Have you ever listened to a pop song or classic oldie and thought "with a bit more distortion and some more ballsy vocals, this could make a pretty great metal song!" I didn't think so, but this is the kind of stuff that I think about all the time. How could this song be tweaked to make it more metal, and which modern band could actually pull something like that off? Well today, I share with you three of my most promising ideas for nonmetal songs that could benefit from a heavy dose of brutality, in no particular order:
1. Fleetwood Mac, "Go Your Own Way," hypothetically performed by Five Finger Death Punch
Though I'm sure the band would scoff at the mere mention of such a concept, I think Five Finger Death Punch could make a sick version of this song. They are known for their rhythmic staccato guitar playing and Ivan Moody's intense, angry, yet pitch-perfect vocals, and I think all of those elements could find a home here. Add some crunch to the main riff, increase the tempo a bit, extend the solo, throw in some double bass on the chorus and trade out Stevie Nicks' wails for Ivan's growls and you've got yourself a number one record. Ivan adds to the angry sound of FFDP by punctuating their sounds with occasional roars, saying things like BUHHH!, GAHH!, OHHH!, FUUCK! and ALRIIIIGHT?! I can see him throwing some of these into the chorus, and it would be awesome. "YOU CAN GO YOUR OWN WAYYYYYYY! ....BUHHH!" "YOU CAN CALL IT ANOTHHHHEER LONELY DAY...ALRIGHT?!"
2. The Verve, "Bittersweet Symphony," hypothetically performed by Blind Guardian
Blind Guardian is the obvious choice to perform Bittersweet Symphony, as they already work with orchestral pieces in most of their tracks, and know how to perfectly meld power metal and symphonic compositions. The vocals on the original are definitely the song's weak point in my opinion, and who better to liven up a track and inject it with pure, epic, adrenaline-pumping power than the legendary Hansi Kursch? "Bittersweet"'s violin hook is catchy as hell, and I can certainly see Blind Guardian harmonizing dual lead guitars to emulate the sound of the original. They'd probably also add some kind of epic choir backing, much like they did on the song "Wheel of Time" on their most recent album. Double bass makes any song more metal, and Guardian's Frederick Ehmke is one of the best at knowing when to throw down and when to lighten things up. "Bittersweet Symphony" is a great tune that would make an even better metal song.
3. The Zombies, "She's Not There," hypothetically performed by Amon Amarth
Masters of melodic death metal Amon Amarth could indubitably turn this song into a brutal monster of a tune. Already written in a minor key, the song could easily be transposed into a death metal style. Replace the electric piano with legato style downtuned riffing, and the pansy harmonized vocals with Johann Hegg's perfect growling, and you've once again got yourself a hit. I can hear it now, the growls increasing in intensity with "her eyes were clear and bright, BUT (breaking into a full-on scream at this point) SHE'S NOT THEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!," followed by a sick guitar solo. Seriously Amon Amarth, get on this.
Will these songs ever get the metal makeover they so badly require? Probably not. Will I continue to listen for songs that have the makings of a brutal metal masterpiece? Absolutely. My imagination may run a bit wild from time to time with this kind of thing, but hey, it gives me fresh material for posts.
If you have song suggestions for me, let me know in the comments. Just no Beach Boys - no amount of reworking could make their crap music sound good.