"Evil Lives: A True Metal Tribute to Black Sabbath" (Magick Records; 2004) 

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


If the question is "Do we really need another Black Sabbath tribute album?" the answer is, in all honesty, no. That angle has been done to death.

Still, Black Sabbath are one of the founding fathers of the heavy metal sound and it's always cool to hear bands that have sprung from Sabbath's loins pay homage to their idols.

There are a couple of things that sets "Evil Lives" apart from other Black Sabbath tributes. First, the words "True Metal" identify what types of bands you're going to hear here - there's no Lenny Kratvitz or Blink-182s on this CD. Instead, there are the Iced Earths, Primal Fears and October 31st of the metal world. 

Second, although many of the tracks on this CD are the same tracks we've all heard covered ad nauseum, some of them are songs that you don't actually hear covered a lot. Jag Panzer's version of "Children of the Sea" stands out, as does Order of Nine's cover of "Disturbing the Priest" (from the most bizarre and most underrated Sabbath album of all, "Born Again.") And I've never heard a band cover "Glory Ride" from "The Eternal Idol" (which Twisted Tower Dire does here) or "Danger Zone" from "Seventh Star" which October 31st covers on this CD. 

Most of the tracks are pretty straight-forward covers with no real tweaking or personalizing going on which, depending on how you like your cover tunes, is either great or not. Strangely enough, if I had to pick my favorite track, I'd say it was the Vince Neil / George Lynch cover of "Paranoid" which works surprisingly well with Lynch's blistering guitar and Neil's famous voice.

All in all, "Evil Lives" is a better-than-average collection of great bands paying tribute to the gods. Collectors of Black Sabbath tributes or tribute albums in general will want to add this one to their collection.

Complete tracklisting follows:
1. Black Sabbath - Iced Earth
2. Die Young - Primal Fear
3. Children Of The Sea - Jag Panzer
4. Children Of The Grave - Racer X
5. Paranoid - George Lynch / Vince Neil
6. Falling Off The Edge Of The World - Icarus Witch
7. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - Forever Say Die!
8. Disturbing The Priest - Order Of Nine
9. Neon Knights - Steel Prophet
10. Hole In The Sky - Agent Steel
11. N.I.B. - Dofka
12. Glory Ride - Twisted Tower Dire
13. Danger Zone - October 31

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12 Feb 2018 21:33:06 -0500.