Various Artists

Evil Lives: A True Metal Tribute to Black Sabbath

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Cleopatra's tribute compilations have often sounded like hurried cash-ins, but with Evil Lives they got it right. The performances are true to the original recordings to a fault, but what the album lacks in new perspectives it makes up for with obvious love for the songs. There's nothing embarrassing -- probably a first for Cleopatra tributes -- and the punchy sound offers a clean alternative to Sabbath's sludgy records. Vince Neil comes out the winner with his spirited take on "Paranoid," which includes a shredding solo from George Lynch. The only complaint is that Primal Fear's "Die Young" fades out right as it gets going.

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