Various This Is Solid State: Volume 2

Call me born again, but I'm finally waking up to the fact that the often smirked at white metal genre really is producing some of the most innovative hard music out there right now. Solid State Records is the label to watch for that sort of thing, making this compilation is a good place to start. Recent releases from Living Sacrifice and Zao, both represented here, have been nothing short of heart stopping, and it pains me to think about how underrated each will undoubtedly end up, as both bands play extremely innovative, intense, emotional and technical metal. Other standouts include Extol and Lengsel, who play more thought provoking cold metal stuff, Strongarm, with their crispy, emotional hardcore/metal, and Spitfire, who do the Dillinger Escape Plan thing adequately. As with all compilations, the lows are low, 3rd Root dabbles unsuccessfully in nu metal and, unfortunately, a lot of this compilation gets mired down in generic tough guy hardcore. Still, a great place to get friendly with a few killer bands. (Solid State)