A Black Mark Tribute(Black Mark - 1997)
I got this as a gift, I guess I normally wouldn't buy such an album on my own. It's a curiosity item, especially considering the songs some of these bands cover. I will presume that some of these covers were done as a joke although there are a few interesting ones. A lot of these 'tributes' are simply heavier versions of the originals - I prefer it when they simply interpret songs in their own way instead of trying to outdo the original artists. I don't know a few of the originals so I can't compare all of them. With a little open-mindedness some of these should be quite enjoyable. This one simply has to be reviewed track-by-track:
Soulquake System - Firestarter (Prodigy)
A metallized version of the dance-metal crossover hit. The original electronics on this one were pretty much left alone but rhythmic deathmetal guitars were added as well as roaring thrash vocals. Pretty good!
Memento Mori - Sold My Soul (Nazareth)
I don't know Nazareth but this version has Memento's Candlemass-esque clean vocals and it plods it's way through with slow heavy bass lines in the Black Sabbath style. A well done doom song that reminded me of Candlemass in many ways.
Necrophobic - Ridden With Disease (Autopsy)
A typical doomdeath song with a faster tempo towards the end. Phlegm-ridden vocals and a spiraling death guitar solo. Nothing special but well done nevertheless. The heaviest song on this album.
World of Silence - Strawberry Fields Forever (Beatles)
Yes, you aren't seeing things, I said Beatles! To my horror, the song starts acoustically with all its original pop glory. But then it changes into a heavy rock-ish interpretation. They took out a lot of the pop but they're still left with a slightly cheesy song. A brave attempt perhaps and it even has its good moments during the instrumental solos, but a little too Bon-Jovi-esque because of its vocal lines. Top marks for bravery and interesting arrangement though if you aren't expecting metal.
Quorthon - God Save the Queen (Sex Pistols)
I hate punk and I hate sex pistols. But that's ok because they hate themselves too. No metal here except for the slightly heavier guitars but this is fuck-you punk style in all its glory, including the vocals. Bah.
Tad Morose - Power of the Night (Savatage)
Again, heavier guitars are used here but this is still power metal and hasn't changed all that much. Vocals are lower though and slightly throaty in the Iced Earth style. Nothing surprising.
Divine Sin - Eternal Dark (Picture)
I don't know anything about these two bands. The vocalist gargles his vocal-chords in the Motorhead style and sings a la Blackie Lawless. Low-end grinding guitars but basically an average heavy metal song.
Hexenhaus - War (Edvin Starr)
Again, I don't know anything about these. It sounds like a heavier metal version of a glam rock song or something. Cheesy clean vocals and an annoying song in general.
Corporal Punishment - It's A Sin (Pet Shop Boys)
No, you aren't seeing things again. This is a doomdeath version of the big pop hit and is possibly the second heaviest on the album! The song is actually enjoyable but the vocals are very latter-day Moonspell like and are a little annoying to me. Big surprise with this one.
Bathory - Ace of Spades (Motorhead)
This amazing classic has been changed radically and done in the really slow and heavy Bathory style from their 'Viking' era. The vocals are clean shouts with the usual Bathory background 'choir' keyboards. It might grow on me but it's really hard to forget the speeding-truck power of the original. This one plods along too much...
Nightingale - Return to Fantasy (Uriah Heep)
A really cool rock song - no metal. Drums are the same monotonous power rock beat throughout. The guitar on this makes this an absolute beauty though, using really smooth rock solos and harmonies that give me chills. The vocals are clean. My favorite track due to the amazingly beautiful and sad guitar and the main reason why I keep this cd.
Edge of Sanity - Invisible Sun (Sting - The Police)
Another winner for me personally. A real heavy version of this dark Sting song decorated with some death guitars and keyboards. Vocals are sung really close to Sting's original voice. Interesting.
Morgana Lefay - Parasite (KISS)
I wasn't aware that Morgana is an industrial band. This interpretation simply converts this song into a techno/industrial track. Way too much techno in this one - it really annoyed me.