Early this past April St. Louis, Missouri-based metal outfit Conquest released its latest album Under The Influence. The forty-three-minute covers album presents eleven songs from some of the band members’ favorite bands. The songs themselves are, collectively, their own important part of the record’s presentation. That will be discussed shortly. They are not the album’s only key element. The band’s take on the featured songs is just as important to note in this record’s presentation as the songs themselves. That will be discussed later. The album’s overall sequencing rounds out the record’s most important elements. Each element is important in its own right to the album’s whole. Altogether all three elements Under The Influence a covers album that any rock fan should hear at least once. This applies regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Conquest’s body of work.
Covers albums are a dime a dozen nowadays in the music industry. Nine times out of ten, they are space fillers used between new albums to tide over fans and fulfill contractual obligations for record labels. Even worse, said albums are commonly thrown together rather haphazardly, much like all of the “hits” albums that are out there. The end result in both cases are albums (if one even wants to call them albums—note the sarcasm) that are anything but memorable or even worth having in one’s personal music collection. Enter Under The Influence, the new covers collection from St. Louis, Missouri’s hard rock outfit Conquest. Unlike all of the covers (and “hits”—technically singles) collections out there on the market today this eleven-song compilation record is one that every rock fan should head at least once. This applies regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Conquest and its body of work. The record’s featured covers are in themselves just one of the elements that make this record worth hearing. That is the case because the songs don’t just come from one of rock’s many sub-genres or another. Rather it crosses those genres from beginning to end. It also spans rock’s rich modern history with its presented songs. It all kicks off with a pair of Judas Priest covers in the form of ‘Metal Gods’ and ‘The Ripper.’ That pair of songs is followed by a cover of Iron Maiden’s beloved ‘Wraith Child.’ The band gets even heavier from there with its own take on Metallica’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls.’ Things change even more dramatically in the band’s next offering, a cover of Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades.’ This one comes at just the right moment, too, as it is essentially the album’s midway point. It isn’t even the album’s most interesting of the record’s inclusions either. The album’s second half features covers of songs from Bon Jovi, Anthrax, Pantera, Black Sabbath, Motley Crue, and even UFO. To say that that is a broad swath of bands (and songs) would be an understatement. Simply put, the eleven songs (and bands) that are featured in this covers collection is extremely wide. The songs are just as diverse in their stylistic approaches as the bands are within their own rock sub-genres. Keeping that in mind, it becomes clear as to why the songs featured in this record are so important to its presentation. They don’t subject listeners to just one style of rock. Rather, they cover so many different styles from so many ages of rock’s rich history. They make up just one of the record’s most important elements. The band’s take on each of the featured songs is just as important to note here as the songs themselves.
The songs (and bands) that are featured in Conquest’s new covers collection are collectively their own important part of the record’s presentation. That is because they lift liberally from rock’s rich modern history. The songs present a wide range of bands and rock styles from beginning to end. That is just one part of what makes this record a rare covers collection that is actually worth hearing. The band’s actual performance of the record’s featured songs is just as important as the songs themselves. The band’s take on Metallica’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ is one of the band’s best performances in this record. If one were to hear this take on the classic heavy metal tune without knowing it was Conquest, one would actually think that it was Metallica. The band performed the song verbatim both lyrically and stylistically. And front man Derrick Brumley may not sound just like James Hetfield circa 1984. But listeners will be surprised at the similarity in the sound of the singers’ vocals. The band’s take on ‘Ace of Spades’ is just as impressive. One could argue in fact, that Conquest’s take on the classic rock anthem is just as good as Motorhead’s original recording. It doesn’t bear the grittier, garage rock sound presented in Motorhead’s original composition. But even with that taken into consideration it still pays honor stylistically to the original right down to the song’s familiar up-tempo bass line (handled here by bassist Rob Boyer). One of the song’s biggest surprises is Brumley’s vocal delivery. It’s not certain as to whether or not Brumley set out to emulate Lemmy Kilmister in this cover. But interestingly enough listeners will note that there is a certain element of that gritty sound made so familiar by the late rock legend in Brumley’s own vocal delivery here. It is a nice touch to the, and especially so if Brumley