Tag Archives: slayer

10 Metal Covers So Different, They’re Wasteful

In this writer’s opinion, a band can do a cover song injustice one of two ways (in rare cases both). One is by playing the song to a T, and adding no elements of what your band has to offer. For some reason the most occurring example in my mind is Joan Jett’s cover of “We’re Not Gonna Take It”. But this editorial is dedicated the other path of injustice, having a cover so different that it either is unrecognizable, or defeats the purpose of the original version. Now for those of you who think that I’m being “too mean” or that “a band has every right to do a grindcore version of “Genie In A Bottle”, I just want to make you aware that covers cost money. Yes, music law is a thing, and it states that your band must have a license for every cover song that it records and sells (even for streaming on Spotify and Bandcamp), and venues must obtain licenses if they are going to allow bands to play cover songs. My co-writer once spoke to members of Jungle Rot about the possibility of performing their cover of “Jesus Hitler” originally by Carnivore, and their response was along the lines of “we don’t want to deal with the paperwork”. A mechanical license can be very expensive depending on how many copies of your cover song you intend to sell. So I would imagine if your band was to do a cover song, you would want the perfect blend of originality and homage so that you would get a return on investment. But these 10 songs that I will now list, seem like a wasted investment and their efforts would have been better spent on just another original. I’m not sure if mechanical licenses were acquired for all of these. Some are so different that you could get away with claiming it’s an original. I’ve divided this list into 2 parts; 5 metal covers of metal songs and 5 metal covers of non-metal.

 

Forgotten Tomb – Depression (Originally by Black Flag)

You’ll understand why this cover is ridiculous at 3:06. First of all, it’s a good thing this band didn’t sell this record on iTunes because in accordance with their policy on 10 min+ songs, this cover wouldn’t be available for purchase unless you bought the whole damn “album”. Secondly, when there’s an extended period of feedback, it’s usually reserved for live shows, and it’s best when it’s accompanied by breaking instruments on stage. Other than a small minority of extreme noise fans, does anyone really want 7 minutes of feedback/wasted space on their music player?

 

Sunn0))) – For Whom The Bell Tolls (Originally by Metallica)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRLBCeC-uCk

West Coast weirdos Sunn0))) did several of these types of covers. Initially I thought they just played this Metallica classic 3x slower. But no. There are no vocals, and there’s not much variance in the riffs, as was on the original version. The band has been on record stating that this was meant to be a reinterpretation rather than a cover, explaining why there is literally zero resemblance to Metallica’s recording, sounding instead like a Sunn0))) original. Still, a music lawyer once told me that even rearrangements require a license. And why even bother slapping Metallica’s name on 10 minutes of drone doom?

Fun fact: The full title of this track (last track on “Flight Of The Behemoth) is “F.W.T.B.T. (I Dream of Lars Ulrich Being Thrown Through the Bus Window Instead of My Mystikal Master Kliff Burton)”

 

Tuathail – This Charming Man (Originally by The Smiths)

The guitar melody on this bears resemblance to the original, although the distortion makes this cover look like a troll. And the main importance of songs from The Smiths is Morrissey’s vocals. Replacing them with typical black metal vocals doesn’t do The Smiths justice, while the pop-esque melody doesn’t do black metal justice.

 

Amon Amarth – Aerials (Originally by System Of A Down)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy_6Z7tto2k

Same case as above. SOAD’s vocalist Serj is one-of-a-kind. And while Amon Amarth’s vocalist Johann could be considered the same, he really should stick to what he knows, lyrically and vocally.

 

In Extremo – This Corrosion (Originally by The Sisters Of Mercy)

The token folk metal tune on this list. The use of folk instruments on this recording definitely bring something different to the table. Problem is that the instruments give it too much of an improper upbeat tone, while the original recording has a gothic tone that is too epic to be messed with.

 

Epica – Crystal Mountain (Originally by Death)

Sometimes you can sneak clean vocals into death metal songs and keep them good. But having a soprano interject in the middle of a death metal classic is just over-the-top. The addition of a symphony is pretentious as well.

 

Celtic Frost – In The Chapel In The Moonlight (Originally by Dean Martin)

Yes. Celtic Frost does Dean Martin. This song has a percussive track just like several of their originals from earlier works. Tom G. Warrior for the most part refuses to do actual singing on this as usual. As was the case with The Smiths, it’s injustice to a singer but now with a beat that sounds nothing like the original.

 

Crystal Viper – Tyrani Piekieł (Originally by Vader)

I can’t help but feel that this was done out of nepotism. Both bands are from the same Polish metal scene. This cover features Vader frontman, Piotr Wiwczarek, but as a backup vocalist for the most part, only having the lyrics in the bridge to himself . While this doesn’t annoy me as much as Epica’s Death cover, the clean vocals still defeat the purpose of this death metal track. The guitar tuning on the original recording was more aggressive as well.

 

Machine Head – Colors (Originally by Ice-T)

Given that this song was recorded when the Nu-Metal movement rose to popularity, it of course raised some eyebrows. Flynn’s rapping isn’t too different from Ice-T’s. So to give the song a twist, he inserted a few guitar techniques here and there. But pick scrapes can’t really hold a candle to record scratches in my opinion.

Vital Remains – The Trooper (Originally by Iron Maiden)

This is my example of a cover being unjust by being the same and different all at once. Before the death growls kick in, the guitars are played in the same way as the original. So the beginning sounds like power metal. Hence they’re trojan horsing their death metal on you here. In the past, death metal bands have covered metal classics. But in other cases, the riffs were made more aggressive and tuned lower.

