Monday, April 18, 2011

Various Artists - SIN-atra

Various Artists
Armoury Records/Eagle Rock Entertainment/Shock Entertainment

Guitarist Bob Kulick may have played with some very well known names in the past such as Kiss, Meat Loaf, W.A.S.P. and Doro, but most will know his name through the various tribute album’s he’s co-ordinated and produced over the years.
Three years after the release of his all-star ‘We Wish You A Metal X-Mas’ release, Kulick is back once again with another off-beat release in ‘SIN-atra’ – a tribute to ‘Ol’ Blues Eyes’ himself – Frank Sinatra.
As with most of Kulick’s tribute efforts in the past (He’s produced efforts saluting Queen, Aerosmith, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Cher, Shania Twain, The Beatles), ‘SIN-atra’ is a fairly hit and miss affair, with the good coming across as an unexpected surprise, and the bad sounding absolutely cringe-worthy.
Starting off with the great, Devin Townsend (Ex-Strapping Young Lad/Vai) manages to put in quite a theatrical rendition of the classic ‘New York, New York’, with his over the top performance and his ability to broaden the overall sound of the backing band (Comprising of guitarist Kulick, bassist Billy Sheehan, keyboardist/orchestration co-ordinator Doug Katsaros and drummer Brett Chassen) really helping to open the band with a huge bang.
Glenn Hughes (Ex-Trapeze/Deep Purple/Black Sabbath) puts in a smouldering and soulful rendition of ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’, while Eric Martin (Mr. Big) positively shines on the hard rocking ‘Lady Is A Tramp’.
In terms of the O.K., Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) manages to just reach the high notes required of ‘It Was A Very Good Year’, if only just, while Ill Niño’s Elias Soriano’s rather thrash take on ‘Love And Marriage’ and ex-Warrant front man Jani Lane’s traditional rendition of That’s Life (Which also features Richie Kotzen on lead guitar) are passable efforts.
Unfortunately, the rest just don’t like up to expectations. Admittedly, Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens (Ex-Judas Priest, who performs ‘Witchcraft’), Cheap Trick vocalist Robin Zander (Who sings ‘Fly Me To The Moon’) and King’s X front man Doug Pinnick (‘I’ve Got The World On A String’) are hampered by poor musical structures that don’t sit well with the respected vocalists styles, but the same can’t be said for Queensrÿche’s Geoff Tate (‘Summerwind’) and Anthrax’s Joey Belladonna (‘Strangers In The Night’), who neither do Sinatra or themselves a favour with their appearance on this album.
The list of those involved may sound impressive, but don’t be fooled. Sinatra’s songs don’t naturally translate well to the hard rock/heavy metal vein, and not all of the vocalists appearing here help make the transition any smoother. To put it in simpler terms, ‘SIN-atra’ is definitely one of those sorts of albums where it’s best to listen to it before you even consider parting with your hard earned cash. Buyers beware.

For more information on ‘SIN-atra’, check out -

© Justin Donnelly