Iron Maiden Tributes

Made in Tribute
(Toys Factory - 1997)
Arch Enemy - Aces High
Superb twin guitar separation in the mix, a roaring lead guitar and guttural roars as vocals. The vocals are somewhat monotonous for a Maiden song and the delivery is faithful but this is well executed and very energetic.

Decameron - Two Minutes to Midnight
An exact copy of the original until the ear-splitting falsetto scream barges in. Thankfully the vocalist uses a typical heavy metal singing voice for the rest, but he ruins the song with his inferior delivery and range and is even out of tune at times. Otherwise, the song is slightly slowed down and totally faithful. No good at all.

Therion - Children of the Damned
At times sounding scarily like Blaze Bayley, the vocalist here gives a strong but very stiff interpretation. The guitars are much fuller and heavier sounding but this hampers the song especially in the beginning when a lighter, looser touch is required. There is a good, strong development when the song builds up but the track is basically flawed.

Armageddon - Die With Your Boots On
Off to a good start with wild Gothenberg/black metal vocals and some good embellishments from all the instruments. It flounders a tad at times when the vocals don't quite match the lighter music but otherwise this is a pretty good one. Great guitar solo, and I loved the well-implemented blast beat at the end.

Nocturnal Rites - Wasted Years
A melodic and slightly lighter interpretation thanks to lighter guitars and bass, and fine, gentler power metal high vocals. Enjoyable but nothing really new.

Sadist - Wrathchild
Now this is what I like tributes to do - re-arrange the music! Lots of keyboards were added, both atmospheric and decorative, and the guitars were souped up to wail and roar. The vocals are effect-laden throaty yells and the drums are mechanical but good. A lively interesting one.

Lord Belial - The Trooper
Raw, sped up, harsh, blasting interpretation that will have many Maiden fans cringing. But it works! Kudos for making the music harsher instead of just using harsh vocals over the original music. Not amazing, but it is fun.

Naglfar - The Evil that Men Do
Harsh but with warmer guitars than the previous track. Melody is more accentuated as well by the lead guitar and faint backing vocals. They managed to keep the great melody of the original and made it harsher at the same time. Good.

Dark Tranquility - 22 Acacia Avenue
Almost shocking brutal and guttural vocals at first while you still have the original song in your head, but DT quickly make this their own with a technical and sharp delivery and too numerous changes and elaborations to mention. An interesting choice by Dark Tranquility and a proper, impressive tribute.

In Flames - Murders in the Rue Morgue
What a great way to end this album. Being probably the best band to cover Maiden songs, In Flames don't disappoint here with a boisterous, savage but intensely melodic delivery. Awesome.

Summary: Surprisingly good with many more hits than misses, so this is highly recommended to fans of good tribute albums.
A Call To Irons
(Dwell Records - 1998)
Steel Prophet - Ides of March
Great intro to the album with a grand faithful buildup and then a slightly different epic approach to this great song. The interpretation is wonderfully inspiring and melodic, bringing new strength to the song, and the vocalist sings like a German Di'Anno with a clearer voice and more range. Great.

Ancient Wisdom - Powerslave
Gritty guitars but faithful riffs, gargling Swedish black metal vocals, and interesting syrupy dark keyboards that replace the second guitar in places. Add to this a shortened, reinterpreted and moody instrumental section and you have an interesting, good tribute with dark atmospherics.

Vital Remains - The Trooper
Faithful but slowed down, sounding as if the guitars can't keep up with Murray's original virtuosity. Then come the death growls that don't really change the song in any way, and sound very out of place at times. Nothing so bad that it makes you hit the skip button every time, but definitely inferior and pointless.

Angel Corpse - Genghis Khan
The drummer is all over this instrumental cover and makes it special. The drumming is strong, precise and adds plenty of flourishes and energy. The rest is merely well executed.

Solitude Aeternus - Hallowed be Thy Name
A subtly different interpretation even though it's basically faithful. The change is in the feeling behind the music. The guitar is relatively gentler and passionate, and the very competent vocalist puts feeling behind his singing, making you listen to the lyrics. Very nice.

New Eden - Phantom of the Opera
Great song, competent execution all around, more metallic sounding guitars, but too similar to the original. The original song is so good though that I'm not complaining.

Opeth - Remember Tomorrow
I would have been crushed if they hadn't done something special with this. Brilliant but subtle re-arrangements and interpretations, adding mood, build up and power and Akerfeldt wisely uses only his clean vocals. Opeth basically owns this song. Wonderful.

