44) “Nothing Else Matters”
Artist: Darius Rucker
Description: This is, nice. It’s a nice man singing a nice song, and that’s about all there is to it. It sounds like something a contestant on a TV singing show would perform, and while that doesn’t make it bad, it doesn’t quite pop either.
45) “Nothing Else Matters”
Artist: Chris Stapleton
Description: This is a top-three pick of the entire album. A crushing country blues twang and Stapleton’s ragged delivery buttress a pair of shredding guitar solos totally worthy of ’90s Metallica (in a good way). This one is always cranked to the max volume before I’m halfway through it.
46) “Nothing Else Matters”
Description: I gave this a six out of five because this was such a delightful surprise to encounter, and now I’m obsessed. The instrumentals are smooth as butter, as is Tresor’s vocals, and his African accent gives the familiar words an amazingly textured sound. He doesn’t neglect the guitar solo either, playing with a shrieking David Gilmour-like tone. If I had to pick one song on this record to smoke a joint, this is the one.
47) “Of Wolf and Man”
Artist: Goodnight, Texas
Description: This track doesn’t do it for me, personally, but I appreciate the soothing interpretation and warm acoustic guitars just the same. One of the more interesting songs on the Black Album; it’s also a shame no one else took a crack at it. One thing of note is that the singer enunciates words much more cleanly than James ever did, to the point that I realized I didn’t even know some of the words despite hearing the original a bajillion+ times.
48) “The God That Failed”
Description: This one hits like a ton of bricks following Goodnight’s countried out track prior. Spoken-word punk isn’t personally my favorite genre, but it’s an upbeat feel, and always interested to hear a complete reimagining of a song already ingrained in your head. It works well if you’re into this style.
49) “The God That Failed”
Artist: Imelda May
Description: A soulful female takes on this heartbreaking song—fantastic vocal layers and an R&B vibe. The low-key yet high-energy instrumental track might not be for every metalhead, but you can definitely catch the swing of this song as well as its anti-religion impact.
50) “My Friend of Misery”
Artist: Cherry Glazerr
Description: The instrumental track is interesting, or as interesting as electronic music gets, but Cherry’s vocals don’t work for me. Her singsong take on Hetfield’s lyrics takes all the pain out and turns them into pop syllables. There’s not enough here to justify listening for me.
51) “My Friend of Misery”
Description: It’s virtually the same problem as the previous one. Female vocals form many standouts on this album, but this dance track doesn’t work for me because it takes away all the emotion and doesn’t replace it with anything of substance. That said, it’s a well-produced track and could be enjoyable to a non-Metallica fan
52) “My Friend of Misery”
Artist: Kamasi Washington
Description: It’s an interesting jazzy, loungey take on the song. It’s different enough to catch my attention and features an astonishingly excellent instrumental break, but the vocals don’t do it for me. Maybe “Of Wolf and Man” would’ve worked better.
53) “The Struggle Within”
Artist: Rodrigo y Gabriela
Description: I love Rodrigo y Gabriela, not least for their Metallica covers, and I really wanted to like this one. The masterclass guitar playing enunciates parts of the song you never noticed before and pays beautiful tribute to the original. After a couple of listens, it doesn’t grab me on the same level as some of the stronger songs on the album. But still a spectacular performance.