I guess, it wouldn`t be an exaggeration that Feuerschwanz have taken folk-metal music to a whole new level of awesome, with their soulful melodies, powerful arrangements, and super-high-quality production. With all that aforementioned, the band has also mastered the skill of Feuerschwanz-ising every song they find interesting and worthy, thus, both band’s albums contained fabulous cover songs besides original material. The variety of genres covered boggles the mind, I mean, I never thought I’d hear covers for Amon Amarth and The Weekend performed by the same artist. And the most logical development for this extravaganza would be to put these covers on one album as a compilation, and so, here we are – “Todsünden”, ladies and gentlemen.
Probably the major distinctive feature that unites all covers is that, despite all that crazy diversity of bands covered, every song on the album sounds like a decent Feuerschwanz song from the beginning till the end. All band’s trademarks – catchy folk tunes, flutes and violins, energetic drums, and massive wall of sound – are that one common denominator that turns all these covers into a very organic boombastic mixture. So yeah, if I didn’t know that “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!”, the opener of the album (new, previously unreleased, by the way) was ABBA‘s song, I’d seriously believe that it was the original Feuerschwanz song, with all it’s sinful magnetism and humor.
I enjoyed how covers on “Todsünden”(“deadly sins”, if I get it right) add what original songs lack the most, in the very right proportions, so the song wouldn’t, let’s say, lose its charm. Amon Amarth‘s “Twilight of Thunder God” lacks folkishness – here it is; “Square Hammer” by Ghost lacks heaviness – here it is; “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran lacks both folkishness and heaviness – here it is.
What goes without saying is that humor is one of Feuerschwanz`s strong sides as well, but being dorky in music videos is one thing, and channeling your humorous side musically is a completely new level. The 90’s dirty blockbuster, “The Bad Touch” by Bloodhound Gang, starts on “Todsünden” with a…choir of medieval monks! And goes on with a church organ! For those of you who don`t get the irony here – just know that the lyrics of this song are the complete(!!!) opposite of the monks’ lifestyle.
The other great side of “Todsünden” is that listeners get introduced to great representatives of German music culture, other than Rammstein (though a cover for their song, “Engel”, can be also found on the album, of course). So, here we have synth-wave gone folk-metal cover for “Limit” of Deichkind; a story by the veterans of German punk-rock Die Toten Hosen“Hier Kommt Alex” became even more epic and monumental and so did the other punk-rock classic about Dracula – “Der Graf” by Die Ärzte – which also seemed to be given brass instead of violin and where the contrast between the verse and the chorus was seriously smoothened. Also here we have a groovy cover for the hilarious song “Ding” by Seeed, which surely has some “Bad Touch” vibes from the lyrical standpoint. And also it has gorgeous Melissa Bonny from Ad Infinitum as a guest vocalist, blasting both her clean and extreme vocal skills.
Every time I was listening to Manowar‘s legendary “Warriors of the World United” I kept thinking how awesome it would be to have this song performed by a bunch of cool people, like, “Avengers assemble!” but – the metal way. I am so glad that Feuerschwanz thought the same way and for covering this iconic metal anthem they invited not only Melissa Bonny but also former Gloryhammer‘s Thomas Winkler and medieval metal legend Saltatio Mortis. And so, united, they surely breathed a kick-ass new life into the already legendary song.
Speaking about breathing a new life, it was amusing to hear O-Zone‘s “Dragostea Din Tei” reviving out of ashes, it was a great party hit a while ago, and it’s great that now, thanks to Feuerschwanz, it’s upgraded for a medieval headbangers party. And so they did with a modern synth-wave mainstream pop song “Blinding Lights” by The Weekend that sounded from every toaster only last year. What can I say, Feuerschwanz-ising went well – both these songs sound with such reckless ardor as if they were metal from the start.
While some covers are suitable for parties, some are turned into the ultimate battle hymns, which happened to “Amen and Attack” (Powerwolf) and “Gott Mit Uns”(Sabaton). The same thing also happened to Europe‘s “Final Countdown”, previously unreleased. I used to think that the pompous drive and epicness of the original song cannot be outperformed, but I was wrong. And it’s not only from the point of how powerful the wall of sound hits here, it’s more about emotions. Feuerschwanz version is like…imagine you and your best friends are galloping on horses after the successfully finished campaign towards the sunset, where your favorite tavern is located. And in the tavern you with your friends yell acapella this famous “Final Countdown” tune and violins play along. What a great conclusion for the album, and, knowing that the album comes out on the 30th of December, what a great and symbolic soundtrack for a conclusion of the year, huh?