VARIOUS ARTISTS – “IN HONOUR OF ICON E – A TRIBUTE TO EMPEROR”
METAL SWAMP (2012)
“From the past comes the storms!” was once a battle cry in South-America. In Norway Black Metal Satanist Heathens honed their skills of lighting matches in Stave churches. In Sicily they sacrificed chickens, in Florida dogs. They did things differently in the past. The only storms we experience now are caused by recycling and tribute albums.
To even think of releasing a tribute album to one of Black Metal’s most revered bands is like issuing a hunting license on yourself and the bands that partake.
“Aim low, keep your expectations to yourself and hope you get out of this in one piece.”
Really, the bands on this album really have to re-create the wheel, if you will, on this album because you just don’t “cover Emperor”, you just do not have that luxury. You have to leave your mark, like Thorns did when they recreated “The Pagan Winter”. The real issue, though, isn’t to come out of this triumphant but alive with as little casualty as possible. Leave no man behind but don’t step on a landmine either.
After the first spin Australia’s Midnight Odyssey, who cover the great “Cosmic Keys to My Creations & Times”, had managed to worm their way into my subconscious. The first band to make its way on the top of the mountain that never stops growing. Followed close by Ancestral Volkhves who cover “With Strength I Burn”. Now, you would think that Taake, Helheim, Setherial and even Troll would be amongst the first to get past the high wall of “no way this is going to work” but for some reason it took a while until the bridge was lowered.
As a tribute album I would say this is one of the better I have encountered. Most of the bands manage to come out of the whole experience with their reputation intact. Not all survive, but enough do to make this a good experience. On a side note it also got me into a few bands I hadn’t heard already which, if nothing else, is also a good use to get out of tribute albums.