Chris Barnes has been dead to me ever since Six Feet Under unleashed the abomination known as Graveyard Classics 2, aka Barnes in Black. Although their first album of death-metal covers was actually kinda fun, the world did NOT need a half-assed re-creation of AC/DC’s most iconic album with Cookie Monster vomiting all over it. I’ve even stopped listening to Cannibal Corpse since that one came out!
On the other hand, I do not hold Pink Floyd in the same regard as AC/DC. Sure, I heard a couple tunes from Dark Side of the Moon several times on the radio when I was growing up, but I was never a really big Pink Floyd fan. So hey, if three-quarters of The Sword wants to put their stamp on Dark Side, I’m not one to stop ‘em; my biggest objection is labelling this thing as doom. As this 44-page message board thread (background NSFW) will tell you, The Sword is about as doomy as Scooby Doo. So let’s call this one Sword Side of the Moon instead! 😉
Of course, it’s worth noting that The Sword’s frontman JD Cronise is nowhere to be found on this record—tis the brainchild of their lead guitarist, who once got stoned listening to “Money” or something like that. And his guitar work is all over this one—if you like The Sword more than the Floyd, this record is probably for you.
After a one-minute wave of fuzz and distortion (“Speak to Me”), the album starts off with the familiar acoustic guitar strains of “Breathe.” This tune sounds fairly true to the original, though I suppose the crashing drum beat around the three-minute mark is heavier than Floyd. It’s only once the riffs kick in on “Time” do we hear the “doom”—sure enough, these riffs sound like The Sword. But the melodic chorus is equally mellow to the original; I feel they could’ve done more to doomify it. Likewise, “Great Gig in the Sky” is soft, airy and saxophone-driven—where’s the doom???
They do heavy up “Money” considerably—their rendition’s riffage sorta sounds like Sleep, although the vocals are fairly faithful to the original. They also speed things up around the 2:15 mark, with an instrumental section that screams Black Sabbath leading into a squealing solo… before the keyboards kick in. Overall, I can dig what they did with this song.
Other than that tune, though, this recording isn’t remarkably different or incredibly doomier than the original. They shouldda just stuck to a single.