Hellsongs - Long Live Lounge
A band that does orchestral versions of metal songs might have you running away screaming, rightly full of bad memories of similar and embarrassing ventures by Metallica and Kiss, as well as whatever you make of Maneheim Streamroller and their ilk. But with "Long Live Lounge," Hellsongs just might have you inching slowly back toward the concept. It doesn't work completely, but it makes sense more often than it doesn't.
The Swedish band (nominally a trio, but also capable of expanding to a septet) employs the Gothenberg Symphony Orchestra to flesh out essentially acoustic, folk-based covers of everything from "Seek & Destroy," "War Pigs," and other metal warhorses. The result is that the songs reveal themselves in this treatment an odd Renaissance feel, like murder ballads, almost. This is especially true in a haunting version of "Run to The Hills." Of course, nothing can really elevate "School's Out" and "We're Not Gonna Take It" from their snotty, original glory. But even here, there is no ironic feel, nor an overly earnest one. Vocalist Siri Bergnehr's deadpan, deliberate vocals help rescue even the failures, though she sounds flat on these last two.
In all Hellsongs take an idea that has caused mostly tears and snickers and made something charming and solid from it. "Long Live Lounge" may not keep its juice past a couple of listens, but at first blush this works with an intelligence and melodic sense missing from bigger-budgeted fiascos.
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