Jānis Bukums 2018
Latvian heavyweights give gravity to doom-laden gem and kiss the sky.
To cover a classic isn’t necessarily a difficult task yet it’s daunting to do it in a way that doesn’t demand a comparison to original and stands tall. Which was exactly how this ensemble – on their way to an album number three – treated a Prince perennial, translating his most popular piece into heavy metal with immense respect and taste.
What previously seemed like a latent heft has become a full-on Armageddon now, as tremulous strum and strident voice construct a spiritual ladder to paradise… or, possibly, a passage to the underworld, while angelic backing vocals instill seductive hope in a guitar squeal. Riffs reserved for solo, the power ballad sounds fresh, and even though it won’t reveal any new aspect to the song, there’s a sense of true triumph in this cover.