It has been a little over a week since the death of Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan. So much potential music was lost on the day she passed – including this cover.
O’Riordan was scheduled to record vocals on the Bad Wolves version of “Zombie” just days after her sudden death. She had heard from a former manager that the cover was special and, after hearing it, agreed. They’ve released the cover – sans O’Riordan vocals – and it’s not hard to figure out why it resonated with her.
“Zombie” is the perfect heavy metal song, from the punchy melody and lyrics to the driving beat. Bad Wolves singer Tommy Vext manages to maintain the integrity of the original while adding his own intense and beautiful vocals.
“It’s such a powerful song and the themes are still so relevant, we wanted to release it in her memory,” commented Vext. “The original lyrics include the line ‘It’s the same old theme since 1916. In your head, in your head, they’re still fighting.’ It’s a reference to the IRA bombings during the Irish Rebellion. We changed that lyric to say ‘2018’ and she was really excited about that because the nations may have changed but we’re still fighting the same battles today. Humanity is still fighting to assert itself despite all the conflicts.”
Instrumentals are spot on, with a peaceful piano arpeggio quickly turning into a rush of sound during the heavy chorus. It feels reverent and current without being over the top.
In response to the sudden and tragic loss of O’Riordan, Vext said: “It was the greatest honor to know she liked our version and wanted to sing on it. We’re deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Dolores and by the fact that she’s leaving behind three children so we are donating the proceeds from the song to her kids”.