Bad Wolves- “Zombie:” No Respite for the Weary


In today’s mainstream market, it seems all you hear is rap and pop music and even both mixed together if you are feeling up to it. However, for those out there who prefer guitar riffs and high octane choruses over electronic synthesizers and little-to-no audible lyrics I am sure this will hit home for you. On January 15, 2018, the world lost the lead singer of popular 90s rock band the Cranberries as Dolores O’Riordan passed away. To make it even more tragic, that very day she would reprise her vocals on her famous hit “Zombie,” with the rock band Bad Wolves. However, while the death was sudden and shocking, this did not mean the end of her legacy or the Bad Wolves cover. Instead, we are left with one of the most powerful and chilling covers ever to be recorded.

Before getting to the cover, first it is important to understand what made the song so popular in the first place. The song and the original music video struck the hearts of the fanbase of the 90s because of the bands way of being able to express the truth about war and the cynical nature of human beings such as politicians at the time. While the song was released in 1994, many believe it to be speaking about the Gulf War that ended just three years prior. Most famously, the song is remembered for the first verse of “another head hangs lowly/child is slowly taken/And the violence caused such silence/Who are we mistaken?/But, you see it’s not me/It’s not my family;” many see it as a shot at politicians and the press who were so enamored with their own agendas they seemed to dehumanize themselves from the fact that they were playing with other people’s lives. Moreover, through her melodic voice and the slow, yet haunting, strums of the guitar, the original “Zombie” is still a timeless classic.

When a song as popular as this is being covered, the band puts enormous pressure upon themselves to deliver not just for the fans but for the original artist as well. Luckily, Bad Wolves not only delivered, but gave an award worthy performance. Without Delores the lead singer, Tommy Vext, took it upon himself to do the vocals and decided not to try and mimic Dolores, rather, use his strengths in vocal ability. While Dolores was more high pitched and melodic, Vext is able to hit on a style of groove metal that is both popular and challenging: combining slow and harmonizing verses with a hard-hitting and energized chorus, new life was given to the song in a way that rekindled what made the original so captivating along with a new blend of vitality and spirit. Overall, the Bad Wolves cover of “Zombie” is original, tear-jerking, philosophical, and adrenaline feeling all at the same time.

Not only has this song given attention to a modern band, paid respects to one of the greats in rock, yet, all the money earned from the song also goes to the children of Dolores. If you are a fan of rock, a fan of the 90s, or even want to try out something new I highly recommend giving the song a listen to and giving respect to both the band and Dolores.