Say what you will about Metallica’s self-titled, aka “The Black Album,” but goddamn if that record doesn’t hold up thirty years later. It featured one of the most poignant power ballads in all of metal, “Nothing Else Matters,” which frontman/guitarist James Hetfield wrote the opening riff for while on the phone with his then-girlfriend. Holding the phone in one hand and picking his guitar with the other led to the open string riff that kicks off this track.
Does it mark when the band “sold out” to many? Sure, but it’s still one of the most recognizable tracks from the world’s best-known metal band, so do with that info what you will.
We’ve heard the original cut from the album, many live performances, and symphonic metal takes between two S&M live records, but now, Michalina Malisz and Fabienne Erni of Eluveitie have given us a stirring folk-styled rendition of the classic, with Malisz playing the hurdy-gurdy as she shares vocal duties with Erni. In addition, Miłosz Buśko plays bass, and Piotr Martuś plays drums, guitars and lent his mixing and mastering talents to the final product.
The cover is deeply faithful to the original, though the key is dropped from E to C#, and the hurdy gurdy taking center stage as opposed to the guitars. That said, the transfer of the main guitar solo from guitar to hurdy gurdy is undoubtedly fun, and is a great touch that adds to the cover as a whole.
Check out the beautiful cover of “Nothing Else Matters” below: