A Tribute To The Four Horsemen - VARIOUS ARTISTS

Getting picked to feature on a tribute to San Franciscan legends METALLICA must prove something of a scramble to get the "good" tracks. In all honesty, it wouldn't be ideal to have to choose one of their, shall we say, more expansive songs, unless you have the power to recreate that "moment of magic" feeling that the originals possess.

Hence the lucky people who rise to the top here are the ones who landed the more immediate blasts. Take THERION's version of "Fight Fire With Fire" that has plenty of va-room (ironic really, considering that they're heinously guilty of stretching their own material to mind-numbing lengths). And TANKARD, who rattle off a rousing "Damage Inc.", mercifully free of the lumbering that's characteristic of a bunch of drunkards. "Phantom Lord" by ANTHRAX is also worth a commendation at this point — a longer track, granted, but tackled with the same kind of verve as the shorter ones.

And that's essentially the problem with most of the remainder of "A Tribute to The Four Horsemen" — and why only four or five of the tracks out of thirteen really register favorably. ANTHRAX pull it off because they're a veteran act who appreciate that going for it with gusto is perhaps the only way to triumph here. DARK TRANQUILLITY and BURDEN OF GRIEF don't triumph at all with respective stabs at "My Friend Of Misery" and "Master Of Puppets", due to the stony-faced way in which they approach these lengthy slogs. Taking the more considered route, THE KOVENANT have taken a much-maligned METALLICA piece, "The Memory Remains", and funked it up with their brand of industrialism. Though hardly a mind-blowing band otherwise, this cover supersedes the irritating original. Clever.

Through some sort of hilarious mix-up, the record company information actually states that PRIMUS appear with a version of "The Thing That Should Not Be" (!?!). Bizarre. But how the quirky ones could've added clout to a compilation that punches well below its weight.

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