Covers albums can be a hit and miss prospect. For every band willing to take risks, there are three dozen hacking out uninspired versions of other peoples’ songs in the name of a quick buck. As proven by Jorn Lande, metal based covers albums can be an even trickier thing to pull off successfully, since not everything needs – or even suits – being “heavied up” in the name of entertainment. In fact, the experience of hearing Lande wail his way through Don Henley’s ‘New York Minute’ could be enough to put you off metal oriented covers albums for life…
Tomi Fooler was once the vocalist with a Helloween tribute band. Realising the potential for self-written material, the almost laughably named Skeletoon set upon a quest to bring classic sounding power metal to the world. Never letting his love for that German band too far out of his sights, 2016’s ‘The Curse of the Avenger’ often sounds like the kind of album Helloween should have made instead of the fan-polarising ‘Chameleon’ in the early nineties, crossed with the better bits of Roland Grapow‘s Masterplan. It mightn’t come as a surprise, then, that Grapow has been enlisted for lead guitar duties throughout the album – and it’s mostly his presence, old hand that he is at this style, that gives the album it’s best musical moments.
Making their debut in 2015, the (mostly) European metal band Level 10 features a few familiar faces. While not quite stepping up to the true supergroup mantle, with its coming together of members from Symphony X, Masterplan, Primal Fear and Sinner, the band includes personnel that should be more than familiar to hard rock fans.
Longtime Helloween frontman Andi Deris has a new record out via the earMUSIC label in November. Released under the moniker Andi Deris & The Bad Bankers, the project marks Deris’s first extra-curricular disc for almost a decade and a half.