A Tribute to ACCEPT - Vol. 1 (Nuclear
Another fantastic metal tribute. As with most of the Nuclear Blast tribute CDs, this label knows what the fans want. Fans of Accept want bands that were actually influenced by and truly respect traditional metal bands like Accept. Certainly that is the case here. Once again we have some of my favorite bands recording songs by one of my favorite bands. What could be wrong with that? Absolutely nothing! There are some bands that do a better job than othes, as with any compilation CD like this. Hammerfall's cover of "Head over Heals" with Udo Dirksneider sharing the mic is a huge standout cut here, as is Steel Prophet's superb cover of "Fast as a Shark" and Grave Digger's cover of "Starlight". Also, what better band to perform "Son of a Bitch" than Tankard? New Eden and Sacred Steel both tear up their respective covers. Actually, there really isn't a track on here I completely hate, with the exception of the downtuned, nu-crap that is Rykers. Any band that starts an Accept song off like they are a rapper and state "What's up?...payin' respect to the German old school" doesn't even deserve to be on this CD. This song makes the skip button a neccessity when playing this CD. One of the other weaker moments was Atrocity's techno-metal version of "Shake Your Heads" although this song doesn't neccessarily require the skip button or anything. Even Dimmu Borgir turned in a decent version of "Metal Heart". All in all, with the exception of one crap band, the rest of this CD is very enjoyable. Now get up, crank it up and bang yer head!
Thunderbolt - A Tribute to AC/DC (D-Rock) 1998
1. "Highway to Hell"
-Quiet Riot (3:59)
Sort of a generic sounding tribute although with the list of names above, you'd expect something outstanding. There are some decent numbers, especially "Walk All Over You," as song the features Anthrax performing with Dee Snider singing. However, the majority of this disc just sounds generic. I really think when the individual bands get to put their own unique style into the songs it does more for the sound, not unlike on the "Holy Dio" or "A Tribute to Judas Priest: Legends of Metal" cds. Just bringing a bunch of big name musicians into the studio to add their parts just doesn't work as well. Picked up this disc for $4.
Blues on Fire/Sweet Emotion: Songs of AEROSMITH (Heavy Hip Mama) 2001
1. "Cryin'" performed
by Otis Clay (5:16)
I can't imagine even a casual fan of Aerosmith or the blues not enjoying this disc. Thirteen Aerosmith songs rearranged and performed by real blues musicians, as opposed to rock stars pretending to be blues artists. Being a huge Aero fan myself, I couldn't resist this. Since I am also a casual fan of the blues, I was in total bliss in my car as I rocked this cd for close to an hour. Funny thing is, apparently this disc angered a bunch of blues purists, who felt that their favorite blues artists had sold out. OK, whatever. Even AMG gave this disc a bad review. Whatever! You freaking reviewers have no clue. This is an outstanding disc. "Sweet Emotion" is one of the best tribute discs to come out in a while. It offers some smokey, sultry, down home musical interpretations of all-time Aero favorites.
Not the Same Old Song & Dance-A Tribute to AEROSMITH (Deadline)
1. Back In
The Saddle (w/ Mark Slaughter, Albert
Lee, Rudy Sarzo, Frankie Banali) (4:28)
Of course I had to get this one! It's a tribute to AEROSMITH. If any band deserves a tribute it's Aerosmith, a band who has been churning out killer RnR for over three decades. The difference between this tribute and most others is that the variances between the songs are not as noticeable because this is not a bunch of different bands recording Aero-songs but rather a bunch of different artists coming into the studio to record their parts for Aero-songs. My two favorites are Ted Nugent's wango version of Rag Doll and Dio/Yngwie's smoking version "Dream On." Vince Neil does a pretty good job on "Chip Away the Stone," a somewhat obscure selection, but a good one none-the-less. Of course, none can even come close to the classic originals, but it is still fun to hear these different interpretations. Other performers include former members of Warrant, Tesla, Damn Yankees, Ratt, and Great White.
Janie's Got a Gun-A Tribute to AEROSMITH (Dressed to Kill)
Imagine the local country garage band in your area learned a bunch of Aerosmith songs and performed them at the local pub on kerokee night. Now imagine that someone recorded this monstrosity. Perhaps if you had a few brews that night you might have enjoyed the evening of entertainment, but revisiting it on cd is nothing short of a painful, pointless exercise. Seriously, this Aerosmith tribute is that bad. Yet another in the row of Aerosmith tribute albums with artists that nobody has ever heard of. It was released by the UK label "Dressed To Kill Records" on January 30, 2001. Even the packaging is cheap. Besides the nicely designed cover, there is nothing printed on the inside of the cover. Obviously an attempt to cash in on Aerosmith fans. This disc was given to me by a generous trader who paid $3 and told me it wasn't worth that. Ouch! Being the Aero-collector, however, I will be holding onto this disc.
The Doom In Us All - A Tribute to Black Sabbath (Pathogenic) 2016
1. War Pigs (7:57)
2. Into the Void (6:24)
3. Lord of this World (5:48)
4. Electric Funeral (5:09)
5. Embryo [instrumental] (:27)
6. Children of the Grave (4:43)
A short and sweet tribute to the mighty Black Sabbath. The album is a product of Ted Kirkpatrick of Tourniquet fame. Here Ted performs drums and guitars and Dug Pinnick (King's X) performs all the bass parts. There are a host of guests singing on this album. Chris Jericho of Fozzy sings on "War Pigs", Corey Glover of Living Colour on "Into the Void", Trevor McNevan of Thousand Foot Crutch on "Lord of this World", Eric Wagner of The Skull (ex-Trouble) on "Electric Funeral" and Tim 'Ripper' Owens on "Children of the Grave". Lead guitars are played by Scotti Hill (Skid Row) on "War Pigs", Bruce Franklin (Trouble) on "Lord of this World" and Karl Sanders (Nile) on "Children of the Grave".
Ted's guitar tone is heavy! If it wasn't recorded direct into a computer my guess would be he used an old Gibson SG guitar plugged into an Orange amp. That seems to be the M.O. of doom bands these days, and with good reason. It sounds great. Ted takes only minor liberties with the songs, sticking mostly to the way the songs were written. Overall it's a completely enjoyable and consistent tribute album. My biggest complain with this tribute CD is that it's a bit too short. I would have liked to have heard at least a couple more songs. In reality there are only five songs here, as well as the short instrumental "Embryo". Regardless, what is here is well done.
Hell Rules-A Tribute to BLACK SABBATH (Dwell)
Steel "Sweet Leaf" (5:25)
There are a ton of Black Sabbath tributes out. The thing about this one is that it actually contained some songs from the Ronni James Dio and Ian Gillan era of Sabbath. The bad thing about this one is once again, Dwell has put out a tribute with mostly crappy death metal bands destroying classic metal songs. Coffin Text totally destroys the Ian Gillan era "Disturbing the Priest." (Like anyone could improve on Ian Gillan!) Hate Theory's version of "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" just sucks! Anthrax did a far superior version on their "I'm The Man" ep. Infamy's vocalist, with his "wish I were in Cannibal Corpse" vocals, makes "Cornacopia" unlistenable. (What is it with death metal bands, do they all share the same vocalist?) There are a few choice songs on this disc however. Agent Steel's version of "Sweet Leaf" is awesome. Steel Prophet does a decent version of "Neon Nights." (this same song also appears on Century Media's Dio tribute AND Dwell's Dio tribute AND Steel Prophet's "Genesis" disc.) Also, Tyrant does a good job on "Children of the Grave." Buy cheap or pass as there are only a few choice cuts on this disc. For those who care, Dwell released a Hell Rules 2 recently featuring more death metal band botching up Sabbath classics.
