VARIOUS ARTISTS - "A TRIBUTE TO ABBA" (NUCLEAR BLAST)
Usually, tribute albums seem to be means of generating some extra cash. When a well-reputed record company such as Nuclear Blast releases a tribute album, however, it is usually something different. As is the case here. As with many tribute albums, it's probably best to go through the songs one by one.
"Summernight City" by Therion. Without a doubt the best song on the album, with a choire, chugga-chugga guitars, classical instruments, sounding rich, with excellent female vocals. The male solo vocals are rather less. A wise choice for a first track; if you listen to this one in the shop you will want to buy the album.
"Thank You For The Music" by Metalium. My main gripe with Metalium is their vocalist. As a result, he is also the weaker part of this song: Much too prevalent. Other than that, the song is OK.
"Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" by Sinergy. The Abba classic given the classic Sinergy treatment with good vocals and superb guitar work. Good.
"Money, Money, Money" by At Vance. Over-the-top vocals, average track. Pretty heavy sounding, but that's about it.
"Voulez-Vous" by Morgana LeFay. Pretty good, making the song sound like a trye heavy metal track. Good guitar work, good vocals, double-bass-drum pulse. Too bad the band split up.
"S.O.S." by Paradox. Very fast and unfortunately kindof messy-sounding version of the original. Still, not half bad and certainly pretty heavy!
"Take a Chance on Me" by Rough Silk (featuring Anke Hansen). Good guitars, driving bass, tinny-sounding bass, sub-standard male vocals. Some of the passages only use synth, which makes them sound kindof thin. Anke Hansen's female vocals are uncannily Abba-like. All in all not too good, but not bad either.
"Chiquitita" by Spiral Tower. One of the lesser tracks, with a vocalist attempting the original pitch of the vocals and not sounding convincing. I don't like the original track either, so perhaps that's most of what makes this track such a lesser item. The band mention that Abba songs give them "goose-bombs". Well, Abba used to give me goose bumps, but this song was indeed more like goose bombs.
"Eagle" by Sargant Fury. "Eagle" was always my personal favourite from the Abba catalogue. Excellent guitar work on this version, fitting vocals, Therion-like chugga-chugga. Definitely the second climax on the album. Incidentally, Sargant Fury recorded this cover years ago already.
"One of Us" by Flowing Tears. This version of the song is a bit of a hard rock ballad. The female vocals are good, the version as a whole, too. I prefer the louder sections to the softer ones, though.
"Waterloo" by Nation. Pretty cool version with good guitar work and a clearly audible bass. Vocals might perhaps not be your cup of tea with the excessive harmonies (Supertramp comes to mind, for some reason), but nonetheless one of the best tracks on the album. Odd and quite fun ending.
"Super Trouper" by Custard. Drums too loud, vocals with a pretty heavy accent, and a stupid band name. I didn't like the original track, I don't like this version and I don't like custard.
"Knowing Me, Knowing You" by Tad Morose. Good stuff, heavy sounding, vocals are OK as well, fitting guitar work. Not the easiest of tracks to do with the multi-layered vocals, but they pulled it off.
"Dancing Queen" by Glow. The choruses sound a bit like Foo Fighters, the other bits like the Ramones. Interestingly different, pretty appealing for some reason, not as bad as the description might cause you to think.
Certainly not the worst tribute album ever, in fact a pretty good one. I would liked to have seen Malmsteen's version of "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" on here as well, but hey.
Written April 2001
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