Sweden’s Hellsongs return with its particular brand of genius—lounge/pop arrangements of heavy metal classics, in this case accompanied by members of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. The collective deftly transforms Metallica’s “Seek and Destroy”, Iron Maiden’s “The Evil That Men Do” and “Heaven Can Wait”, plus AC/DC’s “Sin City” from metal masterpieces to pop standards.
It’s the missing link between Burt Bacharach and Black Sabbath, a joy-filled listening experience that gets better with each visit. Chief among the surprises is how well Skid Row’s “Youth Gone Wild” makes the transformation and how fresh Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” sounds in Hellsongs’ hands. The only tinge of sadness is that vocalist Siri Bergnehr suffered a stroke in 2010 spelling the end of her time with the group. If this is her last work with Hellsongs, it’s a fitting and fulfilling closing chapter.