47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2004
I sampled this album at a music store and laughed my butt off.
"What in the world could have convinced these guys to make this album?" I howled.
"It's so plunky and funny-sounding," I continued.
"It's so funny... it's.... it's..." I muttered. "..it's actually REALLY good."
And it is. Bear in mind, I'm a big fan of Metallica *and* bluegrass, so tinny, plucking banjos appeals to me to begin with. I'd recommend that the average metalhead give this a sample or two before splurging on the whole album- I'm not sure you wouldn't like it. From beginning to end, the album is fun and the musicians (Iron Horse) are very talented. Their vocal harmonies are ridiculously tight- this is what sold me, as I'm a sucker for good harmonies. This is not for everyone, which is why I'm giving it four stars only- I'm not guessing it will appeal to all of you, which is alright. But don't be afraid to at least give it a quick listen. Check out Amazon's listening samples and see if you like it. Odds are if you even think it's just "okay", you'll find yourself addicted in no time. Check out "Hero Of the Day"- wonderfully transcribed- it gives you goosebumps. "Fuel" just makes you laugh out loud- oftentimes for the wrong reasons, unfortunately- but it was a hell of an effort.
You have to take this album for what it's worth, as well. These guys are not trying to replace Metallica- Metallica is unreplaceable, as we all know. These guys are simply taking something really good and giving it their own spin, thereby giving you a chance to enjoy great songs in many different ways and levels.
1- Unforgiven- 4/5
2- Nothing Else Matters- 5/5
3- Enter Sandman- 3/5
4- Hero of the Day- 5/5 (#1 song of the album)
5- Fade to Black- 4/5
6- One- 5/5
7- Ride the Lightning- 4/5
8- Wherever I May Roam- 4/5
9- Fuel- 2/5
10- Four Horsemen- 4/5
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2004
Simply put, I am a veteran metalhead. A big fan of the Bay Area Thrash scene that once existed with the likes of Testament and Exodus, and the British metal sounds of Iron Maiden. As a hardcore-old-Metallica fan, my first reaction to "Fade to Bluegrass" was to chuckle with incredulity. How in the heck did these guys pull this off?!
As I listened further though, I grew to appreciate not only the musicianship of Iron Horse, but their sheer accuracy in capturing the Metallica tunes. It's evident that they learned to play the songs in the original metal style, because as a musician myself, I know that it's difficult to play a cover song in a wholly different genre unless one can play the song in its original form. One must learn the rules before one can bend them without breaking them.
The intricacies of the guitar leads are captured and adjusted to fit into the bluegrass style and instruments. A Kirk Hammett solo on an acoustic guitar with the traditional James Hetfield chunky-riffs on banjo? Unheard of! Until now, that is. 3- and 4-part vocal harmonies lend a different kind of power to the songs, and they pay tribute to the spirit of songs like "Unforgiven" and "Nothing Else Matters."
On the flip side, this will be where my "metal snob" voice comes in. The newer Metallica songs (Black Album and onward) fit beautifully into the bluegrass style. However, the older songs like "Ride the Lightning" and "One" don't fit quite as comfortably into bluegrass. Iron Horse did an admirable job of covering them, but the songwriting itself coming from the early to mid-'80s wasn't exactly counting on the more fluid style of bluegrass.
Not to say these songs sounded bad. Rather, it is to say that these songs weren't AS powerful as "Unforgiven" or "Hero of the Day", for example.
For the metalheads who absolutely refuse to move past the E5 power chord and the double-bass triplets, this album is not for you. For those with minds more open to other musical styles, give the song clips a listen.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2003
Hey, I'm a Metallica fan from way back and not much into bluegrass, so when I heard about this CD on the radio I assumed it was crap. But they played Enter Sandman and I realized that I had to buy it. The bluegrass band is not goofy. They play the songs with the intensity they deserve. It is a whole new way to listen to one of my favorite bands. I am going to buy a bunch of these for Xmas presents!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2004
I'm a bluegrass fan and an old Metallica fan. When I first heard tracks from this album, I was surprised at how well the bluegrass sound fit Metallica so I bought the album. The album is quite good with one exception -- there aren't any fiddles. There's nothing like a long, drawn-out violin note to evoke the same raw emotion that is Metallica.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2004
First off, this is NOT a metal album. With that in mind, it helps to at least be able to tolerate bluegrass music. I have an advantage beacause I live in Kentucky, the bluegrass capitol of the world. My family listens to bluegrass all the time so I have come to tolerate it and even enjoy it from time to time. Thus, I was able to appreciate it for what it was; bluegrass music and not bag it for what it wasn't. Buy if you are interested in a different take on Metallica but if you hate bluegrass music then this won't change your mind.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2005
I am a Metallica fan and until recently did not care for Bluegrass music. My dad always listened to bluegrass so as soon as I could buy my own music, I went straight to AC/DC and Metallica. My wife bought this CD as a Christmas gift to me. I was skeptical to say the least, and laughed as soon as I heard the Banjo pickin' at the start to Unforgiven. Then the guitar set up the rhythm and I was hooked. I set the CD player on loop and haven't listened to much else since. It's disc 3 in my player, right behind Load and Reload and before Ride The Lightning and Anthrax "Sound of White Noise".
