Sins of the Father Studio version and Live version Analysis

So I get obsessed with songs and recently I’ve been super obsessed with Sins of the Father from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Like, I have never played a Metal Gear game in my life, but I freaking adore every vocal song from the series. So of course, when I first heard Sins of the Father, I was hooked! Recently, I found Donna Burke singing it live, and noticed some differences between her singing it in the studio, and singing it live. Her technique is simply spectacular: Like major props, she has such great pipes! I just wanted to break down the difference in her technique between studio and live because I found it super interesting how she modified certain sections of the song so she didn’t strain her voice. I’ll link both versions below!

Note: I can’t find the full version of the studio version on YouTube. There’s a verse missing in this version.

The first thing I noticed in the live version, as opposed to the studio is some sections, she pushes her vocals a bit more, and others, she holds back. In the studio version, it’s all pretty powerhouse, but the “Pride feeds their blackened hearts” that whole section, I noticed she reserves her vocals a bit. Does it make it any less powerful? I don’t think so – in fact, I found it super interesting that it didn’t detract from the song at all, but added another layer of intensity that wasn’t there in the original. Made it feel a bit more intense, because after that verse she goes into the belt of “The sins never die, can’t wash this blood off my hands” and it just really added an extra layer to the whole performance. The intro “Whoahos” the chestier ones her voice cracked a little, so she held back a bit on those, too. But being a person who has been working on covering this, those are so difficult to do and I am so impressed that she does them so well in both versions! Girl has major lung capacity, that’s for sure!

I thought it was cool how on the “Renounce what made you” instead of missing her timing on “Words that kill” that overlaps in the original, she just said “You” quickly and then went to “Words that kill” that section I was particularly curious as to how she’d do it, and I hadn’t even thought of doing that as an option because the “Made you” line is held out decently long. Liked seeing her do that work around! Just really love her artistry overall in this song.

Overall, I think the major differences are just being more subdued in the live version in those sections I mentioned before. The studio version, the only real subdued parts are the first two “Whoahos” in head voice for the opening and closing sections. Regardless of what version, I am just totally in awe of Donna Burke’s skills – I had never heard her until I heard her sing in the Metal Gear series, and am now a huge fan of hers! Now to hunt down more things she’s done…


Author: Crystal

A California based musician who is as passionate about music as she is video games,, Crystal (or ValkyrieCeles around the interwebs) loves to gush about her various nerdtastic loves, rant about anything currently catching her fancy, and generally just express herself in any creative outlet she can get her hands on. An avid reader, writer, and dreamer, Crystal has been leaving pieces of herself around the internet since 2006.

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