Revisiting the 15th anniversary of Roadrunner United

Revisiting the 15th anniversary of Roadrunner United

- By Ramon Gonzales

Kerrang! explores one of the most comprehensive and ambitious collaborative projects in metal music history.

Marking the 15th anniversary of the release of the Roadrunner United collaboration album, The All-Star Sessions, Kerrang! published a feature checking in with the project's four captains in Matt Heafy of Trivium, Robb Flynn of Machine Head, Dino Cazares of Fear Factory, and Joey Jordison then of Slipknot.

The unprecedented effort pooled together some 57 different musicians from 45 different Roadrunner Records' bands, past and present, in what would result in an 18-track opus. While most supergroup efforts are reliant on the star-power of the personnel, The All-Star Sessions not only featured a dynamic collection of contributors, but the tunes were equally impressive.

Created with the intention of celebrating the 25th anniversary of the label, the record compiled a versatile meld of styles and subgenera in a way that was succinct, structured, and made complete sense. Each captain functioned in delegating a select few songs to their desired personnel and the dream team model produced magic.

Joey Jordison had tracks with the likes of Glen Benton of Deicide and Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw. Robb Flynn helmed tracks with Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Howard Jones then of Killswitch Engage. Dino Cazares steered the ship for songs featuring Dez Fafara of Coal Chamber/DevilDriver and Mark Hunter of Chimaira. Then a teenager, Matt Heafy assumed a leadership role working with legends like Dani Filth of Cradle of Filth and the almighty King Diamond.

The 'All-Star' moniker is often used as a talking point in describing collaboration efforts but in this case, the term was a massive understatement.

The feature explores the climate of the era and inserts instances of personal interaction between the cast of contributors. It revisits moments like when Joey Jordison was asked by Glen Benton if he was 'cool with anti-religious lyrics?’ The feature retells how Rob Flynn envisioned a Bay Area thrash song with Max Cavalera on vocals. There is a bit in the story that details how King Diamond as recently as last year has told Matt Heafy how much he still loves what did together. There is even a portion of the feature that recounts the initial scream that Howard Jones laid down in the vocal booth with Dino in what would begin the record.

Truly a monumental moment in metal music history, Roadrunner United was an snapshot of an important era rich with some of the genre's most respected, prolific contributors.

Check the complete feature in Kerrang! - HERE
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