Big and Black – VG

Big and Black - VG
EYES CLOSED: But James Hetfield has good reason to open his ears to the best contributions on “The Metallica Blacklist.”

53 dedicated artists, bands and constellations celebrate Metallica’s global breakthrough 30 years ago. The result was overwhelming — and just as uneven, as might be expected.


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album: rock
Diverse Artists
“Metallica Black List”

Metallica’s fifth album – “The Black Album”, as it quickly became known – has to be one of the world’s most loved and at the same time most hated albums at the age of 30.

The release opened up the rugged Bay Area Quartet – and the metal genre itself, strictly speaking – to the entire world, but many old fans thought the magic was lost in streamlined production and “selling”! About the simplest and most direct band expression.

Whatever one thinks about musical quality, then specifically benchmarking it against the best records from the extraordinarily rich music year 1991, there is no doubt that “Black Album” is large and influential enough to bear the tribute three decades later. And that’s what they should have, Lars Ulrich and his gunslingers: they know how to play the big (double) drum when it’s being celebrated.

“The Metallica Blacklist” consists of 53 cover versions of 12 songs on the album, which have been released steadily since the summer holidays. The genre range is wild, from reggaeton, country and punk to classical, k-pop, flamenco and R&B. Even Roxette (!) is an actress. In this way, there will be four varied – and variable – hours.

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Enter the Sandman is the subject of some of the project’s most innovative approaches. Of the six editions, only the semi-cartoon Reina Samayawa bottle really stands out. Jason Espel and Saint Vincent attack “sad but true” on opposite sides, with great success, while not working! Breach the “second holler” very accurately.

Eleven and a half versions of “Nothing Else Matters” are as big as they sound, but here too there are occasional flashes from artists as diverse as Phoebe Bridgers, Darius Rucker, and Mon Lafferty. Other highlights include the up-and-coming, beautiful bass-driven “The Unforgiven” and the jazz phenomenon Kamassi Washington’s radical reconstruction of “My Friend of Misery.”

The problem with “The Metallica Blacklist” is common to most of the acclaim: the quality is uneven. Lots of contributors—from Corey Taylor (Slipknot) to Weezer—are so close to the originals that they make their own copies unnecessary. Others mostly sound like the HBO series’ vignette music.

As on the original album, the level drops toward the end, and it’s nice to have “Of Wolf and Man” and “The Struggle Inside” taken up with one release each.

Today, various physical versions of the “Black List” are released, which, among other things, consists of seven LPs at a price of about 2,000 crowns. you should be very Goodness is set on the “Black Album” to get rid of it, even if the money goes to charitable projects chosen by the artists.

Still: There’s just something wild about this whole scheme that really needs to be commended. Put your favorites into a separate playlist, turn up the volume and paint the weekend black.

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Ashura Okorie

Ashura Okorie

"Infuriatingly humble web fan. Writer. Alcohol geek. Passionate explorer. Evil problem solver. Incurable zombie expert."

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