(Don’t Fear) The Reaper – H.I.M

This cover is pure gothic OTT excess. Not serious old Northern England Gothic. No. That sort of 2000’s CGI Disney gothic like My Chemical Romance and Evanesence used to make. It’s total calculated genius. Vinnie What’sisface croons away like he’s auditioning for Type O Negative and a there’s a warbly girl (probably in a corset) harmonising with him from the off. It’s like Jim Steinman has decided Meat Loaf and Ellen Foley needed to have a crack at being Marilyn Manson.

There’s a skeletal piano intro, big doomy-boomy power chords on guitar and histrionics from the first verse onwards. When you think they’re all done, then the really brilliant bit happens. There’s a sort of industrial shift that if you’re not listening closely enough sounds like another song starting. Admittedly that song is a Nine Inch Nails B-Side but it’s a cool trick. It clicks and fuzzes before mellotron ‘WeeeeOoohs’ kick in and the whole enterprise goes full Bat Out Of Hell reprise on you.

It’s a great way to treat a rock standard. It’s given a proper west end make over and presented back to the listener with a cast of big haired, beautifully turned out actors in the lead roles.


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