Various Artists - Better Undead Than Alive 2 [Code666 - 2009]Better Undead Than Alive 2 is Code666 10 year anniversary compilation. While that in itself may be a turn off (how many good compilation cds do you really listen too?) here we have the exception. Don’t think of it as a compilation, but more of a concept. Davide Tiso, who is featured throughout the cd, helped compile and edit each track (interspersing them with his own instrumental pieces). Using this idea all the songs feel united despite their differences.
The mix of artists used from Code666 roster of artists is expansive. For a label that’s only been in existence for the last 10 years, they have certainly been able to work with multi talented musicians. While here you’ll find “bigger “name acts like Negura Bunget, Fen and Axis of Perdition; you’ll also discover bands you’ve probably never heard of. This includes Diabolicum, a black metal band with industrial flourishes and amazing vocals, and Void of Silence, who’s gothic doom metal instrumental is an excellent track; are both unexpected gems. Some of the other bands included are hit or miss. In the case of The Prophecy, death metal growls and melodic clean vocals are combined nicely, but musically it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Herrschaft is another band that starts out interesting, combining KMFDM industrial with Marilyn Manson-esqe vocals, but an overly long song loses its momentum.
The Oath, Minethorn and DSD fall somewhere in the middle. All three songs are fine representations of each band, and a more thorough look into their works could prove fruitful. Davide Tiso (from Ephel Duath) should be commended for orchestrating the whole project together. His metal/electronic/trippy instrumentals break any monotony that could have come about with so many extreme metal acts involved. For admirers of any of the bands found here it should be mentioned that most all of the songs here are unreleased and exclusive to the cd. Overall there’s an easy flow to the project, enjoyable for repeated listening.Viktorya Kaufholz