Twisted Forever: A Tribute To The Legendary Twisted Sister

Various Artists

Koch Records, 2001

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/16/2001

Okay, I can hear people's eyes rolling on this one. It's bad enough those goons at "DV" have reviewed tribute albums two days in a row, you're thinking, but a tribute album to Twisted Sister?!? What are they smoking over there?

Come on, Dee Snider and crew weren't that bad... in fact, I kinda liked them as a young lad, and I still pull their albums out from time to time to blow out the pipes. Sure, they looked like they had rummaged through the garbage bins of Jennifer Beals (go ask your parents about Flashdance if that name means nothing to you), and they got their make-up tips from Tammy Faye Bakker. But musically, these guys were no joke; Stay Hungry is still a powerful album in my eyes.

So Twisted Forever makes perfect sense. It's the selection of some artists that doesn't.

Actually, I have problems with only two artists. Nine Days's version of "The Price" - "weak" isn't the word for it. This group is horribly mismatched on this album, and they stick out like Slayer would covering "Tiptoe Through The Tulips". I have no problem with the band, mind you - but they just don't belong on this disc.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The other issue isn't necessarily the artist - Chuck D has proven to be a friend to the world of heavy metal - but the version of the song he's covering. "Wake Up The Sleeping Giant" - geez, if I didn't know that came from a Twisted Sister album, I'd never have recognized it. I like Chuck D, but I just don't like what he's done with this song.

This isn't to say that Twisted Forever is a slipshod project. Lit absolutely tears into "I Wanna Rock," capturing its nuances almost note-for-note. The Step Kings impress with "Burn In Hell," almost giving it a ska-like quality, while others like Cradle Of Filth ("The Fire Still Burns"), Sebastian Bach ("You Can't Stop Rock 'N Roll") and Hammerfall ("We're Gonna Make It") do admirable jobs with their covers.

There are some cuts on Twisted Forever that will fall under the "personal bias" category. For myself, I could have lived without the harmony vocals in the chorus of "We're Not Gonna Take It" as covered by Joan Jett; otherwise, she did do a good job, even capturing a bit of the Snider sneer in the vocals. Likewise, I do wish that Anthrax had picked a song with a little more speed than "Destroyer"; the plodding beat of this one doesn't seem to fit the band.

Twisted Sister even makes a rare appearance on this disc with... an AC/DC cover? You got it, pal. "Sin City" blasts forth, and they prove that Twisted Sister was a capable group of musicians. Snider sounds a lot like Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. these days, but he handles this one well. Whether this was another one-off shot for the band (the other being the Strangeland soundtrack) or not we don't know... but this track proves that the Sister still has the power, and I'd gladly welcome a reunion.

Twisted Forever might get some interest from fans of today's groups, while others will want to hear new versions of some old favorites. Whatever your reason for checking this one out - and it's worth checking out - don't be surprised if you soon find yourself dusting off your copy of Under The Blade or You Can't Stop Rock 'N Roll.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Koch Records, and is used for informational purposes only.