Metallica's self-titled 1991 LP, aka The Black Album, catapulted the heavy metal titans from underground darlings to international sensations. And while the album represented a stylistic turn for the band, one that angered many of the band's oldest fans, there's no denying the impact the album, along with Metallica's newfound standing as the reigning champs of metal that followed, set the scene for a countless number of bands to follow in their footsteps. From Linkin Park to Lamb of God, The Black Album created a pathway to mainstream success for metal bands. This is undeniable.
But—what if Metallica always sounded as they did on The Black Album? If you're scratching your head right now, let me explain. For example, what if Metallica's thrash-prog masterpiece … And Justice For All (a polarizing album on its own for different reasons) was not very thrashy or proggy at all? What if the songs on Justice were just a collection of straight up hard rock cuts, a la The Black Album? Well, the Metallica YouTube fanpage — State of Mercury, which posts fun reworks of Metallica tunes —recently shared a reimagining of the Justice cut "Harvester of Sorrow" as done in The Black Album style. You can check that video out above.
To my ears, it's a pretty unique interpretation, but considering Justice is my favorite Metallica LP, and "Harvester" is my favorite track on the album, I'm a bit biased towards the tin-can despair of the original. Still, this reimagined version packs a lot of crunch, and incorporates the best elements that The Black Album has to offer.