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Metal Allegiance - "Fallen Heroes" (CD)

Metal Allegiance - "Fallen Heroes" CD cover image

"Fallen Heroes" track listing:

1. Iron Fist
2. Suffragette City
3. Life In The Fast Lane

Reviewed by on August 16, 2016

"Overall these are passable covers performed by musicians who know what they are doing, but they don't particularly shake things up or offer any sort of new take on the classic material."

Last year's self-titled “Metal Allegiance” had an absolutely gigantic cast of musicians from across the many different metal sub-genres, resulting in a sort of supergroup's supergroup. That huge of a roster can't really be supported in the long term, especially not in a live setting, so it was a bit of a surprise when a new release was announced a few months later. The reason behind this new mini-album effort is less than ideal, however, as the core group got together to remember some of the legendary musicians who recently passed away.

Tributes to Lemmy are of course expected across the metallic universe, but two other huge names in the music industry also get their due here: David Bowie and Glenn Frey, who both had a big impact on many of the Metal Allegiance members. A three song release that consists entirely of covers might not be exactly what fans were expecting, but at least its keeping this all star group going and pumping out material, rather than fading away after a single album as might have been expected.

First up with “Fallen Heroes” is a rendition of Motorhead's “Iron Fist,” where Troy Sanders of Mastodon ditches his normal vocal style in favor of mimicking Lemmy's iconic gargle. If I was a betting man, I'd lay down money that he did some chain smoking and took more than a few shots of Jack Daniels prior to recording. Other than some extra feedback at the beginning and end of the track (and a cleaner production), this cover sticks really close to the original, so if you've heard “Iron Fist” a million times you already know what to expect.

David Bowie's “Suffragette City” gets somewhat more of a metal twist, but still stays fairly true to the base rock/pop style. Mark Osegueda of Death Angel handles the clean singing here, and while the addition of the backing guitars is an excellent change, his style of vocal delivery doesn't really work with the lyrics, and that area is noticeably better in the original.

The EP is then capped with Alissa White-Gluz performing vocals for “Life In The Fast Lane,” where she offers a reasonable facsimile. The slightly metaled-up rendition is fun, although again the track is quite close to the original without too much of a spin added.

While “Fallen Heroes” is certainly just as eclectic as the band's self-titled debut album, there isn't nearly as strong a straight-up heavy metal appeal and nothing even approaching the extreme end of things. Overall these are passable covers performed by musicians who know what they are doing, but they don't particularly shake things up or offer any sort of new take on the classic material.

Highs: You get a lot of legendary metal musicians all together in one place covering classic material

Lows: There's not actually a ton of "heavy metal" going on here, and the covers don't really depart much from the original versions

Bottom line: This massive supergroup offers up cover tributes to Lemmy, David Bowie, and Glenn Frey.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)