“Black Mark – Festivals ‘95” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Black Mark – Festivals ‘95”
Label: Black Mark Productions
Release Date: 1995
Genre: Heavy Metal/Power Metal
Rating: 3/5

I found this CD in a stack of stuff that a friend once gave me in order to sample some of the Power Metal bands that he enjoyed. I remembered skimming through it and decided it was high time to compile some thoughts about its contents. Obviously the eight tracks are a mere teaser of some of the bands that appeared during some festival shows while the groups were on Germany’s Black Mark Productions label but instead of eight unique bands we find four and get two tracks from each. Many listeners might instantly be aware of Tad Morose because they eventually signed to Century Media Records and released a couple of albums that were pretty good. Of course that is not the only treat to be found and Candlemass fans would enjoy the chance to sink their teeth into the two tracks from Memento Mori which at the time of the release featured former Candlemass singer Messiah Marcolin. If you never had any exposure to the band before this is a nice sample tray which might actually lead you to dig up a full release of theirs. Of course while great tunes are on the sample and show Memento Mori as a band with a lot of potential, Messiah would eventually return to Candlemass only to leave once again in 2006. Morgana LeFay is the most accessible of the Power Metal bands on the sampler as their sound does not deviate too far from what most expect from this kind of band and Cemetary, while rather Gothic and droning in a creepy way, also offer up elements of Doom for the hungry Metal maniac.

In the end, this CD is just a teaser with four bands that were good enough to deserve larger audiences during the time. Perhaps they did, but we would not have known this in the USA since we were buried in every band that wore flannel and jeans and came from Seattle at this time. Either way, the reader who finds this little gem is instructed to let it be their guide in discovering the additional greatness of these four acts. Fans of Savatage might enjoy Tad Morose while Candlemass fans would take to Memento Mori very easily. The only downside is the limited number of tunes but that was par for the course back in 1995. Had this been released in today’s music scene it would have probably been a 15-20 track affair.

Track Listing:
1. Tad Morose – Lost In Time
2. Memento Mori – I Am
3. Morgana LeFay – Time Is God
4. Cemetary – Sweet Tragedy
5. Tad Morose – Here After
6. Memento Mori – When Nothing Remain
7. Morgana LeFay – Sorrow Calls
8. Cemetary – Pale Autumn Fire

Official Website: http://www.blackmark.net

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