23) “The Unforgiven”
Description: This isn’t my cup of tea, but it’s undeniably beautiful. I also dig the strings, and I really like certain verses while disliking others. I feel the same way about the Spanish verses, which sound great production-wise, but the upbeatness rubs me the wrong way on one of Metallica’s most heartbreaking tracks. Textbook 3/5 score.
24) “The Unforgiven”
Artist: José Madero
Description: Heartfelt and poignant if you’re into that kind of thing. Me not so much, but still full credit to Jose for a powerful performance. You can almost feel him shaking his fists in the air.
25) “The Unforgiven”
Artist: Moses Sumney
Description: This is another heartfelt cover of track 04. It’s 90% vocals, all soft, breathy, and hypnotizing. It reanimates the heavy mood of the original in a new flavor that hits your audio taste buds just right.
26) “Wherever I May Roam”
Artist: J Balvin (Ft. Metallica)
Description: A 100% Spanish track, it’s really more sampling Wherever I May Roam more than covering it. Like Kid Rock using Sad But twenty years before all this Blacklist hype, J Balvin rips a bunch of boastful rhymes in between riffs from the song, as well as some vocal snippets for added power. It works for me, but it doesn’t make me rethink the original like many other songs here do.
27) “Wherever I May Roam”
Artist: Chase & Status (Ft. BackRoad Gee & Metallica)
Description: What if Metallica was reggaeton? Based on this bopping cover, I’d probably still like them, but I don’t know if everyone would feel that way.
28) “Wherever I May Roam”
Artist: The Neptunes (Ft. Metallica)
Description: Steel guitars are cool. But just replaying Kirk’s parts on them with James’ original vocals and calling it a day isn’t really bringing much to the table. It’s still not the worst because, truthfully, the steel guitars do sound pretty cool.
29) “Wherever I May Roam”
Artist: Jon Pardi
Description: This is another country cover and a great song choice for one. The lyrics sound natural played in cowboy tones, and the drawl works exceptionally well. The string section adds oomph to the chorus as well as neatly recalling Kirk’s harpsichord intro.
30) “Don’t Tread On Me / Nothing Else Matters”
Artist: SebastiAn (Ft. Metallica)
Description: A straight-up remix of James’ original vocal tracks from Don’t Tread On Me and some dripping wet guitar chords. Then, for no reason at all, it switches midway to an orchestral version of Nothing Else Matters, still with James’ vocal track. For the life of me, I can’t understand why this exists, but I want no part of it
31) “Don’t Tread On Me”
Artist: Portugal. The Man (Ft. Aaron Beam)
Description: The intro to this song is an absolute winner, taking Metallica’s war riff and fattening it up. After that, it gets a little weird and spacy, and after a half dozen listens, I’m still on the fence about it. I’m glad I’ve heard it, but I’m still not sure if I can call it “good.”
32) “Don’t Tread On Me”
Description: Volbeat have a distinctive grind to their guitars, and it’s great to hear the treatment given to this song. They also upgrade the drums to be spacier and heavier and crush the solo. I don’t know what more you can ask for in a metal cover of a metal song.
33) “Through The Never”
Artist: The Hu
Description: A badass take that makes this song sound better than it actually is. Playing a little looser than the original, the guitars are ferocious, and the bass packs a punch, and hearing the entire song in another language is super cool. Honestly, I’d listen to a whole album of Metallica covers from these guys