Sadly, it is not at all uncommon to hear some out of touch oik of a journalist declaring that 'rock' or even 'guitar music' is 'dead'. While I would certainly agree that guitar music does not feature quite so prominently in the charts as it did some ten years ago, to even think about suggesting that rock music is on its way out is a daft thing to do. Rock music is not dying; you just have to look in the right places for it. New Heavy Sounds Volume 2 is one such place.
Independent compilation albums such as this warm the very cockles of my heart just by their very existence. Even if everything contained on New Heavy Sounds Volume 2 was rubbish, I would have utmost respect and admiration for a label getting together the cream of the rock crop, so to speak, and effectively giving them a platform to gain a few new fans, while simultaneously giving fans of this type of music a chance to hear some fresh bands. Fortunately for all involved, barely anything on New Heavy Sounds Volume 2 is rubbish. In fact, on this evidence you could argue that underground rock and metal is more inventive and alive than it has been for some time.
You have excellent, full throttle onslaughts from the excellent Dz Deathrays and The Computers rubbing shoulders with the more hard rock leanings of The Sword. You get LaFaro and Mojo Fury at their unhinged, furious best coupled with the almost indescribable racket of Tannkjott by Gum Takes Tooth, a band unlike any you have heard in your life. If you like it super sludgy and grindingly slow Arabrot cater for your needs, as do the sinister - but no less brutal - Humanfly with their cut, the oddly titled This Is Where Your Parents Fucked. Dodgy.
Put simply, if you have even a passing interest in heavy music at all, New Heavy Sounds Volume 2 serves as essential listening. Hopefully it will inspire people to dig a little deeper, because there are some brilliant heavy bands not represented here such as Hawk Eyes, Exit_International and Turbowolf - 3 bands on a steep upward trajectory and likely to burn down anything in their way who would have fit perfectly in on this collection. Rock is dead? Guitar music is dead? Not with this noisy bunch around.