All 53 Covers on 'The Metallica Blacklist,' Ranked

From the great (PUP, St. Vincent, the HU) to the not-so-great (Portugal. The Man, Corey Taylor, IDLES)
All 53 Covers on 'The Metallica Blacklist,' Ranked
Photo: Herring & Herring

26. Igor Levit
"Nothing Else Matters"



In the spirit of the classical music titans he studies, Levit does not shy away from further exploring the form and feel of Metallica's composition, taking this beyond any hotel bar piano adaptation.

27. TRESOR
"Nothing Else Matters"



If your ears are straining to hear TRESOR's tender vocal, grab a pair of headphones to luxuriate in the cover's equally hushed, yet detailed, production layers.

28. Mac DeMarco
"Enter Sandman"



You can tell DeMarco is channeling the spirit of peak '91 Hetfield with every "ooh" and "yeah-heah" he leans into.

29. YB 
"Sad but True"



The South Korean rockers stand out from the others who picked this tune by sidestepping the original's straightforward stomp, instead opting to play fast and loose.

30. Imelda May
"The God That Failed"



Patience is a virtue, and is also what it takes to get to the more exciting bits of this cover, as May lets loose on backing vocals while keeping cool in the chorus.

31. Chase & Status (feat. BackRoad Gee)
"Wherever I May Roam"



Hetfield's lyrics are an admittedly tough fit for the accurate delivery drill music demands, but at times outside of the chorus, it sounds like they're being read off a phone in the booth.

32. The Neptunes
"Wherever I May Roam"



Hetfield's vocal track shouting over bouncy drums and tambourine alone feels like a bedroom YouTube mash-up, until some flashier synths and guitar arrive to save the day.

33. The Chats
"Holier Than Thou"



Sink a few VBs and you'll soon believe they're Metallica as they hack this one out.

34. Cherry Glazerr
"My Friend of Misery"



Clementine Creevy's whisper is a cool contrast against Hetfield's snarl, but the band are a little less angsty and agitated than we've perhaps come to expect on a song that could benefit from those feelings.

35. J Balvin
"Wherever I May Roam"



The reggaetón star's contribution is less a cover than an effortlessly cool reimagining, with topflight production and a sample budget large enough to have the thrash giants sounding as if they're in-studio with him.

36. Izïa
"My Friend of Misery"



The French singer's choice to dial up the peppy pop rock to a gallop in the solo section conjures visions of a 53-song anniversary tribute to Iron Maiden.

37. Ghost
"Enter Sandman"



The dramatic intro admittedly comes off flat, but also previews a chorus key change in which the ghoulish outfit let a little light shine through.

38. White Reaper
"Sad but True"



Though charmingly faithful, the garage outfit's take does little to wrest the title of The World's Best American Band from the Big Four's biggest.

39. Dave Gahan
"Nothing Else Matters"



It's the dour, undeniably English atmosphere that catches the ear more than Gahan's pensive vocal.

40. Volbeat
"Don't Tread On Me"



The fellow countrymen of Metallica's drummer could have brought a little more than soaring harmonies to lay at the feet of Sir Lars.

41. Vishal Dadlani, Divine and Shor Police
"The Unforgiven"


Dadlani, Divine and Shor Police's cover starts strong before becoming bogged down by its own musical indecision. It's left feeling like a rendition someone would sing to Dadlani in his former role as a judge on Indian Idol.

42. Mickey Guyton
"Nothing Else Matters"



The country pop player's contribution deals in dynamic extremes, but has little else guiding listeners on its guitar effects freakout.

43. Weezer
"Enter Sandman"



While fairly safe on the whole, the cover's self-referential wink comes with a "Buddy Holly" solo interpolation, perhaps signalling that a stockpiling of material for a Teal Album companion is officially underway.

44. Darius Rucker
"Nothing Else Matters"



If this version were made any more palatable, you could call him Gregarious Rocker.

45. José Madero
"The Unforgiven"



In this key, Madero's impassioned reaches for the high notes come off more grating than galvanizing.

46. Miley Cyrus (ft. Watt, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Trujillo, Chad Smith)
"Nothing Else Matters"



Cyrus and her supergroup largely forego the original song's slow build of momentum in favour of instrumental flourish — how could one not with Yo-Yo Ma and Sir Elton involved? However, the move to make every moment matter leaves this tribute feeling overwrought.

47. Dermot Kennedy
"Nothing Else Matters"



Kennedy's vocals are the highlight of this dulcet, piano-led cover, but being a little more musically adventurous wouldn't hurt.

48. Juanes
"Enter Sandman"



The stop-start treatment given to the main riff eventually leads us to want to stop the listen entirely.

49. Royal Blood
"Sad but True"



As potent as Royal Blood's bass-and-drums attack can be across their three albums, it doesn't quite translate to song that demands the weight of a more complete ensemble.

50. Corey Taylor
"Holier Than Thou"



If you're working a Kill 'Em All tune into your Black Album cover for style points, it's clear which era of Metallica you would rather be paying homage to.

51. Cage the Elephant
"The Unforgiven"



Unfortunately for these hushed harmonies, Lullaby Renditions of Metallica has been done. Maybe the guitar solo will startle you awake.

52. IDLES
"The God That Failed"



The musical and emotional weight of this Black Album cut gets lost with the Bristol outfit's pumped-up post-punk treatment — less Brutalism, largely just brutal.

53. Portugal. The Man
"Don't Tread On Me"



This cover arrives in the style of …And Justice For All in that it would benefit from better production. Baffling vocal treatment, an absence of impactful low-end, and a soaring Mellotron left buried in the mix leaves the song wholly underserved.

Learn about the Canadian connections that fuel The Black Album and The Metallica Blacklist.