Various Artists Power from the North – Sweden Rocks the World
Released: 2000, Digital Dimension
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
This is one of those discs that gets written down on your list of “CDs to buy”, and remains on the list until you have some extra cash lying around to spend. And then when it comes time to buy it, you want to get it really cheap. I normally buy my CDs new, because the bands deserve the income (what little they make from record sales) and I like my music in the best possible condition. But when it comes to compilations and especially soundtracks, why shell out $15 for a song or two? Thus, I bought this fucker used on eBay for a few bucks. But at least for me, there are four bands I wanted to hear, and not just one or two.
Power from the North is a compilation of current Swedish bands paying tribute to Swedish bands of the past. In Flames opens up the CD with “World of Promises”, originally recorded by a band called Treat. Who? Well, the song is played just as any other In Flames song: heavy and melodic. Cool song, although a little too lightweight. And from what I understand, this song is a bonus track on the limited edition version of In Flames new album Clayman. Meshuggah, the band that takes too long to release albums, is present with a live track: “Attacked by a Shark”, written by some band called Whimzy. Who?? Apparently the audience knows. The sound is a little hollow and distant, but it could be a lot worse. This song is pretty cool, being that it’s Meshuggah playing it. It’s of course a far cry from anything off Chaosphere, or anything else for that matter. But it’s still pretty heavy. Surprisingly, The Haunted have provided us with the Candlemass cover “Well of Souls”!! The Haunted playing Candlemass?? Yes! Starting off in a doomy fashion, the song quickly kicks into high gear for the rest of the song. Fucking Candlethrash! A very interesting cover indeed! A little taste of “Angel of Death” has been added for good measure too! This cover also marks the debut of vocalist Marco Aro. He kicks some ass, but I sure miss Peter Dolving. In addition, this song is the last performance of drummer Adrain Erlandsson, who has sadly left to join glam metallers Cradle of Crap. Lastly, Entombed appears with a Stillborn tune: “Albino Flogged in Black”. I bet Entombed is getting ready to battle Anthrax for the most cover songs recorded by a single band. Anyhow, Entombed’s contribution is actually pretty cool. Danzig/Alice Cooper-like verses mixed with heavily distorted guitars during the choruses. That’s right, heavily distorted…much heavier than Same Difference.
The other crap on this CD I care not about. But I’ll mention it anyways. Lost Souls do “Deadly Legacy” from a band called Agony. An unfamiliar band playing an unfamiliar song from another unfamiliar band. Pretty heavy though. Locomotive Breath cover “Scream of Anger”, originally recorded by Europe. Sorry guys, but Arch Enemy have you beat on this one. Lion’s Share do the Electric Boys tune “Ready to Believe”. A band with a shitty name covering a song by another band with a shitty name…just like the next song: Glorious Bankrobbers’ “Crazy Sioux” performed by Transport League. Yngwie J. Malmsteen is represented by Glory’s cover of “You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget”. After hearing this song, I come to the conclusion that I don’t want to hear either band. The Crown play “Burnin’ Leather”, originally recorded by Bathory. I’ve always been turned off by The Crown, seeing that they just came out and jumped on the retro thrash bandwagon a few years ago. They sound like a cross between Kreator and The Haunted. True, these guys totally shred ass, but I won’t find myself picking up any of their albums. Great cover, and tight musicianship though! Hammerfag…I mean, Hammerfall play tribute to Heavy Load with their rendition of “Run with the Devil”. I hate this band so much, I will end my comments regarding their song here. (ed. note: tsk, tsk....HammerFall RULES!!! haha) Gooseflesh cover Trash’s “Boogie Woogie Man”. Hmmm…this song is pretty fucking heavy…and groovy! Damn, this song is actually pretty good! Obviously not a serious song, but imagine a death metal White Zombie. Treasure Land (where do these bands come from?) covers John Norum’s “Love is Meant to Last Forever”. Blaaagghh. Classic European power metal is something I can do without. The Quill plays November’s “Mount Everest”. Can you say “Spiritual Beggars”? Not a bad song for this type of music, but the Beggars will kick their ass any day. Ok, ok, this is a cover song…but what the hell! Finally, Southpaw also peform a Malmsteen cover: “Disciples of Hell”. A much heavier tribute than the previous track by Glory, but still crappy.
The good aspects: more than two bands that I’m into are present on this CD, and the songs on this compilation are pretty much exclusive. The bad aspects: these are all cover songs, there could have been better bands chosen, and who wants to pay $15 for a CD like this? If you’re a dedicated fan of some of these bands, you will buy this. And if you don’t buy it, you’re not missing out on much. And who in the fuck is that on the CD cover???