I feel that splits and EPs are quick and good ways for bands to put out materials on a regular basis, without having to go through the hassle of writing a full album. But from a listener and collector’s point of view, split CDs and EPs can be very hard to acquire. Case in point is the black / thrash / heavy metal trio from France, Manzer. This is a band that I enjoy and seeing them live was a really fun experience. But most of their material is in the form of splits and EPs that are hard to come by. I guess that’s why I appreciate the newest compilation from these guys so much. ‘Pictavian Chronicles’ is a good collection that documents the best of this band’s career.
When I first started out listening to heavy metal, I used to buy loads of magazines like Metal Hammer, Rock Street Journal etc., partly due to the compilations such magazines offered. These compilations and album samplers often pointed me in the directions of bands I liked and were a great source for finding new material before the bandcamp era. So it is good to see compilations still being relevant today. Following last year’s ‘Operation: Underground’ compilation, Bluntface Records turn their focus towards the metal talent in the New England area with their new free compilation, 27 Tons of Metal New England. Consisting of 27 tracks, this compilation does a good job of representing the talent present in Massachusetts and surrounding areas.