Morgion - To Tame a Land
Lengthening this already long song by 3 minutes, Morgion lend a moody and highly personalized sound to this track. Changes include lots of atmospheric keyboards, exceedingly gritty guitars, mixed guttural and clean low vocals and a whole lot of mood. Very good.

Evoken - Strange World
Stoned, sloooowww and doomy to the point of unrecognizability and silliness. Other than the out of tune guitar in the beginning, this is not that horrible if you like this sort of thing, but it does put me to sleep.

Opera IX - Rime of the Ancient Mariner
It was very brave of them to tackle this huge epic track but I now wish they hadn't even come close to it. The changes over the original consist mainly of atmospheric and harmonic keyboards, and female black raspy vocals as well as clean ones. Everything is fine and moody and moderately interesting until the female singer tries to sing, making me feel like jumping out the window. She is way out of tune and drones like no other, and one wonders what the hell this band was thinking about.

Absu - Transylvania
Another great choice and another instrumental enhanced by strong drumming and energy, although not as controlled and interesting this time. Enjoyable.

Summary: If it weren't for that Opera IX track, this would have been a near perfect tribute album with a superb choice of tracks, lots of interesting interpretations, and great bands or performances. Recommended.
A Call To Irons II
(Dwell Records - 1998)
Engrave - Invaders
Strange choice of a track to cover in this style. Basically a springy copy of the original with rabid, raspy growls as vocals. Nothing interesting even though it is performed well.

Steel Prophet - Gangland
Another obscure track. Steel Prophet yet again prove that they can do Maiden better than Maiden in some ways with a wondrous epic feel and professional wide-ranging high vocals.

From the Depths - Iron Maiden
A thrashy interpretation with very scratchy yells as vocals. Acceptable but uninteresting.

Terror - Total Eclipse
Where are they pulling these songs from? This one happens to be a b-side from the Number of the Beast days. The original had a plodding stanza and a moderately good chorus and solo. Terror turn the plod into typical heavy metal and shape the rest of the song around this sound quite well. The vocals are weakly reminiscent of early Skyclad. The end result is still only mediocre though.

Acheron - Wrathchild
Nice lead guitar embellishments and additions on this one and the rhythm guitar roars death metal style. But the monotone half-growls lower the rating on this one.

Possession - Revelations
What a mess. A sloppy interpretation with too much noise and boom from the guitars and other inappropriate elements and furbishments such as out-of-place screams and uncontrolled vocals. This song slipped right through their fingers.

Ion Vein - Killers
This very skippable track features a vocalist yelling like a girl out of tune, and decorating his voice with many 'hiccups', whines and off-key notes.

Mystic Force - Where Eagles Dare
Very faithful and slightly wooden so therefore very pointless.

Deceased - 2 Minutes to Midnight
Another faithful competent delivery with different vocals, this time with Celtic Frost/Venom, throaty, droning ones. Bah.

October 31 - Public Enema No. 1
Why pick this song? In any case, the guitars drone and the vocalist is way too out of key to pull this off. I ran to the skip button yet again.

Prototype - Sea of Madness
After so many horrible tracks, this comes like a breath of fresh air. Energetic, precise execution especially by the drummer, strong guitar sound, and good, throaty vocals. Not without flaw, and the vocalist sometimes flounders, but still quite good.

Diesel Machine - Children of the Damned
The vocals are crucial on this song and while the music is performed very well and the vocalist comes very close with his clear and controlled voice, his voice is a tad too thin and strained at high notes to pull it off impressively. Awesome guitar solo though.

Abbatoir - Sanctuary
Enjoyable rhythmic and bouncy delivery and a slightly eccentric clean vocal performance. Competent and fun but forgettable.

Summary: Consisting of mostly horrible or mediocre tracks, this is definitely one to stay away from.
666 - The Number Of The Beast
(Deadline - 1999)
A strange release with covers performed by 5 unknown or has-been artists, and with a sweet sense of irony by having Paul Di'Anno 'cover' Maiden.

Steve Overland - Can I Play With Madness
Vocals are the focus here right from the start with a strong professional clear voice very suitable for hard rock, and harmonic backing vocals. A very melodic and pleasant interpretation all around, sounding more like a good hard rock number.

