METAL ALLEGIANCE have an almost dizzying roll call of rock glitterati working a shift for the collective good, but Fallen Heroes has been spawned by a creative core of Alex Skolnick, Mike Portnoy and Mark Menghi, with a different lead warbler tackling vocal duties on each of the three tracks.
First up is Iron Fist and a very faithful note for note rendition it is too. I don’t suppose there is a single person reading this who hasn’t annoyed the hell out of the neighbours by playing the original at ear-splitting volume at some point in their lives. So, given the pedigree of those involved, why not be a tad more playful with the MOTORHEAD template? MASTODON’S Troy Sanders provides the gargling-with-broken-glass vocals, but Lemmy did it a whole lot better.
Next is Suffragette City which has always held the title of DAVID BOWIE tune which would sound best done as a rip-snorting metal song and so it proves. DEATH ANGEL’S Mark Osegueda sticks tightly to the original’s vocal lines, but this time Skolnick’s guitars and Portnoy’s drums are allowed more of a free rein, giving Suffragette City a more contemporary feel than Iron Fist.
Final track Life In The Fast Lane is the ace in the pack by virtue of it deviating further from its source material than its predecessors. But the biggest surprise comes in the form of the contribution from ARCH ENEMY vocalist Alissa White-Gluz. Eschewing her more familiar undergoing- an-exorcism vocals, here White-Gluz sticks to clean singing and you know what, she’s damn good at it. At some points she takes the handbrake off and lets rip, but the best parts of Life In The Fast Lane come when she sings with an insouciant shrug and lets the boys behind her do all the fancy stuff.
All things considered, METAL ALLEGIANCE have achieved their stated goal of paying homage to some fallen musical heroes, but given the pool of talent behind this release, perhaps they could have been a bit more adventurous?
Fallen Heroes is out now via Nuclear Blast Records.
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