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Metallica - The Metallica Blacklist Music Album Reviews

Metallica - The Metallica Blacklist Music Album Reviews
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Black Album, Metallica enlist Phoebe Bridgers, Kamasi Washington, Moses Sumney, Weezer, J Balvin, and many more for this enormous and uneven tribute album.

The heavy metal tribute album was once a mainstay of used CD bargain bins. These releases often operated more like promotional tools than true albums, as labels asked their developing bands to bang out a Slayer or Iron Maiden cover in the hopes of perking up the ears of prospective fans. With precious few exceptions—the 1994 Black Sabbath tribute Nativity in Black went gold—these releases were essentially disposable, and they rarely featured artists with their own massive audiences. The Metallica Blacklist, a four-hour, 53-track behemoth of Black Album covers, is easily the most ambitious release of its kind. With contributions from pop stars, indie luminaries, and country icons, the Metallica-approved charity compilation is the band’s latest attempt to position their self-titled 1991 album as a work that transcends the boundaries of metal.

Metallica were already on their way to becoming the biggest metal band in the world before they made the Black Album. Their previous record, 1988’s …And Justice for All, yielded the MTV hit “One” and earned them their first Grammy. Justice pushed Metallica to their physical limits, with barrages of ultra-technical riffs and off-kilter rhythms stuffed into prog-pollinated song structures. Rather than doubling down on complexity, Metallica used Justice’s follow-up to transform into a new kind of heavy band, one that could reach the radio rock fans their thrashier records didn’t. The Metallica Blacklist can only exist because of that transformation: The simplified songwriting lends itself to musical pliability in a way that ’80s Metallica doesn’t, and the most successful Blacklist cuts are the ones that take full advantage of that fact.

Only a handful of songs on The Metallica Blacklist scan as metal. Their devotion to the source material is admirable, but next to some of their more daring company they seem to be missing the point. Slipknot’s Corey Taylor clearly loves “Holier Than Thou,” but his note-perfect interpretation feels out of place. The spirit of the release is better captured by the thumping, maximalist pop of Rina Sawayama’s “Enter Sandman” and the disquieting beauty of Moses Sumney’s “The Unforgiven.” These covers find a nugget of truth in the original and deliver it in a fresh context.

Other tracks use Metallica’s songs like jumping-off points: Flatbush Zombies build a woozy hip-hop epic around a pitch-shifted sample of “The Unforgiven,” splashing wrenchingly autobiographical verses on James Hetfield’s vaguely anti-authoritarian canvas. IDLES turn “The God That Failed” into a bug-eyed post-punk exorcism, while Kamasi Washington pulls off the most impressive feat of the record, discovering a swirling spiritual jazz workout in the little-loved “My Friend of Misery” and enlisting vocalist Patrice Quinn to breathe new life into Hetfield’s cynical lyric.

Of course, on a 53-track album, they can’t all be winners. Reggaeton hitmaker J Balvin drops off a version of “Wherever I May Roam” so half-assed that it seems like he accidentally delivered the demo. Weezer, who scored an improbable hit in 2018 by covering Toto, sleepwalk through a carbon copy of “Enter Sandman” that follows the original note-for-note except when they interpolate a lick from “Buddy Holly.” A group called Goodnight, Texas brings a stomp-clap-hey to “Of Wolf and Man.” By welcoming such an enormous list of contributors, Metallica all but ensured that Blacklist would be an uneven listening experience—and it is.

It’s unclear if the compilation is even intended to be heard in sequence. The tracklist follows the Black Album’s precisely, which means it opens with six consecutive covers of “Enter Sandman” and later forces front-to-back listeners to endure a whopping 12 renditions of “Nothing Else Matters.” As good as some of them are—Phoebe Bridgers’ delicate version feels like a Punisher outtake, and Miley Cyrus enlists Elton John and Yo-Yo Ma for no reason other than she can—listening to the same song a dozen times in a row feels masochistic. There’s some great music on The Metallica Blacklist, but how great can an album truly be if you can’t stomach listening to it in one sitting? The Black Album launched Metallica to superstardom because of its approachability, but in its attempts to offer something for everyone, Blacklist spreads itself too thin.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Metallica - The Metallica Blacklist Music Album Reviews Metallica - The Metallica Blacklist Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, September 17, 2021 Rating: 5

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