Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hellsongs - The Evil that Men do

Iron Maiden:
Way back in February Heath Gibson wrote - “Well I saw something that I am sure would interest you after this months song. Have yet to hear it myself but Hellsongs has a version of I Just Want You. http://hellsongs.bigcartel.com/product/pieces-of-heaven-a-glimpse-of-hell only placed I have heard it mentioned but I am sure you will be able to find the actual song somewhere.”

Or course I had no problem finding an actual version of the song on the Internet, it’s the Internet. I love feedback from my music in reviews, so thank you Heath for introducing me to Hellsongs.

Hellsongs is a Swedish group that does acoustic covers of hard rock and metal songs, or “lounge metal” as they have dubbed it. You will recall I reviewed Ozzy Osbourne – I Just Want You, back in February, hence Heath’s recommendation, and yes I really liked Hellsong’s cover of “I Just Want You,” because I freaking love that song.

Hellsongs is a good example of how to do cover songs right. They clearly respect the originals because they do not have any gross misunderstanding of the lyrical content or style used to perform the songs, and since all hard rock and metal songs by nature are, you know, hard, the softer acoustic approach makes every song different from the original. For the most part Hellsongs chooses songs that could logically be slowed and not lose either the message or feel of the original. Ozzy’s “I Just Want You,” is a romantic song and slowing it down to emphasize those feelings works. Others songs they do are more daring, giving Metallica’s “Blackened” an almost upbeat melody based on the same chords is... different to say the least. The one cover I thought stood out as a fantastic example of their good work was “The Evil That Men Do.”

While listening through Hellsongs’ discography “The Evil that Men Do” stood out, and I started to starch my head thinking, “who are they covering? Sounds like Iron Maiden.” I was correct, it was Iron Maiden, and a song I had heard before but I didn’t put the two together until I looked it up, Hellsong’s cover is that different. By slowing down the tempo the rhythm of the song is changed radically, but it doesn’t end there, they mix up the structure of the song, the verses come in different times, there is a dramatic pause missing in the original, and since we have a woman singing instead of a man the gender of the lyrics are reversed. It’s a great cover, and may Iron Maiden fans everywhere have mercy on me for saying this, I actually enjoy it more than the original.

Until next month, keep on rocking in the free world.

- Colin Kelly
Hellsongs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyO-5lDnigY
Iron Maiden: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvrupTBsGco