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Metallica’s Blacklist tribute album is a pretty unprecedented project. A tribute to Metallica’s 1991 “Black Album,” it has over 60 songs. The album itself only had 12 songs, but there are multiple versions of most of the songs (and at least one version of every song), giving The Blacklist a rather lengthy runtime. It was fun to listen to all of the tracks, but we decided to boil it down to the best versions of each of the songs. Here’s what we came up with.

  • Enter Sandman

    There are six versions of the album’s opening track — and possibly Metallica’s most famous song. Weezer’s version was charming; it’s like their recent cover of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid.” You could imagine a younger Rivers Cuomo geeking out in his garage to this song, in front of his KISS poster. Ghost definitely Ghost-ified the song. But Rina Sawayama’s version actually got us to look her up. She’s a Chinese-British pop singer with some definite metal influences.

  • Sad But True

     

    There were seven versions of “Sad But True” and this is probably the toughest decision here. Royal Blood does a great version, as does Americana singer/songwriter Jason Isbell. Sam Fender turns it into a piano ballad, but our favorite version is St. Vincent’s: she makes it sound like a mid-’90s Nine Inch Nails jam.

  • Holier Than Thou

    Corey Taylor - "Holier Than Thou" from The Metallica Blacklist

    Pre-Order / Pre-Save / Pre-Add The Metallica Blacklist here: https://smarturl.it/MetallicaBlacklistAll profits from this song go to Metallica's All Within My...

    This was probably the easiest choice of the album. “Holier Than Thou” sounds like it was written for, or by, Corey Taylor.

  • The Unforgiven

     

  • Wherever I May Roam

    This was an easy choice: the other artists doing this song did remixes, whereas Pardi – a country singer – made it his own song.

  • Don't Tread On Me

    This was another easy choice: Denmark’s Volbeat (who have opened for Metallica) do a solid version of this album track.

  • Through The Never

    As with Ha*Ash’s version of “The Unforgiven,” the HU’s take on a Metallica classic reminds us just how global Metallica’s appeal is. The HU, if you don’t know, is a Mongolian folk and metal band and their version of “Through The Never” is incredibly intense.

  • Nothing Else Matters

    Predictably, a lot of artists took this one on: there are *12* versions of the song on The Blacklist. But the best one is the only track on this collection that could compete with the original: Chris Stapleton’s version. Check it out.

  • Of Wolf And Man

    This was an easy one – only folk rock band Goodnight Texas decided to try “Of Wolf And Man,” but they did a great job.

  • The God That Failed

    We love Irish rockabilly singer Imelda May and her version, but IDLES’ take on “The God That Failed” is fearsome.

  • My Friend Of Misery

    Kamasi Washington - "My Friend of Misery" from The Metallica Blacklist

    Link to listen here: https://smarturl.it/TMB-MFOM-KWPre-Order / Pre-Save / Pre-Add The Metallica Blacklist here: https://smarturl.it/MetallicaBlacklistAll pr...

    This might be the weirdest thing on the whole album; jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington’s cover of “My Friend Of Misery.” Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo joined him on stage for this over the summer.

  • The Struggle Within

    Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela have always been metal fans… and that’s obvious in this amazing take on the underrated Metallica song.