Metallica have shared a remastered audio preview of “Holier Than Thou”, recorded live during pre-production rehearsals for 1991’s Metallica (aka The Black Album), at Bayview Studios in Richmond, CA, on 4 October 1990. You can check the track out below.
Raw and exceedingly gritty, this rehearsal footage of “Holier Than Thou” forgoes the finished track’s rigid sound for something rather unpolished – and a lot heavier too.
In celebration of The Black Album turning 30 this year, Metallica recently announced they’d be reissuing the record, as well as releasing a charity cover album made up of 53 artists – each of whom would be providing their own take on their favourite Black Album track – entitled The Black List.
Recent covers released from The Black List include Alabama’s Jason Isbell’s country-rock rave up take on “Sad But True”, while electro-pop singer/songwriter St. Vincent took on the same tune with an entirely different approach.
The Black Album is one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed records of all time. Its 1991 release not only gave Metallica their first No. 1 album in no fewer than 10 countries, including a four-week run at No. 1 in the U.S., its unrelenting series of singles — “Enter Sandman”, “The Unforgiven”, “Nothing Else Matters”, “Wherever I May Roam” and “Sad But True” — fueled the band’s rise to stadium headlining, radio and MTV dominating household name status.
The album’s reception from the press was similarly charged, building over the years from the top 10 of the 1991 Village Voice Pazz & Jop national critics poll to becoming a constant presence in the likes of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. The album’s impact and relevance continue to grow — as proven by one indisputable fact: The Black Album remains unchallenged as the best-selling album in the history of Nielsen SoundScan, outselling every release in every genre over the past 30 years.