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No sympathy with the Rolling Stones. - 60%

oneyoudontknow, June 20th, 2009

There are a lot of ways to do a cover for a 'famous' song and a lot of bands like to stick closely to the original; keep the tempo, atmosphere, maybe even attempt to get the arrangements done in a similar way. Other band head in a different direction and interpret the compositions more freely; see Let There Be More Light by the Woods for instance. Yet, this is by no means the end on this issue and Sabazius head for the ultimate barrier.

Sympathy for the Devil is ripped apart in this interpretation; a different term for describing what is going on here is hardly possible. Some vague references can be made out: rhythms, lyrics, certain guitar passages. Yet, as the length has trebled to over twenty-five minutes, of the dynamics hardly anything is left intact. These have been substituted with some kind of slow and monotonous motive, which is varied only slightly. Drums and guitars are added or replaced in the progression of the track and they mimic facets of the original, but on a very small scale. It is hard to recognize the version by the Rolling Stones here.

Some words on the performance by Sabazius: the vocals appear either in a whispering or in a distorted fashion. In terms of the guitars the reverb and the noisy effects have to be mentioned, while the drums keep their play rather monotonous and minimalist.

Is it good? I do not know ... I cannot even make out what is going on here. Before writing this review I gave the Rolling Stones version a try and by comparing it with the performance of Sabazius than one have to point towards the low amount of similarities between the original and the cover version. Yet the mixture of drone and doom makes the music interesting in some respect, yet presumably only to a small amount of people with a fancy for this combination of genres might like it.

I sometimes have the feeling that Sabazius is some sort of a fun project. Jamming around a bit, recording the songs and then releasing them to the public; most of their stuff is available for free. Yet, I hope they never attempt to cover certain compositions from Pink Floyd; like Atom Heart Mother or Echoes for instance. Judging from the interpretation of the Rolling Stones classic, the aforementioned ones would become really intolerable in length.