Metallica’s towering influence upon modern metal is indisputable, with the likes of Slipknot, Lamb Of God, Trivium and Avenged Sevenfold freely acknowledging the huge debt they owe to the San Franciscan superstars.
But what if, hypothetically, Metallica had not kicked open the doors to the mainstream music world in 1991 with Enter Sandman, the lead-off single from their phenomenally-successful ‘Black Album’, and instead, that track had emerged at the close of the decade, as a key component of Slipknot’s self-titled 1999 Roadrunner debut?
If unpicking the possible ramifications of such a scenario is too much of a head-fuck, then at least we can now hear a sonic template for this imaginary modern metal re-boot, as YouTuber Pete Cottrell has taken it upon himself to rework the Bay Area ’bangers’ best-known stadium-levelling anthem as if it had been penned by Corey Tayor, Shawn Crahan, Paul Gray and Joey Jordison in a Des Moines, Iowa rehearsal room circa 1998.
Key to this reimagining of the track, Cottrell explains, is tuning the guitars down from E to B, to make the song "darker and more menacing," then ramping up the tempo from around 120bpm to 190bpm, ish, to add intensity and ferocity. Next up, Cottrell introduces ‘The Joey Beat’, imagining the much-missed Joey Jordison in the drum stool for the recording rather than Lars Ulrich, a concept less mind-blowing post-June 6, 2004. And... voila! Sliptallica! Or Metknot! However you want to label it, it’s a beast, and we’re here for it.
Nice work Mr Cottrell.