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Hear IDLES' incendiary, left-field take on Metallica's The God That Failed

Idles perform live on the Park stage during day three of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 28, 2019 in Glastonbury, England
(Image credit: Jim Dyson/Getty Images)

Bristol, UK-based alt-rockers IDLES have cited musical inspirations as varied as jazz, jungle, R&B and The National when discussing what helped shape their unique sound, but their latest release pays tribute to an entirely different influence.

As part of The Metallica Blacklist – the gargantuan, 53-track tribute to Metallica's self-titled 1991 LP (better known as The Black Album) – the band have released a cover of The God That Failed, which you can check out below.

Thus far on the tribute album, we've heard artists take Metallica's tough-as-titanium originals in jazzy, countrified, industrial and hip-hop flavored directions, and IDLES similarly don't hesitate to entirely deconstruct the source material in question.

The original – so self-consciously brawn and chiseled to perfection after endless hours of arduous rehearsal and recording – is joyously replaced by a rendition that sounds like barely controlled chaos.

Guitarists Lee Kiernan and Mark Bowen let the rhythm section of Adam Devonshire on bass and Jon Beavis on drums build an absolutely torrid groove, while exploring the outer limits of dissonance at their own pleasure and speed – replacing Kirk Hammett's heroic, fleet-fingered electric guitar solo with a cacophony of feedback and frenzied fretboard attacks that would sound right at home on a Sonic Youth record.

Frontman Joe Talbot, meanwhile, delivers James Hetfield's lyrics laconically, in an almost spoken-word style that gleefully eschews tunefulness and leans into the raw emotions of the lyrics. It's thrilling stuff. 

The Metallica Blacklist is set for a September 10 release via Blackened Recordings.

All proceeds from the album will be split evenly between Metallica's All Within My Hands foundation and dozens of charities chosen by the artists who appear on the record.

Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at guitarworld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.