The mark of a good cover song is one where an artist or band incorporates their unique style into the original version to make the song their own. The mark of a great cover song is one that makes you forget about the original version altogether. Five Finger Death Punch’s rendition of “House Of The Rising Sun” falls into the latter category.
Though most music fans believe that the song was written by Eric Burdon & The Animals (because their version is the most well-known), it is actually an old folk song whose origins are unknown. No disrespect intended to Eric Burdon, but Five Finger Death Punch injected new life into the song and gave it an intensity that simply didn’t exist when The Animals released it in 1964. Of course, Five Finger Death Punch is no stranger to creating inspired versions of other peoples’ songs (most notably “Bad Company” & “Mama Said Knock You Out”), however, “House Of The Rising Sun” takes their penchant for making covers their own to a whole new level.
As one of the top acts in hard rock today, Five Finger Death Punch marches to the beat of their own drum.
It takes a special kind of bravado to put out two studio albums four months apart during a time when overall record sales have greatly diminished for all artists. And with the MTV days long since replaced by the instant gratification of YouTube’s on-demand videos, FFDP took a step back in time and created a piece of cinematic artistry for “House Of The Rising Sun” (off of The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell, Volume 2).
Set in Nevada’s High Desert, the video begins with what looks to be a muscle car version of The Munster’s Koach speeding through the desert like a scene out of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. The band (cast) members are introduced as the rage-filled “You” (off of The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell, Volume 1) sets the tone amidst video clips reminiscent of a modern version of Caligula. The minute or so of “You” feels like a violent storm that passes in the night. As the band awakens the next morning, there is a calm-after-the-storm feeling as “House Of The Rising Sun” begins.
As they did with “Bad Company,” FFDP altered the lyrics of “House Of The Rising Sun” to make them their own, changing the location of “the house” from New Orleans to Sin City (ostensibly meaning Las Vegas).
The video for the “House Of The Rising Sun” feels so much like a movie with music playing in the background that you tend to forget that its purpose is to promote the song and the album, not a short film. The video leaves room for interpretation, which makes you hope that the band takes the concept and turns it into a full-length movie in the future.
Few bands are able to leave you wanting more from a video, but Five Finger Death Punch has done so with “House Of The Rising Sun.” Check out the official video below…
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