Metal on inappropriate instruments
October 22, 2015 8:29 AM   Subscribe

YouTube metal guitarist Rob Scallon covers Slayer's "Raining Blood", "War Ensemble", and "Angel of Death", and Metallica's "Battery", on banjo.
posted by Pope Guilty (32 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah, this guy is amazing.

It is so weird that the bridge-to-the-verse riff (|-5-3-2-0-6-4-3-0-5-3-2-0-6-4-3-0-|…) in Raining Blood sounds so at-home on the banjo! I guess that instrument is just good at articulating fast stuff, hence Dueling Banjos.

I still think that's by far the hardest riff in the song. I was able to play all the other riffs at-tempo 18 years ago, within a couple years of first learning them. I still have to fake it through that riff, though. Every time I pick up the guitar (which is like once a week for 20 minutes), I work on cleaning it up. That and the War Ensemble intro riff. I'm on track to get it right by, like, 2030.
posted by ignignokt at 8:41 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

Surprising that they recorded new vocals for Battery but kept the original drum track. I was hoping for some sick double washboard.
posted by klausman at 8:41 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Impressive. But playing banjo with a pick? Like some kind of animal?
posted by OverlappingElvis at 8:42 AM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]

Metal on inappropriate instruments

If you've been considering joining MetaFilter and require a unique user name, well....
posted by Fizz at 8:42 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

That ukelele looks like a banjo.
posted by Chuffy at 8:43 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

That ukelele looks like a banjo.

It is in fact a banjo, and I had a brain fart after watching a different video. I'll alert the mods.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:44 AM on October 22, 2015

War Ensemble's on ukelele, though. Because it's the twee-est of the songs, no doubt.
posted by ignignokt at 8:45 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

[Using mod magic I have transformed a ukulele into a banjo.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:47 AM on October 22, 2015 [15 favorites]

Hayseed Dixie did bluegrass metal covers awhile back but not thrash or speed stuff. I'm pretty sure Bad Livers bluegrassed up 'Ace of Spades.'
posted by jonmc at 8:59 AM on October 22, 2015

Metal on inappropriate instruments

Ty Cobb!

OK, technically, it's a mandolin (I think?), but-- two Soundgarden references in one day and it isn't even noon yet!
posted by gwint at 9:03 AM on October 22, 2015

Oh, and my favorite War Ensemble cover is by Bigwig-- starts off straight but then has a great breakdown in the middle. This was for the Punk Goes Metal comp from way back.
posted by gwint at 9:05 AM on October 22, 2015

Metal Songs Without Distortion
posted by thelonius at 9:06 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

The vibe I get from the banjo "Battery" before the backing track kicks in, is... soundtrack to an alternate universe Age of Empires, made in collaboration with John Carmack and John Romero.
posted by shenkerism at 9:07 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I went down an Iron Horse Bluegrass rabbit hole the other night (their cover of Fade to Black here).

But they create bluegrass arrangements out of metal tunes - the thrash/speed stuff (played as it lies, so to speak) in the FPP is pretty impressive.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:07 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater covers various metal songs on a Hello Kitty drum kit.
posted by swift at 9:10 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

Well here's one on accordion and shamisen "highway to hell"
posted by boilermonster at 9:18 AM on October 22, 2015

I love the banjo's but do wish they'd used something other than drums to fill the sound out.

I want to back up mandolin conspiracy that it's well worth the time to go down the Fade to Bluegrass hole. Most of it can be found on the tube.

From the Smooth Criminal link yesterday I ended up at Tool - Lateralus - Koto Ensemble Version, which seems appropriate for here.

Also from yesterday I ended up (somehow) on The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra - Radioactivitat which while not metal is definitely high on the inappropriate "instruments" list...
posted by cirhosis at 9:32 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm not a fan of metal-style vocals but I enjoyed the banjo parts. (I also love all the heavy strings no-vocals covers of metal I've ever heard.)
posted by immlass at 9:42 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Yonder Mountain String Band have been playing "Crazy Train" -- attributed to "that other Osbourne Brother" -- for years.

Crazy Train at Bonnaroo (2009)
Riff played by founding mandolinist Jeff Austin.

Crazy Train at Northwest String Summit (2014)
With new members Allie Kral and Jake Jolliff. Riff played by guest fiddler Darol Anger, et al.

Back in the 1980s, the golden age of Hip String Quartets, Anger co-founded the Turtle Island String Quartet, a much looser version of the Kronos Quartet.

Here's TISQ on Crossroads
Here's Kronos on Purple Haze
posted by Herodios at 10:08 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Then there's Run C&W, Bernie Leadon's banjo-driven covers of soul tunes:
Papa was a Rolling Stone
My Girl
Hold On I'm Coming
Sweet Soul Music
Bring it On Home To Me
Walking The Dog
Medley: What'd I Say / Superstition / Stop In The Name of Love

Bernie Leadon's greatest contribution to global culture: Journey of The Sorcerer
posted by Herodios at 10:27 AM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

For a long time, I wanted to learn banjo so I could form a band that combined bluegrass with black metal. Then I discovered Panopticon (bandcamp) already did it, and then topped it off by adding union protest songs. Turns out there are several Appalachian bands that integrate traditional music with black metal. Nechochwen (bandcamp) brings in Native American heritage; Falls of Rauros (bandcamp) are also very much worth a listen.

If you just want black metal with a kick-ass banjo solo, Norway’s Taake can provide that, though they fall far enough on the Völkisch side of the folk spectrum that I can’t really endorse them.
posted by nicepersonality at 11:29 AM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]

Alex Skolnick, of the first wave thrash band Testament, has a jazz trio that did a very enjoyable record of rock and metal standards.
posted by yobgorgle at 12:21 PM on October 22, 2015

(I urge everyone who likes this thread to listen to the Panopticon link posted above by nicepersonality. Panopticon is a seriously good band.)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:04 PM on October 22, 2015

Rob knocks down Cowboys from hell on a number of envy-causing ukes.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:33 PM on October 22, 2015

Well here's one on accordion and shamisen "highway to hell"

Try this version of "Smoke On The Water", but Kevin Kmetz is great.

This is not metal, but hey.
posted by sukeban at 3:20 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Don't forget Converge piano covers.

Crazy: Fault & Fracture

And the beautiful, Jane Doe.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 3:56 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

And because Steve'n'Seagulls haven't been mentioned yet,
Nothing Else Matters
The Trooper
posted by sukeban at 4:19 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Post got me thinking about the Children Medieval Band and I went to their channel and now I have to drop this here.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:32 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

This discussion is beautiful.
posted by djeo at 5:51 PM on October 22, 2015

Holy cow! I don't know how I missed those converge piano covers, but daaaaammmnnnnn!!!!! My new favorite thing. Thank you.
posted by anoirmarie at 7:59 PM on October 22, 2015

An oldie but still worth it Apocalyptica - Nothing Else Matters
posted by cirhosis at 9:02 PM on October 22, 2015

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