Acoustic Evil: When Death Metal Goes Lite

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The Monolith Deathcult released one of my favorite albums of 2013, the inimitable Tetragrammaton. Most of you turkeys slept on it. Shame on you. Anyway, while touring to promote the album, the band was apparently invited to play an acoustic radio gig for RÚV Rás 2 in Iceland. As with anything with which this band is involved, the commentary took a bizarre and macabre turn. The band released the below footage of the performance on Facebook over the weekend. Presented below is the acoustic gig, including the songs “Den Ensomme Nordens Dronning” and “Kinderstodeslied”, as well as some key points in the broadcast.

0:20 – The Icelandic hosts are talking about the band getting electrocuted by the microphones. This bodes well.
0:54 – Growls over grandspas guitars. I can dig it.
1:18 – “Den Ensomme Nordens Dronning” kicks in.
3:50 – “Kindertodeslied” launches after a German sample.
4:30 – He is seriously shredding on that acoustic guitar.
5:05 – Apparently God laments the existence of this band.
6:30 – I have no idea what’s going on here.
8:00 – The hosts make fun of the band more and discuss ways to kill them.

I really like this edition of “Den Ensomme Nordens Dronning.” The low chords played on the guitar and the radar-esque bleep from the keyboards give the track a strangely menacing feel. Plus, the clean vocals sound really neat in this context and don’t feel too conflicting with the growls in the acoustic environment. The electric drums are also understated and work well with the bare-bones vibe. Below is the real version of this song.

This rendition of “Kindertodeslied” is a bit less soft-spoken because the band plays samples of the guitar and drums through a laptop. However, the samples work well with the keys, and it’s impressive watching the band play their acoustic guitars that quickly, even if the chords aren’t overly complex. Again, the regular version is presented here for you listening pleasure.

So, what do you think? Personally, I find these acoustic renditions to offer an interesting insight into a band’s ability to play under different conditions. Could every band just pick up some grandspas guitars and play death metal? Maybe, but there seems to be a delicate counterbalance between the acoustic and the brutal, and TMDC succeed in stripping down their sound while still sounding imposing, just as Today Is the Day was able to do before them.

Are there any other examples of extreme bands playing in not extreme ways? Do you think Cannibal Corpse can nail country music? Does Metallica sound more bearable when playing acoustically? Are all these dudes just posers who don’t know real evil like Robert Johnson? Let me know in the comments below.

Be sure to give The Monolith Deathcult a like on Facebook. 1 Like = 1 Sacrifice to the dark one. Also, if you haven’t yet, be sure to pick up Tetragrammaton.

(h/t to Papa Joe for the photo)

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  • Edward Meehan

    Being at work now and not watching these videos <<<<<<<<

    • My job >>>>>>>>>> your job.

      Sorry dude

      GL

      • I mean, yeah. It’s hard to top “George Lynch” as a career choice.

      • Edward Meehan

        I don’t know what you do for work but I might be inclined to agree. Lol.

        • W.

          He designs airplane stuff in AutoCAD.

          • Edward Meehan

            GL’s job >>>>>>>>>> probably both my jobs lol

          • …. and analyzes the designed parts…..

            GL

          • W.

            Oh yah, finite element analysis!

          • Cock ov Steele

            When your chiseled abs aren’t bringing forth riffs to the masses.

  • W.

    That shop kills me.

  • Renan Ribeiro

    Off metal, but Nirvana’s MTV unplugged is one of my favorite albums. Their rendition of Leadbelly’s “Where have you slept last night” gives me the chills.

    I have a feeling that some of Mastodon’s material would sound great acoustic, songs like Sleeping Giant.

    Also, “Acoustic Wizard” is a thing and it’s pretty cool.

    https://acousticwizard.bandcamp.com/album/acoustic-wizard

    • W.

      Nice find! I’m aware of the Nirvana gig. I think AiC did something similar too, right?

      • Renan Ribeiro

        They did, and it’s solid material. I don’t know when (or even if) they stopped doing it, but MTV unplugged had some great stuff, specially in Brazil. Even some bands that I never really liked a lot sounded good on the acoustic gigs.

        QotSA nails acoustic sets as well.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2I2Asx8lqs

        • W.

          While doing research for this post I found a full acoustic gig that QotSA did.

          • Renan Ribeiro

            I’m a fanboy so I had a lot of acoustic bootlegs of them

          • W.

            Have you heard the NIN Still EP?

          • Renan Ribeiro

            I haven’t, I am almost entirely unfamiliar with NIN (shame on me). Why?

          • W.

            It’s a softer EP that several people thought was going to be Reznor’s farewell. It features some acoustic or soft reimaginings of several songs, plus some atmospheric tracks and a new, super depressing song.

          • Renan Ribeiro

            I’ll check it out today when I get home. Would you say the experience is worse if you listen to this EP before listening to the actual songs?

          • W.

            Hmm. I think it would be worthwhile either way.

        • Tyree

          Ah-chuu!

      • AiC unplugged is legendary.

      • The Battle Born NDN

        Great performance. Bonus points because Mike Inez had the phrase “Friends don’t let friends get friends haircuts” on his bass. It’s hilarious because members of Metallica were in the audience and they just cut their hair.

    • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

      Acoustic Wizard is sometimes as good as EW, Love ‘im

  • I tried to get W. to post this. He wouldn’t. What a faithful cover.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5KqdSC_Bpo

    • BREAK DOWN AT 2:23 IS SIQQQQQ as FVCK (do it)!

