an academic exercise

I don’t know about you, but I find the institution of cover songs and the situations where a new vocalist in a band sings some older songs quite a useful educational tool.

So, let’s see what we’ve got here: that old Metal Church ballad, originally recorded with David Wayne. Whom I never liked when he was alive (to the degree that had solidly kept me out of the fandom for all those years, hehe), but in hindsight, he was great at what he did. It’s just that the only singer who does those “screams” (aka switching into head voice for a single kinda optional high note above the high tenor C) and doesn’t annoy the literal hell outta me is Lizzy Borden – who often managed to actually integrate those notes into the melody so that they wouldn’t feel completely arbitrarily slapped on just for the sake of showing off.

And then, we have another studio version recorded about twenty years later with Ronny Munroe, who must have been the most misplaced vocalist in history. I mean, a lot of the bands I grew up on, be it classic rock or Euro metal, switched singers like it’s nothing. This obviously creates rifts in the fandom and fuels holy wars. But often, objectively speaking, it’s all fine musically, just different.

Now, I don’t know what Mr Munroe did before Metal Church, and I don’t even want to. Because he painted himself into a corner with them: let’s just say it’s bad enough that his vocal cords barely close, and even if he is capable of shining doing a totally different type of material, I don’t care. That’s how off-putting the impression is.

Those were studio versions. Recently the band put out a live recording with Mike Howe, and let’s just say that while it’s a good one performance-wise, the sound quality of it isn’t exactly the same as, say, that of Blind Guardian’s live recordings. There’s a chillingly powerful version of this song on there, but it doesn’t seem to be on youtube. So let’s try their Rockpalast-2016 appearance – where Mike does lure the audience into singing most of the chorus, but delivers the rest with so much focus it’s scary.

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