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Various Artists - 2002 The Music Remains The Same: The Metal Zeppelin

ARTIST: Various Artists
ALBUM: The Music Remains The Same: The Metal Zeppelin
LABEL: Locomotive Music
YEAR: 2002


LINEUP: Refer track listing

TRACK LISTING: 01 Grave Digger - No Quarter * 02 Mago De Oz - Whole Lotta Love * 03 Elegy - Rock And Roll * 04 Angra - Kashmir * 05 Masterplan - Black Dog * 06 Tierra Santa - Communication Breakdown * 07 Axxis - Good Times, Bad Times * 08 Doro - Babe I'm Gonna Leave You * 09 Consortium Project - Immigrant Song * 10 Blaze Bayley - Dazed And Confused * 11 Primal Fear - The Rover * 12 White Skull - Stairway To Heaven


Tribute albums can, by design, be hit and miss affairs. In the past they've ranged from the essential ('Jeffology: A Tribute to Jeff Beck' and 'Working Man: A Rush Tribute') to the awful (those Aerosmith and Scorpions tributes), stopping by at the oddball in between ('Appetite For Reconstruction', which featured lots of glam heroes performing G'n'R songs, which were then remixed by industrial luminaries).

The Songs
Okay, so what we have here is a selection of Led Zeppelin classics as performed by (mostly) European metal acts.. Against all odds, South American prog-metal heroes Angra deliver a more than passable rendition of 'Kashmir'. It's very well played, apart from some over-use of the bass drum pedals, and manages to capture the spirit of the original rather well. Likewise, 'Black Dog', performed by Masterplan(featuring ex-Helloween members Uli Kusch and Roland Grapow) is very high spirited with some huge metal vocals. Sadly, Blaze Bayley's vocals on 'Dazed and Confused' are appalling! I've had time for Blaze in the past and still maintain that Wolfsbane's debut album 'Live Fast, Die Fast' has some cracking songs on it, but this just doesn't suit him at all. The real jewel here is Doro's rendition of 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You', which has one of her softer vocal performances. In the tradition of the Led Zeppelin performance, it has a largely acoustic arrangement, which is very nice indeed. On the heavier part of the track, Ms Pesch sounds like a female Lenny Wolf to my ears (or maybe I've just been listening to Kingdom Come's 'Independent' too much), and it works well. I think, possibly, the other selections here may not be of as much interest to a melodic rock/metal audience, but a special mention must go to platinum selling Spanish band Mago De Oz. They've managed to record a version of 'Whole Lotta Love', which I dislike more than the version by the god-like Perry Farrell (Jane's Addiction, Porno For Pyros). However, I suspect that Mago De Oz may not have been taking this too seriously! The mid-section features an Iron Maiden style twin guitar lead, playing an Irish jig! I can almost see the tiny model of Stonehenge when I close my eyes!!! ('It's one louder!)

In Summary
I think it's strange that seeing as Led Zeppelin have always distanced themselves from metal, that metal bands should actually want to make this kind of tribute album. It's a funny world. If you have any interest in the bands featured, then check this out, but if you're a Zeppelin fan, it's probably best avoided. And I promise to never complain about Great White again..

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