The Blackest Album

It’s always interesting to take opposing musical subcultures and examine what ties them together rather that what sets them apart. Bands of the Industrial genre seem like natural choices to rework the material of Metallica, one of the ’90s most successful heavy metal bands. What adds excitement to the discovery of each successive cut is noticing how the essentially organic musical approach used by Metallica (guitars, drums, bass) is retained and expanded on through completely inorganic means. Ten of Metallica’s better-known songs are included over thirteen selections, with three tunes interpreted twice each by different bands. The romantic ballad “Nothing Else Matters” gets a new-age vocal treatment by Apoptygma Berzerk, while The Element’s “Elemental Mix” drapes a gorgeous, gothic mood over the song, with ethereal synth riffs and whispered vocals buried deep in the mix, resulting in an almost sacred feel. Die Krupps “Refiltered Mix” of “Battery” is an aggro-dance sturm und drang set in sharp contrast to La Honda Militia’s trip-hop-into-synthcore instrumental version of the same song. Completing the aural triptych are two analyses of “The Thing That Should Not Be.” Razed in Black’s version retains a sharp metal edge, with snarling vocals and driving industrial beats, while Carbon 12 opts for hushed, processed vocals and a sinister, cybercore feel, producing a stompfest worthy of KMFDM. Rounding out the disc are a speed metal version of “Whiplash” by Abbadon of Venom, Hellsau’s headbanging execution of “Master of Puppets,” and “Sad But True” performed as a brilliant, spot-on industrial rap. Deep, dark cross-genre fun for Metallica fans and Industrial purists alike. Cleopatra Records, 13428 Maxella #251, Marina Del Rey , CA 90292

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