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Song Wars: The Saga Begins
Artist: Various Millenium 8 artists
Record Label: Millenium 8 Distribution
Website: www.m8.com
Length: 18 tracks/72:24 minutes

The Mustard Seeds - The Way of the World 
Blame Lucy - Big Enough
Midnight Orchestra - War Dance

Millenium 8 Distribution is a growing force in Christian music, specializing in pre-releases, re-releases, demo albums, and "live" albums. All of their products are limited to 1000 to 2500 copies. M8 also holds three labels, who carry current artists releasing full-length albums. It would seem logical for an outfit like M8 to come out with a couple of samplers.  The first of these is Song Wars:The Saga Begins, which highlights the talents of 15 artists, both current and defunct. It is one of those samplers that will indirectly cost you a lot of money. While only $4.98 in the shops, the listener will undoubtedly be left with a desire for more and more. So, if you're pretty much broke (as I soon will be), I recommend you stop reading this review...

The sampler has quite a few highlights, the first of which are the two songs by The Mustard Seeds off Red. Their hard, groove-oriented rock features some very tasty melodies and vocals quite similar to Blame Lucy, whose song "Big Enough" off a limited (there'll only be 999 copies left after I get a hold of one) live album, is another highlight. Midnight Orchestra follow The Mustard Seeds with goth-influenced hard rock. A 6-minute instrumental track by Third Crow provides us with another highlight. "Bow to the Cross" sends techno vibes through your room, courtesy of Deitiphobia. The second part of Song Wars features old bands, most of them now defunct. Micheal Knott's L.S.U. are followed by his other, and better, band, Lifesavers. "Missing Children," off a re-issue of Bride's Pure Metal Records' debut, Show No Mercy, rocks the stereo with the gothic rock that first made audiences go nuts to Bride. The last five songs are pure eighties metal, the highlight of which would have to be Rage of Angels' "Leave You or Forsake You." I had long been curious about why on earth Rage of Angels' album goes for over $30 secondhand. Now I know.

While there are many highlights, there are also a couple of songs that missed the mark. Dale Thompson's acoustic addition, "Waiting," is completely out of place amidst the hard rock of the rest of the record. Tempest appear towards the end with a demo track. The production leaves a hollow buzz, making the song an annoying tribute to the band.

Seeing as this album features more bands than I can comment on, I will leave you with a song list:

1.   Jamie Rowe: "Let It Go"   from The Beautiful E.P.
2.   The Mustard Seeds: "Way of the World"  from Red
3.   The Mustard Seeds: "Queen of Misery"  from Red
4.   Midnight Orchestra: "War Dance" from Land of Nod - pre-release
5.   Blame Lucy: "Big Enough" from Live 1999
6.   Third Crow: "Piercing the Darkness" from The Denial
7.   Dale Thompson  'Waiting'   From Acoustic Daylight
8.   Atomic Opera: "Rain Parade" from Alpha & Oranges
9.   Atomic Opera:  "Feverdream #1" from Alpha & Oranges
10. Deitiphobia: "Bow to the Cross" from Digital Priests the Remixes
11. L.S.U.: "She Lies" bonus track from This is the Healing re-issue
12. Lifesavers: "Money" bonus track from Poplife re-issue
13. Bride: "Missing Children" bonus track from Show No Mercy re-issue
14. Philadelphia: "Search and Destroy" from Search and Destroy re-issue
15. Philadelphia: "Showdown" (radio edit) bonus track from Tell the Truth re-issue
16. Rage of Angels: "Leave You or Forsake You" from Rage of Angels re-issue
17. Tempest: "Dancing in the Rain" from Lost in the Storm re-issue
18. Charizma: "The Knights" from Rock the World re-issue

Eric Daams


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