Last night the “Big Four” of thrash metal – Metallica, Slayer, Megadeath, and Anthrax – played their second U.S. show at Yankee Stadium. Despite bad blood in the past, the vibe onstage was all bro-hugs and congratulations all around on having made it this far. The four bands even united during Metallica’s first encore song to pay tribute to a mutual influence: Motörhead. James Heftield called Lemmy the Godfather of Metal (“whether he likes it or not”) before rocking through the band’s legendary “Overkill.”
YouTube is filled with amateur cover “artists.” Most stink. On the ‘Tube extracts the exceptions.
YouTube often tests the faith of even the most loyal champion. Why do so many teenage girls think webcam a cappella versions of Rihanna hits make them worthy of our time? Millions do, apparently. Just when you feel ready to give up on the whole endeavor, you come across a wild looking Ukrainian piano maestro playing Slayer’s “Raining Blood” and you breathe a sigh of relief.
Vika Yermolyeva, who goes by the moniker vkgoeswild on YouTube, trained classically and has received numerous awards for her playing. Now based in Iceland, she also harbors a not-so-secret love of metal, which she expresses by showcasing her solo piano arrangements of songs by bands such as Metallica, Nine Inch Nails and System of a Down. Her stunning results illustrate the beauty of the piano as a musical instrument in the right hands: an instrument that combines percussion and melody better than all others, allowing for an incredible range of expression.