I was going to go with a heavy metal musical theme for Valentine’s Day, like I did for Christmas. Alas, all attempts on my part to unearth a fist-pumpingly kickass metal cover of anything that could be considered a love song in any conventional sense have thus far proven fruitless. Unless Queensrÿche is your idea of kickass. They were in their own way; they had that metal-tinged Pink Floyd vibe going on. But a level of kickassitude more in the ballpark of Rammstein is closer to what I had in mind. No one’s ever thought to give one of Céline Dion’s signature numbers the Neue Deutsche Härte treatment, from the looks of it. So while we’re waiting for German to become the new language of love (“Wie liebe ich dich? Lass mich die Wege zählen…”), here’s a guy playing a bagpipe made out of a (hopefully used) condom.
Like 99.999999999999999314159% of the human race, I can’t stand Christmas music. But a spoonful of metal helps the reindeer shit go down, in the most delightful way. Here’s a more interesting take on a certain Mariah Carey number:
A guy in a Santa costume rocking out? Yes, please…
They should play that shit in the malls, but of course they won’t. This next vid is not a holiday standard per se, but it does feature St. Nick’s Norwegian cousin wandering the streets of New York…
Here’s a couple of more traditional numbers given the symphonic power metal treatment…
…and here’s a tune that should be mandatory at every Christmas party, because Lemmy was a god who walked among men.
Finally, I leave you with a fairly straight cover of one of the more overtly religious Christmas standards performed by Rob Halford. Yes, that Rob Halford. The same Rob Halford who uptight reactionary parents used to accuse of being the siren of Satan way back in the day when all that cockamamie horseshit about backmasking was actually taken seriously (at one point there was even a whole legal case about it, which the reactionary parents thankfully lost). I don’t think it’s even scientifically possible for him to do anything that isn’t metal as fuck.
I’ve been getting into the Ghost lately. This is a little old band from Sweden famous for their highly theatrical live shows. Not quite a Rammstein level of theatrical, but still pretty damn theatrical. They are fronted by a guy who calls himself either Papa Emeritus or Cardinal Copia (depending on his mood), who wears Roman Catholic clergy-inspired getups onstage coupled with what looks like Norwegian death metal-style makeup. Like a zombie pope. Which precisely no one in the band’s homeland finds offensive, because it’s Sweden. The rest of the band dress in face-concealing identical costumes, and are known only as the Nameless Ghouls. Brilliant, when you really think about it. If one member abruptly quits, they could just quietly replace him without having to bother with the press release.
It most certainly doesn’t hurt that those Nameless Ghouls also just happen to be damn good musicians, churning out tunage the likes of which I haven’t heard in years. There’s definitely an audible Eighties influence here. Tastes just like the hair metal my mother used to hate.
Here’s another Ghost jam I dig. The harmonics between the guitar lines are exquisite enough when considered on their own merits, but the singer’s proclamation of “Rats!” in every fourth measure of the chorus (if you can call it that) totally makes the whole tune. The lyrical subject matter indeed deals with the titular rodents in a literal sense, and the singer’s delivery ensures you never forget that.