RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Various Artists: Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson
Dead Line Records


Rating: B

Now this is how you do a novelty album!  You take something that should not work, that is a crazy freaking idea and you somehow pull it together and make the end result interesting and full of surprises.  

Who would be insane enough to take real Metal muthas and have them remake songs by Michael Jackson?  We are not talking just any song but rather his classic album Thriller.  Sure, the original album had Eddie Van Halen on the song “Beat It” but that was Edward stepping outside of the norm.  This is true Metal dudes cranking out MJ’s tunes in a true mixture of Metal meets the original versions. These guys don’t stray so far away that it could be one of their own songs, instead they flavor the songs with Metal but they still keep Jackson’s intent on the tunes.  You will recognize the songs even while the electricity is flying.

Iron Maiden original singer Paul Di’Anno is perfect on “Bad” while King’s X dUg Pinnick kicks it with a soulful rock style on “Rock with You.”  Chris Jericho brings it home on “Dirty Dianna” while Testament’s Chuck Billy does a Metal version of the title track.  Rudy Sarzo teams up with Whitesnake’s Doug Aldrich on “The Way You Make Me Feel” which will have your toes a tapping and your first a-waving in their air at the same time.  Elsewhere, Metal heads such as Alien Ant Farm and Phil Campbell of Motorhead, among others, record MJ classics.

Metal purists may throw up a little in their mouths when they first hear of the release, but if they will give it a spin then, while they continue to shake their heads, they will secretly, when no one is around, crank of few of these songs up and appreciate the cross section of musical genres.

By Jeb Wright