Monday 4 February 2019

Album Review: METALLICA - Helping Hands… Live & Acoustic at the Masonic

Metallica - Helping Hands… Live & Acoustic at the Masonic

01. Disposable Heroes
02. When A Blind Man Cries (Deep Purple cover)
03. The Unforgiven
04. Please Don't Judas Me (Nazareth cover)
05. Turn The Page (Bob Seger cover)
06. Bleeding Me
07. Veteran of the Psychic Wars (Blue Oyster Cult)
08. Nothing Else Matters
09. All Within My Hands
10. Enter Sandman
11. The Four Horsemen
12. Hardwired

Metallica - Helping Hands… Live & Acoustic at the Masonic was recorded on 3rd November last year as part of a charity event, and the press release states that the money received from sales of Helping Hands... will be used to "fight hunger and to assist in creating sustainable communities through workforce education." Apparently, the show and the accompanying auction raised 1.3 million dollars! I think that it's really cool that a band the size of Metallica is doing something like this. It has helped a lot of people, and the fans are getting a cool new record for their collection too.

Any Metallica fan will need no introduction to these songs. What is interesting is how the band re-imagined some of them quite significantly to fit with the unplugged vibe of the night, particularly Enter Sandman which has a dark swampy feel and sounds like it could have been on the True Blood soundtrack. It was one of the genuinely pleasant surprises from the set and quickly cemented itself as a personal favourite.

Metallica have been really cleaver with their set-list selection and this is reflected by how effortlessly these songs transition into an acoustic form. Every song on here is well crafted and performed as professionally as you'd expect from a band of this stature. Even All Within My Hands, from the piss-poor St. Anger album, sounds magnificent in this form.

Acoustic albums aren't normally my thing, but a handful of bands including Nirvana, Kiss and Alice In Chains released unplugged records that I consider to be bona fide classics. Maybe over time I'll come to consider Helping Hands... to be up there too.


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