Year of release: 1996-1998 / 2019 (this release)
Released by: La Caverna Records
Rating: 6,7 / 10
A new release from a young Colombian publisher, so far causing only respect by his approach to business. This compilation includes a second album and an unpublished promotional recording of an American band that played classic style of US Death Metal from 1990 to 1998. The material is typical enough for that golden period, when extreme metal, even devoid of the slightest hint of sophistication, took its toll by it's only sound. CRUCIFIXION, for example, lacks uniqueness. Their style is a fusion of styles of many key groups of the genre. Part of the rhythmic patterns taken from DEICIDE, part from SUFFOCATION. Dense, like a brick wall, mid-tempo parts - from IMMOLATION. But this is done in a good analog sound, so it's interesting to listen to music as such, just for the sake of its atmosphere.
However, the album is not so straightforward. Sometimes there are surprises: quick thrashy pieces, melodic solos, or even a departure to Death Doom Metal (see the first half of “Last Haunted Scriptures”). They do not so noticeably diversify the music, but they can not be overlooked. In general, the album is a bit boring and it is clear why the band was forgotten - it does not stand up to competition with the Fathers. However, today's bands don’t do that anymore, and this adds value to this compilation.
A promo recording with a “floating” sound recorded on a cheap recorder does not offer anything new in compositional terms (it has the same songs as on the album, only fewer of them). And only this very sound gives the songs an interesting, otherworldly atmosphere, making them even better than the “full-length” versions. So I think adding promo to the CD was the right move. I recommend “Paths Less Taken / Raising the Dead” to fans of all classic American Death Metal - just don’t expect too much.