So there I was, beavering away at a rather tedious spreadsheet containing a whole bunch of business proposals, listening to an epic collection of power metal, when a track that sounded like AN ABSOLUTE DEAD RINGER for a RUNNING WILD choon popped into the queue.
The thing is, though, that I”m pretty familiar with RUNNING WILD – I’ve been a fan of Rockin’ Rolf Kasparek and his merry band of swashbuckling privateers for years. Their output is uneven, to say the least, but when they nail it, they REALLY nail it.
And the song that I heard sounded so much like RUNNING WILD that I could have sworn I was listening to the real thing. Yet I knew it wasn’t – the voice wasn’t quite the same as Rolf’s and the lyrics didn’t sound familiar.
Turns out that the song was by a band called BLAZON STONE, which was very clearly inspired by a RUNNING WILD song of the same name. And that specific song was, and is, bloody awesome:
That’s not all, though. If you go and listen to some of their albums, it’s like listening to RUNNING WILD at their absolute best – but for like a whole album instead of just five songs out of ten or eleven:
Just goes to show that sometimes you can create a great copy that pays tremendous tribute to the originals. Don’t get me wrong, I still prefer the originals, but in this case, imitation truly is the highest and sincerest form of flattery.
Speaking of the originals…:
One more thing – if you go look up the chap behind BLAZON STONE, he’s a Swedish multi-instrumentalist by the name of Cederick Forsberg, and… honestly, the dude’s a freakin’ MANIAC. Just look at the list of bands with which he is involved. I’m surprised he has time to sleep, let alone compose music.
Not only that, but he plays ALL of the instruments for BLAZON STONE. Stop and think about that for a minute.
If you know anything about modern metal music, you will quickly understand that the requirements of playing a six-string electric rhythm guitar part are very different from playing the lead. Playing the guitar is in turn very different from playing the bass. In the latter case, unless you are ‘Arry from IRON MAIDEN or Lemmy (RIP) from MOTORHEAD, you are playing a single note in a chord defined by the guitar. The skills required to play both instruments are very, very different.
Now add to that the complexities of playing a highly kinetic instrument like the drums – and playing them really well. I mean, like, Anders Johansson levels of well. And then you’ll quickly realise how bloody hard it is to do all three.
THAT IS THE LEVEL OF MUSICIANSHIP THAT THIS ONE GUY EXHIBITS.
I don’t know what it is about the Swedes – maybe all of that pickled herring that they eat has something to do with it? But they really do produce some of the greatest bands and musicians anywhere. For example, Tommy Johansson of SABATON – God love ’em! – has multiple bands of his own, including REINXEED, MAJESTICA, and NARNIA. And he’s an absolute legend on the guitar. He’s also a hugely talented vocalist, composer, and writer. He’s also a devout and unabashed Christian who has made some of the best Christian metal out there.
All I know is that, when I finally kick the bucket and I get to the Pearly Gates, I definitely want to hear a Swedish metal band playing the entry hymns. I know that’s not exactly Biblical and all, but come on, it would be hilariously awesome.