Listen to a haunting version of Metallica's The Unforgiven sung in the indigenous Inuktitut language

Elisapie and James Hetfield (montage shot)
(Image credit: Leon Wilde/Blackened Recordings)

Canadian Inuk singer-songwriter Elisapie has released a video for her haunting, Inuktitut language version of Metallica's Black Album classic The Unforgiven

Elisapie is a musician, broadcaster and documentary filmmaker from the Inuit community of Salluit in Northern Quebec, more than 1000 miles north Of Montreal. Her upcoming album Inuktitut features interpretations of songs by Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, The Rolling Stones and more, with each song backed by a personal story. 

“As a teenager, I only wanted to hang around the gang of boys in my village,” says Elisapie. “We would all go to my big cousin’s house and smoke weed while listening to Metallica. The band’s music allowed us to delve into the darkness of our broken souls and feel good there. It felt like we were being told it’s OK to be sad.

“When I was 14 years old, I applied for a job listing at TNI, the first Inuit TV-radio broadcaster, and I was thrilled when I was chosen for the position. Honestly, I was the only person who applied, but still! Everyone at the station dreamed big, and they put in a request for an interview with Metallica. The band was so loved in Salluit that we had to give it a shot. 

"Metallica accepted only two interviews on their Québec tour, and TNI was chosen. The senior producer gave me the interview, and there is a high likelihood that this was the worst interview Kirk Hammett ever did with a ‘journalist.’ 

"He must have been so confused to get on the line and find a 15-year-old, overly excited Inuk girl asking questions that made little sense. But in my boys’ eyes, I was the coolest, and that’s what matters."

Inuktitut is released via Bonsound on September 15, and is available to pre-order now. For tour dates, visit Elisapie's website.

Elisapie: Inuktitut tracklist 

1. Isumagijunnaitaungituq (The Unforgiven) [Metallica]
2. Sinnatuumait (Dreams) [Fleetwood Mac]
3. Taimangalimaaq (Time After Time) [Cindi Lauper]
4. Qimatsilunga (I Want to Break Free)  [Queen]
5. Qaisimalaurittuq (Wish You Were Here) feat. the Westerlies [Pink Floyd]
6. Californiamut (Going to California) [Led Zeppelin]
7. Uummati Attanarsimat (Heart of Glass) [Blondie]
8. Inuuniaravit (Born to Be Alive) [Patrick Hernandez]
9. Taimaa Qimatsiniungimat (Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye) [Leonard Cohen]
10. Qimmijuat (Wild Horses) [The Rolling Stones]

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.