Josh Homme, Mark Lanegan & Iggy Pop Are In A New Silent Film

Gutterdämmerung seems to be a portmanteau of the English “gutter” and the German “götterdämmerung” (or just an Anglicization of the word), which means roughly means “a collapse (as of a society or regime) marked by catastrophic violence and disorder.” The word is a German translation of the Old Norse ” Ragnarök” a prophetic concept in Norse mythology which foretells a large and all-consuming battle between deities which would to extravagent chaos and disarray, as dramatized in Richard Wagner’s opera series, also entitled “Götterdämmerung.” Enough background.

Importantly, there is a spooky awesome independent film in the works from the Belgian-Swedish visual artist Bjorn Tagemose, entitled “Gutterdämmerung.” A tribute to 1920’s Hollywood (the era’s horror genre to be specific), the tagline is the “loudest silent movie on Earth.” This may not be a complete exaggeration. The film will be “silent”, if you exclude the dark, heavy soundtrack that will be accommodate the film at all points. Instead of the ragtime piano or organs prevalent in old-timey film, the website says the soundtrack is performed by  “a live rock band of rock express the emotions and action whilst special effects from the film explode to life all around the audience.” Though exact artistic details of the soundtrack have not been released, several figures from alternative rock, metal and punk are starring in the film – which may give some hints to what the soundtrack will sound like. So far, the film’s cast has been announced as Queens of the Stone Age’s frontman Josh Homme (listed as Joshua Homme), Motorhead’s Lemmy, solo artist and ex-Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegen, famed Black Flag singer and inspiration speaker/comedian combo Henry Rollins, Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes, Slayer’s Tom Araya, solo artist Grace Jones and the one and only Iggy Pop.

The website is hosting a contest for tickets and merchandise to guess the two remaining co-stars. The film is expected to be released sometime in 2016. The film’s Facebook page lists the project as a “concert tour”…perhaps all the collaborating musicians will go on tour together to promote the project? We’ll have to see.

Watch a promotional trailer for the film below:

 

Interview: Slayer Drummer Talks Jeff Hanneman’s Loss ‘Not Being Easy To Deal With’

On July 21st 2015, Rockstar’s Mayhem Festival came to Holmdel, New Jersey. The fest had several big names, though the highlights were Jungle Rot, King Diamond and Slayer.

Jungle Rot put on a crushing death metal performance and got the pit going. Their setlist only contained six songs, but they made the most of their short set.

King Diamond was the most hyped act of the year and had the biggest crowd of any band that day. The theatrical set mostly consisted of songs from King’s classic albums. It got even better halfway through when he covered the Mercyful Fate classics “Evil” and “Come to the Sabbath” with Slayer’s Kerry King on guitar. The set then ended with three songs from King’s most popular album, Abigail. 

However, the final band of the night was none other than Slayer. Slayer started their set with several of their 2000’s songs including the three singles from their upcoming album Repentless. The second half of the set was all older songs including the popular tracks “Raining Blood”,”South Of Heaven”,”Hell Awaits” and “Angel of Death” as well as deep cuts like “Chemical Warfare”, and “Ghosts of War”. The band’s energy was great and the sound was spot on.

During the fest, Alternative Nation was able to catch drummer Paul Bostaph for an in person interview. We discussed the band’s upcoming album as well other topics related to his body of work.

Tell us a little about your upcoming album Repentless.

We all have different opinions on the album since we are all different people. It’s the first album we have done without Jeff as well as the first album I’ve been on since God Hates Us All in 2001. The whole time I was in the studio, Jeff was on my mind. He was a big part of the band and I feel I lost a friend. We still haven’t let things settle… that type of thing is not easy to deal with.

I noticed the three singles released for far,”Repentless”, “As Stillness Comes” and “Implode” are pretty different. Which one would you say represents the new album the most?

I wouldn’t say that one any of those songs represent the whole record at all. The different between the three represents diversity in the record. Each song on this record will have a different intensity. Some songs are darker then others. The three songs released show that it will not be the same thing on every track.

I see Mayhem Fest is going well so far…

Mayhem Fest is awesome! Unfortunately, I have not been able to see any of the bands on the second stage. The second stage is normally not very close to the main stage and we usually get here too late to catch those bands. I really enjoy sharing the stage with King Diamond. I’m a huge Mercyful Fate fan and love his solo stuff as well.

Your set list for this tour starts off with mostly newer tracks, then goes into an all old school block. 

Kerry normally puts our set lists together so you go him to thank for that. You also have to put into consideration that we have a new album coming out and have new songs we want to share with the fans. Also, when we tour, we can’t play the same songs all the time. We love adding songs people won’t expect to the set, but sadly we also have to sacrifice popular ones to do this. We will not be playing “Seasons In The Abyss” on this tour. That’s a song we love to play and I know people would want to hear it, but in its place we are playing “Ghosts of War” to change things up.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm2-25OVX0c&w=420&h=315]-

On the negative reception of Diabolus in Musica: I don’t agree. I love that album. They are a lot of great songs on that record. “Bitter Peace” is one of my favorite songs that Slayer has done. They are a bunch of things we did different on that record, but I feel its a good record.

On drumming for Slayer, Exodus, Forbidden and Testament: I never though I’d be playing drums in four different bands. To say this is a childhood dream come true to play for any one band I was a fan of… I’d say yes.

On the Judgement Night soundtrack: The big idea behind this movie’s soundtrack was to put metal bands together with rap artists. Playing with Ice-T was a lot of fun. He came in very intense. I loved it! It was my first time playing with Slayer, my first time working with Rick Rubin, and Ice-T was involved. It was a blast!