Nothing overly inspiring coming from the Dutch metalcore scene
With the success of Netherlands underground label Tocado-Records' more mainstream roster of artists, they decided to founder a label that catered strictly toward the heavier end of the musical spectrum, with Increase Records (Which was put together by Mandy Struik and Nico Beemster, who both play in Mindscan) forming in 2006. In line with their own mission statement (Helping musicians do it together, rather than D.I.Y.), Increase Records put together a showcase of some of strongest undergrounds acts in the Dutch metalcore scene with the intention of recording the said bands (The 'Roestvrij Festival' on March 24th 2006), with this 'best of compilation' of the night's event being released as their debut.
With a title of Stainless: Dutch Metalcore Compilation, there's no mistaking what sort of music is offered up on the hour length compilation, with the sixteen tracks (Which is spread over nine acts) all sounding every bit like what's expected from the Dutch metalcore scene. When All Life Ends start off proceedings in a strong manner with their two contributions to the compilation (Painful Eyes Behold and Loss Of Feelings), while Drainlife (Who provide F.F.S. and Hope Dies Last) give the album a huge lift with a stronger production and mix, and their overall death metal influenced take on the metalcore sound. Unfortunately, Mindscan themselves sound a little too rough around the edges (Especially with their attempt at clean vocals) with Blindfolded, while Last Breath Denied's muddied mix on Fool Among Fools and Differ Or Die doesn't help make their performances all that memorable.
By the second half of the album, it becomes clear that there's little in the way of innovation or genuine experimentation within the Dutch metalcore scene at the moment, with Return To Reason (Remain Inside), See My Solution (Another act that struggles in the clean vocal department on New Born Witness and Wherever Circles Are), Until We Bleed (Taking Back My Life and No Way Back), Dominator (Bleeding and Kill The Pain) and Facewreck (All That I Hate and Wait And See) all solid and likeable acts, but all lacking anything of note that distinguishes them from one another.
There's no denying that Increase Records are putting their money where their mouth is with their support of the underground scene, but if Stainless: Dutch Metalcore Compilation makes one thing clear, it's that the Dutch metalcore scene is in dire need of some originality and diversity in order to really flourish and grow.