Steve Grimett - 2 Minutes to Midnight
A throatier vocal and a much more faithful approach. Other than the lead guitar flourishes and enhancements though, the differences are too slight to make this one that special. Straightforwardly enjoyable.

Paul Di'Anno - Wrathchild
He gained a nice thickness in his voice somewhere down the line and can still hit some high notes with impressive control and power. Slight variations again, but basically only a competent faithful delivery.

Doogie White - Hallowed Be Thy Name
Another strong vocal performance with confidence and passion. The music is superbly rendered but still a copy of the original.

Paul Di'Anno - Running Free
A slightly more polished version but c'mon, give us some progression!

Doogie White - The Evil that Men Do
A less confident performance here by the vocalist and another faithful, polished and competent copy of the original music. The personalized changes only stick out in the guitar solo.

Paul Di'Anno - Phantom of the Opera
Why doesn't he cover a later Maiden track, one that he hasn't done originally? I would have been much more interested in listening to his interpretation of the newer material. An energetic faithful rendition with a new twist on the guitar solo.

Steve Grimett - The Number of the Beast
Great vocals, superb guitar solo, but more of the same. See the summary.

Paul Di'Anno - Iron Maiden

Steve Overland - Run to the Hills
More melodic professional vocals and the only artist that changes the feel of the songs on this album. Nice.

Gary Barden - The Trooper
Great guitar attack, solo and flourishes throughout the track and strong, slightly too heavy vocals. It becomes looser and better as it goes.

Summary: This will only appeal to fans of great Maiden tracks that don't quite like Bruce's wild vocals or want to hear someone else singing for a change. The musicianship throughout the album is consistent and solid and professional, and the production is great, but I wish there were much more novelty. Not an advantageous purchase for me personally.
Maiden America
(Twilight Records - 1999)
A double CD release with unknown bands covering Maiden on the first one and offering their own songs on the second.

CD 1

Pharaoh - Aces High
Nice sounding reproduction of the original but with only changes in the vocals and the addition of harmonic vocals in the chorus.

Omen - Murders in the Rue Morgue
The re-arranged introduction is stretched like a rubber band and lets go for the fast and energetic remainder. The sound is thin but the drums and guitars are played with precision and the song benefits from various subtle enhancements. Pretty good.

Final Prayer - Killers
Another track that would greatly benefit from a better production. This one boasts a low distorted second guitar, sharp and lively lead guitar and drums, and vocals that change from disgorging growls in the intro to competent clean vocals during most of the song, to a lame multi-layered strain that is the only weak part of the track. Altogether quite good with several personal touches.

Born of Fire - Remember Tomorrow
This one suffers mainly from poor mixing and production and an unprofessional vocalist. Nothing horrible - they just need more work to reach their potential.

Twisted Tower Dire - Powerslave
More bad production, making the background singers float in the middle of nowhere and some of the drums sound like tin cans. The slightly changed interpretation is a tad sloppy but has some bright moments and glimpses of promise.

Burning Inside - Genghis Khan
Superb drumming that steals the show but with snares that are too loud in the mix, and inappropriate stretching of some sections of the song. Overall lively and good however.

Dawnbringer - Heaven Can Wait
Rough, garage sounding rendering that gets better as it progresses. Nice lead guitar playing and I loved the addition of the clean guitar during the middle section. The vocals are either annoying or inconsequential. Another competent band that seems to have added the vocalist as an afterthought and that is a couple of steps away from being solidly good.

Equinox - Wrathchild
The only pure rough/raspy death vocals in the album and they are pretty weak relatively. The song is otherwise faithful and slightly slowed down so I found this track lacking.

Edenrot - Hallowed be Thy Name
Marred by a dull, often annoying vocalist and a wooden performance without having enough new touches.

Sadus - Invaders
Finally, a familiar name. Sadus do what you would expect of them, they convert this into a rough, technical, energetic, thrashy number best they can and they do so well but I wish they had picked a wilder song to start with.

Sculptured - Iron Maiden
Totally unrecognizable cover at first that was made into a crooning slow number with a weird mix of light acoustic and distorted guitars. It then suddenly erupts back to the original sound and rhythm of the song with weak death growls and a ...trumpet! The solo was changed into a silly, groovy, jazz, spiraling trumpet solo that made me erupt into laughter and shock. Horribly psychotic but definitely memorable (traumatic?).

