Artists of Latin descent featured on anniversary album, ‘The Metallica Blacklist’
The Metallica Blacklist — released on Sept. 10, 2021 — is a 53-song anniversary album.
Metallica’s The Metallica Blacklist serves as both an anniversary album and a cover compilation.
The compilation was released for the 30th anniversary of Metallica’s The Black Album, and features many artists and groups including Rina Sawayama, St. Vincent, The Neptunes, and Flatbush Zombies.
Covers from The Metallica Blacklist have been dropping in the months leading up to its release. The compilation saw its official release this past Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 on streaming and digital.
All proceeds from the compilation will be donated to charities of the contributing artist's choice and Metallica's own foundation, All Within My Hands.
Despite it’s over-50-song tracklist, each song covered is from 1991’s The Black Album. Featured artists were allowed to choose which song to cover from the original 12-song album.
Out of the 53-song compilation — which lasts over four hours — here are some artists of Latin descent who were included.
The compilation houses six covers of “Enter Sandman,” one of Metallica’s most recognizable songs, and the original opener to The Black Album.
The Metallica Blacklist opens with one rendition by Mexican rock band, The Warning, alongside Canadian singer Alessia Cara.
The Warning is composed of three sisters from Monterrey, Mexico: Daniela on lead vocals and guitar, Paulina on the drums and backup vocals, and Alejandra Villarreal on bass and backup vocals.
To kick off The Metallica Blacklist with The Warning’s cover is a significant decision, as the sisters first attracted listeners with a 2014 cover of the same Metallica song. That cover has now surpassed 22 million views on YouTube.
Employing The Warning alongside Alessia Cara for the new cover, the original Metallica hit is elevated thanks to elements such as added sections of background vocals.
Juanes is a noted Colombian singer-songwriter and previous member of the rock band Ekhymosis.
In 2000, early into his solo career, the musician won three Latin Grammy Awards for his solo debut album, Fíjate Bien.
Juanes is now among the several artists who covered “Enter Sandman” for The Metallica Blacklist.
Similar to the “Enter Sandman” cover from The Warning, Juanes brings to life the Metallica classic in new light.
In one of the most unique team-ups on the tracklist, The Mexican Institute of Sound, the Colombian trio La Perla, and Mexican rapper Gera MX united for a cover of “Sad But True.”
Interwoven with the original heavy metal vocals of James Hatfield — Metallica’s lead singer — this cover unfolds wonderfully and with enthusiasm.
Sung partially in English, partially in Spanish, Gera MX adds a welcomingly distinct verse — rapped in Spanish — to the Metallica tune.
Meanwhile, likely due to the strengths of The Mexican Institute of Sound, and La Perla’s background in bullerengue and cumbia, the refreshing and admirably Latin-inspired instrumental stands out above most on the compilation.
The Mexican Institute of Sound is an electronic project created by Camilo Lara, a Mexico City-based DJ and producer.
La Perla are a trio of singers, instrumentalists, and researchers from Bogotá, Columbia. The group is focused on the traditional musical heritage of the Colombian caribbean.
The combination of La Perla’s sound, Gera MX’s added vocals, and Hatfield’s original — all tied together by The Mexican Institute of Sound — equates to one of the most ambitious covers on the compilation album. The ambition pays off.
The American Latin pop duo Ha*Ash contributed to The Metallica Blacklist with their cover of “The Unforgiven.”
With Ha*Ash’s take, the compilation sees another cover with a distinctly Latin spin, from the instrumental arrangement to the sisters’ bilingual lyrics.
A more somber and vulnerable cover compared to Metallica' original, Ha*Ash deliver the potent songwriting of “The Unforgiven” in a new demeanor fitting for the original song’s themes.
Ha*Ash is a duo from Lake Charles, Louisiana composed of Hanna and Ashley Perez Moza. The sisters formed the group in 2002, naming themselves after the first letters in their names.
The sister duo is in top form on this cover from The Metallica Blacklist.
Similar to Ha*Ash’s cover, José Madero’s “The Unforgiven” is a slower take on Metallica’s rather despondent rock tune.
As the Metallica original features lyrics of defeat, pain, and feelings of being trapped, Madero’s cover presents the dour points of interest from the same headspace.
Madero’s cover features a lovely piano arrangement that only strengthens his emphasis on the original Metallica track’s lyrics.
Madero is a Latin Grammy-nominated singer and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Monterrey, Mexico. He is known as a member of the band PXNDX (pronounced “panda”).
PXNDX was formed in Madero’s hometown in 1996. Their music was a part of the Avanzada Regia musical movement.
Avanzada Regia was local to Monterrey, and is described as an avant-garde music scene propelled by the region’s young artists.
The internationally-recognized J Balvin released a cover of “Wherever I May Roam” that blurs the line between cover and remix.
This cover’s beat features a sample akin to Metallica’s original lead riff on “Wherever I May Roam,” only this time J Balvin introduces the song with a new verse.
Similar to The Mexican Institute of Sound’s “Sad But True,” Hatfield’s original vocals pop in and out of the cover, ushering in the transition from the original guitar riff to an altered trap-inspired instrumental.
J Balvin is a Colombian rapper and singer with an extensive catalog of music outside of his Metallica cover.
The Chilean songwriter-musician Mon Laferte released a cover of “Nothing Else Matters,” one original song from The Black Album that is sonically gloomier than many of the energized instrumentals on the 1991 LP.
Laferte sings her cover in Spanish, and as is the case for some of the best covers on the compilation, the musician brings forth the sound of her heritage to form a truly rewritten rendition
That Laferte ended up on The Metallica Blacklist comes as no surprise considering the singer’s reputation for genre experimentation. Often, Laferte breaks out of her routines to the point where listeners should expect none from her.
Laferte has recorded pop, rock, bolero, salsa, and cumbia music. She is a multi-Grammy-award winning artist who, in 2019, won “Best Alternative Album” at the Latin Grammys for her album Norma.
Rodrigo y Gabriela had the honor of closing out The Metallica Blacklist’s over-four-hour runtime with their cover of “The Struggle Within,” the original closer to The Black Album.
The duo from Mexico City put on an acoustic cover of “The Struggle Within.” The cover stands 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 have frequently utilized the flamenco guitar in their duets.
Similar to The Warning, Rodrigo y Gabriela have a past of recording Metallica covers. In 2019, the duo recorded a cover of “Battery” off Metallica’s 1986 album Master of Puppets.
Aligned with its original tracklist, The Metallica Blacklist begins and ends by paying homage to artists who took it upon themselves to cover the heavy metal group before the compilation’s conception.