Review by Jason Guest
From their website: “Driving Mrs Satan makes room for quiet into the history of heavy metal, borrowing lyrics and melodies from long haired 80s hard rock, conditioner-only-washing them into the whispered politeness of indie pop, and rinsing them with the passion of jazzy, centered, avant-pop.”
I’ll give you a moment to digest that.
Okay, so first question: why would anyone want to make room for quiet in heavy metal? It’s supposed to be loud. Second question: polite? Really? Oh the outrage! Okay, so Helloween’s ‘I Want Out’ always was a heavy pop song anyway so its transformation was going to be an easy one. Metallica’s ‘Battery’ next. That’s way too heavy to be softened up. Driving Mrs Satan has got their work cut out with that one, yes? Nope, it’s softer than Mr Whippy with diarrhea. Maybe Metallica should consult with these guys before they start rehearsing for Glastonbury later this month. But then again, maybe not; they’ll probably end up collaborating on an album that would make Lulu look like a masterpiece.
A quick glance over the instrumentation on the album: acoustic guitar, double bass, piano, cello, vibraphone, trumpet, and – what’s this? Flugelhorn. Flugelhorn! Right, only Iron Maiden can save us now. The murderous might of ‘Killers’ has been supplanted by niceness (forgive me, but no other would do). Okay, so let’s see if Claudia Sorvillo’s dulcet tones can take on those of Air-Raid-Siren-put-to-shamer Bruce Dickinson with ‘2 Minutes To Midnight’ and ‘Can I Play With Madness?’ No, she wins that one. But not by force, oh no. It’s that voice. That bloody – well, bloodless – voice and that beautiful musicianship. And airier and lighter than a weightwatcher’s sponge cake, ‘Killed By Death’ is hilarious. It’s as if Lemmy, as a young girl, had finished school with straight A grades and gone on to earn a first class degree with honours from the Kirstie Allsop University for Girls. Even ‘South of Heaven’, rather than eternity in the fires of hell sounds like a day in the sun, such is the cosiness of the transmutation of these blissful hellish nightmares into blissful heavenly dreams. That’s it. Metal is officially dead.
To diehard metal fans who worship daily at the feet of their brazen idols, this is sacrilege, and no doubt at this very instant, they are summoning up fifty of their men and planning to lay siege to the band’s house and do bloody murder on them. To the rest of us, i.e., the sane ones, this is a bit of fun, a novelty. It’ll no doubt get the occasional play; it may even raise a few chuckles at the politely ironic slamming that ensues when ‘Caught In A Mosh’ comes on.
6 out of 10
- I Want Out (Helloween)
- Battery (Metallica)
- Killers (Iron Maiden)
- Caught In a Mosh (Anthrax)
- Killed By Death (Motorhead)
- Hells Bells (ACDC)
- 2 Minutes to Midnight (Iron Maiden)
- Can I Play With Madness (Iron Maiden)
- Never Say Die (Black Sabbath)
- South Of Heaven (Slayer)
- From Out of Nowhere (Faith No More)