When Metallica sees life in pink with the “Black Album”

(AFP) – Songs from a metal band play in prime time: it’s the revolution engendered by Metallica’s “Black Album”, which we are celebrating with two event records.

“It was looping on the radios, my sister – who was not and still is not a metal fan – had the album and I heard about them the first time like that”, recalls for AFP Ben Barbaud, boss of Hellfest. The circle is complete: its French metal festival with an international aura will program the Californian quartet in June 2022.

The group, from trash metal, extreme branch, lifts its foot with this record released in mid-August 1991, while the competition plunges into the arms race (playing always faster, always stronger).

And here are the instant hits, “Nothing Else Matters”, an inconceivable ballad for trash purists, “The Unforgiven” and its big guitars with Morricone accents, or even “Enter Sandman”, a misguided rhyme with unstoppable riffs. Metallica therefore raises stadiums filled with an audience also come from rock and no longer just metal.

“Metallica broke the glass ceiling, they become super rock stars from that moment, unifying: they are only a handful of bands like that, they come from metal, we can quote AC / DC which comes from hard-rock “, synthesizes Ben Barbaud.

– Like George Michael –

“There are not only chainsaw guitars, that thinks, that’s why this album remained with many people, lasted”, adds for AFP the puncheur-electro SebastiAn. The artist was asked to participate in the tribute album “The Metallica Blacklist” (with about fifty guests, from Miley Cyrus to Dave Gahan, frontman of Depeche Mode), released on Friday alongside the remastered version of ” Black Album “. As a reminder, this 5th opus of the group was initially titled soberly “Metallica” but remained in history under this name by its black cover.

SebastiAn offers the most original rereading of Metallica with “Don’t Tread On Else Matters”, a pleasurable collision of “Don’t Tread On Me” and “Nothing Else Matters”. Passed in his electro test tubes, the singer-grumbler James Hetfield first sounds like … George Michael on a disco background! SebastiAn’s sleight of hand succeeds by isolating tracks – vocals and certain instruments – before offering a majestic second symphonic part and then a final fits in.

The piece obtained is not a pochade and reveals the richness of the arrangements of the “Four Horsemen” (“the Four Horsemen”), one of the nicknames of the group. “When I asked for the tracks, I expected 10-15 per piece, I received 100 per piece! It’s licked everywhere, it contradicts the preconceptions about metal”, decrypts SebastiAn.

– Porn review –

An observation which allows to evoke the genesis of the “Black Album” under the direction of the producer Bob Rock, architect of the sound. This Canadian with the dreamed name “applies the old crossover recipe” with “aggressive trash sounds infiltrated by pop sounds” as Nicolas Dupuy writes in the book “Take One, the rock producers”.

Not without pain. The first few months of recording are electric in every sense of the word … You have to watch the hilarious and exciting “A year and a half in the life of Metallica” , making-of filmed.

Hetfield ostensibly flips through porn reviews in the studio when Rock delivers his instructions, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett sulks and leaves the sessions before returning. Drummer Lars Ulrich tries to mediate in a whirlwind of “fuck” and “fuckin ‘” (“damn”, “shit”, etc).

Rock has seen others, as with Mötley Crüe, a gang gang in sex / drugs / rock’n’roll clichés. “I don’t give a shit anymore,” the haired producer of Metallica launches one day, legs crossed on his mixer. His assistant technician, pale, bites his nails. “No, I don’t think so,” Hetfield retorts, amused behind his Viking mustache. The showdown resulted in 30 million albums sold, a record for a metal band.