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Usually, I steer away from reviewing cover bands; not out of pedantic snobbery, but because any assessment would essentially be a recapitulation of the original artist’s merits or flaws. However, there is a certain novelty worth remarking upon with the band In the Light of Led Zeppelin and their new album Pompeii Sessions. The group reinterprets, or perhaps more accurately, reimagines Led Zeppelin’s greatest hits and fan favorites with sounds from different genres and styles. Some songs are imbued with more Middle Eastern or World influences, while others take the songs into a more classical realm.
The band does a fantastic job especially with “Battle of Evermore” by increasing the theatricality of the song with thunderous percussion and haunting group harmonies. Often the best songs, interestingly, are not the big hits, but the ones that don’t immediately come to mind when thinking of Led Zeppelin. “Friends” is aided by leaning on the Indian influence further, and “Dancing Days” adds some demonic violins to a rendition that is even rawer than the original. The covers obviously can’t compare to the originals, but In the Light of Led Zeppelin does a more than commendable job of proving the elasticity of a well-written song and that recording another artist’s work doesn’t have to mean a faithful reproduction.
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