Meteora, the “Symphonic metal band” from Hungary, has been hard at work writing and recording their second album ‘Tragedy of Delusion.’ With a grandiose sound rivalling that of related artists such as Nightwish and Epica, they have not only created a ten track album of original, heavy rock songs but have treated us with a cover of the influential alternative rock band Linkin Park’s ‘Numb.’ Having time left over from recording, the band decided to go with an idea they had for a while; including a cover. With much deliberation between band members and their fans, Meteora decided to go with the dark yet powerful ‘Numb.’
In the early days of the band, Meteora encountered a few who believed they were a Linkin Park tribute from their name, being the same as Linkin Park’s second studio album. Choosing ‘Numb’ as their choice of cover is certainly a fitting one as it is included in their Meteora studio album. Rather interestingly, the band’s name came from Meteora Temples in Greece after bassist and vocalist, Máté Fülöp had been studying architecture, hence coming up with the name shortly before their first live shows. Representing a serene point above the hustle and bustle below, the name reminds the band of a place to separate themselves from the anxieties of society and relax away from the world below. This relaxing, ethereal symbolism perfectly portrays Holló Noémi’s spell bounding vocals, reminiscent of an operatic tone, gliding serenely above the heavy rock of the band.
Joining the ‘Lockdown Video Movement’ – where musicians all around the globe have uploaded live performances or music videos due to lack of live concerts – Meteora decided create a video for ‘Numb.’ They were planning on something different but due to restrictions on performances they created a socially distanced video, with each member performing from their homes. Approaching the video with a minimalist tactic, the band has captured what so many bands have been going through during the past few months.
It is impossible to please everyone when it comes to cover versions. Fans either prefer the original version or that particular genre of music. Changing the song with a unique style is imperative for a successful version and Meteora have achieved this here. ‘Numb’ delivers such meaningful lyrics such as “I’m tired of being what you want me to be, feeling so faithless, lost under the surface, I don’t know what you’re expecting of me put under the pressure of walking in your shoes” which the late Chester Bennington sang with raw angst and emotion. This cover may not have that same driving passion behind it but Symphonic Metal is a wildly different genre to that of Nu Metal. The feeling behind the music differs between the two versions but Meteora’s vocals are very impressive in their unique delivery.
The unmistaken death growl of Fülöp Máté meeting the enchanting tones of Holló creates a contrasting dynamic that really helps the song build up the sentiment behind the words. Fülöp picks up on lines “about to lose control,” emphasising the breaking point and meaning within them. The synth keyboards throughout the song carry eerily with the delicate vocals of Holló. When her graceful voice is met by the angry growl, it creates a mixture of sounds, like the concoction of emotions in the lyrics.
This is a very well-constructed cover in a superb individual style. The version will not be to everyone’s tastes, as many covers have found, but it is definitely worth checking out if you’re a metal or Linkin Park fan. A lot of thought has evidently gone in to this cover and Meteora have succeeded in creating a clever tribute to an absolute classic.