Summary: A lot of the music is competent and even impressive in places, and most bands try to add a little something over the original. But I found the lack of good production and general excitement or excellence in the songs to be a crucial deterrent in a tribute album, and in the end, it's the Iron Maiden compositions that are the winners really. Also, most bands just need a better vocalist.

CD 2

Pharaoh - Solar Flight
It starts as an Iron Maiden clone but quickly turns into a power metal number with speedy riffs, good development and energy with a touch of progressive complexity. The vocals are throaty and strong. Good stuff - a band to look out for.

Omen - Holy War
Mid-paced heavy/power metal with thick slightly operatic vocals. Mostly unfocused and uninteresting.

Final Prayer - Lambs To The Slaughter
Pure generic death metal. Quite good at first but lacks originality and an interesting development. I wouldn't mind checking out more though.

Born of Fire - Fire and Brimstone
Speedy guitar attack but an unbearable track thanks to the horrible and weak delivery by the vocalist. A good acoustic and instrumental development follows which makes me wish they'd get a better frontman, and the ending of the composition seems to be missing.

Twisted Tower Dire - When All is Said and Done
Good strong heavy metal riff, good rhythm, solo and focus, but a cheesy, weak chorus. Go back to the drawing board, guys, and fulfill the promise. The clean vocals are somewhat thin too.

Burning Inside - Chapters of Youth
Technical death metal with lots of interesting complex stuff and superb drumming. The growling vocals are slightly drowned out though. Extremely good! Definitely a band to look out for. Further research reveals this is the drummer from Death's Sound of Perseverance which explains the high quality.

Dawnbringer - Beggars and Children
A blend of death growls and catchy, non-cheesy melody played with clean guitars and distorted rhythm guitars. The only weakness is a serious lack of a bridge when the song erupts into more energy and a different key. This style is slightly reminiscent of Amorphis. Nicely melodic and interesting. I'd like to hear more.

Equinox - Come Forth the Haunting
Gear shift into slow doom metal with typical death growls that slowly builds up to death metal and then back again. Unoriginal but pretty good if you like doomdeath.

Edenrot - Aries Shield
I was hoping the dull vocalist would turn out to be a growler like many other bands did on the second CD, but unfortunately he sings here during the moody introduction and middle interlude and otherwise, he shrieks in a very forgettable way. The music itself tries to do a lot, trying to cram an epic multi-faceted 9 minute song into 5 minutes, and only sometimes succeeds, with many flaws getting in the way. With a little harder work, more focus, and a new vocalist, this could be good melodic genre-bender band, but so far it gets a thumbs down.

Sadus - Mask
Well they didn't really need an introduction but this is a surprising long and epic track that builds up nicely and darkly in the beginning and even uses some keyboards. Superb technical thrash metal and surprisingly less brutal and simplistic than what I'm used to from this band.

Sculptured - Almond Beauty
I waited for the weirdness and horns to pop up here again and sure enough, the song shifts quickly from melodic guitars with death growls, to melodic, soft, clean vocals, to a trumpet solo that fits in better this time, and back again. A very melodic wandering and gimmicky song that almost works at times but ends up too schizophrenic.

Summary: A much better CD than the first. It seems most of the bands are better off in their own element. This is a compilation album though and only serves as an introduction to some good bands.
Slave to the Power
(Meteorcity - 1999)
CD 1

Solace - Another Life
70s Black Sabbath style conversion with booming bass, heavy riffing alternating to a faster rhythm, and clear high vocals. Enjoyable.

Sebastian Bach - Children of the Damned
The focus is on the vocals of course and Sebastian pulls this off very well, following Bruce's original vocal lines and adding his own personal rough edge, wild touch and powerful voice. Good.

Crowbar - Remember Tomorrow
Another doom-heavy interpretation with very low gritty guitars, a slowed down beat, and low clean vocals with a harmonic layer. A moody enjoyable one that loses it's grip somewhat when the song speeds up.

Archie Bunker with John Perez - Wrathchild
A slightly inferior copy of the original with inconsequential little changes. Nothing bad but nothing interesting either.

Dofka - Powerslave
Again, only slight changes that sound like they're only there because the artists are different but they were actually trying to copy the original. It's pulled off well and has a slightly different feel to it, and it is a good song, but I expect more that's new.

Shallow - Moonchild
A rougher rendering of the music with punk sounding vocals and a horrible weak high voice singing the chorus. I don't like it.