Nativity in Black-A Tribute to BLACK SABBATH (Columbia)
1. Biohazard "After Forever" (5:46)
Columbia's tribute to Sabbath is only only slightly better than most of the Sabbath tributes I have heard. Bigger name artists pay tribute to Tony, Geezer, Bill, and Ozzy. (Bigger is not always better, especially in this case.) Missing is any trace of Dio or Gillan era Sabbath. Also missing on some of these tracks is any trace of talent. Faith No More's live version of "War Pigs" is a joke. It sounds at times like vocalist Mike Patton is mocking Sabbath, and at one point instead of singing the words he sings, "Blah, blah, blah." The song is just terrible! Biohazard shows how little talent their vocalist has by totally annihilating "After Forever." Perhaps they would have been able to "drop some respect to the almighty Black Sabbath" better by not appearing on this cd. (Want to hear a good version of "After Forever?" Check out Deliverance's version on "What A Joke!") Possibly the worst of all is the pathetic, goth version of "Black Sabbath" by Type O Crap, er I mean, Negative. I'm sorry but they just plain SUCK! Even the track that Ozzy himself sings on isn't very good. (What's up with that?) Megadeth, on the other hand, pulls off a tremendous version of "Paranoid." White Zombie hands in an eerie, yet fun interpretation of "Children of the Grave," and Seputura tears it up with "Symptom of the Universe." Bruce Dickinson, a man deserving of his own tribute, pulls off a very raw but respectable version of "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath." What is cool about this tribute is that the bands who are on it actually sound like fans who are thrilled to be able to pay homage to one of the greatest metal bands ever. This disc is worthy of repeated listens but make sure that the skip button is close by.
Nativity in Black II: A Tribute to Black Sabbath (Priority)
1. Godsmack "Sweet
My main interest here was Megadeth covering "Never Say Die", which as I suspected is one of the better songs on this disc. Other than that I had no desire to hear Busta Rhymes destroying 'Iron Man' or a bunch of crappy nu-metal band annihilating Black Sabbath classics. Soulfly's "Under the Sun" is cool and Slayer's "Hand of Doom" is passable, although not as impressive as I would have thought. Primus with Ozzy doing "N.I.B." is also not bad, although with Ozzy on vocals it doesn't sound that much different than the original. For the most part, however, this cd sucks! Worst of the pile: Hed(pe)'s laughable cover of "Sabbra Cadabra", System of a Down's disappointingly wimpy, nu-metal version of "Snowblind" and Busta Rhymes ridiculous mockery of "Iron Man (This Means War)", which Ozzy actually adds his voice to. Argh! How disappointing.
In Memory of CELTIC FROST (Dwell)
1. Morgion "Innocence and Wrath/The Usurper" (4:12)
A tribute to the legendary (and defunct) Celtic Frost, done by a bunch of death & black metal bands, most of whom I've never heard of. (Actually, the last two tracks are Hellhammer songs.) Well, to be honest, this cd is a good listen but I can't really pick out any stand out cuts. Overall the music is cool just because its Celtic Frost music, but nobody really made the songs any better than the originals in my opinion.
Huminary Stew- A Tribute to ALICE COOPER (Deadline)
1. "Under My Wheels"
w/ Joe Elliot, Phil Collen, Bob Kulick, Chuck Wright, Pat Torpey, Clarence Clemens
This is the second Dead Line tribute that I have bought. As with the Aerosmith tribute, Bob Kulick produces the disc and plays on almost every song. Bob Kulick is a well known studio musician who played with Meatloaf and filled in for Ace Frehely on several Kiss albums. What I like about this tribute is the quality of the material. Hearing legends like Roger Daltrey (The Who) and Ronnie James Dio sing tribute to Alice Cooper is pretty cool. The other thing about these Deadline tributes is that all the songs are well produced and the sound quality doesn't waver from song to song. What I don't like about these tributes, as compared to the ones where each band gets to put their own spin on the song, is that the songs are a bit more generic. Still this is only a minor complaint. I mean after all, who could not love hearing Dio sing "Welcome to my nightmare, I hope I didn't scare you..." HA! Great stuff. Picked this one up for $5.99.
The long awaited and anticipated Deliverance tribute from The Christian Metal Realm and Roxx Productions. Though it is a tribute to the might D, Deliverance themselves have contributed several tracks to the compilation including two newly recorded classic tracks. "Flesh & Blood" is incredible and the perfect track to start off the tribute. This song is followed-up by a newly recorded version of a track from their underrated "Camelot in Smithereens" CD. The song is a ballad and breaks up the speed and monotony a bit early. However, track three absolutely brings it back. Oil pull off a smokin' version of "Attack". The band got back together just long enough to record two songs for this tribute, the other track being "Screaming" on disc two. Of their two songs, I like "Attack" the best as is just seems to suit them better. Of course Oil features the vocals talents of Ron Rinehart of Dark Angel fame. The next track brings another veteran performer in Greg Minier, best known for being the guitarist of seminal crossover band The Crucified. In reality, this song is recorded by the current members of Deliverance as well with Greg on vocals. Track seven recorded under the name Faseultified features Scott Waters of Ultimatum on vocals features the same Deliverance band members, who also happen to be members of Fresno based metalcore band Fasedown. "What A Joke" is stunningly heavy with a bit of a Machine Head edge to it and features a smokin' guitar solo from Michael Phillips. One disc one, four tracks feature Michael Phillips on guitar and Jim Chaffin on drums. Ghost Temple features vocals by Josh Kramer of Saint. Their cover of "If We Faint Not" takes a song that was a straight up thrasher and gives it more of classic heavy metal approach. Very cool! Lambs Among Wolves pull out a superb version of "Greetings of Death". This band features Glen Rogers, formerly of Deliverance and now with Hirax, as well as Daniel Cordova and Roy Z (Bruce Dickinson, Halford, Tribe of Gypsies, etc.). "Whispers from Heaven" cover of "Anymore" sort of sticks out as their style is more in line with modern bands like Evanescence and Lacuna Coil. It's a very well recorded cover that I quite enjoyed. Venia continue in like manner with some emotional female vocals laid a top crunchy guitars. Other standout tracks are Faith Factor's melodic cover of "Weapons of our Warfare", the haunting rendition of "Awake" by Grave Robber, and Eternal Decision's ultra crunchy version of "Belltown". I haven't heard these guys sound this heavy and this good since their 1997 self titled release. Welcome back ED.