did not set out to try to sound like Kilmister. The band’s take on UFO’s ‘Lights Out In London’ is another example of the importance of the band’s performances in this record. It could actually be argued here that Conquest’s cover is even better than the original. That is thanks to the bombastic guitar solos, Bruley’s powerhouse vocal delivery, and Tim Fleetwood’s equally solid work behind the kit. Of course Boyer’s work on the bass here shouldn’t be ignored either. The whole of the band’s work here makes the band’s take on the song a song that will have make every rocker out there proud. It is just one more example of what makes the band’s performance of each of the record’s featured songs is just as important as the songs themselves. They are hardly the record’s only key examples of that importance. Audiences will take just as much notice of the band’s take on ‘Dead Or Alive’ ‘Wraithchild’ and ‘Cowboys From Hell.’ The prior pair of covers is much more bombastic here in the case of the original songs. ‘Cowboys From Hell’ on the other hand is a relatively close take on the original. All three will hold listeners’ ears and have them talking afterward just as much as the other noted covers and those covers not noted here. All in all, the band’s take on each of the songs featured proves just as pivotal to the record’s presentation as the songs themselves. They are not the record’s only important elements, though. The album’s sequencing is just as important to its presentation as the songs and their performances.
The songs that are featured in Conquest’s new covers collection and the band’s take on each song are equally important to the album’s presentation. The songs are so important to note because of the broad range of influences presented throughout the record’s forty-three minute run time. The band’s performance of the songs is just as important to note as the songs themselves because of the similarities and differences between the originals and the band’s updated take on each song. Those similarities and differences are certain to create their own share of interest and discussion among audiences. As important as each element proves to the record’s whole they are not its only key elements. The record’s sequencing is just as important to its presentation as those noted elements. Audiences that pay close attention to the record’s sequencing will note that for the most part the record maintains a relatively solid energy level from beginning to end. Though, the energy does pick up just enough at given points, so as to maintain listeners’ engagement. It picks up first just past the record’s halfway point in the form of Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ before puling back just a little bit as the record transitions into its second half. As the album nears its end the band picks things up once more in the covers of ‘Red Hot’ and ‘Cowboys From Hell’ before finishing off with the slightly slower (slightly at best) but no less heavy ‘Children of the Grave.’ Simply put, the band has balanced the record’s energy and even its varied musical styles from beginning to end thanks to its expert sequencing. This ensures listeners’ maintained engagement, and in turn, entertainment. Keeping this in mind, the record’s sequencing shows in the end why it is just as important to its presentation as its songs and performances thereof. Each element is important in its own way to the whole of the record. All things considered, Under The Influence shows in the end to be a rarity of a covers album. It doesn’t come across as just some contractually obligated space filler. Rather it proves to be a collection of classic rock songs that Conquest’s fans will enjoy just as much as those of the bands featured throughout the record. It is a record that succeeds at presenting a solid introduction to rock’s rich modern history all while entertaining rock fans of all ages. It is a covers collection that is actually worth hearing at least once regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Conquest or its body of work.
Conquest’s latest studio recording Under The Influence is a record that every rock fan should hear at least once. This applies regardless of listeners’ familiarity with the band or its body of work. That is because it isn’t just a random, contractually obligated space filler record. Its eleven songs present a solid introduction to rocks rich modern history. That is thanks to the broad array of bands and songs that is presented here. The band’s performance of each song is just as important to the record’s presentation as the songs themselves. That is because they present new and familiar takes on the classic songs; takes that will keep listeners engaged and generate their own share of discussion among audiences. The album’s sequencing rounds out its presentation. Over the course of its forty-three minutes, the records sequencing expertly balances the record’s energy from beginning to end. This ensures just as much listeners’ engagement. Each element plays its own important part in the record’s presentation. Altogether they make Under The Influence a record that very rock fan should hear at least once regardless of one’s familiarity with Conquest or its body of work. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct via Dark Star Records’ online store. More information on this and other titles from Conquest is available online now at:
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