VARIOUS ARTISTS: The Second Coming
A Millenium Tribute To 80's Hard Rock/Heavy Metal (Versailles)
By: Geoff Melton
If you're like me and still hold a special place in your heart for the days when big-haired metal bands ruled the airwaves, you'll almost definitely find plenty of The Second Coming to hold your attention. As with most tribute disc, this one has its good and bad, with some bands taking the cuts and making them their own, while others virtually replicate the original. The best way to let you know what to expect is to give a track by track rundown. First out of the gate are American Dog (featuring former members of Salty Dog and Dangerous Toys) and Cage with largely faithful, albeit a bit meatier, sounding versions of Twisted Sister's "Under the Blade" and Judas Priest's "Freewheel Burning". Next up are two album standouts with Southern Rock Allstars' (a southern rock supergroup featuring founding members of Molly Hatchet and Blackfoot) with their superb southern-tinged take on Thin Lizzy's "Don't Believe A Word" and LA's Guttersluts giving G 'n R's "Welcome To The Jungle" a sleazed out shuffle. Florida's Premonition turn in a dead on version of Ozzy's "I Don't Know" with amazing Ozzy-like vocals, which makes for a good cut, but when you've already got the original why duplicate it (a semtiment that can be repeated with Red Hot's version of "Kickstart My Heart" and Mudbone's take on White Lion's "Wait". Straightjacket Smile take a somewhat lo-fi approach to Def Leppard's "Photograph" with interesting results, while Wraith take Quiet Riot's "Mental Health" and give it a heavier edge with somewhat mixed results. The next cut, Salvo's version of Motorhead's "Orgasmatron" is hands down the best here, as they take it and make it their own turning it into an all-out industrial assault. Ironically, one of the weakest cuts follows with Iron Maiden's "Revelations", which in Tempered Steel's hands loses its technical edge, becoming grittier and fairly bland. New York's Detox Darlings are next with a sleazier. glammed out version of Faster Pussycat's "Smash Alley", while Black Widow turn in a solid take on Dokken's "When Heaven Comes Down", giving it a heavier bottom end. Lastly is OCD's excellent, tripped-out, psychedelic metal cover of Alice Cooper's "I Love the Dead", which gives Salvo a run for it's money for the honor of album standout. Overall a worthy addition to any 80's metalheads collection, giving you a chance to revel in its glory days, and also giving a glimpse to the future through some very promising acts.
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