Latin artists featured on ‘The Metallica Blacklist’ anniversary album
Metallica The Metallica Blacklist serves as both an anniversary album and a cover compilation.
The compilation was released for Metallica’s 30th anniversary The black album, and features many artists and groups, including Rina Sawayama, St. Vincent, The Neptunes and Flatbush Zombies.
Covers The Metallica Blacklist declined in the months leading up to its release. The compilation saw its official release on Friday, September 10, 2021 in streaming and digital.
Despite its tracklist of over 50 songs, each song covered is from 1991 The black album. The featured artists were allowed to choose which song to cover from the original 12-song album.
Out of the compilation of 53 songs – which lasts over four hours – here are some artists of Latin origin who have been included.
The warning – “Enter Sandman”
The compilation houses six covers of “Enter Sandman”, One of Metallica’s most recognizable songs, and the original opening of The black album.
The Metallica Blacklist opens with a performance by Mexican rock band, The Warning, alongside Canadian singer Alessia Cara.
The Warning is made up of three sisters from Monterrey, Mexico: Daniela on vocals and guitar, Paulina on drums and backing vocals, and Alejandra Villarreal on bass and backing vocals.
For throwing The Metallica Blacklist with the cover of The Warning is an important decision, as the sisters first attracted listeners with a cover 2014 from the same Metallica song. This coverage has now exceeded 22 million views on YouTube.
Using The Warning alongside Alessia Cara for the new cover, Metallica’s original hit is uplifted with elements like added backing vocals sections.
Juanes – “Enter Sandman”
Juanes is a Colombian singer-songwriter and former member of the rock band Ekhymosis.
In 2000, at the start of his solo career, the musician won three Latin Grammy Awards for his first solo album, Fíjate Good.
Juanes is now one of the many artists who have taken over “Enter Sandman” for The Metallica Blacklist.
Similar to The Warning’s “Enter Sandman” cover, Juanes brings the Metallica classic to life in a new light.
Mexican Sound Institute (with La Perla and Gera MX) – “Sad But True”
In one of the more unique teams on the tracklist, The Mexican Institute of Sound, Colombian trio La Perla and Mexican rapper Gera MX have reunited for a cover of “Sad But True”.
Intertwined with the original heavy metal vocals of James Hatfield – the lead vocalist of Metallica – this cover goes wonderfully and enthusiastically.
Sung partially in English, partially in Spanish, Gera MX adds a distinct and welcoming verse – rapped in Spanish – to the melody of Metallica.
Meanwhile, possibly due to the strengths of the Mexican Sound Institute and La Perla’s background in bullerengue and cumbia, the refreshing and beautifully Latin-inspired instrumental stands out the most on the compilation.
The Mexican Institute of Sound is an electronic project created by Camilo Lara, a DJ and producer based in Mexico City.
La Perla is a trio of singers, instrumentalists and researchers from Bogotá, Colombia. The group focuses on the traditional musical heritage of the Colombian Caribbean.
The combination of the sound of La Perla, the added vocals of Gera MX and the original Hatfield – all linked by the Mexican Institute of Sound – amounts to one of the most ambitious covers on the compilation album. Ambition pays off.
Ha * Ash – “The Unforgiven”
Latin American pop duo Ha * Ash helped to The Metallica Blacklist with their cover of “The Unforgiven”.
With the take of Ha * Ash, the compilation sees another cover with a distinctly Latin touch, from the instrumental arrangement to the sisters’ bilingual lyrics.
A darker and more vulnerable cover compared to the Metallica original, Ha * Ash delivers the powerful writing of “The Unforgiven” in a new demeanor suited to the themes of the original song.
Ha * Ash is a duo from Lake Charles, Louisiana made up of Hanna and Ashley Perez Moza. The sisters formed the group in 2002, naming themselves after the first letters of their name.
The sister duo is at the top of its form on this cover of The Metallica Blacklist.
José Madero – “The unforgiven”
Similar to the Ha * Ash cover, José Madero’s “The Unforgiven” is a slower version of Metallica’s rather downcast rock tune.
While the Metallica original features lyrics of defeat, pain, and feelings of being trapped, Madero’s cover features the austere points of interest from the same headspace.
Madero’s cover features a beautiful piano arrangement that only reinforces its emphasis on the lyrics of the original Metallica track.
Madero is a Grammy nominated Latin singer and multi-instrumentalist from Monterrey, Mexico. He is known as a member of the PXNDX group (pronounced “panda”).
PXNDX was formed in Madero’s hometown in 1996. Their music was part of the Avanzada Regia musical movement.
Avanzada Regia was originally from Monterrey and is described as an avant-garde music scene propelled by young artists from the region.
J Balvin – “Wherever I May Wander”
Internationally renowned J Balvin released a cover of “Wherever I May Roam” which blurs the line between cover and remix.
The beat of this cover features a sample similar to Metallica’s original lead riff on “Wherever I May Roam”, but this time J Balvin introduces the song with a new verse.
Similar to “Sad But True” by The Mexican Institute of Sound, Hatfield’s original vocals appear and come out of the cover, ushering in the transition from the original guitar riff to a modified trap-inspired instrumental.
J Balvin is a Colombian rapper and singer with an extensive catalog of music outside of his cover of Metallica.
Mon Laferte – “Nothing else matters”
Chilean songwriter-musician Mon Laferte released a cover of “Nothing Else Matters”, an original song by The black album it’s sonically darker than most of the forceful instrumentals on the 1991 LP.
Laferte sings her cover in Spanish, and as with some of the compilation’s best covers, the musician brings out the sound of her heritage to form a truly rewritten interpretation.
That Laferte ended up on The Metallica Blacklist not surprisingly given the singer’s reputation for genre experimentation. Often times, Laferte gets out of her routines to the point where listeners should expect nothing from her.
Laferte has recorded pop, rock, bolero, salsa and cumbia music. She is a Grammy-winning artist who, in 2019, won the Latin Grammys ‘Best Alternative Album’ award for her album. Norma.
Rodrigo y Gabriela – “The inner struggle”
Rodrigo y Gabriela had the honor to close The Metallica Blacklistlasting more than four hours with their cover of “The Struggle Within”, the original closer to The black album.
The duo from Mexico did an acoustic cover of “The Struggle Within”. The cover relies entirely on the power of Rodrigo and Gabriela’s guitar playing.
Rodrigo y Gabriela’s music is influenced by nuevo flamenco and rock. The duo frequently used the flamenco guitar in their duets.
Similar to The Warning, Rodrigo y Gabriela have a history of recording Metallica covers. In 2019, the duo recorded a cover of “Drums” from Metallica’s 1986 album Puppeteer.
Aligned with his original tracklist, The Metallica Blacklist begins and ends with a tribute to the artists who took charge of covering the heavy metal band before the compilation was conceived.