WALTARI – COVERS ALL (Stupido Records 2011)

REVIEW BY PETE ALANDER 2011

Waltari celebrates its honorable career of 25 years by releasing a book, throwing a few extended anniversary shows and by releasing a new album with full of covers. ‘Covers All’ has songs from various bands with various genres, just what you can expect from Waltari. Album starts out with a killer version of System of a Down’s ‘P.L.U.C.K.”. Madonna’s ‘Give It To Me’ follows up next with very hard rock vibrant in it. This is not the first time Waltari covers Madonna, ‘Vogue’ has been in their set list since the early years. ‘Dead Heart’ from Midnight Oil works amazingly well being one of the top songs in this album.

According to Steel Mill’s interview with Waltari frontman Kärtsy Hatakka each member of the band had the chance to choose whatever song he wanted to. No one had the so called veto-right. It is why this album sounds very special and shows from where their musical influence hails from.

You got two ‘waltarized’ finnish songs in this compilation. ‘Duke’ is originally from a finnish pop/rock group called Dingo. The song is called ‘Levoton Tuhkimo’ (1984) and it has been abused by thousands karaoke singers every day. Waltari shows the great capability of this songs but I still wish it had more tempo in it. The other finnish cover is ‘Plastic Ships’ which is actually old classic from Hassisen Kone.

‘Look Back in Anger’ from David Bowie has pretty groove vibe in it like the original has. Funnily enough Anthrax classic ‘Caught in a Mosh’ is not even the most brutal song in this album (that award goes to P.L.U.C.K) but it is probably the coolest version. The ska riffs work perfectly and the song sounds like it was their own song from the earlier days.

The Cure has been mentioned being one of biggest influences to Waltari. ‘One Hundred years’ has very metal sound but you can easily hear how they respect the original song. Then you have a song from Iron Maiden’s 1988 album called ‘Seventh Son of a Seventh Son’. You got to give good points to this version of ‘Infinite Dreams’. Kärtsy does a great job on vocals on both melodic and growling parts giving the song his personal handle. Rest of the band also shows their skills especially when the song goes faster.

Album ends with epic version of Pink Floyd’s 1968 song ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’.

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waltari

1. P.L.U.C.K. (System of a Down)
2. Give It To Me (Madonna)
3. Dead Heart (Midnight Oil)
4. Duke (Dingo)
5. Look Back In Anger (David Bowie)
6. Caught In A Mosh (Anthrax)
7. Plastic Ships (Hassisen Kone)
8. One Hundred Years (The Cure)
9. Infinite Dreams (Iron Maiden)
10. Saucerful Of Secrets (Pink Floyd)

Album cover art review

To be honest I was hoping to have a bit ‘fancier’ album artwork since this is an anniversary album. It has its own Waltari-kind of branding in it but it could’ve been more memorable and classic. By no means it’s not bad design but it lacks the creativity and variety of genres you hear and feel in the album. How about mixing up good old ‘Torcha!’ album mysticism with ‘Below Zero’ and its simplicity to make something really memorable?

Score: 2/5

-Pete Alander

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About Pete Alander

Graphic designer, webmaster and contributor at the Steel Mill.