Reviewing every track on “The Metallica Blacklist” – Part 7: “Through The Never”

Mark: In our previous post, we listened to some takes on “Don’t Tread On Me” that were firmly… okay. I include the original version of “Don’t Tread On Me” in that summation. It is okay. This week? A blissfully short three track post about “Through The Never” before next week’s dreaded thirteen (!) track post full of “Nothing Else Matters” covers.

Enjoy it, Jay. The next one is going to hurt.

Jay: I have to be completely honest: “Through the Never” isn’t really popping in my memory, not much beyond the main riff, not a single lick of lyrics. This could cut either way! Let’s look at the bands… only two, and I don’t recognize either of them. It’s really hard to predict what to expect here! I will say that, unlike Mark, I am very much looking forward to hearing the covers of “Nothing Else Matters”, so let’s burn through this and get ready for next week!

The HU – “Through The Never”

Mark: Uh, this slaps. Also, “uh” is the band name backwards.

I have never heard this band before, but it’s a Mongolian folk metal band. It sounds like they incorporate traditional instruments into their music. They also translated the lyrics and it sounds fucking dope as hell. I think this is actually a pretty straightforward take on this song, if my memory serves. Outside of all of the bowed instruments and throat singing and extra percussion.

Honestly, this rocks and I had loads of fun with it from start to finish. I think I might need to get into The HU.

Jay: The who? Oh, I get it, like the Who but with a different spelling. Did that start with the Apocalyptica version? I have to look it up after this is over. Oh, man! Listen to those vocals! This fucken rips, from the guttural chorus to the throat singing to the strings. I love this. Like Mark, my memory isn’t super strong on the original, but this sounds like a straightforward reproduction of the original’s chord progression and arrangement on guitar and drums.

This amplified strings rule. The translation rules. I’m into this.

Grade: A

Tomi Ow√≥ – “Through The Never”

Mark: I wouldn’t have expected that one of the “Through The Never” covers would be a slinky pop/R&B track, but I even more wouldn’t have expected it to work pretty well. The vocalist takes great liberties with the vocal melody, but they’re all good choices. The production glides along with a smooth and slick vibe, almost tipping over into triphop territory. Strangely, this one only really starts to lose it for me when they incorporate more of the hard-edged guitars, particularly in the industrial-tinged outro. It’s not enough for me to call this song a failure, because I really enjoyed it for the most part.

I actually think I need to listen to it again, which I’ve said about maybe only one or two of the thirty or so tracks we’ve reviewed so far. This is pretty interesting!

Jay: I think I’m a little less sold on it than Mark, especially when the distorted guitar comes in, but I dig the coolness of this. Really felt like the hook wasn’t strong enough for the chorus, but the song has an overall smooth feel to it. The outro is really neat, in that the drums become suddenly very loose, but really not for me in the actual arrangement of everything outside the drums. I’d rather be listening to Sade (which is something I could say most days).

Grade: B+ (Mark), B- (Jay)

Metallica – “Through The Never” (Remastered)

Mark: I think I like “Through The Never”. The riff fucking crushes. It sounds a lot like a bunch of the other “heavy” songs on this record, but like “Holier Than Thou”, it rocks just a bit harder. It’s like this song was designed by an evil mad scientist supervillain to take over the world by making everybody’s neck too sore from headbanging to bother trying to stop them.

The janky “TWISTING. TURNING. THROUGH THE. NEV-AH!” shots are so fun! My only complaint about this track might be that the breakdown riff in the bridge sounds like it could have been from a song on Frogstomp by Silverchair. Actually, does that make the song even better, because that makes it more hilarious? Who’s to say.

Also, the guitar solo on this tune is short, but very fun. And the effect on the lead guitar throughout the song is gratingly goofy, which is… good? Anyway, I like this one. I think that Jay and I have opposite tastes when it comes to The Black Album. I expect him to not enjoy this one!

Jay: Happy to prove you wrong, Mark! I think the riff and the pace of the intro are absolutely fantastic, and the chorus hits are so great.

The weakest aspect of this song, by far, is Lars’s drumming, some of the goofy fills. It’s not entirely Lars’s fault: heavy drums were greatly influenced by him, but have come very far since these seminal recordings. By contrast these drum parts (outside of the chugging straight beats) are too sparse and kind of gutless. Even Lars’s later drum parts have really moved on from here; my son’s favourite Metallica track, and one of his favourite tracks in general, is Met’s “Hardwired”, and let me say, those drums fucking tear it up.

But this song is fun! Love the slowing down of the final “through the. never!” I would love to see this live, maybe even more than Sade.

Grade: A (Mark), A- (Jay)

Next installment: “Nothing Else Matters” – covered by Phoebe Bridgers, Miley Cyrus (feat. Watt, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Trujillo, Chad Smith), Dave Gahan, Mickey Guyton, Dermot Kennedy, Mon Laferte, Igor Levit, My Morning Jacket, PG Roxette, Darius Rucker, Chris Stapleton, and TRESOR. Jesus fucking Christ.

Author: markmeeks

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