Holy Dio-A Tribute to the Voice of Metal-Ronnie James DIO (Century Media)
There is one thing for sure; Century Media knows how to do a tribute cd right. They use bands that were actually influenced by the artist being honored and that will appeal to fans of the style of music. Seriously, how could I pass up a disc that has some of my favorite bands doing songs by one of my favorite singers? The material is a sampling of Dio's songs from Black Sabbath, Rainbow, as well as some of his earlier solo material. I sort of wish some of the later Dio solo stuff would have been covered. A few highlights are Fate's Warning's AWESOME version of "Sign of the Southern Cross." (If only their newer material were as good), Destiny's End-The Last in Line, Hammerfall's "Man on the Silver Mountain," Blind Guardian's "Don't Talk To Strangers." Ah, heck, the whole disc is good. I was wondering though, how the heck does Steel Prophet get on so many tribute cds? Geez, I've seen them on no less than ten tribute discs, most of them for Dwell.
Awaken the Demon-Tribute to Dio (Dwell)
1. Division "Rainbow in the Dark" (3:36)
Hmm, after already owning the incredible double disc "Holy Dio" tribute, this one is kind of anti-climatic. Steel Prophet's cover of "Neon Nights" is the same version on that apprears on both the "Hell Rules" Black Sabbath tribute and the "Holy Dio" tribute, but is an excellent version and probably one of the best on this disc. Steel Prophet are also the only band on this disc that I am familiar with, although some of these bands have appeared on other Dwell tributes. I also like Division's version of "Rainbow in the Dark" which takes out the keyboards and replaces it with a slick guitar lead. I've only listened to song #2 once, and have pushed the skip button every time since then. Somehow, a death metal band, butchering a classic Dio song, just does not belong.
The Doors Stoned Immaculate (Elektra)
1. Stone Temple Pilots "Break On Through"
This disc rekindled my interest in the Doors. My main interest in picking it up was for the Aerosmith rendition of "Love Me Two Times." After checking out the whole disc, I began searching for Doors discs.
Supper's Ready - Another Serving of the Musical Box (Magna Carta) 1995
1. "Watcher Of The
Skies" performed By Robert Berry and Hush (6:50)
This review will be short and sweet. If you are a fan of Genesis or progressive rock in general, do yourself a favor and pick up this tribute CD. It is one of the few tributes that I can honestly say I enjoyed listening to from beginning to end. If Annie Haslam's cover of "Ripples" doesn't send chills down your spine, then you are probably not a Genesis fan to begin with. Kudos to Magna Carta for putting out such a splendid tribute.
The Keepers of Jericho-A Tribute to Helloween Part II (Arise) 2000
- Rhapsody (4:24)
What a novel idea, a tribute to a metal band by bands who were actually influenced by that metal band. Who would have thought! Seriously though, tribute CDs can be hit or miss, and this one is actually more hit than miss. Without having to go into a track by track review here, the overall CD is pretty solid although there are some standout tracks. Italian metallers Rhapsody start things off, ripping through "Guardians". If not for a bit too much happy keyboards, this would have been one of the best covers on the album. Fabio Lione's voice is outstanding. Sonata Arctica do an admirable job with "I Want Out", although I think that Hammerfall's version from a year earlier might have been better. Squealer have that classic heavy metal sound that works well with "Victim of Fate". Their vocalist stands out on this disc as he has a raspier, classic metal sound as opposed to all the high, clean power metal vocalists on the majority of the songs. That's not to say he doesn't pull out the falsetto screams when needed. Probably my favorite cut here is Brainstorm's cover of "Savage". Man, is this song heavy! Killer cover by a killer band. Of course another highlight is the epic "Helloween". Dark Moor offer up an admirable version complete with female vocals. I actually thought I would hate this song with female vox, but I was actually impressed. Most of these bands are not that far off musically from Helloween, so I would expect them to do good covers. As such, "The Keepers of Jericho" is an enjoyable disc that actually rekindled my interest in Helloween again. After listening to this CD, I had to go back and start listening to all those old Helloween CDs again. (thanks Lleaf).
The Keepers of Jericho-A Tribute to Helloween Part II (Arise) 2002
1. "Phantoms of Death"
- Iron Savior (6:35)
...and the love affair with all things pumpkin continues with "The Keepers of Jericho Part II." More power metal bands paying tribute to one of the originators of the European power metal style. This one isn't quite as exciting as the first one, although champions of the metal covers, Powergod, turn in a great cover of starlight. (thanks Lleaf).
Dwell is known for these underground tributes. Depending on how you look at it they are either crappy tributes put out by a greedy record company making money off ill-recorded classic songs by unknown bands, or they are enjoyable tributes that give some underground bands, who normally wouldnít be given the chance, to pay homage to some of their favorite bands. I look at it as the second choice as I enjoy most of these tributes. In my case, I tend to like the bands who are not of the death metal variety. On the Maiden tributes, bands like New Eden, Steel Prophet, Solitude Aeturnus, Mystic Force and Possession bring life to classic Maiden songs while death metal bands like Vital Remains, Engrave and From the Depths just ruin the songs. Acheron totally obliterates "Wrathchild." Death vocals and downtuning just don't go well with Iron Maiden tunes! I must say, however, that Morgion's version of "Tame a Land" was interesting enough to cause me to search out more of their music. Deceased, who are a death metal band as well, figured out that Maiden must not be messed with and tuned up their guitars and toned down the death growls to a more listenable shout. A Call to Irons is much more listenable than it's shovel to heard disc, A Call to Iron s 2. Too bad this wasn't broken down into a death metal tribute and a power metal tribute, then I could have just bought the one and spared myself from the death metal crap.
A Tribute to the Beast (IRON MAIDEN Tribute) (Nuclear Blast) 2002
Prophet - "The Ides of March/Purgatory" (5:24)
The third in a series of tributes from Nuclear Blast, that also includes tributes to Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy. As with those, much of the material has been released before on various projects by the included bands, but I still find this compilation to be pretty enjoyable. For some reason, this time 'round, the death metal bands just irritated the crap out of me. While Children of Bodom musically pull off "Aces High" rather nicely, the vocals just suck! Cradle of Filth's vocalist all but bludgeons "Hallowed Be Thy Name". Once again, the lousy vocal performance destroys an otherwise decent musical interpretation of the song. Don't even get me started on how bad the Disbelief and Dark Tranquility covers are. Death and black metal vocals just don't belong on Maiden songs. Of course having said that, I liked Six Feet Under's cover of "Wrathchild". Perhaps this song is just more suited for those low gutteral growls. Grave Digger pull of an excellent cover of "Running Free" with Chris Boltendahl doing his best Paul DiAnno. Steel Prophet, Rage, Iced Earth, Opeth and Sontata Arctica all pull off excellent versions of their chosen Maiden classics. Tierra Santa's cover of "Flight Of Icarus" was an interesting interpretation, starting off as a ballad then breaking into a speed metal song towards the middle. Unfortunately the vocals are a bit awkward because of the heavy latino accent. Darkane finishes off with a decent cover of "Powerslave", although there is no touching the original.
