Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Welcome to the Iron Maiden Coverendum!​

The rules are simple: vote for the song you like more in the two matchups presented. The song with the most votes advances, yadda yadda yadda.

We start with the Drifter Stage, where 64 songs meet up head-to-head with each other, and half will advance to the next stage. Two match-ups per update (four songs in total), and updates will come every two days if I can help it.

Here are the first four contestants!

Burden Of Grief - Aces High
Nominated by @Magnus .


Opera IX - Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
Nominated by N/A.


Radio Tapok - The Trooper
Nominated by @Diesel 11 .


Thunderstone - Wasted Years
Nominated by Hande’s Blog.

@Night Prowler if you could edit the threads together with every round I’d be much obliged.
Burden of Grief starts off pretty lifeless but it picks up in the verses and throughout. Don't care for the verses at all, but man, it's so much better than the weird sometimes-black metal cover of Rime.

Second battle is tough since both are pretty true to the original, minus key changes and languages, but I'm gonna go with Radio Tapok. It has a little more life than Thunderstone's cover, which kinda turns Wasted Years into a Bon Jovi song. Both of these covers, though, give a lot of credence as to why Maiden songs aren't meant to be recorded with metronomes.
Extreme vocal covers of melodic vocal originals are a fucking travesty. You might as well record a rap cover, because you’re tearing out just as much of the melodic DNA of the song either way.

Since the first match-up forces me to choose between two of these travesties, let’s see — a faithful rendition of the music with uniformly shit vocals, or a semi-faithful rendition with a combination of thickly accented clean vocals and shit extreme vocals. I guess consistency will win the day here, even though everyone ultimately loses when listening to stuff like this. @Magnus earns the concession prize here. Winner: Burden Of Grief

This Radio Topok cover is pretty faithful, and I like that the vocalist translated the lyrics in such a way that they still rhyme in the new language. Meanwhile the Thunderstone track has moderately thick accents on the singers, and everything feels a tad sluggish, but the major sin here is replacing an awesome guitar solo with a really lame synth piece that doesn’t even mimic the original solo. Boo. Gotta go with @Diesel 11 ‘s nominee here. Winner: Radio Topok
That Burden Of Grief Cover kicked ass. They really beefed up the guitars and changed aspects of the music to reinvent the song to their sound. I loved it. Opera IX... I appreciate some of the ideas they’ve added in, but the sound is weak, the clean singing is weak, and I don’t care for the goblin doing the rest. Oh, and the iconic scream gets such an anticlimactic performance in this song that it would’ve lost solely for that reason too.

I love Radio Tapok. I’m very fascinated with languages outside of English and I wish there were more artists like him who translate metal songs into their native languages — his being Russian. He’s also a really talented musician and singer, and I love how he downtunes Trooper to make it fit his range better. It brings out some emotional depth to the music I never even noticed before in the original. Thunderstone, meanwhile, aren’t bad, and I think they did a good job with the chorus, but the singer isn’t my thing and the pace is too slow.
When I first heard the Opera IX version on the A Call To Irons tribute album, I thought it was some kind of joke. The vocals are just plain bad, laughable at best. Burden Of Grief does a much better job although the vocals are a huge turnoff too. But not as horrible as Opera IX.

Thunderstone´s version of Wasted Years sounded like it was done by Europe, not bad but it was clearly lacking something. Radio Tapok managed to put a smile upon my face. Original and good vocals and solo. They get my vote.
Thunderstone's version of Wasted Years is what I imagine the song originally sounded like in the head of Adrian Smith when he wrote it. Knowing his love for that 80s AOR sound. Also the singer reminded me a bit of Adrian Smith himself when he layed down vocals for Reach Out. I'll give my vote to this song over the YouTube cover that sound like a million other Youtube covers in my ears.

Also a vote for Burden of Grief - since they pour even more gasoline in the Aces High tank and attack it with determination. I'm not sure even Opera IX knew what the purpose was covering Rime....
I remember Opera IX from back in the day, they're peers of Rhapsody, Turilli etc. Italian symphonic hyperproduction. The black metal vocals were novelty, and I heard this cover back then, thought it was interesting, don't remember it as lifeless and sonically shallow.

The Burden of Grief is ok, they aren't into the right groove when doing harmonies but still ok.

The Russian cover is nice and sounds like it should sound, Thunderstone took out balls from Wasted Years.

So I'll go with Grief and Tapok.

Extreme vocal covers of melodic vocal originals are a fucking travesty. You might as well record a rap cover, because you’re tearing out just as much of the melodic DNA of the song either way.

Well that depends. Verses in Rime don't have much melody in them. And you can take out the melody without "extreme" vocal techniques, see Lemmy's cover of The Trooper.
Well that depends. Verses in Rime don't have much melody in them. And you can take out the melody without "extreme" vocal techniques, see Lemmy's cover of The Trooper.
The verses in Rime still use 4 notes, which is way more than 0 or 1. Strip that information out and you’re still assaulting the song, whether you’re a glass gargler, a rapper, or just a bad singer.
Cool, it's starting! :)

Burden of Grief: I couldn't sit still while listening! Whether this style of music fits the original, I can't say. But I liked the sound effect at the very end of the song.
Opera XI: I couldn't tell if the singer was a young boy or a woman, could have triend and find out but didn't. He/she was a bit pitchy sometimes, and it sounded to me that the guitars were too at the middle part. Can't say about this style either if it fits the song. But what I do know this was a bit boring, and way too long. Some of the sounds used were interesting though.

