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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