A Tribute to the Beast Vol. 2 (IRON MAIDEN Tribute) (Nuclear Blast) 2002
Part Two of Nuclear Blast's Iron Maiden tribute is actually a bit more enjoyable than part one, thanks to the fact that there are less black and death metal bands destroying classic Maiden songs. Of course there is the exception of black metal band Necrophobic who manage to at least hold my attention long enough with their version of "Moonchild" that I didn't hit the skip button. Graveworm likewise are of the more extreme black metal variety. Their take on "Fear of the Dark" is interesting as they start things off with a violin led opening before breaking out into a pure speed assault with flashes of brilliance, like the keyboard and bag pipes used in the middle section of the song. The vocals just plain suck and ruin anything good going on. Destruction actually leads the disc off on a positive note, thrashing through "Killers", which happens to be one of Iron Maiden's most shining moment, in my opinions. This song works well with the thrash metal approach that Destruction are known for. Perhaps one of my favorite tracks on here is the celtic version of "Strange World" by Mago De Oz. An awesome interpretation on this classic metal track. Primal Fear do justice to "2 Minutes to Midnight" but I must confess I found Scheepers vocals to be a bit at odds in this song. I guess after hearing the song thousands of times over the years, hearing anyone else other than Bruce Dickinson sing it just sounds odd to me. Mystic Force do a kickin' version of "Sanctuary" that stick pretty close to the original, even having those gritty DiAnno-like vocals. Apparently disc two of this compilation is a "bonus" disc and is a "Limited European Edition". Well since I haven't seen a copy that doesn't have the bonus disc I am not sure how limited it is.
The Maiden Years - A Tribute To IRON MAIDEN (Metal Stone) 1999
1. "Can I Play With
Madness" - Steve Overland (3:25)
Sort of an all-star tribute to Maiden, with ex-Maiden vocalist Paul DiAnno himself singing four of the eleven songs. I would have liked to have heard DiAnno rip through one of the Bruce Dickinson cuts, instead of the same old songs off the first two albums that he has done over and over again through the years. Other guests include guitarist Paul Quinn (Saxon), guitarist Bernie Tormé (Gillan, Desperado), vocalist Steve Overland, vocalist Lea Hart (Fastway) and several others. Ex-MSG vocalist Gary does a decent job with "The Trooper", or as it is labeled on the inlay, "The Tropper". Overall, however, this is a rather weak tribute. Watered down Maiden songs that lack much charisma, chemisty and frankly sound like a night of Maiden karaoke at the local pub. Actually, that might have been a little more fun. "The Maiden Years" has been released under several different names with several different covers.
1. Black Tide - "Prowler"
Yet another in an endless onslaught of Iron Maiden tribute CDs. This time around, England's Kerrang! Magazine have put together a group of "buzz" bands to record tribute to the mighty Maiden. The first three band's alone are some of the bigger buzz bands right now, along with Trivium who are further down the playlist. Black Tide pull off a commendable cover of "Prowler". I actually like this cover better than the Metallica cover they recorded for their debut. Metallica has always been a master of covering other artist's material, and their cover of "Remember Tomorrow" is no exception. From here on out the album gets spotty with flashes of brilliance and some major flops. Avenged Sevenfold are a popular "Hot Topic" band. Personally I just don't get the appeal of this band. Their cover of "Flash of the Blade" is decent, but nothing spectacular either. They stick pretty close to the original and offer very little of their own personality to the song. Glamour Of The Kill manage to take one of the heaviest riffs known to metal and make it sound wimpy and poppy. Being a big old Coheed and Cambria fan, I thought their cover of "The Trooper" was spectacular. Devildriver's cover of "Wasted Years" is pretty cool, other than the wretched vocals. Bands with death metal vocalists shouldn't cover Iron Maiden. This is followed up by an unusual rendition of "Run to the Hills". Sign manages to take a galloping, classic metal song and make it into some sort of modern pop rock song. Sign certainly put their own spin on this song as it's almost unrecognizable as an Iron Maiden song. Can't say I care much for it, but I'll give the band props for the creativity. Dream Theater add a bit of Eastern slant to "To Tame a Land". As would be expected, Dream Theaterr pull of an excellent version of this song. Madina Lake are another band that takes a lot of liberties with their cover of "Caught Somewhere in Time." As with Sign, I'm not really into their style of music, so their cover doesn't really appeal to me. Gallows totally destroys "Wrathchild", turning it into a punk song. Fightstar's cover of "Fear of the Dark" is good enough with fast galloping guitars and clean, mid-range vocals. Machine Head bring the metal with their worthy cover of "Hallowed Be Thy Name". Trivium offs up a thrash version of "Iron Maiden". I actually think this is one of the better covers on the CD. (Thanks Kieran)
These two discs are AWESOME!!! Every Priest fan should have them. Most of these bands are legends themselves, especially bands like Saxon and Fates Warning. What more could anyone ask for but some of my favorite bands covering songs from one of my all time favorite bands. Did I mention these discs are AWESOME?
Hell Bent for Metal-Tribute to Judas Priest (Dwell) 1999
1. Angel Corpse - "Eat Me Alive" (3:36)
Agent Steel's "Beyond the Realms of Death" was the main reason I purchased this disc. There are a few other stellar tracks like Steel Prophet's "Dreamer Deceiver" and Winter Bane's "Steeler." (Steel Prophet's cover also appears on their 'Genesis' cd.) I found the Division cover of "Desert Plains" to be surprisingly well done as well, although it stays pretty close to the original version. Scary German Guy's version of "Hell Bent for Leather" is an amusing novelty, mostly because of the shrill vocal performance. Same is true of Aurora Boreallis, who employ a black metal style vocalist, although their guitar lead sucked. Angel Corpse pull off a decent death metal version of "Eat Me Alive." Prototype's cover of "The Sentinel" is also not bad. The rest of this cd sucks royally! It's mostly just a bunch of Cannibal Corpse wanna-bees butchering classic Priest songs. Equinox, who are not the Norwegian thrash band of the same name, pull off the WORST version of "The Ripper" I have ever heard. Absolutely terrible vocals. Vital Remains cover of "You've Got Another Thing Coming" gave me dry heaves. I think I'd rather hear Britney Spears and N'Sync botching up Aerosmith's 'Walk this Way' at the Super Bowl again than ever submit myself to this garbage. Well, what can I expect for $2.99? At least I finally have the Agent Steel track. That track alone was worth the three bucks. It's too bad that track wasn't on the Century Media Judas Priest tribute, then I would have saved myself $3.
