Most cover versions on this album are pretty close to the original songs, which makes the whole thing pretty bland to listen to. If you want to listen to Iron Maiden, get Iron Maiden albums. However, it has to be stressed that the musicians do their best and that they are successful in this respect. Some covers are really different from what we are used to, and this originality has to be praised – you'll recognise which ones I'm referring to! All in all, this is a very decent tribute album that has its place in any Maiden collection.
– Another Life (Harris)
This version of "Another Life" is much heavier than the original and the singer's voice is reminiscent of that of Ozzy Osbourne. The whole feel of this version is pretty Sabbath-like anyway, although the rhythm changes are still typical of Maiden.
The origins of Solace trace back to another Jersey metal band called Godspeed, that band recording a major label album in 1994 entitled Ride before breaking up. The Godspeed pair of guitarist Tommy Southard and bassist Rob Hultz ressurected the band a few years later, eventually changing the name to Solace. The band also has ties to another Jersey stoner band, The Atomic Bitchwax, as TAB's Chris Kosnik played in Godspeed and Keith Ackerman (also of TAB) appeared in an early version of Solace. Debuting with a split EP in 1998, the group eventually released their debut, Further in 2001 followed by 13 in 2003. 13, is a thick slab of doomy, grungy, stoner metal, with Southard's meaty, groovy riffs providing the foundation for the songs. Solace deserves to be mentioned along with the best of the stoner/doom bands currently on the circuit.
This extremely slowed down version of "Remember Tomorrow" is as depressing as music can be, but makes a pretty good and dark cover of the song.
Crowbar emerged from the Louisana scene in the early nineties, and they are a perfect representative of the style of music that has frequently emanated from that area – depressively slow, downtuned riffing, and vocals that verge on hardcore. Indeed, the roster of current and former Crowbar members practically encompasses the entire NOLA scene of the past decade, with representatives from Down, Acid Bath, Eyehategod, and others. The band has returned with its first album in four years, Lifesblood For The Downtrodden.
– Wrathchild (Harris)
Close to the original song, this cover of "Wrathchild" is quite good, although not outstanding by any means.
Though not from New Orleans, Archie Bunker's style fits perfectly with the so-called NOLA sound, with the emphasis here on aggressive downtuned riffing and intense vocals (sometimes verging on hardcore). Occasionally the pace slows to near doom speed (where comparisons to Crowbar can be made), but most of the time the pace is more mid-tempo. As of October 2001 they were reported as broken up, though it's not clear exactly when the split became official.
– Total Eclipse (Harris, Murray, Burr)
Extremely slowed down as compared to the original, this version of "Total Eclipse" is good in the way that its mood fits the lyrics very well. A doomsday song in Doom Metal style – perfect!
File Warhorse alongside Cathedral, Electric Wizard, and Sleep as leading purveyors of slow, grinding, crushingly heavy doom. Really nothing more to say here – As Heaven Turns To Ash is as good as anything released by the aforementioned groups, and therefore doomsters should really take to this band.
– Flight Of Icarus (Smith, Dickinson)
This is a very good slow and heavy version of "Flight Of Icarus". One of the best songs on the album.
Florida's Kamelot have been releasing quality melodic, slightly progressive-tinged metal albums for a number of years now. The early albums drew several comparisons to Crimson Glory, due mostly to then-vocalist Mark Vanderbilt's uncanny vocal resemblance to former CG vocalist Midnight. As good as Vanderbilt was, though, the band turned up a notch with the arrival of heralded vocalist Roy Khan, late of Conception. Since then, Kamelot has been virtually faultless, releasing quality album after quality album, and with 2005's The Black Halo, the band shows no sign of slowing down.
Too close to the original to be really outstanding, this perfect rendition of "The Trooper" simply highlights the musical abilities of the performers, not their originality.
Holy Mother is another of those American 90's bands who relive the glory of 80's metal. They were formed back in 1993 by vocalist Mike Tirelli, who had previously worked with former Virgin Steele guitarist Jack Starr in his Burning Starr band, and eventually a lineup stabilized that featured another Burning Starr alumnus in drummer Jim Harris, as well as noted bassist Randy Coven. A self-titled debut was released in 1995, but their second album, featuring a decidedly industrial direction, warranted a name change, and so Tabloid Crush was released under the band name N.O.W. (Not Our World). By 1998 the band reverted back to Holy Mother and back to their more comfortable classic metal sound. Of their later material, 1999's Criminal Afterlife, featuring a very faithful rendition of the Dio classic 'Holy Diver', might be their most consistent album.
Pretty good punk-ish version of a great Maiden classic. This is probably what it would have sounded like if Paul Di'Anno had stayed in the band.
– Purgatory (Harris)
Close to the Maiden version, this cover of "Purgatory" remains excellent, even if not exactly original.
