The Metallica Blacklist reviewed: A timeless classic reimagined with reverence




The fact that a single Metallica song ('Nothing Else Matters') can be interpreted in 12 distinctive ways is a true testament to the ingenuity of James Hetfield and co's lyricism.

And while it might seem like a chore to listen to the same song 12 times - we can assure you it's worth your time.


Each of the artists featured on the eclectic compilation, 'The Metallica Blacklist', was asked to choose which song they wanted to cover for the charity collection, which speaks volumes, especially given that their self-titled LP (commonly known as 'The Black Album') turned 30 this year and the age range of the vocalists varies significantly.


Besides the hair-raising already released Miley Cyrus rendition - featuring an all-star supergroup comprising WATT (record producer Andrew Watt), Sir Elton John, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Metallica's own Robert Trujillo, and Red Hot Chilli Peppers' Chad Smith - which intimately captures the raw emotion behind the song with the 'Midnight Sky' hitmaker's gritty smoker's rasp, Mickey Guyton's country cut of the power ballad comes with an unexpected but welcome blistering blues guitar solo.


Phoebe Bridgers' version opens with haunting piano instrumentation that has a lullaby quality (think 'Hushabye Mountain' from 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'), but the prize for best 'Nothing Else Matters' cover has to go to the one and only, Mr Chris Stapleton, who transforms the timeless classic into a whiskey-stained southern rock belter.


Perhaps one of the most surprising of them all is drum & bass duo Chase & Status and drill-grime star BackRoad Gee's 'Wherever I May Roam'; it heavily hones in on the electric sitar and will no doubt be the most marmite cover, especially among hardcore Metallica fans.

By contrast, Sam Fender's live recording of 'Sad But True' is a note-perfect ode to, arguably, one of the more underrated Metallica songs.


If the bonanza compilation wasn't enough, the Grammy-winning thrash metal icons are also reissuing 'The Black Album' in honour of the 30th anniversary on Friday (10.09.21).


You can grab it in a range of formats including 180 gram Double Vinyl LP, Standard CD and 3 CD Expanded Edition, digital, and Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set (containing the album remastered on 180G 2LP, a picture disc, three live LPs, 14 CDs (containing rough mixes, demos, interviews, live shows), 6 DVDs (containing outtakes, behind the scenes, official videos, live shows), a 120-page hardcover book, four tour laminates, three lithos, three guitar picks, a Metallica lanyard, a folder with lyric sheets, and a download card).


What's more, "All profits from 'The Metallica Blacklist' will be split evenly between the All Within My Hands Foundation and 50+ charities chosen by the artists who play on the album. All Within My Hands was founded by the band in 2017 as a way for the entire Metallica family to give back to communities that have supported the band by supporting workforce education, the fight against hunger, and other critical local services."


'The Metallica Blacklist' is released on September 10.


Rating: 8/10



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