Tribute to the Gods is a collection of very faithfully rendered cover versions of some of the archetypal hard rock and metal songs that served as key influences for Iced Earth's classic metal sound. Unsurprisingly, there's a lot of Kiss, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Priest, and Sabbath, but the inclusion of Alice Cooper's "Dead Babies" and a pair of Blue Öyster Cult tunes may raise a few eyebrows. Overall, the songs are delivered with note-for-note care, with very few creative liberties taken -- a testament to Iced Earth's respect for their metal forbears. But occasionally, the band's slightly limited chops (by metal standards, anyway) prevent them from executing the material with the kind of technical finesse and intensity heard in the originals, while their generally heavy-handed dynamic approach obliterates most of the creepy, ambient subtleties (yes, subtleties) that made classics like "Black Sabbath" and "Dead Babies" so memorable -- but there's a lot of heart put into these performances nonetheless, and it is clearly a labor of love for Iced Earth. ~ Andy Hinds, Rovi

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