Radio Tapok: What an interesting idea singing this song in Russian, considering the story in the lyrics! It didn't sound extremely different from the original somehow, but worked very well, and sounded professional.
Thunderstone: I have to reveal that Wasted Years is not one of my Maiden favorites. That will inevitably affect how much I like the cover, but it cannot be helped. (And somehow I have a feeling I may have to listen to a lot more versions of Wasted Years as the Cup progresses.) This sounded sort of basic, nothing special.
This is going to be a delightfully painful game. One to rival the worst song ever.

Aces High put me off right away. Bad core vocals, downtuned guitars (that's going to be a disqualifier in most cases, Maiden's music loses a lot of life when they tune it down). Modern bland production that loses a lot of the energy of the original. The guitars also drag behind the drums during the instrumental. Guitar solos were pretty close to the original but didn't have the same fire. Didn't really appreciate the changes made. I'm surprised it's popular on here, it's really bad.

Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Super sloppy playing, started laughing when the vocals came in. That mixed with the synth pad made for a really... interesting effect. The mix of shrieks and real singing is kind of interesting. I agree with Zare that if you're going to have rough un-melodic vocals, the "rapping" type of vocals on songs like Rime and Aces High is a good place for it. He switches to real vocals when it's necessary. Man the playing is really not very good though, they had to simplify guitar lines that were already pretty easy to play. The production is super lifeless too. I'm taking the Cheesevivor approach to this pairing and voting for Opera IX for the badass synth orchestra and tympanies.

I wanted to listen to Radio Tapok sing the Trooper but downloaded world of warships instead. What the heck? I kinda dug what they did with the instrumental section of Wasted Years, but I'm voting for the novelty of hearing the Trooper in another language. None of these were very good though.
The verses in Rime still use 4 notes, which is way more than 0 or 1. Strip that information out and you’re still assaulting the song, whether you’re a glass gargler, a rapper, or just a bad singer.

Agreed you could cut and paste the verses in the Aces High cover, swap them around and be completely unaffected by the key change in the music :lol:
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This is pleasant. I like to hear different takes on music I'm already familiar with.
I quite liked growly Aces High. I was wondering how warbling high vocals were going to fit with what sounds like lower tuning. But of course, they're harsh vocals. A grittier, chuggy and enjoyable updated cover. By contrast, the Rime cover, despite having black metal-like growled vocals (interspersed with camp ones), was just low key, muddy and nondescript. They actually tamed that song down rather than making it more extreme. Burden of Grief get the vote, nice cover.

Musically, the Trooper cover was really punchy and nice...but sung in Russian of all languages it's bizarre. Can any Russian speakers tell me if the lyrics are a straight translation, or have they turned the song around to be from the Russian perspective? (If they have, that's potentially a good twist on the original). I don't think Thunderstone really added much to Wasted Years. The vocals are nice, if a touch hair metal, but the pace is sluggish. On the plus side, I could probably play along to it like that. Going with Radio Tapok.
Radio Tapok is the only one who deserves some interest, mostly because of the Russian translation of the lyrics. But he neither is anything special after all, just another man who can play guitar and/or bass and picks one of the most inflated songs by Iron Maiden.

On the other front, Opera IX haven't the faintest idea of what music is, the other cover is rubbish.
Burden of Grief was good except for extreme vocals. Doesn't work on Aces High

Opera IX get originality points but has low-fi production and terrible vocals. They also butchered the entire rain part.

But in the end they did leave on me a bigger impact so they win.
They also butchered the entire rain part.

My first move was to fast-forward to that moment. It's all I needed to hear to give the match-up to Burden of Grief. The Trooper cover was at least interesting and the music was precise. Can't say the same for Wasted Years.

Opera IX - Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
Thunderstone - Wasted Years

Burden Of Grief - Aces High
Radio Tapok - The Trooper

Lemmy - The Trooper
Nominated by @The_7th_one & Hande’s Blog.


Machine Head - Hallowed Be Thy Name
Nominated by @Kalata .


The Quill - Where Eagles Dare
Nominated by Loudwire.


Bornholm - Transylvania
Nominated by @Magnus .
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The Lemmy cover of The Trooper is pretty bad, both vocally and from a lead guitar perspective. The notes don’t seem quite right on the leads, and the whole thing kind of falls flat. The Machine Head cover of Hallowed is more faithful, and while it pales in comparison to the original, and the nonmelodic yelling on the Beckett part sucks, it easily trounces the Lemmy track. Sorry, @The_7th_one, but I have to go with @Kalata ’s choice here. Winner: Machine Head

The Quill’s cover of Where Eagles Dare started off with some promise, albeit with vocals that were a bit amateurish, but they totally took a dump on the guitar interlude in the middle. Not cool. The Bornholm cover of Transylvania has bad production, but started off promisingly enough until the light speed drumming came in, which made me laugh out loud. The drummer continues to take us on a tour of out-of-character rhythms for the song throughout, which I found oddly endearing. +2 points for moxie, which means +1 vote for @Magnus. Winner: Bornholm
We have to be serious: Lemmy wasn't made to sing Iron Maiden songs, or any kind of melodic heavy metal.
Then again, he had a unique voice and made The Trooper like it was his own. Gotta give him credit for that!
I don't like Machine Head and the most of their songs but they did a pretty good job with one of the best Maiden classics.
Unfortunately they never reached the level of greatness of the original. The solo section is great, the vocals are the least interesting part.
I nominated another cover of this song which will show up later in the game.

The Bornholm version of Transylvania sounded like it was recorded in a basement. Nah, didn't like it at all. They better look for another drummer too.
The Quill was far more interesting: groovy deep guitar sound which fits the song perfectly. Not a bad singer either, the only negative thing is the instrumental midsection. This was played way too slow and lacks the atmosphere of the original.