More than a split and less intrinsically cursed than a supergroup, collaborative albums are a chance for two hubs of creativity to combine their talents, hopefully in the process creating something that’s at least equal to the sum of its parts. We’ve had an abundance of fruitful coming togethers in recent years, from the upcoming Thou X Emma Ruth Rundle release that sounded so delightfully intense when it was debuted at Roadburn (more on that here) this year to The Body’s meetings with the likes of Uniform and Full Of Hell. But you can’t have too much of a good thing, so we got thinking about the dream collaborations we’d like to see, including the outlandish, the hilarious and even the impossible.
Alice In Chains X Primitive Man
The influence that grunge legends Alice In Chains have had on contemporary sludge is palpable, but whilst much of their heaviest material hits in a similar way to the most depraved of metal’s ultra-slow subgenres, it has always stopped short of fully embracing its ability to obliterate. Who better to show them the ropes then one of the heaviest sludge outfit on the planet? If Jerry Cantrell’s riffs aren’t heavy enough for you, but the Primitive Man’s noisy, endurance-testing albums are a tad too much, this could be the perfect collab for you.
Black Sabbath X Pink Floyd
Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin allegedly had a jam back in the day. That would have involved a lot of big riffs and big drumming. But what if Zep hadn’t made it (“Hi Tony, it’s Jimmy. Going to have to cancel today. Bonzo’s got Irish flu again”) and Pink Floyd got the call instead? Look at it like this: the inventors of heavy metal jamming with the most progressive of prog bands. (Black Floyd? Pink Sabbath? Hmm)
Both of these bands went through multiple iterations, so the result of this combination is open to choice. But, imagine this – The Dark Side of The Moon meets Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Imagine the crushing lows. Imagine the wonder.
Russian Circles X Opeth
The dynamic music of Russian Circles would require one hell of a versatile singer to keep up with the shifts in tempo and mood, and having overseen his own band’s transition from death metal stalwarts to prog rock maestros, Mikael Åkerfeldt is the obvious choice. To our mind, though, this collaboration wouldn’t simply be Åkerfeldt’s voice over Russian Circles output, but a melding of the former’s post-rock masterpieces with modern-day Opeth’s hypnotic melodicism. Both bands mix of light and dark is inch-perfect, so this one could be truly captivating.
The Body X Nine Inch Nails
One are noise-makers known for collaborating with a variety of different people and changing styles across records; and the other is The Body. Neither group is afraid to experiment or work with people from outside what may be regarded as their comfort zone. The Body’s frequent collaborative albums have taken in all sorts of styles, from doom to damaged pop to sheer rawness, and it’s tempting to speculate on what they might make if they teamed up with Trent Reznor and co.; would they embrace their pop tendencies, or go all-in on their more extreme sounds? We would be very excited to find out.
Heilung X Sunn O)))
A collaboration between Heilung and Sunn O))) would certainly be an interesting listen. The latter are no stranger to working with “out-there” instrumentation, and the former thrive on it. Both groups could alternate between who takes precedence on a track. A darker, more guitar-driven piece paired with primal drum beats might precede a vocally-lead meditative piece, backed by pedal board sculpted soundscapes. The talents of Attila Csihar could bolster both sides massively, with a combination of his black metal wails and more traditional vocal stylings. We can only hope to imagine what an amalgam of the two camps would sound like. If anything, Heilung’s mantra of “amplified history” would definitely get cranked to eleven.
Type O Negative X Ville Valo
Given the fact that iconic goth godfather Pete Steele is sadly no longer with us, this one is for all intents and purposes impossible. However… could you just imagine this collaboration? With the pair’s distinct baritone vocals, coupled with Valo’s saintly sweet and powerful range, their mutual love for all things (Venus) doom and gloom as well as some wonderfully dark humour, not to mention their ability to pen hard-rocking masterpieces, this would have all the potential to be goth metal gold. Valo has proven he’s a fantastic collaborator with the likes of Apocalyptica, The 69 Eyes, Cradle Of Filth and even The Bloodhound Gang, but this would be something else. When he covered ‘Black No.1’ at the Roadrunner Records anniversary bash in 2005 it only teased at the idea. Alas, sadly it will never be. RIP Pete. ALWAYS the Black No. 1.
Depeche Mode X Morton Harket
Hear us out… Depeche Mode are without a doubt one of the most influential artists to ever exist, and their darkly romantic and thought-provoking electronic anthems have inspired everyone from Marilyn Manson, Lacuna Coil, Rammstein to even Johnny Cash, all of whom have produced superb covers. Morton Harket of A-Ha fame is at the other end of the spectrum, with the band’s lighter pop-based musical aesthetic, but an equally iconic vocalist. With Morton’s ludicrous high notes wrapping around Dave Gahan’s deeper, almost seductive drawl, along with Martin Gore’s talent for songwriting, this could make for an astounding synth supergroup.
White Ward X Messa
Neither of these bands were the first to bring jazz inspirations to metal, but they both draw from the atmospheric, late-night club jazz side of the genre to elevate their music beyond more typical fare. Ukranian outfit White Ward are as adept at building compositions around melancholy piano and evocative saxophone as they are around razor-sharp riffs and raw blastbeats, whilst Messa’s music is a sultry brand of doom that’s truly captivating. Both boast music that is poignant, dynamic and multi-faceted, and it’d be interesting to see two heavy bands whose common ground is actually their non-heavy sides converge. Given that both bands have so carefully executed their blend of styles, the result of their convergence could be a shambles, but it could also spawn some of the most innovative and engaging music of the century.
Mike Patton X Full Of Hell
Honestly, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Mike Patton had always been a dream team-up, but since we’ve already been lucky enough to see that come to fruition, we’d now love to see Patton combine with grindcore band par excellence Full Of Hell. To begin with, the vocal acrobatics would be absolutely stunning. And let’s face it: peak-Patton was basically Fantômas. This collaboration could easily approach the supergroup’s unpredictable style. Both Patton and Full Of Hell are musical entities prone to the extreme, but with a great sense of humour. Which, in our view, is still an underestimated feature within heavy music.
Rotting Christ X Chad Kroeger
Why the fuck not?
Words: George Parr, Stuart Wain, Gavin Griffiths, Marc Puyol-Hennin, Gregory Brooks