A Tribute to The Priest (Nuclear Blast) 2002
1. Annihilator - "Hell Bent for Leather" (2:49)
Yet another Judas Priest tribute. I think Priest are only second behind Black Sabbath or Aerosmith for the number of tribute CDs out. This one is a compilation of different Priest covers that were recorded on the various band's albums. There are a couple of tracks exclusive to this CD, but for the most part these songs have been released before. However, it is nice to have these tracks compiled onto one disc. There are only a couple of tracks on here that I don't care for, and even these aren't bad. For the most part each and every band does a more than acceptable job covering the mighty Priest. One of the more disappointing tracks is by one of my favorite bands. Hammerfall's version of "Breaking the Law", while musically impressive, has a poor vocal performance. I really wish they would have recorded this track with their regular vocalist, Joacim Cans, singing rather than guitarist Oscar Dronjak. While this is impressive when they switch in a live setting, in a recording situation it isn't as impressive. This track was originally released as a b-side on the "Always Will Be" single. Death's version of "Painkiller" is one of the highlights of this disc. Chuck really gives the vocal performance of his life on this track. This track is taken from their "Sound of Perseverance" CD. I think this is the third or fourth disc I own with Steel Prophet's "Dreamer Deceiver." Regardless, an excellent cover with a killer vocal performance. I was surprised to see Skid Row included on this disc, but their cover of "Delivering the Goods" is quite good. This track was originally released on the "B-Side Themselves" EP. The worst track is probably "Jawbreaker" by Siebenbugen. While the music is pretty similar to the original Priest version, the black metal vocals just sound out of place. Overall, however, "A Tribute to the Priest" is yet another stellar Priest tribute, that is a nice addition to the equally stellar Century Media tributes to Priest.
Kiss My Ass-classic KISS Regrooved (Mercury)
Kravitz - "Deuce" (4:10)
Leave it to Kiss to put out their own tribute cd. This is one of those tributes that is really hard to sit down and listen to all the way through due to the varied music styles. Rumor was that there were suppose to be more heavy bands on this project like the Galactic Cowboys, Ugly Kid Joe and Megadeth. Who knows what happened to those. The Cowboys did release "I Want You" on their own "Feel the Rage" ep and were thanked in the liner notes. Megadeth are mentioned in a recorded phone message from Gene Simmons in the opening to "Detroit Rock City." In any case, the highlights of this disc for me are "She" by Anthrax (the forth KISS song they have done), "Strutter" by Extreme and surprisingly "Detroit Rock City" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The sax solo in place of the guitar solo is hilarious. I think the only song that did anything on the charts was ìHard Luck Womanî by Garth Brooks which was never actually released as a single. Kiss my Ass is a novelty collectorís item with a few choice jems, but a lot of stinkers. This cd is also known as Kiss My Asterick as some versions have astericks in place of the "ss" in "Kiss My A**." Bought mine for a mere $5.99.
A Tribute to the Creatures of the Night (Nuclear Blast) 2002
1. Hammerfall - "Detroit Rock City" (3:53)
Ahhh, now this is a Kiss tribute! Nothing at all to complain about here! Many of these tracks were previously released, but it's still cool to have them all on one CD. At least there are no orchestras, disco wannabes, or country artists on this tribute. Couple of things to boast on, Hypocrisy manage to resurrect one of the forgotten gems of the Kiss catalgue, Ace's "Strange Ways". Freakin' killer song that Hypocrisy does justice to. The Melvins cut is also quite good. I had actually heard this cover before. A friend I work with is a fan of the whole punk-alternative-college rock stuff. Knowing I am a huge Kiss fan he brought this track in to play for me and I was impressed, but not impressed enough to actually own a Melvins CD. So, it's very cool to have this obscure cover included here. Another excellent and obscure choice to boot. The Galactic Cowboys tracks simply rules! Doro's take on "Only You" is actually an improvement over the original. I knew that a death metal band would eventually cover "War Machine". That songs just sounds like a death metal track, even when Kiss recorded it. It's just so stinkin' heavy. (See my Kiss page where I commented several years ago that a death metal band needs to cover this song.) Really there is not a song on here I don't think it excellent.
Spacewalk-A Tribute to Ace Frehley (Shrapnel) 1996
1. "Duece" -Marty
I like this tribute better than the "official" Kiss My Ass tribute that Gene Simmons put together. This tribute is more consistent and features less styles of music, which in my opinion, makes for a more liteneable album overall. One similarity is that Anthrax appears on both tributes, although doing different songs. Most of the drumwork throughout the album is done by Scott Travis (Judas Priest/Fight). Most surprising song to me was the pehnomenal "Fractured Mirror" with Dimebag shredding all over, even surpassing the original if that is possible. Most of the songs don't stray far from the originals, however, creative liscense was used here and there, especially on some of the solos. The once solo I wish wasn't messed with is in "Shock Me" as it is such an intregal part of the song. It's almost like changing the lyrics; it's just not the same. Overall, however, a killer tribute to a guitarist who definetely had his own style and charisma-Ace! ACE RULES!
1 "Intro" (:47)
Kick butt tribute album to the might American rock and roll machine! "Gods of Thunder" features a wide array of bands, styles and song choices from some of Norway's best known acts including Ulver ("Strange Ways"), Ronni Le Tekro & Tony Harnell ("Detroit Rock City"), Wig Wam ("I Was Made For Loving You") and a smokin' version "I Just Wanna" by all female tribute band Kissettes. Former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick (1984-1996) appears on Wig Wam's rendition of "I Was Made For Loving You" as well. The CD starts of strong with TNT's melodic metal version of "Detroit Rock City". An excellent cover for sure. Far better than Hammerfall's version from a couple years earlier. Ronni Le Tekro and Tony Harnell made the song their own. I was also pleasantly surprised by the rendition of "Crazy Crazy Nights" by Kurt Nilsen. Nilsen has managed to make the song into an acoustic ballad that actually works. The Carburetors pull off a fantastic hard rocking version of "Getaway". Surferosa managed to make a very recognizable Kiss anthem sound like something off a Devo record. Shirley's Temple conform "God of Thunder" into an upbeat modern rock song. Not a big fan of the style but there is not denying that the band made the song their own. I must confess I was really surprised by some of the obscure song choices here as well. Songs like "Mr. Blackwell", "Uh! All Night", "Sure Know Something", "Strange Ways", "Tomorrow" and "I Just Wanna" are songs I don't think I have seen covered by anyone before. Satin's medley of Kiss songs is interesting, but a bit annoying at the same time. There isn't enough of one song to be cohesive. I don't even want to spend the time to go through the list of 30-40 songs they crammed together in just over five minutes. There are a few other less than stellar tracks, such as the weak, alterna-metal version of "I Love It Loud" and the lame, stiff version of "Rock 'n' Roll All Nite" that ends this CD. However, overall, this is a very good tribute CD.
Now this is a tribute cd! Even the worst songs aren't bad, and the best songs are downright fabulous. Of course being a huge Thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott fan since I was a kid, I guess they couldn't really go wrong. Hmmm, perhaps I should not have said that as I have been a huge Aerosmith fan for that long too and look at the terrible "Janie's Got a Gun" cd. Anyhow, the song selection here is stupendous. Most of the songs are Thin Lizzy numbers, but there are a few from his solo albums and from Gary Moore's solo discs as well. Most notable is Roy Z's Tribe Of Gypsies doing "Parisienne Walkways." This song features the vocal talents of ex-Seventhsign singer Gregg Analla. Both discs start off with a spoken poem written by Phil. Disc one is Phil's mom reciting "Dublin." The packaging on this disc is also worth mentioning. The double disc features two booklets; one of each disc. The discs themselves are interesting as one is a gold cd while the other is silver. There are plenty of cool liner notes, many of which were written by the band's who are paying tribute. The bands themselves are from all around the globe, which is very cool, some being well known, international bands, others being Thin Lizzy tribute bands, and still others popular local acts. This one is well worth my hard earned cash. Picked it up directly through the Southern Rock Allstars' website.
