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Iron Metallic Ivory

November 12, 2008

I’m a hypocrite…I’ll admit it.  Yesterday I wrote that I was taking a break and yet, here I am posting a new entry today!  What gives?

Well, as you might know, I’m rebuilding my music library, and as I was looking over music to put back into iTunes, I ran across two albums that really caught my eye (ear?)

The first album is entitled Pianotarium: A Piano Tribute to Metallica by Scott D. Davis.

This is from Mr. Davis’ official website:

Pianist/composer Scott D. Davis has been referred to as “the rocker of new age/contemporary classical music”. Perhaps New Age Reporter best described him by saying “his exuberance and originality are invigorating and his upbeat attitude contagious.”

Interestingly enough, if you ask Scott about his musical background he might surprise you. He comes not from a background of polished piano music, but grew up a typical 1980’s teenager strongly under the influences of such progressive rock artists as Rush, Queensrÿche, and Metallica. Scott pursued rock music as a career throughout his college years, playing keyboards for a number of local bands

I have to say that Mr. Davis really captures the mood and emotion of the songs he covers.  The piano is actually quite haunting at times.  Below is Master of Puppets, piano style:

Davis does choose a good variety of songs to cover, as well as adding three original compositions.  Here is the track listing for the album.

  1. Enter Sandman” – 5:39
  2. Until It Sleeps” – 4:27
  3. Master Of Puppets” – 8:44
  4. The Unforgiven” – 6:06
  5. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” – 6:23
  6. Nothing Else Matters” – 6:02
  7. One” – 6:17
  8. Fade To Black” – 6:49
  9. “The Renewal – I – Lament” – 2:28
  10. “The Renewal – II – Inner Battle” – 3:50
  11. “The Renewal – III – Return to Sanity” – 3:53

The second album is another piano tribute, but this album gives tribute to metal gods Iron Maiden.

Scott Lavender has released The Piano Tribute to Iron Maiden.  Lavender takes some very classic Iron Maiden songs and translates them into piano interludes that, for the most part, capture the magic of Iron Maiden.

Information about Mr. Lavender was hard to find, but here is what I did scrounge up:

Scott Lavender is a both a talented conductor as well as a fantastic pianist, he has worked with the National Symphony, Detroit Symphony, The Los Angeles Philharmonic and many more. He holds a Bachelors Degree for Music in Piano Performance from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. After this he was awarded a Masters Degree in Instrumental Conducting from California State University. (found here)

Mr Lavender selects some wonderful Iron Maiden covers.  The tracklisting is:

  1. Two Minutes to Midnight [6:33]
  2. Wasted Years [5:11]
  3. Can I Play with Madness [3:46]
  4. The Trooper [4:54]
  5. Brave New World [5:04]
  6. Run to the Hills [3:49]
  7. Caught Somewhere in Time [5:55]
  8. Aces High [4:46]
  9. Hallowed Be Thy Name [6:55]
  10. Flight of Icarus [3:55]
  11. Number of the Beast [6:02]
  12. Eddie’s Lament (Original Track) [4:49]

I do like this album, but the piano sounds a little thin and tinny at times.  It sounds like Mr. Lavender has done an almost note for note translation of music, which normally wouldn’t bother me.  But after hearing Pianotarium and hearing the heart of the songs revealed with much passion and vigor, The Piano Tribute to Iron Maiden could seem a little lackluster.  The album artwork for this album is much better than the Metallica Tribute though!

Listen for yourself.  Below is the track Two Minutes to Midnight:

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