Legendary crooner Frank Sinatra

Just what makes those heavy metal rockers think they can sing like ol’ Frank Sinatra? Everyone knows a rocker can’t sound like Sinatra. But they’ve got high hopes.

And some of those hopes are even justified on Sin-atra, an interesting and most unexpected heavy metal tribute album to Sinatra. This is where the Chairman of the Board meets the power chord.

The best by far is Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider’s version of It Was a Very Good Year, a preening, insistent remake reminiscent of Queen’s Innuendo that lets Snider stretch his vocal talents into the higher ranges while remaining true to the spirit of the original.

Most of the songs on Sin-atra fall into two distinct categories: those that embrace the melody that was Sinatra’s hallmark and those that bash melody in the head, stomp on its broken body and then floss with it.

Falling firmly into the latter category is the opener, New York, New York by Strapping Young Lad’s Devin Townsend. This track is so aggressively, over-the-top awful that it sounds like a bad Jack Black parody. The screams, growls and campy ringmaster-like asides will doubtless have Francis Albert Sinatra spinning in his grave.

High Hopes by Franky Perez of Scars on Broadway and Love and Marriage by Elias Soriano of Nonpoint, are also Sinatra heresy: the hardcore, Pantera-like menace just doesn’t work here.

The melodic camp fares much better, led by Queensryche’s Geoff Tate on Summerwind. His soaring vocals fit the bill, capturing the smoothness and class that defined Sinatra’s music, only four registers higher.

Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Black Country Communion) adds a soulful bluesy turn on I’ve Got You Under My Skin.

Former Judas Priest singer Tim “Ripper” Owens shoots and scores with Witchcraft.

Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander tackles Fly Me to the Moon, but his softer-edged vocals clash with the harsh foundation of the track’s guitar, bass and drums.

Mr Big’s Eric Martin fares better on Lady is a Tramp and it’s worth the price of the album just to hear Anthrax’s Joey Belladonna croon “doo-be-doo-be-doo” on Strangers in the Night.

Warrant’s Jani Lane closes the disc with a decent remake of That’s Life, with a tasty guitar solo from Richie Kotzen. – Sapa-AP