1. Skyclad - "Emerald"
AWESOME! I can't get enough Thin Lizzy, so having some of my favorite band's covering Thin Lizzy is just as cool. Many of these tracks I already own on various other albums, however, it's still very cool to have them on one compilation. Unfortunately a few were left off that I would have included, like Metallica's "Whiskey in a Jar," Iron Maiden's cover of "Massacre", Helloween's "Cold Swear", Gothic Slam's "Thunder & Lightning", 21 Gun's "King's Vengeance" and Gamma Ray's "Angel of Death". That minor complaint aside, what we are left with is fifteen tracks of pummelling heavy metal covers of some of Thin Lizzy's finest. Of course Anthrax's cover of "Cowboy Song" is a classic cover. One that surprised me was Six Feet Under's stellar recording of "Jailbreak." For some reason this song lends itself well to the gutteral growls of death metal. I was also very happy to see a new Steel Prophet cover. I had read that they were done contributing to these 'tribute' type CDs. Don't know why, they always do a stellar job, and this CD is no exception to the rule. Primal Fear's "Out in the Fields" is a bit out of place, due to the fact that it is not a Thin Lizzy song. This tracks was originally written and recorded by Gary Moore, Phil Lynott's close friend and musical companion. However, Phil did sing on the original recording of this song as well as record the bass parts, if I remember correctly. John Norum has long been a Thin Lizzy fan and has apparently recorded many Lizzy numbers. Certainly "Wild One" was a good choice. Overall, an excellent CD paying homage to Phil and the boys. This one will no doubt be a frequent player for me.
Under the Influence - A Jam Band Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd (Sanctuary) 2004
1. "Call Me The Breeze"
- Lester Claypool (3:50)
This is an interesting
tribute CD. Whereas many of the tributes I have feature bands covering the featured
band, this one contains bands interpreting songs by the feature band. Not even
one of these songs really sticks closely to the originals, and that can either
be a good or bad thing. In the case of "Call Me the Breeze" by Les Claypool,
that is a good thing. I really dig his funky, bass driven take on the song.
However, "Free Bird" doesn't quite work as well for me. Perhaps this song is
just to big of a hit to interpret it any differently than it was originally
played. To me this song just comes off as awkward. Overall, however, an enjoyable
disc, albeit one that will most certainly require me to be in a the right mood
Overload-A Tribute to METALLICA (Dwell)
1. Crematorium "Whiplash"
Well at least Dwell picked metal bands to cover Metallica songs. That's about the best I can say about this tribute. Most of these covers are pretty poor. There are a couple of exceptions, "Whiplash" by Crematorium is very cool. Steel Prophet, the only band on here I am familiar with, do a respectable version of "Fade to Black." The cover art is pretty funny as well. Found this used for $8.99. Hmm, wasn't worth it.
Metallic Attack - The Ultimate Metallica Tribute Album (Big Deal Records) 2004
1. Motorhead - "Whiplash" (3:48)
Yet another in a long line of tribute albums put together by Bob Kulick. This time, rather than just a bunch of odd musicians thrown together in a studio, there are some real band inclusions here. What made this CD essential to me was Motorhead doing "Whiplash", Flotsam & Jetsam doing "Damage, Inc." and reunited bands Death Angel and Dark Angel doing "Trapped Under Ice" and "Creeping Death". Unfortunately for Dark Angel, this song and a couple of shows in California were as far as the reunion went. "Holier than Thou" featuring Alex Skolnick and Chuck Billy sounds exactly like what you would expect from Testament, even though it's not actually all the members of Testament recording this song. "Master of Puppet" is probably the most generic sounding song of the bunch. The music stick pretty close to the original, but the overall performance isn't as energetic as the original, nor did I like the clean breakdown as much. The song features Randy Castillo (R.I.P.) on drums. The rest of the songs are done well too making for and overall good listen.
Modification-A Tribute to Steve Rowe and Mortification (Rowe) 1998
1. Rosanna's Raiders "One Man" (4:07)
This tribute was put out by friends of Steve Rowe in an effort to raise money for Steve's leukemia treatment. Many people did not expect Steve to live although thousands were praying for him and sending him donations. My own little church even took up an offering for Steve and sent it to him. Well, miraculosly, Steve pulled through and has NO SIGN of the cancer in his body! If ever there was a reason to say "Praise God," this would be it. In any case, I bought this disc to help Steve but I don't care for most of the covers on it. Mortification is a death/thrash band and some of the artists that covered Morty's songs are far removed from that style. Ther are a few exceptions like Teramaze's awesome version of "Northern Storm." R.U.G. actually make a HEAVIER version of "Nocturnal," if that is possible. Also like the Lightforce cover that the other members of Mortification did ("Metal Missionary"). Rosanna's Raiders original song dedicated to Steve is also cool. Biggest joke Roma "Your Life" and Wise Guys "Noah Was A Knower." Both of these covers should be illegal as they are just that bad.
Bulletproof Fever - Tribute to Ted Nugent (Dead Line) 2001
1. "Cat Scratch Fever"
- John Corabi [Union] (3:45)
Ted Nugent is one of my all time favorite artists. I can never get enough of his gonzo craziness and guitar wankery. So, because of this I have always wanted to pick up a copy of this tribute, but for years it escaped me. Ebay buys with more money than brains always took the bidding up to high and I never ran across it in any stores. So it was with much anticipation I awaited a package from a friend in Chicago with this CD in it. Upon arrival I popped it into the CD player and cranked it up. Guitar duties here are split between Jake E Lee (Badlands/Ozzy) and Dj Ashba. Nugent's style and charisma is next to impossible to duplicate, however these two axe slingers did a decent job, although I don't think anyone quite captured that same Nugent charm. (Who could?) The same problem holds true for the vocalists, especially on songs like "Wango Tango". Steve Rachelle is a competent vocalist for sure, but he just doesn't have that some Motor City Madman attitude that makes this song work. Despite my complaints, however, "Bulletproof Fever" is an enjoyable listen from time to time. While no one will ever be able to match Uncle Ted, Jake E and his batch of ragtags cohorts (including Randy Castillo on drums) did a fine job of trying.
Never Say Dinosaur (A Tribute to Petra) (Star Song) 1996
1 "Taste and See"
-Audio Adrenaline (3:35)
My initial interest in this CD was for the Galactic Cowboys cover of "Not of the World", which is a very fitting song for them. I do like Petra, and was curious about the other songs on here. Well, I finally acquired this CD and as I suspected, the only redeeming value is the Galactic Cowboys cut. Most of the rest of the songs are average to downright lame. The Grammatrain song was also decent.
