Where is the “Doom Side” of the Moon?
Throughout music history, certain albums have added themselves to a laundry list of the most influential ever. Pink Floyd is the type of band that is on that list repeatedly, and their album Dark Side of the Moon is near and dear to many. Quite a few artists of varying genres have tried to tackle recreating Dark Side of the Moon to no incredibly successful avail, which is why the news of a metal take was so interesting. Thanks to The Sword guitarist Kyle Shutt, the world now has a “doom” version of Pink Floyd’s considerable opus, aptly titled Doom Side of the Moon. Whether you consider the album overrated or not, credit should be given where it’s due, and Shutt and his recreative team definitely deserve some for their effort.
Shutt enlisted fellow The Sword members Santiago Vela III and Bryan Richie, who play drums and bass respectively, along with Croy & The Boys keyboardist Joe Cornetti, Black Joe Lewis saxophonist, Jason Frey and Brown Sabbath/Brownout vocalist Alex Marrero in tow. The level of musicianship with Doom Side of the Moon is high and apparent, but a slight misstep comes from within the name itself.
The inclusion of “doom” in the title affirms the expectation that all of these Pink Floyd songs will be reimagined in their most brutal form. While there are moments of heaviness, the album comes across more stoner rock than anything else. It’s actually difficult during the first instances of Doom Side to even recognize that it’s any different than the original. Shutt and co. recreate “Speak to Me,” “Breathe” and “On the Run” almost effortlessly the same, the latter barely starting to build up in its advertised doominess. “Time,” thankfully, takes it to that level.
In an interesting and definitely unexpected turn, Shutt and his backing band approach the closing tracks, “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse” differently than the rest of songs. They both come out sounding like a gruffly evil Marilyn Manson or Nine Inch Nails track, vocals vilely reading through verses before a pretty rough take at singing the chorus begins. Neither are necessarily bad, with “Brain Damage” fitting more into this industrial description than “Eclipse,” but more just a confusing place to take the production. It still works, though.
Despite its fair lack of much doom, Doom Side of the Moon still counts as one of the best put together Pink Floyd tributes to be released. It’s still heavier than all of the others, and it’s a pretty respectable means of celebration Dark Side’s 50th anniversary.