Album Review
by SashaS

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Roadrunner United: an extraordinary CD
Various: 'The All-Star Sessions'
Roadrunner United - a very special celebration album

25 years of Roadrunner Records, a cast of thousands… Well, 55 artists, 42 bands, 19 tracks, 4 team captains equal - One groundbreaking album.

To mark its quarter-century anniversary the world’s leading heavy metal label named four captains of teams who’d have a choice of present/past musicians and vocalists to fashion songs for this compilation. The team leaders were chosen to write, assemble ‘bands’ and produce songs.

The captains are one ‘new gun’ and three veterans of the genre: Matthew Heafy (Trivium), Joey Jordison (Slipknot), Robert Flynn (Machine Head) and Dino Cazares (ex-Fear Factory/Brujeria). These four have written songs - mainly music - for the tracks they are heading and have invited an astonishing array of players that include members of Chimaira, 36 Crazyfists, former Coal Chamber and Misfits members, Still Remains, Spineshank and even - Junkie XL! Think it and a member is bound to be somewhere among this troupe…

The vocalists range from Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage), Max Cavalera (Soulfly), Corey Taylor (Slipknot) and Tim Williams (Vision Of Disorder) on Robb Flynn’s ‘roster’, to Glen Benton (Deicide), Keith Caputo (Life Of Agony), Daryl Palumbo (Glassjaw) and Kyle Thomas (ex-Exhorder/ex-Floodgate) under the aegis of Joey Jordison.

Matthew K. Heafy has gone for King Diamond (King Diamond/Mercyful Fate), Dani Filth (Cradle Of Filth), Jesse David Leach (ex-Killswitch Engage) and Michale Graves (ex-Misfits); Dino Cazares’s choices are Mark Hunter (Chimaira), Matthew K. Heafy (Trivium), Dez Fafara (DevilDriver) and Christian Machado (Ill Nino).

There is also a track that doesn’t fit this pattern: ‘Roads’ by Josh Silver (Type of Negative/music/instruments) and Mikael Lagerfeld (Opeth/lyrics/vocal).

With such variety of captaincy, the choice of music is varied and is bound to find a favour with any metal/hard rocking fan. [Additional goodies include a bonus DVD featuring the making of the album and interviews with all the key participants. Or, if you prefer ‘old skool’ issues - there is a double vinyl!]

Stellar release, no question about it.


Roadrunner United’s compilation ‘The All-Star Sessions’ is released 10 October 2005 by Roadrunner