For fans still steamed at Peter Jackson for not including any Led Zeppelin songs in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Misty Mountain Consort presents Chamber Maid: The Baroque Tribute to Led Zeppelin. From the opening notes of "What Is and What Should Never Be" to the intro to "In the Light," bass violin and bassoon wrap their dusty fingers around Jimmy Page's serpentine licks like a medieval leeching, peeling away the years until songs like "Going to California" meet the simplistic needs of the average villager -- this is what Robert Plant and his cambric shirt must have heard atop of the white horse in the film version of The Song Remains the Same. Zeppelin always had a bit of the minstrel in them, so hearing a pump organ replace the Hammond B-3 on "Thank You" sounds quite natural, and the fat guitar riff in "Ten Years Gone" -- augmented here by thick strings and lutes -- actually sounds quite "kingly." Surprisingly, the only track that doesn't work is "Battle of Evermore," as the combination of reverb-drenched mandolins and Sandy Denny's wailing callback vocals were already steeped in the land of faeries, exposing the Consort's treatment as just a thin facsimile. In the end, Chamber Maid is simply novelty, but it's a fun collection that can be listened to more than once, and it's the perfect companion to a night of "pipeweed" beneath the giant eye of "Sauron."
Chamber Maid: The Baroque Tribute to Led Zeppelin Review
by James Christopher Monger