Featuring Tom Gattis (ex-Tension), Wardog played accessible, energetic speed metal, highlighted by Gattis' excellent guitar work. Scorched Earth has a definite 80's flavor but still managed to come across as fresh and not dated. Amidst lineup changes and some internal turmoil, the band eventually disintegrated, with Gattis forming Ballistic and the other three members from the last lineup forming Razer.
This is a very good powerful version of "Running Free". With quality musicians like those of Iron Savior, this is no real surprise.
Iron Savior is a band/project originally conceived by Piet Sielck, who played in early versions of Helloween and more recently has worked as a sound engineer for Blind Guardian. Sielck drafted friend and fellow ex-Helloweener Kai Hansen and drummer Thomas Stauch of Blind Guardian (along with a couple of guest musicians) to complete the project. Not surprisingly, the band plays speedy, early Helloween-styled melodic power metal, rarely straying outside the confines of the genre but nonetheless proving themselves one of the more popular bands of the German power metal scene. Hansen stepped down after 2001's Dark Assault release, parting on friendly terms as the strain of working in both Iron Savior and his main band (Gamma Ray) proved to be a bit too much.
This is the wackiest cover on the whole album, and probably one of the weirdest ever made of "The Trooper". The trombones and cellos certainly add an interesting dimension to the song. Excellent!
– Wasted Years (Smith)
Another good-but-too-close-to-the-original cover. Not much to say about it.
– Innocent Exile (Harris)
Completely different from the original, this version of "Innocent Exile" is quite excellent. Featuring reggae-ish and jazzy parts with much heavier stuff, this is one of the highlights of this album.
Eternal Elysium ranks alongside Church Of Misery as the leading Japanese stoner/doom band currently in the scene. Though a healthy Sabbath influence is very evident, they are far less doomy than many of their ilk, and while the stoner vibe is also present, they are more metallic than the Fu Manchus of the world. Best soundalikes might be very early Kyuss or perhaps The Atomic Bitchwax. These guys are a blast to listen to, definitely a thumbs up for 70's-styled metal/rock fans.
Pharaoh had already covered "Aces High" on the 1999 Maiden America tribute album and deliver here a version of "Revelations" that isn't much more successful.
A promising American traditional metal band, Pharaoh formed in 1997 in Philadelphia and spent their formative years working on material, but by the time they had written enough for a full album, they had still not secured a vocalist. They attracted the interest of Tim Aymar, well known for his work in Control Denied, and he agreed to take part, at first only on a session basis (he later became a permanent member). Due to various record label difficulties, the recording of After The Fire took some time, but was finally completed and released by the new Italian label Cruz Del Sur. Musically, the band has drawn frequent (and justified) comparisons to Iron Maiden, with some nods to 80's American power metal as well. Aymar puts in a fine performance, as does the rest of the band. After The Fire lacks that one something that puts it in the absolutely-must-have category, but it's a fine debut effort, and there's plenty of potential here to be tapped in the future.
This slowed down and extremely heavy version of "The Prisoner" is actually quite interesting and one of the best songs on this album.
A crushing doom band from Texas, Las Cruces plays an early-Sabbath style reminiscent of bands like St. Vitus or The Obsessed. Both albums are quite well done and recommended to doom fans, with a slight nod toward Ringmaster as perhaps the better of the two. Though they have not recorded since releasing an indie EP in 2001, the band is still together.
Lacking originality for being too close to Maiden's song, this version of "Where Eagles Dare" is nevertheless brilliant and played to perfection.
The interestingly-named The Quill emerged in the early nineties (some members previously played in a similarly-named band, Quil) and with their latest album (also strangely titled) Hooray! It's A Deathtrip, they have made their mark on the Swedish metal scene. Musically, The Quill is often mentioned as a stoner rock band, but this is slightly misleading – they do have some similarities with that genre, but they aren't a Kyuss /Fu Manchu clone like many in that crowd. Vocalist Magnus Ekwall is a dead ringer for Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave), and mid-period Soundgarden is possibly the closest musical reference point as well, with perhaps a few Monster Magnet-isms thrown in as well. Hooray! It's a Deathtrip is an excellent heavy rock album, one that can be recommended to metal fans without hesitation.
Complete with the acoustic ending, this is a very nice rendition of "The Prophecy", although my complaint remains the same: too close to the original.
Solstice was a British band playing classic doom metal – heavy without sounding dreary, with clear NWOBHM-inspired vocals. Of minor trivial interest is the former inclusion of Cradle Of Filth guitarist Gian Pyres, here performing under the similar (real?) name of John Piras. Highlights include their third album New Dark Age and in particular the opening track from that album, 'The Sleeping Tyrant'. Their retirement was announced in April 2002, with founding guitarist Rich Walker indicating that several members were eager to play different forms of metal. He (Walker) is also the founder of the Miskatonic Foundation record label, to which he intends to devote more time.