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You can say that Hellhammer lives, at least in spirit form. Two of the best modern underground bands from the northern part of the continent deliver their tribute to the epitome of old school BM disgust - the swiss fuckers themselves, Hellhammer.
Now, let me explain why the vast majority of tribute albums don't work. You have to know how to properly do a cover. In one hand, you have to preserve the feeling of the original song and, on the other, you must input your special "something" (assuming yours isn't a clone or an entirely worthless piece-of-shit band) to make the song sound "yours" and not-at-all-that similar to the original, both aesthetically and in spirit.
Now, about this tribute in particular, do both the bands manage to pull off such a feat? the answer is FUCK YEAH. If you're familiarized with the original AR EP (AND the Death Metal sampler tracks), as you ought to be, the similarity with the originals are damn obvious - they do not butcher the songs mercilessly beyond the point of recognition like many, many bands do in their "tributes", but instead both Rampage and Megiddo do their job carefully and properly. The whole thing sounds like the original EP, but at the same time the bands inject their inputs on the songs to make them sound "theirs". The thing that surprised me the most here are Megiddo's versions - the fucking RASP of Chorazaim's vocals inject a little of that hate vibe that the Canadians are so famous for and, man, the Chor can play those riffs in "Triumph of Death" like young Tom G. could only do back in his prime.
Strictly limited to 113 copies, this album is completely sold out and the only way to get it now is through file sharing (or trading, if you're lucky). Believe me, it's completely worth the hunting. This shit rules almost as much as the original Apocaliptic Raids.
Album: Apocalyptic Raids 2001 C.E.
Label: Unsung Heroes Records
Release Year: 2001
This is a Megiddo/Rampage split CD, in which the two bands take turns covering the songs from Hellhammer's "Apocalyptic Raids 1990 A.D." release (i.e. the four tracks from the original Apocalyptic Raids EP, and two from a sampler CD). Megiddo have covered "Third of the Storms/Evoked Damnation", "Triumph of Death", and "Revelations of Doom", with Rampage taking "Massacra", "Whorus/Aggressor", and "Messiah".
Here we have two of my favorite current Black Metal bands, taking on one of the founding classics of the genre. The result is dripping with pure old-school spirit - the way such cover songs should be. Both bands have opted for a fuzzy, raw production. This suits the material well, and gives the album a unified feel which is further enhanced by the way the songs are arranged. Instead of the usual split-CD song order, where all songs from each band are together, the two bands alternate songs. As for the individual bands, I would say that Rampage comes closest to the original, but I slightly preferred Megiddo's interpretation, mostly due to the hateful vocals... Even so, Megiddo and Rampage each put forth an excellent performance here.
Any fan of Hellhammer, Megiddo, or Rampage should own this. Available from the label for $5, on CDR.
Standout tracks: "Triumph of Death", "Whorus/Aggressor"
Review by Vorfeed: http://www.vorfeed.net