Metallica played a twangy country arrangement of “The Four Horsemen” on acoustic instruments at a special gig for charity late last year. In the just-released clip of the performance, James Hetfield amped up the grit in his voice as he sang, “Choose your fate and die,” while Kirk Hammett used a slide, Robert Trujillo played some rumbling funk bass and Lars Ulrich kept an easy groove on the drums. The new version clocks in just over three minutes, a stark contrast to the original – the thrashy, angular second cut off the group’s debut album, 1983’s Kill ‘Em All, where it was the longest song on the track list.
The group played the song, along with several others, in San Francisco last year to raise money for their nonprofit All Within My Hands Foundation. Another one of the more radically reworked versions was Master of Puppets’ “Disposable Heroes,” which they transformed into something that sounded like a cross between Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and one of the lighter songs on Led Zeppelin III. “All right, that song’s a little different,” Hetfield exclaimed at the end of it.
The full concert, which included a version of the song they named their foundation after, will be available on the upcoming double-LP Helping Hands … Live & Acoustic at the Masonic, which comes out on February 1st. All net proceeds from the album will go to the band’s Foundation and help benefit communities in need, with focuses on workforce education and feeding the hungry. The release, which will come on 140-gram colored vinyl and include a download card, will be available at independent record stores and digitally.