (6,5 of 10 points on NH) around our ears and a revised version of Act Of Retaliation from their second and sold out demo Laughter Of Destruction. That’s a rare track!

    Of course the German fantasy metaller ENID are not missed as well and present with Exemption a brand new track you will find on their upcoming album which is set for a March release. And this track promises a significant progression to their current album Seelenspiegel from which comes Land Of The Lost as re-mastered version.

    The new Black Metal gods from Transylvanian NEGURA BUNGET give us with Vazduh not only an unreleased track but also an exclusive video which you can find in the multimedia part on CD2. Their brand new album N‘ crugu bradului due on 27th January gained fat 9,5 of 10 points on NH!

    Code666 new entrant HANDFUL OF HATE give their tryst with Hell’s Carnal Scream an unreleased track. Their label debut is titled Vicecrown and set for an early summer release. So fans of technical Black Metal watch out!

    EPHEL DUATH just contribute one re-mastered track – Embossed - from their Phormula album, released back in 2000. The band is currently working on their new album titled The Painter’s Palette upcoming soon via Elitist Records.

    The American Dark / Progmetaller AGHORA serve us an unreleased live version of Immortal Bliss you also can find in the multimedia section.

    The Norwegian Schizo’s ATROX recently signed over to code666. Since their 2 previous albums were been extremely Progmetal-driven, their brand new unreleased exclusive track Dead End sounds way more straighter. Monikas voice stays even in the background and just supports male singing!!! Now I’m really excited about their new album, which should be released soon. Besides there is also a re-mastered version of Lay from their sophomore Terrestrial.

    MANES … well, it’s impossible to describe this band. The music must been heard. Redeemer is an advanced pre-production song you will probably find on their upcoming album titled Vilosophe.

    Last but not least the Death / Thrasher ABORTUS from the land of the kangaroos finish the round dance of the bands. The re-mastered version of Dollar Signs Smile comes from their brand new album Process Of Elimination.

    Upshot: It’s an absolutely great idea to present label bands in this way. Already the idea is worth to give 10 points. Well, I have to concede the re-mastered album versions don’t differ that dramatically from the original version. But it doesn’t greatly matter. In fact all these unreleased and exclusive tracks or rare re-mastered live / demo versions are the icing on the cake. Those who like one of these code666 bands should definitely purchase this soundtrack! It’s worth it!!!
    (Nocturnal hall)


    Labelcompilations sind immer so eine Sache, doch im Falle des italienischen Code 666-Labels eine wirklich lohnenswerte Investition. Auf einer Doppel-CD inklusive eines CD-Rom-Tracks präsentieren die Italiener hier einen Querschnitt ihres Programms, wobei die Liste der vertretenen Bands deutlich macht, dass Code 666 bei der Auswahl ihrer Bands auf Individualität und einen eigenen Stil achten, seien es nun die Ultra-Doomer von Void of Silence, die keltisch beeinflussten Enid, die komplex agierenden Aghora, avantgardistisch anmutende Bands wie Rakoth oder Ephel Duath oder Black Metal-Acts wie Aborym, Negura Bunget oder Diabolicum. Lobenswert, dass alle vierundzwanzig Tracks exklusive Aufnahmen, Demotracks oder remasterte Albumaufnahmen sind und der Eindruck des schnellen Cash In durch die Plattenfirma somit erst gar nicht entsteht, zumal nicht einer der Tracks den Eindruck des Füllmaterials vermittelt. Einen bessere Visitenkarte als diesen Sampler hätten Code 666 nicht abliefern können.
    ohne Wertung
    MK
    (obliveon.de)
     
  20. Michele/Xyphias

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    The Italian record label Code666 might not be the best known record label in the Metal world. I had heard bands like ABORYM, BLOODSHED and DIABOLICUM, but that’s where my knowledge concerning this label ended. But with the release of the compilation CD “Better Undead Than Alive”, Code666 allows the Metal world to explore the label’s arsenal.

    And seemingly they did everything possible to offer the buyer of the album as much as possible, as “Better Undead Than Alive” contains 2 CDs with a total of 24 tracks and two hours of material. The songs on the compilation are either remastered album tracks or unreleased material. Take for instance ABORYM that has two tracks on the album: one remix of “Love The Death As The Life” from the “Fire Walk With Us” record, and a preview track from the upcoming “With No Human Intervention” album, due out early 2003. When listening to the compilation it’s rather clear why this band was signed to Code666, because on this recording you’ll find quite a few bands that have a similar sound to ABORYM. At least most bands on the label play Black Metal, and many also use samples in their music. Exceptions to some extent are Death Metallers BLOODSHED and UNMOORED, progressive bands AGHORA and ATROX and the fantastic ENID! The latter band proved to be a revelation to me, with a blend of atmospheric Black Metal and orchestral elements. To give you a brief idea of the band sounds, here's a brief description of the featured bands: VOID OF SILENCE writes atmospheric electronic music, which is the same for MANES! The bands ABORYM, Thee MALDOROR KOLLEKTIVE, NEGURA BUNGET and HANDFUL OF HATE all play raging Black Metal with high-pitched screams and often samples. DIABOLICUM also plays raging Black Metal, but the grunts make the music very interesting. They also use keyboards and samples, but those are well-incorporated in the music. RAKOTH is Black metal, but the folk elements, and instruments likes flutes, as well as clean vocals, screams and grunts make this a very unique and interesting band. Then to BLOODSHED, who are a killer Death Metal band that also takes elements from Black Metal. ENID mixes orchestral elements with Black Metal (nothing like THERION), and sound very diverse and original. EPHEL DUATH, AGHORA and ATROX are all very progressive, the first in the Black Metal genre, the other two more towards Death Metal. Then there’s UNMOORED and ABORTUS left, who both play brutal Death Metal, for UNMOORED also with very dark-sounding keyboards.

    Overall the quality of the bands is impressive, with ABORYM, BLOODSHED, DIABOLICUM, ENID and RAKOTH claiming the prizes of most impressive bands, either through quality or originality. Admittedly, ABORYM also brings the listener the in my opinion worst track, with the overdone remix version of “Love The Death As The Life”, but the preview track shows that the next album of this band might be just as exciting as “Fire, Walk With Us”. Also it should be said that, to my knowledge, two of these bands are not with Code666 anymore: Both RAKOTH and EPHEL DUATH signed to a sub-division of Earache. Still there remains more than enough quality on this label! What of course is striking is the differences in production of the different bands, who obviously have recorded their material in different studios and with different sound settings. Oh, before I forget: CD two is enhanced, and in the PC it will reveal an exclusive NEGURA BUNGET video, as well as information about the label and all the bands! It also shouldn’t go without saying that the booklet of this double CD is excellent, with information on the bands, as well as pictures and web-links!

    Especially for the open-minded Metalheads “Better Undead Than Alive” is well worth checking out, but you have to be able to tolerate the samples and beats in the music of most of the featured bands. The presence of the unreleased and remastered songs makes this album also interesting to obtain… Not to mention the chance that you, like me, will find bands you never heard of before that are pretty damn interesting! And with all the nice features found in the booklet and on the CD-ROM, this is quite possibly the best label compilation in existence!

    (Vampire magazine)
     

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