These guys did a good job of speeding up these ballads, yet keep their own style and sound. As long as you don't expect this to sound like Metallica and you're open to variety, you'll like this album. My personal favorites on here are Fade to Black, The Four Horsemen, and Unforgiven. These songs are good, even in Bluegrass, a testiment to Metallica's (and Dave Mustane) song writing talents. My little 1-year old daughter won't dance to the originals, but she really loves the Bluegrass versions.
As said elsewhere, preview it first, especially if you're not familiar with or can't stand Bluegrass. This is nothing like the Pat Boone or Weird Al versions. These guys are serious musicians with their own sound and style put to Metallica.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2007
The song ONE busted my gut! Death and banjo, never!! haha
Okay so its like this,
I have been listening to rock and roll for 25 years
I work in an office, do the "cube life", sitting at a PC for most of the day, working on my own, popping out to get liquids or drain liquids, chat some, that's the life. Now this ipod deal comes along a few years ago. Only, if your going to listen to music all day, you just cant listen to real pure rock and roll all day, you just cant. I don't care if your homeless sitting in a park all day with an ipod on, you just cant listen to real hard rock and roll for hours and hours at time all day everyday.
Classical puts me to sleep. I can handle some of it in the morning, ease into the day, but not allot of it. Pop I don't care for much. Country is singing about my dog had an affair on my wife doesn't cut it either, what did I just say? Anyway, and Rap is out. Opera, No, what ARE they saying?!. So what to do?
Well thanks to my Dad, who used to watch Hee Haw all the time when I was growing up, and man did I hate it that show! Even today I seen some of it not long ago, its corny country stuff, but when Roy Clark comes on and solos for a song, then man always caught my attention. He was flat out good. But still I would "never" and have never owned a bluegrass cd. Get real!
But then, a friend, listening to me talk of my search to get some kind of music going for the day, loaned me a String Cheese Incident CD, an On The Road 3 cd set, and said just try it for awhile. Let it grow on you. What do you have to lose? Well yep I ended up submitting to it, and then really liking it. Before long I was walking around the office humming along, co workers going what you got playing man?? So having remembered seeing these Pickin' on cd's before, I said well why not try it, so I started off with one, right away started laughing and laughing good not at it. Then I find these Bluegrass tributes. Now mind you no way would this happen up till a few years ago. Getting older? I don't know, many people are born and raised on this stuff. Its all in how you approach it. And I will tell ya what, that was a couple years ago and 6 pickin' on cd's later, a few bluegrass tributes, I am so much more relaxed at work now. What I didn't notice before was music and singing along with it ALL day works on you more than you realize. I actually like the pickin' On ones more, as I listen to music all day, but these are fun also! Just having some "cruising tunes" playing with no singing really is relaxing. I don't have this playing all day, but its taking up a couple hours a day. Some more String Cheese cd's. And I will sooner or later just end up getting everyone of these pickin' on cd's. You see its not all about "oh this one doesn't jam enough" or the other one is better than this one. Nah. If you like Rock, and don't want to listen to it all day, then get used to these trust me, I did and its worth it. I still laugh at dif times playing them. And now some coworkers and friends have them loaded up also. I still have all the "real" bands loaded into my ipod, never giving up on Classic Rock and Roll, ever!
Lastly, I am not someone who sells these CD's. I actually am very picky if you read my reviews, and look at my Amazon name! and flunk so much stuff that's out there. Believe me this has caught me off guard. Just thought I would let anyone know that is searching for a new way listen to the day to try it out a bit. Give it time. Don't just listen partly or once then blow it all off, scoff and go Sacrilege! For I did before, but now a convert, and after a couple years of it, I get it, and will be enjoying these for years to come, just like the real rock and roll at times. Good luck.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2004
Now, if you happen to be a Metallica fan, the first thing you will do when you listen to this is laugh. Because you just can't help but picture a buck-toothed James Hetfield in a pair of coveralls strumming a banjo. But after that phase comes the better one...the phase where you respect what Iron Horse is doing here. What? You want ANOTHER industrial tribute to Metallica? Bring on this bluegrass tribute. It's much more new and refreshing.
These guys are from my area, too. Glad to see some of the hometown folk on the 'tallica scene.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2006
Hubby and I are Huge Metallica fans, and a few people told us about this cd. They really did do a great tribute to Metallica. And they have been added to our playlists :)
It will not be a cd for someone who does not like bluegrass. If you hate banjo's no matter what, you may not be able to listen to often. But they did an awesome job on recreating songs without destroying them, even with different instruments.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2005
I started listening to this thinking that it was some kind of John Cheese rip-off. You know, kinda making fun of bluegrass music and Metallica at the same time. I was welcoming both, as I have never liked bluegrass and since Metallica decided to go on a suing rampage, I haven't been much of their fan either. (On a side note: did anyone else notice that Metallica started suing after their records started to suck @ss and not sell; I guess the moral is, when you can't make money with your music start taking your fans money in other ways!)
Now, fully expecting some kind of farce, I started to listen. At first, it was funny. However, I soon noticed that this is good. Moreover, as I listened on, especially after "Hero of the Day", it dawned on me that this music isn't good, it's GREAT. After "Wherever I May Roam", I was willing to admit that I no longer cared that Metallica had made money off this cd. Yes, it is that good.
If you like bluegrass I cannot recommend this enough or if you love well-played music this is for you. Be warned that this is not a joke, this is good. Don't go by the samples, they are to short to get the full feel of each song.