Review Summary: A parade to celebrate mediocrity
It has been a decade since My Chemical Romance’s
critically and commercially acclaimed album, The Black Parade, has been released and magazine publisher, Rock Sound
, saw fit to produce a “star-studded tribute to an album that defined a generation” as the front cover proudly touts. Tribute albums are a great way for newer bands to attract the attention of fans by putting their own twist on classic songs, all the while paying service to a band of the original material. While tribute albums aren’t a relatively new concept in any means or even few and far between, it’s always interesting to see an album like The Black Parade being covered. The original album was an anathematic, bombastic rock epic with plenty of ways that could be worked into something fresh and different.
Unfortunately, most of the album falls into the trap of mimicking the notes to create an imitation of the originals. It doesn’t start off promising as the opening song, The End
, sounds like it could be played right on top of the rendition by My Chemical Romance
. By the time the next five songs play it becomes more disheartening to hear so little effort put forth into the songs. Crown The Empire’s
rendition of the title track is especially guilty of making the anthem sound actually worse due to flat vocals, poor production, and uninspired tunes.
The latter half of the tribute album manages to fare a bit better starting with Palisade’s
cover of House of Wolves
. You can hear that the band actually put their sound into the song and the singer actually puts forth a strong vocal performance, possibly the best on the album. However, it feels as if they covered the wrong song as they turned the original song with its non-stop spastic riffs into a cover with some basic chugs dragging the pace of the song down quite a bit. A few other bands manage to put their own spin on songs like Ghost Town’s
electronics driven cover of Mama
or New Year’s Day
with some aggressive vocals and simple but sweet heavier tuned riffs played throughout. It doesn’t always work but it is worth commending them for making songs that actually pop out. The highlight of this tribute album is arguably Twenty One Pilots
. The band truly makes the song their own with a soothing, somber tone with a melodramatic crescendo but considering the original ballad, could be forgiven.
Disappointingly enough, Asking Alexandria
finishes things up by falling into the trap that plagued the first half of the compilation. Playing the closer in such a straightforward way is the worst way to end the album. If a band can’t manage to put your own sound into covers, what reason would you have to check out your band if you can’t take away anything interesting about them? Listening to most of these covers made me realize how much more i liked it when My Chemical Romance
did it. I feel it is worth noting that the bands guilty of this are probably the most well-known on here too, with Twenty One Pilots
being the exception regarding the quality. Regardless, the tribute album to The Black Parade
was disappointing to say the least. Some interesting takes on songs can’t make up for the laziness of the others which take up the majority of the album. Check out some of the better covers then put the original back on.
Cancer by Twenty One Pilots
Sleep by New Years Day
House of Wolves by Palisades