Denis Pauna (YouTube)

There is a reality that doesn’t always get addressed, but here goes: Without covers, we can have no new and original music material (at least in my opinion). Why? Because we don’t learn how to play the stuff we want to hear if we don’t practice what has been done before. We also don’t keep what we love alive (and well) if we don’t share them with others through our own means.

Some of our favourite musicians have their own versions of famous songs. Sometimes attempting to replicate them with their own twist while also making the songs their own. Others can give us a glimpse into the “what if…?” As you can see, this is how most of these videos begin. This is the youtube channel of multi-instrumentalist Denis Pauna.

I will talk about my younger days a little bit here. I was very into Heavy Metal and Grunge for years – and even though other music styles and more modern bands were in full swing among my peers, I kept a number of my musical tastes rooted in a past that I was too young to remember. Something I’m sure a lot of classical musicians can relate to. Anyway…Alice In Chains, Type O Negative, Metallica, Pantera… ‘These were among those bands, and only two of them are still going, with one of them missing their most famous lead singer. I consider that I will never hear Peter Steele, Layne Staley, Lemmy, Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul sing or play again, with new songs and new live shows. Denis Pauna, however, has managed to create, easily, the best preview of what it would be like if these bands made some new covers.

As more or less a one-man band, Denis’s drive towards making as authentically accurate a sound as possible is one of the most admirable aspects of his channel. I especially love his Type O Negative style covers, as he manages to achieve a pretty spot-on Peter Steele impression, along with the Doom Metal sound they did best. I also love his excellent interpretations of Layne Staley’s vocals and Jerry Cantrell’s guitar playing. He also goes all out in other ways. When doing “What if Rammstein wrote____” he will attempt to sing lyrics in German (whether they’re correct or what Google Translate suggest, they still sound great to someone who doesn’t know the language…I’m talking about myself here). You’ll also find some of his original music under the name Planleft – which deserves a good listen as well.

Anyway, I’ll simply say, “Check it out!” if you love Metal, I don’t believe you’ll regret it.

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