(UK-based NCS scribe Andy Synn makes an appearance with another five-fold list of “favourite” things. Such wasteful use of vowels.)
I realise I’ve been off the grid for a bit now (though I am working on some reviews, a 30th edition of The Synn Report, and an awesome interview) so in between balancing all that, work pressures, and 2 bands, I thought I’d drop you another irreverent column on five of my favourite things.
BEFORE THE DAWN – BITTER END (PLACEBO COVER)
Such an odd choice, but one which works perfectly, taking the darkly gothic atmosphere of the original and replacing its more pop orientation with some heavy metal riffage and a meaty drumming backbone. The vocal interplay is also sublime, the predominant clean croons matched with a bullish, anguished growl from Tuomas Saukkonen.
PAIN – PLAY DEAD (BJORK COVER)
Unexpected indeed, but seemingly perfectly written for translation into Pain’s signature style, the sci-fi symphony of the song is empowered by a thrusting, chugging display of electro-industrial guitars and booming drums, carving out a slice of disaffected, dystopian melody and power.
DEAFHEAVEN – PUNK ROCK/CODY (MOGWAI COVER)
Only just released on a split with Bosse De Nage, and in fact the primer for this little piece, not only is Deafheaven’s selection of a Mogwai cover entirely unexpected (but entirely appropriate), but it’s also a hugely unexpected triumph, managing to make the melancholy original seem positively upbeat by comparison.
KRODA – APOCALYPSE (HYPOCRISY COVER)
That’s right, earthy, proggy folk-influenced black metal overlords Kroda recorded a cover of the sci-fi obsessed masters of melodic death metal Hypocrisy. And they made it an instrumental. And it works really well, taking the original song in a wholly different direction and giving the melodies and mood more chance to really breathe.
OCEANS OF SADNESS – THEM BONES (ALICE IN CHAINS COVER)
Not so much unexpected, as it is a cover that features some truly unexpected elements, not least the heavy piano work and the genius decision to have the song’s iconic solo reproduced on violin, of all things. These changes are striking, yet the song itself changes very little, such is its recognisable status these days. The OoS boys just give it a twist and a shake to produce their own signature cocktail.
ANAAL NATHRAKH – MAN AT C & A (COVER)
It’s been covered before at NCS but this is still an inspired choice.