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Various Artists - Kerrang! Maiden Heaven: A Various Artists Tribute To Iron Maiden (8/10) - V/A - 2008

Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Kerrang!
Playing time: 74:02
Band homepage: -

Tracklist:

  1. Prowler (Black Tide)
  2. Remember Tomorrow (Metallica)
  3. Flash Of The Blade (Avenged Sevenfold)
  4. 2 Minutes To Midnight (Glamour Of The Kill)
  5. The Trooper (Coheed And Cambria)
  6. Wasted Years (Devildriver)
  7. Run To The Hills (Sign)
  8. To Tame A Land (Dream Theater)
  9. Caught Somewhere In Time (Madina Lake)
  10. Wrathchild (Gallows)
  11. Fear Of The Dark (Fightstar)
  12. Hallowed Be Thy Name (Machine Head)
  13. Iron Maiden (Trivium)
  14. Running Free (Year Long Disaster)
  15. Brave New World (Ghostlines)
Various Artists - Kerrang! Maiden Heaven: A Various Artists Tribute To Iron Maiden

The rare occasions I purchase the rag that is KERRANG! is when they feature a Metal band on the front page. Since those covers seem to be more infrequent as the days go by, least we forget the diminutive figure of the mighty Metallic PRINCE (yes he of no name) as a reference point the magazine that once served as a bible to all things Metal is now nothing more than a limp wrested attachment to that other wank-fest the NME and as a result has been way down the must read chart for a number of years.

 

However they might well have redeemed themselves at KERRANG! HQ with this timely tribute to IRON MAIDEN. Featuring some big Metal hitters and pre-requisite KERRANG! darlings this various artist tribute is a fairly rip roaring testimony to the finest Metal band the UK has produced.

 

Naturally all participants owe a huge debt of gratitude to Harris and Co. although the link between say FIGHTSTAR and MADINA LAKE are tenuous ones, all those groups taking part offer up some memorable moments; some more than others though.

 

Unless, unlike myself, you are an avid reader of KERRANG! many of the names will sound unfamiliar and first listen will take you to the likes of METALLICA, MACHINE HEAD and DREAM THEATER. I for one wanted to hear all the lesser famed bands fail miserably as they tired to re-invent some of Metal’s finest moments.

 

Aussie whipper-snappers BLACK TIDE open with a robust, up-tempo “Prowler” which injects much of the angst and ferocity of a young MAIDEN back in the early 80’s. METALLICA cut the haunting chug of "Remember Tomorrow” in their own inimitable style, Hetfield might struggle vocally but it’s good to hear them letting loose on the Metal. AVENGED SEVENFOLD suck, vocally M. Shadows doesn’t do it. There’s much posturing but little substance whereas GLAMOUR OF THE KILL thoroughly modernise “2 Minutes To Midnight” with a cracking rendition that instantly endears them to this writer. I make no apologies but COHEED AND CAMBRIA’s take on “The Trooper” is a disaster. The sound is awful the vocals awful and does absolutely nothing to add to the legacy of one of Prog Rocks big hitters. The pseudo Thrash of DEVILDRIVER apes the over blown commerciality of the original “Wasted Years” very well. It’s just a pity it’s not a bit more up-tempo as DEVILDRIVER just slay.

 

Just what do you do with one of Metal’s most enduring sing-a-longs? Well if your SIGN you slow “Run To The Hills” down into a laconic acoustic opening before embarking on a quirky, some would say, robotic riff-fest. It’s certainly one of the most unique songs on the album. Prog Metal masters DREAM THEATER had to challenge themselves and in “To Tame A Land” the pull out all the stops on one of MAIDEN’s most majestic and epic of tracks.  MADINA LAKE’s “Caught Somewhere In Time” may seem a bridge too far for such young upstarts but they do manage to take the Metal out of MAIDEN spectacularly well and in doing so endear themselves to the KERRANG! crowd even more. GALLOWS burl and hurl through a rambunctious cover of “Wrathchild” they of all present capture the Punky hard edge spirit of MAIDEN from yesteryear. Why FIGHTSTAR has been invited to defile the legendary name of MAIDEN is beyond me and why they feel that they can expand on one of the true MAIDEN classics does not sit well. Fair play to them as this is the nearest they’ll ever get to greatness. MACHINE HEAD stem the usual break neck Metal ferocity for a heavy mid speed “Hallowed Be Thy Name” TRIVIUM add in more guitars and drums than you could think required for a bustling, rampaging “Iron Maiden” YEAR LONG DISASTER don’t offer much more than a more chugging, slower version of the seminal “’Running Free” GHOSTLINES finish off with a haunting, evoking rendition of “Brave New World” which, amazingly, makes it sound even more Proggy!

 

It may be a sign of the times but for an album I derided it has actually turned out way better than I could have hoped for and wished for.

 

Available exclusively with KERRANG! issue 1219 July 19.

(Online August 14, 2008)

Chris Doran



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