Various Metal: A Headbanger's Journey

It’s kind of weird to say it, but the best part about this companion soundtrack to the excellent Canadian documentary about our beloved genre is the liner notes. While the collection of tunes is totally enjoyable, there are no unreleased songs here. But still, how cool is it that the guys behind this movie (Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen) managed to gather, on one disc, bands as diverse as Emperor and Twisted Sister, Rush and Venom, Accept and Cannibal Corpse? Totally fucking cool. And it flows nicely too, which is very strange for a compilation. Some of the tracks practically blend into the next. But yeah, the liner notes not only consist of some comments from Dunn about the making of the movie and the various locations they travelled to, but the best metal history and family tree I’ve ever seen. Put together by Toronto music critic Martin Popoff, the nine-panel foldout is a convoluted and well-informed look at all the various sub-genres of metal, the key bands and years of each, and how each one relates to the others. Man, I could spend all day looking at that. (Universal)