So many of you may be wondering just what in the hell is going on with all the Stone Sour and Slipknot controversy from last year. Well thankfully, you can all rest easy, as Stone Sour is STILL going strong despite the departure of guitarist Jim Root, and the 'staying' of Corey Taylor (a bit dramatic considering Root and Taylor still share the stage in Slipknot together).
It should come as no surprise that many current A-list guitarists like James Hetfield/Kirk Hammett, Josh Rand, Mark Tremonti, Robb Flynn, Scott Ian (to name just a few) were influenced and groomed on old school metal bands like Mercyful Fate, Sabbath, Diamond Head, Metal Church and much more. Metallica is shining example of a modern-era band showing their early metal influences and roots when they released an entire double album called Garage Inc. in the late 90s. It was two discs that were dedicated solely to the most epic collection of huge sounding metal covers you have ever heard- many with the modern production and epic-ness that only comes with modern technology and musicianship. Here's one of my personal favorite tracks:
now compare that to the swinging low-gain rawness of the ORIGINAL:
Another great side effect of modern bands covering old tunes is that it will turn on today's youth to many old school bands whose names may have gone by the wayside- legendary bands and musicians that sadly are not as relevant or mainstream as they once were. I mean, really, if you go into a House of Blues gig for let's say, Born of Osiris, how many kids in that audience really have heard of bands like Metal Church?!
Stone Sour is the latest band to do the "covers" thing, fittingly it seems, after Corey Taylor released a killer cover of Dio's "Rainbow in the Dark":
Since Stone Sour does not yet appear to be writing a new album or making tour plans, a cover album may be just what the doctor ordered while Corey Taylor finishes his vocal obligations to Slipknot. The project of covers revolves around #MeanwhileInBurbank, which seems to lend itself to what the band is up to in Burbank, CA, where Stone Sour drummer Roy Mayorga has his home studio.
The band has re-skinned their website, and done it up with a new "old skool" looking logo, which yes, looks metal as fuck.
And now you can get your first taste of the goodness of these covers with Stone Sour's very well done cover of the Metal Church classic "The Dark". Go crank this shit up, right now:
Check out the song's art, and how it pays tribute to the original:
Fucking cool right? I mean, this answers the age-old question of things like "what would Metal Church sound like with Corey Taylor growling on it?" or "What would Metallica sound like with Roy Mayorga drumming?" With #MeanwhileInBurbank we just may get some of these fun answers.
It's also very cool to see how a modern band, who was influenced by these legendary old school bands interprets these classic tunes. A lot of times the difference between the two can be staggering yet oh-so-impressive. If you've just heard the Stone Sour cover, let your ears feast upon how different (and maybe better?) it sounds than the original! You decide, because I'm not going down that road....
Does Corey Taylor make it more bad ass? Does the non-1986 production make it sound more epic?! Well, that's for all fans to decide, as both versions rule in all of their metallurgical goodness. And I think I can speak for the world, that it would be pretty unbelievable to hear Corey Taylor do those high notes of Metal Church, I mean, just once.... More to come soon from Burbank!