Hellsongs Long Live Lounge

I actually put off listening to this one for ages, as the idea of reinterpreting metal classics as anything classical, jazzy or lounge-y has pretty much run its course. But I was extremely surprised when I finally put this on. This is no joke and these Swedish musicians have skill and a passion for the original tunes, even as they take them and rework them into arrangements that sound like a cross between campfire acoustic sing-alongs ("The Evil that Men Do") and perky elevator music (an almost unrecognizable "Seek and Destroy"). But it's never a jokey novelty ― this actually takes metal classics and makes them in turns touching, fun and just plain interesting, delivered with a great female vocalist who sounds like the vocalist from the Cranberries, if she knew when not to sing (which, I'm afraid, she doesn't). Plus, it's a recording of a live concert, which adds to the spontaneity. For extra fun, don't look at the track listing and let each song be a surprise. I mean, the song that totally, non-ironically sounds like Blue Rodeo is actually Maiden's "Heaven Can Wait." And there's a rather touching version of "School's Out." Awesome. As well, the song that closes this album off? I'm not even telling you; it just rules. This is a blast. (Tapete)