Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Thing That Should Not Be

I like Heavy Metal. I love Symphonic metal. I don't mind some black metal, perhaps some doom. Heck I may even listen to death at times.I don't know a whole lot about making music, and appreciating it so most of what I feel is unqualified opinion. I doubt if too many can do better, but whatever.

I *cough*acquired*cough* this 1500 song collection of songs by various heavy/death/power/speed/whatever metal artists. I'm nowhere close to listening to the whole list, but I see patterns, and feel like thinking aloud.

Why do some artists release covers?

Perhaps to pay homage to some artists they absolutely love. Example The Doors - Five to One and Alabama Song covered by Marilyn Manson. Pretty amazing how you can take blues-y, moody rock and turn into something wicked that way. 10 points for covering Doors.

Perhaps to "interpret" those songs in their image. Case in point. COF's cover of Hallowed by thy name, Graveworm's cover of Fear of the Dark, Manson - Sweet Dreams, Sepultura - Orgasmatron, Metallica - Die, Die, Die my Darling, Pain - Elanor Righby (Beatles cover, bonus point!!) Godflesh - For Those About to Rock (marginal mention - I didn't really like it), Opeth - Remember Tomorrow (admit it, anything they do is cool), Type O Negative - Paranoid and so many more.

A category I simply don't get is the kind who play the song in pretty much the same pace, arrangement and vocals. What now? What's all that about? Is that an improvement? Homage? Replay? What's the point of Avalanch singing Run to the Hills the same way except for some weird accent (South American?), Sodom speeding up Ace of Spades by some 150 times, Gooseflesh's chaotic, noisy version of Becoming, Delusion's note by note reproduction of 22nd Acacia Ave, New Eden's slightly different sounding (easy on that bass fellas!) Ride the Lightning (slight syllable stretching != difference) and so many more?

Why even bother speeding up Slayer, Sepultura, Pantera? If you aim to sound like pissed off chipmunks why don't you cover Alvin his buddies?

The last category is the one that I like the most. Covers just to have fun. Think about it. Children of Bodom - Oops I did it again (with a solo even), Beseech - Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (Abba by a Gothic heavy metal band? Really?), Ozzy and Weevil Zappa - Saturday Night Fever (I am DISCOman!!) etc. Amazing. Metal's not always about gore, blood and guts. Super.

Honorable mention in spite of not covering - Dethklok/Metalocalypse. The best Death Metal band ever. Even though you guys are just toons. Hell Yeah!


mistercrowley said...

By the by. There's a new Maiden Tribute album out, which is worth a listen. It's called Maiden Heaven (Kerrang Records). Metallica, Dream Theater and others covering Maiden. Pretty good stuff.

Thanatos said...

Oh. Thanks for the info, I'll go "get" it :D