As Metallica prepares to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Black Album this fall, Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit have shared their cover of “Sad But True”. The track is set to appear on The Metallica Blacklist, the forthcoming 53-track tribute to the metal classic featuring everyone from Kamasi Washington to Elton John.
Isbell is one of seven artists to cover “Sad But True” for The Metallica Blacklist, alongside St. Vincent, Royal Blood, YB, White Reaper, Sam Fender, and Mexican Institute of Sound featuring La Perla & Gera MX. For his cover, Isbell chose to donate his proceeds to the Nashville Rescue Mission, in addition to Metallica’s own All Within My Hands Foundation.
For Isbell’s rendition, the singer-songwriter throws a decidedly country flair onto the metal stomper. With the use of slide guitar and rollicking rockabilly rhythm, it’s difficult to find a common thread back to Metallica’s original version until the lyrics come in. Even with James Hetfield‘s familiar delivery still ringing in the listeners’ ears, Isbell is able to offer a unique telling. While it doesn’t carry the same emotional weight as much of Isbell’s catalog, the raw emotions—mostly anger—of The Black Album track still bleed through the speakers.
Isbell noted on Twitter that the bass Jimbo Hart played on the track was actually given to him by former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted, who left the band in 2001 after 15 years of service.
“Pretty proud of how this turned out,” Isbell said on Twitter. “I hoped the song would work as a Hill Country stomper, and I do believe it did. So much fun.”
Listen to Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit’s cover of “Sad But True”, set to appear on The Metallica Blacklist compilation, set to arrive on September 10th. Click here to pre-order.
Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit – “Sad But True” (Metallica)
[Video: Jason Isbell]