Various Artists

Numbers from the Beast: An All-Star Tribute to Iron Maiden

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Usually, when "all star" is used in the title of a tribute record, it means that some random bassist or guitar player from a one-hit wonder, late-'80s hair metal band got some of his friends together to "make some f*cking rock & roll" and decided that the rest of the world couldn't live without it. Luckily, Numbers from the Beast: An All-Star Tribute to Iron Maiden boasts some real talent. Unfortunately, it still sounds like something that should have stayed on the hard drives of its creators, as there's nary a note missing or a production risk taken to warrant any of these Maiden classics having been remade. Twisted Sister's Dee Snider does his best to raise a spiritless "Wasted Years" out of the muck, MSG's Robin McAuley, who gives a pitch-perfect rendering of "Run to the Hills," might as well be competing for the state karaoke cup, and Lemmy from Motörhead phones in "The Trooper" without a care in the world. Only Ripper Owens, the ousted ex-lead singer for both a Judas Priest cover band, as well as post-millennium Priest proper, puts his balls to the wall with a snarling rendition of "Flight of Icarus" that finds him replacing his inner Rob Halford with a little Ronnie James Dio. For anyone who ever wanted to hear original Iron Maiden lead singer Paul Di'Anno cover his own "Wrathchild" backed by former members of Testament, Anthrax, Helmet, and Bush, this note's for you.

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