1. "Overture 1812"
A tribute to consumate drummer Cozy Powell, who has played in some of the most influencial bands in the history of rock. It's an interesting tribute in that most of the musicians are made up of Loudness or Sly members. With the exception of bassist Tony Franklin and drummer Carmine Appice, most of the musicians are Japanese as well. The musicianship on this album is awesome! I was impressed on the very first listen. I must confess, despite being a big fan of Minuro's (Loudness/Sly) vocal style, I found it odd hearing him sing such classics as "Stargazer" and "Kill the King". Sly drummer Munetaka Higuchi pulls off a nice drum solo at the end of "Over the Top." The guitar work througout the disc is striking as well. Both Shinichior (Sly) and Akira (Loudness) pull off some shredding guitar solos. The tracks being covered were originally recorded by an number of different artists including Emerson, Lake and Powell, Rainbow, Micheal Schenker Group, Jeff Beck and Whitesnake. (Thanks for the excellent disc James.)
Super Rock Summit-Cozy Powell Forever Tour in Tokyo (Ayers/Japan) 1999
1. "Kill the King"
This disc is hard to catagorize. I could have put it on the Loudness page or the Sly page since it is basically those two bands performing all these tracks live. I ended up putting it on the tribute page, but not all these songs really have anything to do with Cozy Powell. "War Pigs" is the classic Black Sabbath track and "Burn" is the Deep Purple classic, neither of which Cozy Powell had nothing to do with as far as I know. Regardless, I went with the name of the disc "Cozy Powell Forever Tour in Tokyo." So, what of the music? Well, as with the Cozy Powell studio tribute disc, I find the Japanese interpretations of these classic metal songs to be quite compelling. Unlike the studio versions, however, these live tracks are a bit more aggressive and heavier. Hearing Loudness' Minoro belt out "War Pigs" was amusing. However, the vocals are a bit weak on "Burn" compared to legendary Glenn Hughes. However, I still find it interesting hearing the high, thickly accented vocals on top of these classic tracks. As usual Loudness' Akira Takashi totally annihilates on the guitar and certainly steals the show. In case anyone is wondering, yes, track five is a nine minute drum solo by Munetaka Higuchi (Sly). Nice packaging and that cool little obi strip complete the package. Great disc. (Thanks James!)
Dragon Attack-a tribute to QUEEN (D-Rock)
1. "I Want It All"
(w/ Robin McAuley, Chris Impellitteri,
Bob Kulick, Edward Harris Roth, Joay Schellen)
I stumbled across this disc in a cut out bin for $2.50. I almost passed it up until I saw that Ted Nugent and Lemmy (Motorhead) were teamed up to do "Tie Your Mother Down." Now how could I resist a combination like that? On top of this members of such stellar bands as Dream Theatre, KISS, Armored Saint, Anthrax, Yngwie Malmsteen, MSG, are teamed up to pay tribute to one of rock's legendary bands . This is a good tribute with part of the proceeds going to benefit AIDS research.
Metal Crusade: Tribute to Saxon (Dwell) 2001
Saxon are certainly a band deserving of a tribute. I was leary of this CD though, as Dwell tends to include a lot of black and death metal bands that usually totally botch up classic metal tracks. That is not hte case here though. Steel Prophet's cover of "The Eagle Has Landed" is worth the price of admission alone. Seriously, this is one of the best cover songs that Steel Prophet have done yet, and they have done quite a few. October 31 pull off an admirable cover of "Power and the Glory". King's voice works better on this track than on Deceased's cover of "Fire in the Sky." (Both bands are fronted by King Fowley.) Agent Steel's cover of "Heavy Metal Thunder" is excellent as well. Tyrant are a band I have like for a long time, but their inclusion here is terrible. The vocals are just aweful and totally ruin the song. Abattoir are a band I have herd of but am unfamiliar with. Their track here actually has peaked my interest in them, so I may have to look into some of their original material. Silent Shadows closes things off with a decent cover of "Rock n' Roll Gypsy." All together, on of Dwell Records better tribute discs. Not solid from beginning to end, but not a bad listen either. Unfortunately after Steel Prophet steals the show, the rest can't measure up.
Isaiah 53:3-A Tribute to STRYPER (1340 Records)
1. Disciple - "More than a Man" (3:53)
Stryper were one of my favorite bands in the 80's. They were one of the few Christian bands that were ever successful in breaking into the mainstream market, so I think a tribute to them is justified. This is the second Stryper tribute I have bought. The first, Sweet Family Music-A Stryper Tribute, was more of a mockery than a tribute. Even the cover mocked the band with a bunch of bare foot nerds holding up Stryper records. What is it with these cheesy tributes? Techno bands and lame alternative bands do not belong on a heavy metal tribute? I got rid of that piece of trash. Well, "Isaiah 53:5" is not much better. Cuts 1 and 2 are passable. Nailed's heavy groove version of "To Hell With the Devil" is the best song on the cd. "Lonely" sounds like a sick cat is trying to sing; "The World of Your & I" just plain sucks; "The Abyss" wasn't even a song, it was just an album opener, so to do a cover version and call it a song is a joke. "Soldier's Under Command" is done by a band called Derron's Tuba, enough said? One Bad Apple presents a lame version of "You Know What to Do." "Honestly" as performed by The World Inside is so bad it's embarrassing. "It's Up To You" made me want to puke. Wonderboy Phd's version of "Wanna Sing" makes me wonder why these guys haven't been put out of their misery. The rest of the performances are not even worth mentioning. I'm so sick of these labels putting out BAD tributes just to cash in on a name. The music on this disc would not appeal to fans of Stryper, so I guess I wasted my hard earned cash. For a good example of a Stryper tribute see Guardian's "The Yellow & Black Attack is Back."
Jump in the Pit-A Tribute to TESTAMENT (Dwell)
- "Dog Faced Gods" (3:52)
This is one of the better Dwell Records tributes as even the death metal bands do justice to Testament's arsenal of songs. Favorites are Fury's charged up version of "Dog Faced Gods," Ultimatum's- "Sins of Omission," (of course!) Catch 22's-"Trial by Fire," and Blackend's- "Practice What You Preach." The only song I don't like is "Return to Serenity" as done by Horror of Horrors. Frankly I just don''t like the vocals. The other 10 songs are a good listen! Fury and Ultimatum have smokin' guitar lead work. "Nightmare" was engineered and mixed by ex-Testament guitarist James Murphy. (Big deal!) Actually one of the more listened to tribute discs in my collection.
