‘The Metallica Blacklist’


Courtesy of Brett Murray

Metallica and Miley Cyrus on the Howard Stern Show on Sept. 9, 2021. Cyrus’s rendition of “Nothing Else Matters” was one of the first songs to be released from “The Blacklist.”

From Phoebe Bridgers to Weezer to J Balvin, “The Metallica Blacklist” has a lineup like no other. Originally released in 1991, Metallica’s self-titled album, referred to as “The Black Album,” is a classic, with many arguing that it is Metallica’s best album.

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the release, Metallica compiled a 53-track mega album with different artists singing their version of the original 12-song tracklist.

Released on Sept. 10, “The Metallica Blacklist” is a masterpiece. In the five-hour run time, you do not get bored of listening to the same song over and over again because each artist brings their own style to the table.

The overlap of genres is an interesting take that is not often heard to this degree on other albums. Artists on the album come from all different generations and genres, including rap, country, pop, Spanish and indie.

Even though the album is the same 12 songs, your attention will be kept the whole time. The lyrics do not change but the feel of the song does, giving listeners the ability to be surprised with each track.

While listening to the album, we found ourselves excited to hear the next song even though it was our fifth time listening to “Enter Sandman” in one sitting.

We find it very difficult to pick our favorite track off the album as each comes with its own special sound that makes it great. While first looking at the featured artists, we thought Corey Taylor’s rendition of “Holier Than Thou” would prove to be our overall favorite as we are big fans of Slipknot and Stone Sour. However, once we began listening to the album, it became harder to discern our favorite.

Taylor’s rendition is amazing and definitely one of our favorites, but so is Phoebe Bridgers’s rendition of “Nothing Else Matters” as well as Weezer’s rendition of “Enter Sandman” and The Mexican Institute of Sound’s take on “Sad but True.”

Miley Cyrus’s version of “Nothing Else Matters” with Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Trujillo and Chad Smith was an instant favorite of ours when it was released in June. We could go on and on with the list.

As diehard metalheads, seeing country artists and pop musicians on the track list made us a bit nervous that one of the greatest metal albums would be tarnished. Yet, we were pleasantly surprised after listening to the tracks and realizing the mixture of these genres with Metallica provide interesting songs that we find enjoyable.

Having such a vast array of artists and genres allows people to understand the importance of Metallica’s influence in the music industry. They were the first band to perform in every single continent (yes, even Antarctica.) They are legends in the music world and that is evident with the amount of artists featured on this album.

Part of the album’s appeal is the incredible generosity that comes with it. The album’s profits go to Metallica’s charitable foundation, All Within My Hands; this non-profit aims to create sustainable communities by supporting workforce education and fighting against hunger. On top of that, each featured artist chose a charity that the profits from their individual tracks will go to.

This record serves as a celebration of the past 30 years of Metallica and is a way to appreciate the songs that defined rock and metal across genres.

“The Metallica Blacklist” is worth a listen no matter what genre you like as it has something for everyone. Physical copies of the album will be available in October, but for now you can find it digitally wherever you stream music.