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Various Artists - The Wall (Redux)

Various Artists - The Wall (Redux)

Label : Magnetic Eye Records | Archive under stoner

Release type: Full-length CD

Bart M. : There are many remakes and tributes of which I wonder if they ever should have seen the light of day. Some are uninspired, others are dispassionate and there are always a couple of songs on there that are just not up to par. I agree that it is a very hard thing to remake an album, a different artist for each song, and make the entire thing something homogeneous. Magnetic Eye Records did a pretty successful job with 'Electric Ladyland' (Jimi Hendrix Experience), but now they have accepted the biggest challenge of all: Pink Floyd's 'The Wall'. Pink Floyd has been an inspiration to generations of musicians and with an official release like this you don't just do a Floyd. The advantage of this label is that they have a number of very talented artists at their disposal, most of whom have a healthy respect for the aforementioned band.

The result is 'The Wall (Redux)', and man, what an incredible thing this has become. I say this as a person who generally loathes cover songs. The great story that Pink Floyd tells us through 'The Wall' is about whatever you want it to be, but also about abandonment and solitude and a whole bunch of things that not only make this life less rosy, but make it downright bleak and grey. To have various stoner and doom bands perform these songs as they see fit was the only right choice to make. These influences add an extra and very appropriate dimension to what Pink Floyd created and they manage to capture its essence of darkness really well. The musical journey is therefore even more emotional and personal.

Some of these bands give the songs a whole different and personal sound, like The Melvins, Mark Lanegan, Year Of The Cobra, and Spaceslug, who combine their own style with that of Pantera ('Good Friends And A Bottle Of Pills') and Floyd; other bands create a version of the original that is recognizable but heavily covered in their own, unique sound. And still others come out even more surprisingly. Open Hand for instance puts down a compact, pleasant pop atmosphere with 'The Show Must Go On', and Pallbearer creates a Maidenesque, glamrock version of 'Run Like Hell' that culminates into the most crooked doom song I have heard so far. The music is very solid throughout the entire album and all of the songs weave into each other effortlessly. You know there are different bands playing and you hear this as well, but somehow all of it just comes together as one.

'The Wall' is still a very powerful album and this version is an edifice of that. For fans of Floyd, stoner and doom metal, but also just for anyone else this album will be of interest and import. Every song feels like either a bad trip or a divine rapture: a life lesson forever carved into your brain. There is no way to name a favorite because all of the participants are doing an ace job here. I was quite afraid of disappointment, because you know, 'The Wall', but what I got instead was total satisfaction.

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