Heavy Metal fans who also enjoy electronic music are fairly rare, but there are some. Apparently, this compilation was made by artists who play this kind of music and who are also Iron Maiden fans – or at least were at one point in their lives. All the great classic riffs of Maiden are hardly recognisable though, played by fuzzy synthesisers and transformed into buzzing weird machinery sounds, the original bass lines of Steve Harris are turned into strange low-frequency hammerings and pulsating rumbles, and the guitar harmonies are rendered as alien screeches, all this with the addition of extremely vocoded vocals, distorted almost beyond recognition.
The liner notes warn us that this is by no means a piss-take, but that the album was "conceived with the greatest respect". This is hard to believe in some cases, although a few of the covers have obviously been done by people who know Maiden and who put a lot of effort into reproducing the songs in their own style. This album seems to be some Anton Maiden-like tribute, but with a substantially larger budget.
But if even Paul Di'Anno claims that he enjoyed it and recommends it, I suppose that this album is worth getting hold of, even if only for a laugh. Play "recognise the song", or something like that.
– Fear Of The Dark (Harris)
Alek Stark & The Replicant are an electro duo from Madrid. Their version of "Fear Of The Dark" is as weird as any song can be in this particular style, but it's not bad though.
Yet another strange version of a Maiden classic, this time by a Dutch electro duo. The synthesised bass line is pretty good and they also lengthened the song as compared to the original. Not bad either.
Macondo, a duo from the UK, made a stripped down, slowed down version of this early Iron Maiden single. The feel is quite dreamy and the female vocals make this cover quite interesting.
– Aces High (Harris)
This cover of "Aces High" by the two Finns of Imatran Voima lacks the power and aggression of the original song (well, this is to be expected with this style of music). Probably one of the weakest covers on this album.
This "musician" from L.A. delivers here a rendition of "Flash Of The Blade" that's pretty hilarious due to the ridiculous-sounding little keyboard and pretty basic rhythm. Even Anton Maiden could do better! However, Captain Ahab has the merit to have chosen to give his version of a song that's not often covered.
This German electro outfit gives a rendition of "Running Free" with female vocals that's only recognisable by the lyrics. The music – well is it actually music? – has nothing to do with the original, but I suppose that those who like this style may enjoy it. I don't.
– Wasted Years (Smith)
This cover of "Wasted Years" by the Dutch of Ra-X is probably one of the best on this album. Although the style is very different, as it's the case for all songs on Powerslaves, it nonetheless stays fairly close to the original. Pretty good.
Maiden is one of the best bands in the world. There, I've said it! I love their albums up to Seventh Son. The strange thing is that it's from the same era as the first electro stuff. For some strange reason nobody hears the likeness! I did a cover version of 'Wasted Years' and my mates were going ballistic. I got to meet Paul Di'Anno, who wrote the sleeve rnotes for it and I even got an email from the Sanctuary office saying that is was 'a very interesting and unique view on the Maiden legacy.'
The Dutch of Legowelt have recorded what is possibly the most boring cover version of "Run To The Hills" ever. The dopey female vocals repeating the same line over and over again are particularly annoying. Over 5 minutes of absolute boredom that never seems to end.
– Die With Your Boots On (Smith, Dickinson, Harris)
Yet another cover that's only recognisable by hearing the lyrics, "Die With Your Boots On" by Maxx Klaxon (USA) is actually fairly well made and original. The inclusion of excerpts from G.W. Bush's "War on Terror" speech is actually pretty clever and fits the mood of the song. This is definitely one of the best songs on the album.
'Die With Your Boots On' happened because Vince Koreman at Angelmaker Records in Amsterdam asked me to participate in the Iron Maiden tribute. I listened to a bunch of Maiden tracks, and this one grabbed me, partly because, again, it seemed like it could apply to the present moment. I recorded it right before the invasion of Iraq, when we were being fed all the weapons of mass destruction hype to convince us to go to war. The lyrics of the Maiden song fit perfectly.
This interesting cover starts quite appropriately with the sound of a galloping horse and ends on a gun shot. The whole rendition of "The Trooper" by this Finn is actually quite enjoyable, even if you're not into the electro style. The best part is probably the whistled solo. Very good cover and quite original!
– The Number Of The Beast (Harris)
Whoever this "band" may be, their rendition of "Number Of The Beast" is pretty weird, to say the least. The drum machine sounds like a drunken pneumatic drill and the whole original melody is simply not recognisable in the middle of all those various strange noises. This is completely wacky! Up to you to decide if this is funny or simply pathetic...
– Powerslave (Dickinson)
Strange, really strange. The melody is quite recognisable, but the whole mood of this cover is undefinable. This is not the best song on this album, but it is by no means the worst. An "interesting" closer for an "interesting" album.