      GL

      • It was 2 hardcore 4 me.

        • Cock ov Steele

          Dude did you hear him say that F word?

          • It kills me the way he sings the word “dick”. It’s like “dayayayick”

  • Howard Dean

    Corpsegrinder wears a 27 1/2 inch dress shirt.
    #GrinderFacts

    • W.

      His head just sort of blends into his torso.

    • Hurricane Andrew, which devastated South Florida in 1992, was caused by Corpsegrinder windmilling during an offshore fishing trip. #GrinderFacts

      • W.

        The State of Florida once tried to execute Corpsegrinder with a guillotine, but his neck shattered the blade. #GrinderFacts

        • …then Corpsegrinder proceeded to eat the shattered blade fragments. #FurtherGrinderFacts

          GL

          • W.

            The say you could determine how old Corpsegrinder is if you chopped his neck and counted rings. Unfortunately, no one possesses a sharp enough saw, so the mystery persists. #GrinderFacts

        • W.

          Scrambles. Scrambles the Deathdealer.

          • Cock ov Steele

            Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeppppp

    • TrickleDownTacoRiff

      hes thick…

      • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

        conan fact – i was once mistaken for corpsegrinder at a CC show in vancouver, canada in 98. What makes the story is i talked to this guy for about 45 minutes until it came up he was the drummer for black metal canadian legends blashemy who also hail from that area. I had long hair back then, plus the guy had been drinking. We still had a good laugh over it. Incidentally openers Angel Corpse absolutely destroyed that night. Pete Helmkamp was a hell of a frontman who also played bass in that sorrowfully defunct band. I am afraid CC weren’t able to hold their own that night. No disrespect.

        • TrickleDownTacoRiff

          I could see that happening…

  • Death

    Unrelated, but one of the best things ever. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dllo85ZSUk

    • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

      Hilarious is hilarious

    • W.

      I…uh, what?

      I can dig this.

      • Death

        This song is kind of annoying, because some words in Estonian sound like Finnish. it sounds like listening to a song sung in Finnish but you can’t understand anything.

  • Renan Ribeiro

    Don’t ask me why but I’m all up for different versions of songs, be it acoustic, electric, using new pedals, new singer, whatever. I even sit through bad covers at times.

    • W.

      I really like the renditions of the songs they did for this gig.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
  • Cock ov Steele
  • Pretty sure I’ve shared this here before, but Bird Eater has some pretty gloomy guitar interludes on their self titled EP. Overall, fucking great metal from Utah.

    http://youtu.be/tjoXo4IBHsM

  • Tyree

    Corpsegrinder is a really chill guy. I talked to him for a little while at MDF a couple years back and I offered to buy him a beer, but some lifelover budged in front of me and wanted to get a goddamn picture taken with George. George forgot all about me as I slowly walked away kicking an empty beer can that I threw on the pavement after chugging it. I got another beer, said “Fuck Life and Hail Death” and went to go watch Napalm Death or something. Probably just got another beer though.

    • How the head today? I bet you are feeling quite chipper!

      Hopefully it was not a 3 day headache….

      GL

    • crazytaco_12

      Dude, that’s like the other week I saw Prong and Tommy Victor was chilling at the merch booth, so I go up to just get this poster autographed and the dude in front of me spent so long fucking talking to Tommy when he’s got a line behind him. Dude keeps blowing smoke up Tommy’s ass saying stuff like “thanks for keeping metal alive” and corny shit like that. So much lifeloving it was disgusting. I finally made it to the stand and just got a quick signature and left, but goddamn, I hate when people are so discourteous.

      • Tyree

        That sucks! I’m so impatient with shit like that. Move the fuck along you disrespectful dicks.

    • more beer

      That just meant you could afford one more beer for yourself!

      • Tyree

        More Beer!

  • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

    At times Mokoma is pretty death metallic, however I think this acoustic rendition is better than the original.

    Linking both:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HPa3pu5ZUE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44XsqXyv0-g

    • W.

      I listened to and enjoyed both.

      • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

        I think the intro riff to the original is rad, but otherwise it lacks a little aggression. Unfortunately a common trait with this band, Which is why I liked the idea of them going full on acoustic.

  • wow great stuff

    • W.

      Thanks, man! The band actually messaged me to let me know they enjoyed it!

      • Admission: I pressed play on the first vid and clicked back to the spreadsheet I’m buried in so I didn’t read the editorial….but I promise that I will!

        • W.

          It is definitely an interesting take on their sound, especially in contrast to the original tracks.

  • FeelTheDarkness

    Metal

  • FuckMeInTheEar666

    Impaled Northern Moonforest! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_AWHOUHKN8

  • Homo sapiens metallum

    Kindertodeslied means infant death song
    #Germanfacts

    • W.

      The more you know!

  • J.R.

    My favorite acoustic rendition of non-acoustic songs is Thrawsunblat’s Vast Arboreal Sky EP. The original songs being folky black metal really lends to a great acoustic transformation. “She, Arboreal” is such a good song. Both versions!

    http://thrawsunblat.bandcamp.com/album/vast-arboreal-sky-ep

    • W.

      This is the group that formed after Woods of Ypres ended, right?

      • J.R.

        Yes sir, Mr. President. I mean the circumstances of their formation are less than positive, but I’m happy they continued making music together.

        • W.

          Me too!

  • Further Down the Metal Hole

    Corpsegrinder can’t even believe himself that he’s wearing such a damn fine piece of suit.