Reviews : Albums : Various Artists, "A Tribute to the Scorpions"

Various Artists, "A Tribute to the Scorpions"

Having not been much of a Scorpions fan in the past, this tribute has proven to be quite a test of my patience and listening skills. The fact that I am not the biggest power metal fan also puts a damper on my qualifications to appreciate the 19 songs on the album. But here's my assessment nonetheless. As on most tribute albums, there are some really great renditions, and there are some less effective ones. A Tribute to the Scorpions is no different. For example, Children of Bodom's version of "Don't Stop at the Top" is fucking incredible, a great song done COB style with tons of melodies and guitar flair. Sinergy's "Rock You Like A Hurricane" is a refreshing representation of one of The Scorpions' best known tracks, and Sonata Arctica's (some great power metal in this band here!), Steel Prophet and Stratovarius' covers of "Still Loving You," "Blackout" and "Top of the Bill" respectively are quite good. Unfortunately, Agent Steel's rendition of "Dark Lady" falls flat in the vocal department, Paradox's "Dynamite" is a bit too down-tuned and lacking in finesse and Helloween made a terrible choice in covering (though extremely adequately) a very dumb song, "He's a Woman, She's A Man."

On the last two thirds of the disc, both Prolopower and Tankard surprised me with interesting covers, the former singing in The Scorps' native language (Deutsch), and the latter by changing "Coming Home" into a speeding thrash track. Fun shit. Disbelief do a strange, nearly instrumental version of "Coast to Coast," with full on death vocals and a heavier feel that preserves the delicate melodies of the song, though I don't know how effective it truly is. The next four songs, performed respectively by To/Die/For, Breaker, Therion and Rough Silk are not winners; especially Therion's the unbelievably pointless "Polar Nights." Metalium do a decent cover of a less interesting song "Another Piece of Meat", Seven Witches rip it up with "Alien Nation," Custard bravely attempts "Send Me an Angel" with a fair amount of success and S.O.D. ends the disc with a surprise that I won't ruin for you?hee hee!

A Tribute to the Scorpions contains good songs and bad songs, good bands and bad bands, some good bands doing bad covers, bad bands doing bad covers, and then enough good songs to make it at least worth your curiosity. In addition, the packaging and inlay card are very professionally done (expect anything else from Nuclear Blast? Didn't think so) with quotes from most of the bands, pictures, etc. So unless you were like me and thought that In Flames, Witchery, and Soilwork were probably going to be included on this disc, or unless you absolutely hate every Scorpions' song, you probably won't be disappointed because there is some good music on A Tribute to the Scorpions.

Track Listing: Helloween "He's a Woman, She's a Man" *Sinergy "Rock You Like a Hurricane" Paradox "Dynamite" *Sonata Arctica "Still Loving You" *Stratovarius "Blackout" *Children of Bodom "Don't Stop at the Top" Agent Steel "Dark Lady" *Steel Prophet "Top of the Bill" *Prolopower "Dampflockfuhrer" *Tankard "Coming Home" Disbelief "Coast to Coast" To/Die/For "Passion Rules the Game" Breaker "Pictured Life" Therion "Polar Nights" Rough Silk "Is There Anybody There" Metalium "Another Piece of Meat" *Seven Witches "Alien Nation" *Custard "Send Me an Angel" *S.O.D. "Rock You Like a Hurricane"

Standout Tracks

   All with * on track listing

Peter Johnston