Friday, July 18, 2008

Remember Tomorrow

Iron MaidenThe Metallica hype machine has been in fifth gear as their new album, Death Magnetic, approaches release. So I felt it was apt to review their first official release with Rob Trujillo on bass: a cover of Iron Maiden's "Remember Tomorrow". Currently you can listen to a lo-fi version of it here.

Some background: although I'm a big fan of the covers they released on their Garage Days EPs, plus tracks like Queen's "Stone Cold Crazy" from their Black Album days, I was less than thrilled with the new work on Garage Inc. (i.e. the first disc; except for the Motorhead gunk, the second disc was all good, re-released material), which seemed just a bit too by the numbers. Their cover of Ramones classic "53rd & Third" is reasonable, but it pales big-time compared to the original.

This is why I was pleasantly surprised with their version of "Remember Tomorrow". Interestingly enough, they Metallica-fied it quite a bit by adding a "Creeping Death" style intro and outro, plus "Sanitarium" style leads during the quiet bits. Lars Ulrich goes rather nutty with the drums (especially the snare, but at least it doesn't make a St. Anger style clank sound), but I feel it works more than not. James Hetfield is crooning through most of the song, which does good homage to Paul Di'Anno's original take.

The riffage is decent, although I would've preferred a bit more crunch to the guitar sound. The production is very dry, a la Justice, but fortunately the guitars aren't thin. The bass playing is acceptable, but to be honest, this song isn't exactly a typical Steve Harris thump-a-thon, so any judgment on "the new guy" will have to wait for Fall.

I am, sadly, disappointed with Kirk Hammett's solo. It's decent enough, but it doesn't have the fire of Dave Murray's original, nor does it mimic that lead in any way. Which is surprising, since Kirk is more than capable of dishing out some awesome tributes to other players' solos (granted it's old, but ye gawds his leads in "Am I Evil?" are incredible). Where's the feel?

Summary: song good, solo meh. Kirk: please step it up, and maybe there will be something to talk about when Death Magnetic gets released.


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