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I feel utterly sick to my stomach. I haven’t felt this bad when I listened to the worst deathcore bullshit, to Korn, to Slipknot, to Celine Dion, or to whatever awful “musician” one may think of in this day and age. All of those “artists”, horrible as they may be, at least have the decency to record and release their own worthless music and pretend it’s good. Such is unfortunately not the case for the stain upon metal that is Killswitch Engage. That’s because, since their own songs tend to be too weak for commercial success, they decided to make a cover of Dio’s timeless classic anthem Holy Diver and to actually market it as a single.
Now, beyond the dubious rationale behind using another man’s talent to achieve popularity for oneself, Killswitch Engage add injury to insult by completely crushing one of the most remarkable heavy metal songs recorded. Replacing the awesome opening riff is an abomination of a metalcore mutation, complete with obnoxiously loud production and overdone drumming. Then, after a few seconds, we get the vocals. Jones’ clean vocals are an atrocity, it makes this sound like some retarded gospel song or something, but, bad as it may be, that’s by far the best portion of the track, vocally. Harsh, generic metalcore growling. On Holy Diver. No. Fucking hell no. This song was gang raped, brutally. Where the original showed beauty and rhythm while being incredibly catchy, chaos and stupidity are the prevailing characteristics here. Even the original’s great solo was ruined by the excessive production mentioned earlier. The classic sound of the original was turned into some sort of bad wank session, destroying every single bit of atmosphere that Dio’s Holy Diver proudly has.
Avoid this like the plague. The song, the band, it doesn’t matter, just avoid it all. This truly deserves a merciless 0%, but it may have a slight redeeming characteristic to it, undoubtedly worth a point, and that’s the fact that it may have steered at least one ignorant fan of Killswitch Engage towards the better music that is Dio, and, if fate truly was generous to said person, to more classic, real heavy metal. This is what happens when insects attempt to copy the work of gods.