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Bitches, Please! - 78%

caspian, November 20th, 2007

KsE have long been a whipping boy for many metalheads, and it's not completely invalid- while I think their first two albums rocked hard, since their switch to Howard Jones (not necessarily his fault, mind) they've began a slow, agonizing decent into emo, albeit that of the incredibly catchy, not-as-bad-as-most-emo-bands variety. But emo nonetheless.

So, while I can understand in theory why most people would be pretty upset with this cover, in practice the only valid complaint would be Howard's screaming. Take out the slightly awkward breakdown and the screaming and you've got something that's a hell of a lot better then the original.

It's pretty simple really. KsE do it faster, do it with much better production and just inject a whole lot of life into what was originally a completely dry and lifeless song with excellent vocals. Whilst the instruments in the original crawl along at a tempo that could be generously described as 'plodding', here there's actually some sort of momentum (some may call it 'chugga chugga', I call it adding a bit of extra notage here and there and making it more exciting). Adding a little bit of extra harmony lead action was also an excellent move. Indeed, the only criticism I can give to the instruments would be the slightly metalcore-ish productions (did we really need clicky kick drums?) but overall that's no big deal, as 20 odd years of recording technology has made the guitars sound a hell of a lot bigger and crunchier then the original recording. I'll take clicky drums if it means I can get a much bigger guitar sound as a result.

One sticking point could be the vocals- I'm not the biggest fan of Dio but even I know that he is one hell of a vocalist- possessing a huge, soaring voice that typifies heavy metal vocals. (or at least, good heavy metal vocals.) Luckily, our big Negro friend in Mr.Jones delivers a sterling performance, and with the exception of some awkward screaming sections here and there, he does an excellent job. Does it match Dio's performance? Well, not quite, but it's close- which is the most that any other metal vocalist could hope for.

Honestly, I really liked this, whereas Dio's version bores me. The breakdown was a poor move (and the main reason why this doesn't get a higher mark) but it's short and it could've been a hell of a lot worse. Just because Dio recorded his version 24 years earlier doesn't mean it's better. KsE do a much better job at this- faster, more energetic, and with a much, much better video clip. Get this one instead of the original.