Chosen by DJ Monk

The Uber Rock Approved stampDespite the ongoing lockdown in many parts of the Überverse, we are still receiving a healthy bundle of submissions for our coveted ‘Video Of The Week’ title. While some artists have been finding new ways of visually interpreting their songs, others obviously had done a lot of forward planning and had the guts of their filming completed in advance of the global quarantine, with the finishing touches being added in isolated post-production, while others are becoming able to capitalize on lockdown’s being eased in some parts of the Überverse to bring us fresh new visual offerings.

Our lead offering this week comes from a band making their appearance here for the second time in almost exactly a month, this time elevated to the winners’ podium as they prove once again that metal bands most definitely know how to have fun, especially when it comes to giving cover songs the once over. Last time around, German folk rockers Feuerschwanz gave Ed Sheeran’s ‘I See Fire’ a radical makeover, complete with bagpipes and fiddles!  This time around, they have turned their attention to the dancefloor anthem ‘Ding’, originally released by the Berlin pop act Seeed. It features a guest appearance from Rage Of Light/Ad Infinitum/MalefistuM vocalist Melissa Bonny (herself making her second appearance in these pages in just a few days), and comes complete with an wonderfully inane, OTT and very funny video:

  • ‘Ding’ is once taken from Feuerschwanz’s forthcoming covers album ‘Die Sieben Todsünden’ which will be released as part of the deluxe version of the band’s upcoming new album, ‘Das Elfte Gebot’, which is due to land on 26 June.

Our first “runner-up” is another cover version, but this time from a project that doesn’t actually have an official name, as it is the latest in a series of lockdown-inspired collaborations/jams by former Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel, who has been making the best of quarantine by teaming with various other metal musicians to give new twists to some of his favourite songs. So far, his YouTube ‘Collab-A-Jam’ has seen him join with former MH bandmate Dave McClain, Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner, Mike Inez and Lzzy Hale for a mammoth re-interpretation of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Bad Reputation’, which was followed by the incredible teaming of Armored Saint’s Joey Vera with the brothers-in-metal John and Mike Tempesta for Michael Schenker’s ‘Assault Attack’, for which they also managed to rope in original singer Graham Bonnet. The latest in the series sees Demmel and his wife Marta teaming up with another legendary metal bassist, this time in the form of Steve DiGiorgio, and Soilwork/Megadeth/Devin Townsend drummer Dirk Verbeuren for Black Sabbath’s ‘Falling Off The Edge Of The World’; the man tasked with taking over the vocals was Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Dino Jelusić, who does an amazing job, and the animated video effects help to lift the visualization above the standard lockdown playthrough:

Our next meritorious mention also sees us stepping back in time but also bringing things up to date, as we mark what would have been Download weekend with a video from the band who kicked off the first virtual edition of the festival. Grey Daze was the band formed by Chester Bennington prior to him finding international fame with Linkin Park, and with whom the frontman had re-united just a few short months before his death, with the aim of finally releasing an album of material that existed only in demo form. Bennington’s surviving bandmates decided to carry on with completing the album in his memory, and the result, ‘Amends’, is due to be released at the end of the month. ‘B12’ is the fourth single to be lifted from it and features guest appearances by Korn members Brian ‘Head’ Welch and James ‘Munky’ Shaffer. The accompanying video also contains flashing imagery.

We couldn’t have two more opposing, yet eerily compatible, themes for our two final videos this week. The first comes from the one-man blackened industrial project Christwvrks, who combines doom and black metal with EDM and post-punk noisescapes to produce deeply introspective and self-questioning messages which challenge both the listener and, in this case, the viewer, to sincerely question what is before them:

Our final offering is the truly epic new single from Norwegian pagan crew Wardruna. Like many bands, the Covid-19 crisis forced the postponement of the release of their planned new album, ‘Kvitravn’. It was a development which contrarily inspired the band to head straight back into the studio and record yet another new song, ‘‘Lyfjaberg’. The title is the Old Norse word for “healing-hill” or “healing-mountain”, referenced in the Eddic poem ‘Fjölsvinnsmál’ as a place of comfort and cure for the “sick and sore” who manage to climb the mountain and bear offerings at the shrines there – a gift demands a gift in return. The accompanying video was mainly filmed in the mountains at Tustna in Norway in early May, when all of a sudden winter decided to return with full strength and the band and crew ended up wading in half a metre of snow for three days and nights: on many levels, the process of making this video reflected the meaning of the song itself, and the result is beautiful:

That’s your lot for this week. Hope you have enjoyed the new sights and sounds we have brought to you this week. Until next Sunday, keep ‘er lit, keep ‘er between the hedges and #StaySafe…

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