At June's Waldrock festival, one of the targets I had set for myself was to try and find the Iron Maiden tribute "A Call to Irons". I'd heard good things about it, which is usually enough to arouse my curiosity.

With over 70 minutes' worth of music, this surely offers good value for money. On this tribute may be found bands like Vital Remains ("The Trooper", a roaringly excellent version), Solitude Aeternus ("Hallowed be thy Name"), Opeth ("Remember Tomorrow") and Absu ("Transylvania").

Some of the songs are (perhaps too) faithful to the originals (listen to Steel Prophet's "Ides of March/Purgatory", or the magnificent rendition of "Genghis Kahn" by Angel Corpse), whereas others almost violently rape the original. Opera IX's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" definitely belongs to the latter. Their female singer cannot hold a tune, the lyrics are actually wrong sometimes, and you can hear their accent so much it nearly hurts. And to think that I actually bought this album on account of having heard a snippet from this song (I suppose it was an instrumental bit)!

Highlights of the album, IMO, are Ancient Wisdom's "Powerslave", Opeth's "Remember Tomorrow", Angel Corpse's "Genghis Kahn", Morgion's "To Tame a Land" and, of course, Vital Remains' "The Trooper". Rather a lot of highlights, don't you think? Maybe that means it's just plain good.



Written July 1998


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