1. Barcode - "Peace Sells" [Megadeth]
This is a cool idea for a compilation. Ninteen different underground bands from around the world paying tribute to some of the best classic thrash bands. According to the liner notes, all the money raised from this compilation was suppose to be donated to cancer research. Denmark's Barcode start things off with an a passable version of Megadeth's classic "Peace Sells". It almost sounds like Megadeth gone metalcore. GAK! This is followed by two songs that are well done but two European bands; Germany's I Defy covering Razor and England's Descent doing justice to Testament. This song would have sounded great on the "Jump in the Pit" tribute as well. England's Unite pull out a freaking killer, bombastic version of "For Whom the Bell Tolls". I assumed when I saw the rather obvious choice that this song would be mediocre, but it was easily one of the standout cuts on the CD for me. Exit Wound pull off a good cover of Megadeth's "Hook In Mouth", while December crank out an underground classic from Death Angel. What would a thrash tribute be without Slayer? Ireland's Carnun Rising basically destroy Slayer's "South of Heaven" with painfully out of synch dual guitars and crappy death vocals. Likewise Greece's Straight Hate try a black metal version of Slayer's "Black Magic" and basically butcher the song. As would be expected with an underground compilation like this, the production varies from song to song, but Straight Hate's vocals are just way, way too loud and abrasive. The skip button will become a necessity with repeated listens. Unfortunately Iceland 's I Adapt have production problems as well on their cover of "New Song" by Nuclear Assault, although the performance isn't bad at all. England's Assert crank out an excellent cover of "Ace of Spades". I have to admit, while Motorhead are one of my favorite bands, and certainly a forefather to thrash, "Ace of Spades" is not a thrash song. Still, a nice inclusion and a good cover. Phallicide offer up a heavy tribute to one of the most underrated thrash band, Annihilator. A decent recording and cover, marred only by the vocals that sound like a death metal troll with a bad cold. Despite the vocals, the band has a way with the song that is both brutal and melodic at the same time. Love the dual guitars, as well as the smokin' lead break. Spain's Ownfight give a punk rock treatment to Celtic Frost's "Into the Crypt of the Rays". The band that wins the award for dumbest band name goes to Ted Maul who pull out an incredibly crappy version of Overkill's "Thanx for Nothing". The original song is great, but this version is marred by poor vocals. Ghoul is up next with their version of Megadeth's "Skull Beneath the Skin", a great choice for a cover, although this is the third Megadeth cover offered up here. I Adapt offer up a great cover of Nuclear Assault's "New Song". Unfortunately the recording is a little thin, but isn't so band I can't enjoy the song. Scottlands' Co-Exist does a six-minute medley of Overkill tracks which is most certainly one of the coolest ideas presented here and pays homage to a band I always thought should have been as big as Megadeth, Slayer, Metallica and Anthrax. The song starts off with the haunting sounds of the song "Overkill" before bursting into a full throttle assault to the ears. Other tracks include "Wrecking Crew", "Powersurge" and "Elimination". Argento cover a band I am unfamiliar with, so I can't comment much on the song other than to say it sounds good to me. Inside Conflict (France) covers "The American Way" by Sacred Reich and gives it a far more brutal spin. Actually, if I didn't know that this was suppose to be "The American Way" I probably wouldn't have even recognized it. The CD finishes off with an amazing cover of "Calling in the Coroner" by Vio-lence! A great way to end the disc. Tony Scaglione (Whiplash), and Jim Durkin (Dark Angel) offer up some thoughts on thrash days gone by.
Somehow Blackfish managed to get Ed Repka, the king of thrash record covers, to do the art for this CD. The cover reminds me of Megadeth's amazing "Peace Sells". The booklet itself is jam packed with information; liner notes, photos, contact information from the bands, and even scans of old thrash metal concert flyers. My only real complaint about this CD is what was missing. While we have three Megadeth covers, two Slayer covers and two Overkill covers, where is the fourth band from the Big Four? Anthrax surely should have been represented here. I would have liked to have heard a thrashin' version of "Raise Hell" or "Metal Thrashing Mad". Perhaps that will be held for Vol. 2. Also, where is Exodus? Exodus were vital to the history of thrash metal. How about Dark Angel, Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Hirax? Shoot, I would have gladly donated my own band's (Ultimatum) version of Vengeance Rising's "Burn" or Testament's "Sins of Omission" to the cause. Germany's Blackend could have added in their Testament cover as well. In the label's defense, they do dictate in the liner notes that there are so many bands that they would have liked to see represented here that weren't.
Twisted Forever-A Tribute to the Legendary Twisted Sister (Koch) 2001
Well, at least there is a nice mix of old school and nu-metal. As usual for me, however, I prefer the old school stuff. Several of these bands are already favorites of mine, so of course I prefer their interpretations best. Lit doing 'I Wanna Rock' sounds very similar to the original. Motorhead, as usual, make any cover sound like their own song. Nashville Pussy do a decent version of 'The Kids are Back.' (Always wondered, did NP get their name from Ted Nugent's Double Live Gonzo?) Nine Days do an interesting version of one of the few Twisted ballads adding orchestration to make the song even more interesting than the original. Ex-Public Enemy rapper Chuck D's interpretation of "Wake Up The Sleeping Giant" sounds so far removed from the original that I couldn't even tell which song he was covering. Have to add though that Chuck D has one of the most unique and recongnizable voices in rap. Anthrax and Overkill both totally shred on their songs. Cradle of Filth and Vision of Disorder take their Sister songs into the death/black metal realms. Surprisingly both bands do decent versions. Cradle of Filth sound like they have Mickey Mouse with a throat infection singing for them. The Step Kings prove once again why I don't like modern hardcore. Their version of one of Twisted Sister's best "Burn in Hell" is weak. Fu Manchu follows suit with another lame attempt soundling like a bad garage band. Joan Jett's is an odd choice for this disc, but her version is sort of fun and pop oriented. Sebastian Bach does an excellent job singing over "You Can't Stop Rock 'N Roll." His band for this song is the four musicians from Twisted Sister-AJ Pero, Mark Mendoza, Eddie Ojeda, and Jay Jay French. The four musicians from Twisted went in and recorded the song, then Sebastian came in a few weeks later and laid down his vocal tracks. The song was mixed by Mark Medoza. Hammerfall RULE, so as you can imagine, I totally dig their classic metal take on 'We're Gonna Make It.' Have to admit that it is weird hearing Joacim Cans singing a Twisted Sister song. He just doesn't have that 'street tough' voice. Sevendust do a fast speed/thrash metal, downbeat version of "I Am (I'm Me)". (I may have to check out more of these guys after hearing this song.) The disc closes out with a reunited Twisted Sister performing AC/DC's 'Sin City.' a song they use to perform in the clubs. I read in their web page that they didn't even have to practice to do this song since they all knew it so well. Their interpretation is not that different from the original, but hearing Dee sing rather that Bon Scott is what makes the real difference. Overall, a good tribute disc, but as with any compilation of bands, the skip button may be a necessity.
Destroyer: Tribute to Twisted Sister (Dwell) 2001
1. Soulless - "You
Can't Stop Rock N' Roll" (4:28)
Pretty much another Dwell compilations in which a bunch of unknown bands butcher classic songs. However, there are a few gems on on otherwise abysmal disc. Seven Witches pulls off a respectable version of "Shoot 'Em Down" and New Eden manage to rearange "Under the Blade" into a cool power metal song. Black Earth also pull off a decent version of "S.M.F." that sticks pretty close to the original. From The Depths probably picked the best song to cover that works with their music. While they are of the death metal variety, this song actually works ok in this style. Soulless pull off a heavy version of "You Can't Stop Rock n' Roll" that is unfortunately runined by the horrid black metal vocals. Evil Incarnate totally destroy "The Beast". I mean this cover is just plain bad. Do I even have to tell you how bad a band called Venereal Disease is? Twisted Sister were a NYC city icon. To pull off their songs you have to have that New York City attitude and most of these bands just don't have it.