Warhorse - Total Eclipse
Another doom rendition with slow, very low distorted guitars. This is not a good idea when the original song already is somewhat plodding. But it's the high vocals that break this song, singing in a very weird dissonant world of their own. It never works and comes off quite horrible.

Ian Perry and Kamelot - Flight of Icarus
A weighty interpretation with heavy drums and thick vocals. It comes off more like a pounding heavy metal song. I don't like this one either.

Holy Mother - The Trooper
If you can't handle the speed with ease, don't soil this classic with your grubby guitar picks. A slightly slower inferior copy with layered high vocals. It's only fun because the song is so great.

Electric Frankenstein - Aces High
Another copy made inferior, this time by the obviously weak electric drums.

Wardog - Purgatory
A good energetic copy with throaty vocals, but nothing new.

Conquest - The Evil that Men Do
Off to a good start with an interesting additional harmonic, grungy guitar line. The song is slowed down and radically changed to that Seattle grunge sound a la Soundgarden, vocals included. Interesting and very enjoyable actually if you can get your mind around it.

Eleventh Hour - Alexander the Great
Badly recorded power metal delivery with wooden drumming but with good clear vocals, competent guitars and some personal touches. A listenable but flawed melodic epic.

CD 2

Iron Savior - Running Free
A strong and heavy rendition all around. Good vocals.

Tchort - The Number of the Beast
The intro was translated to some slavic language and spoken with a low effect-laden voice. Then effort was put into an original, slow and light interpretation with a myriad of subtle changes. The layered clean vocals are somewhat monotonous but the rest is a moderately interesting cover. Flawed.

Error 7 - Stranger in a Strange Land
With clear vocals sounding a lot like the guy from Stratovarius, this is still basically a pleasant sounding copy of the original, albeit a good one. Good guitar solo.

Rotors to Rust - Invaders
A thicker sounding, rocking rendition with lackluster vocals.

Cosmosquad with Ray Alder - Murders in the Rue Morgue
A mature, rock & roll fun re-arrangement with heavy guitars and a superb, complex instrumental section in the middle. Very well done.

Hoyre-kone - The Trooper
Hilarious. A very gimmicky insane cover with all sorts of horn instruments, a bouncy bass, a fiddle, a contra-bass (I think), dissonant mixes of these instruments with the original guitar lines, folksy male vocals that just go hop-hop-hop-hop-ahhhh-hop-hop etc. in rhythm with the song. You'll play this over and over to confirm what you just heard and to roll on the floor laughing. Some parts are actually quite good in a very twisted way but the guitars are way out of place in a very dissonant way. I simply can't get enough of this one.

Fates Prophecy - Wasted Years
Well with a name like that what else can you expect other than a good melodic power metal delivery with clean high vocals. Nothing new yet again.

Eternal Elysium - Innocent Exile
Another weird one. This one goes for a cool, funky intro with distorted vocals, bass and acoustic guitar, then a Black Sabbath heavy sounding rendition with grunge vocals, and a jazzy interlude. It keeps things interesting and doesn't really falter or sound bad at all, but it's hard to get into.

Pharaoh - Revelations
Badly mixed and recorded, and slightly rigid playing with better moments in the middle. Good strong vocals and an enjoyable performance but it's nothing new.

Las Cruces - The Prisoner
Yet another heavy and slow Sabbath influenced cover but dull and not well performed this time mainly due to the eccentric stoned vocals.

The Quill - Where Eagles Dare
A fuller sounding competent copy of the original that isn't exciting for whatever reason.

Solstice - The Prophecy
Moody interpretation with heavy guitars and a few nice embellishments but the vocals are slightly weak, the guitar hits some off-key notes in the solo, and the beautiful acoustic epilogue loses some of its magic. Very close but no cigar.

John West with Chris Caffery - Run to the Hills
The drums do a lot more, the guitars contribute some lively flourishes, and the vocals are strong and well done. Nice even if it isn't terribly inventive.

Summary: A mixed bag with lots of different covers (no black/death) but without enough great or new stuff to tip the scale for a solid recommendation. It's not bad as far as tribute albums go though and there is plenty of material, so check it out if this sounds like your thing. Now excuse me while I go back to listen to that Hoyre-kone track.
Children of the Damned
(Adrenaline - 1999)
CD 1

Delusion - 22 Acacia Avenue
Rough distortion on guitars and wailing vocals that sound like a blend of Dickinson and Di'Anno, but otherwise a faithful, albeit energetic cover. Good but needs more novelty.

