When we think of Armenian-American alt-metallers System of a Down, we usually think of songs that sound like a crew of over-caffeinated cartoon characters are watching Rome burn. But the beauty of the band is the dramatic melancholy at their core, and their ability to express that feeling through epic distorted guitar drops. Now, an Irish acoustic quartet with a backing orchestra have taken on the band’s classic track “Aerials,” and they’ve perfectly channeled that sweeping power, albeit in a very different style.
The beauty of this “Aerials” cover by Dubliners The Scratch and RTÉ Concert Orchestra is that it shows just how versatile the track is. Sure, with its gigantic crescendo and bellowed howls, the song works as a nu-metal bar-burner, and will forever be remembered in part for those elements that make it a metal song. But “Aerials” also sounds perfectly at home being plucked out on acoustic instruments, sung in Irish accents, and backed by cinematic orchestral accompaniment. It’s a song whose core feeling transcends its medium, so that this rendition can be felt as strongly as the original on which it’s based.
Check out the video:
This, of course, isn’t the only reimagining of “Aerials” that has recently made the rounds. One YouTuber decided to mash up the song with Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which only proves just how haunting the track is no matter what you do to it.
The mash-up comes via YouTuber William Maranci, and combines the vocal parts, including the choir parts, of “Gangsta’s Paradise” with the instrumentals of “Aerials.” While this sounds incongruous on paper, one quickly realizes how somber and deep both tracks are, and how well the message of the one goes with the minor-chord sadness of the other. We, like you, first saw this mash-up and thought, Ha, classic. But upon hearing how well these two melancholy songs go together, we were struck by how powerful this merging is.
Check out the video below:
Words by Chris Krovatin