Various Artists

Metallica: The Ultimate Tribute Album

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The cover art for Metallica: The Ultimate Tribute Album is a black-and-purple mess of desktop publishing, and performance credits aren't included for the ten selections on the back. However, despite Big Deal Records' mishandling of the packaging, their tribute to the veteran metal act is actually pretty solid. Motörhead opens with "Whiplash," Flotsam & Jetsam turn in a nearly note-perfect rendition of "Damage, Inc.," and the interesting pair of Scott Ian and Helmet's Page Hamilton really get into their version of "Motorbreath." Dark Angel doing "Creeping Death" and a reading of "Trapped Under Ice" by Death Angel are other set highlights. There are numerous Metallica tributes on the market, from Die Krupps' industrial fete in 1993 to the electro-pop of 2002's Metalliclash. But while Metallica: The Ultimate Tribute Album doesn't do itself any favors visually, fans should find these versions worthy.

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