Aska - Flight of Icarus
Well executed again but the vocalist is trying too hard to sound like Bruce and the instrumental delivery is too faithful, perhaps slightly more heavy handed.

Mesmerize - The Prisoner
More of the same, this time with a vocalist presenting a higher pitched but straightforward vocal. Not bad but inferior in energy and therefore pointless.

Seasons of the Wolf - Flash of the Blade
This one features the first sign of embellishments over the original in the form of soft keyboards and good tweaking of the instrumental section of the song. The vocals are throaty and reminiscent of Blitz from Overkill at times. Nice.

Gooseflesh - Killers
A fat bass sound, down-tuned heavy guitars, some industrial touches and sounds, keyboards, and gargling throaty vocals. Overall a radically changed sound so that already gives them an advantage. The end result is quite good.

Diphtheria - The Trooper
Slightly sped up but featuring a sloppy performance on guitar and a vocalist that is too often sexually ambiguous and lacking in charisma. Not good.

Cessation of Life - Wrathchild
Also sped up with a bouncing bass sound that sounds too electronic. It's over quickly with no interest perked.

Moksha - Can I Play With Madness
Another faithful but inferior cover with a constipated vocalist. The band switches to playing The Trooper in the middle of the song for no reason.

Realm - Bring Your Daughter... To the Slaughter
You would need a lot of flair to pull off this silly song as well as Maiden did and this band does not have it. No novelties worth mentioning and the vocals are slightly annoying.

Night Conquers Day - Where Eagles Day
Buzzing heavily distorted guitars lend a heavy sound to this otherwise faithful cover, but the wooden delivery and droning, unstable vocals ruin it.

Last Disciple - Phantom of the Opera
A heavy handed delivery mars this plodding and mostly faithful cover. And yet again, the vocalist contributes another weak link in the chain.

Innocent Exile - Futureal
A faithful copy instrumentally and the vocalist for some reason tries to copy Blaze's deep but rigid performance only with slightly more flair. Nothing special.

CD 2

The second album features the same bands as on the first performing their own songs.

Delusion - Feel This Way
One can hear them trying to be interesting and passionate, perhaps remotely influenced by bands like Queensryche, but they simply don't get there. The composition needs a lot of help and the vocalist strains his voice too much.

Aska - The Stalker
Straightforward chugging mixture of power and thrash metal with down-tuned guitars. Good but nothing new or special.

Mesmerize - The Werewolf
A speedy Iron Maiden clone from the Killers days only with a high clean vocal and some sparse but lively keyboards. Pretty good overall and the guitar solo is nice but the vocals need more power.

Seasons Of The Wolf - October Moon
Light melodic metal with keyboards that borders the progressive style. Enjoyable high clear vocals. Interesting and promising.

Gooseflesh - Suffer Age
The odd man out so far, Gooseflesh features a Sepultura/Crowbar sound with a heavy mix of modern styles ranging from slow heavy riffing, to Machine Head like metal. Not so original but they pull it off well. Good.

Diphtheria - Living To Die
A melodic mixture of heavy, thrash and doom metal with a good dynamic composition. This is ruined by very immature and often off-tune vocals though.

Cessation Of Life - Synthetic Suicide
A slow long introduction and then an eruption of speedy thrash with strange, disjointed throaty vocals. The whole thing is too amateurish and annoying to enjoy though.

Moksha - Chasing My Life
A slow paced, uninteresting Megadeth thrash number with a blend of Mustaine and Blitz as vocals.

Realm - Realm
More lackluster noise in the form of punk-tinged melodic heavy metal and an off-tune vocalist. Dull and annoying.

Night Conquers Day - The Perseverance Of Ignorance
What's an 11 minute black metal track doing here? The good raspy snarls sometimes flounder and weaken or go off into King Diamond antics, keyboards are used sparingly, and the guitars buzz with sometimes really nice textures. Overall pretty good and at times classically and darkly Norwegian but it's too long and ceases to be good two-thirds of the way through and the vocalist should drop the King Diamond type falsetto and antics.

Last Disciple - World Turns
Amateurish and an empty sounding attempt at progressive Iron Maiden and complex melodic structure with two guitars and many stops and starts and changes. The vocals are absolutely horrible in every way possible. 8 minutes of torture.

Innocent Exile - Strange World
Heavy and sloppy but faithful cover of Maiden's Strange World.

Mostly amateur night with 2 or 3 good bands.
Transilvania 666
(Locomotive Music - 2000)
CD 1

Avalanch - Run To The Hills
Wow, a lot of re-arranging here for a change. Most tributes can't be bothered to work on the composition. Featuring a completely new moody introduction, atmospheric keyboards, 2 extra minutes of music and many changes in the riffs, this song is completely transformed into a standard power metal track. The end result isn't bad with the only weak points being the stiff vocals at times.

Tierra Santa - Flight Of Icarus
Another big transformation, this time into a two-part song, the first of which is a very soft haunting beauty for two minutes, and the second erupts timely into anthem-like power metal. However, the whole song is ruined by annoying weak vocals and a strong accent.

Lujuria - Charlotte The Harlot
Heavier guitars but a somewhat sluggish sound. The vocals are laughably bad with an obnoxious rough yelling quality and a ridiculously strong Spanish accent.

Azrael - The Evil That Men Do
Maybe it's something with Spanish vocalists but so far all the tracks weakest points are the vocals. This tribute features a pretty faithful cover with uncharismatic high vocals that severely lack in passion.

Skunk D.F. - Wasted Years
An industrial/techno/guitars rendition that brings to mind a very dull Zombie/Die Krupps clone with droning vocals.

Grass - Wrathchild
An MTV nu-metal style transformation, at times reminiscent of Korn, Soulfly, grunge and others of the same ilk. Creative transposing but unoriginal sound. Not bad at times if you can stand the blasphemy simply because it shows how much better these bands would be if they wrote more interesting compositions instead of repeating single riffs. It's still nu-metal though so enough said.

Demonios - Fear Of The Dark
A piano replaces the introduction and the vocals are crooned. Amazingly enough this continues into a cheesy rock ballad a la Foreigner with only orchestral synths and acoustic guitar. Some nice parts, but this is mostly corny. Blasphemy!

Twilight - Revelations
Slightly heavier guitars but the vocals are actually performed with a sing-song, 'bardic' delivery. Most of the song's rhythm was also changed to a bouncier, easygoing, but still heavy style. Influenced by Blind Guardian I suppose. Interesting and sometimes fun, but nothing amazing.

CD 2

Mago De Oz - Strange World
Move over Skyclad. This is a very nice transformation into a soft and charming South American style folk song (and later a jig when it builds up), complete with pipes, violin and other ethnic instruments. Unfortunately the unprofessional vocals ruin it again and this time it is a very big shame because the cover is wonderful. Can't anyone tell him not to make so much noise in the microphone when he is breathing in?

Easy Ryder - The Trooper
Easy Ryder's idea of a tribute is obviously to add lots of guitar flourishes and insert many extra musical stops and more drum beats. This is enough to change the sound of the song though and this together with a high-pitched acceptable vocal makes this into a passable but not-so-interesting cover.

Ankhara - Phantom Of The Opera
Numerous changes here, including a lot of backing multi-layered vocals, and lots of extra guitar harmonics. A richer sounding tribute that doesn't always work (some horrible vocal arrangements towards the end) but not bad overall.

Piramid - Powerslave
A slightly darker rendition and richer sounding thanks to additional keyboards and many other subtle changes and complex instrumental additions. Slightly flawed high vocals at times but a lot of hard work has been put into this instrumentally, making this interesting. I wouldn't be surprised if they are originally a progressive metal band.

Tea - Running Free
A Black Crowes style rock'n'roll and blues transformation with heavy guitars. Simple but fun.

Aerobitch - Holy Smoke
More rock'n'roll metal, this time sped up and sounding like a Guns 'n' Roses song with a vocalist that obviously worships Axl Rose.

Sentinel - Moonchild
Energetic power metal rendition with a vocalist that has subtle Queensryche influences but is his own operatic voice. Flawed at times but OK.

Dracon - Children Of The Damned
A sluggish, mostly faithful interpretation with rigid, accented vocals.

Top marks and a big hurrah for actually working hard on changing the songs and making things very interesting and varied. However, the end result is unfortunately not consistently good enough to recommend and there are way too many flaws - mostly with the vocals. Also the whole first CD is pretty bad. Check it out at your own risk if it sounds alluring and if you don't mind Spanish/Mexican/Portuguese accents. Skip the first CD.

The Last Exit 1996-

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