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Metallica’s Kill Em All played in a major key sounds like chipper video game music

Screenshot: YouTube
Screenshot: YouTube

Metallica’s Kill ’Em All is, rightly, an iconic record. Not only was it the album that launched a million thrash metal bands in its wake, it was also the San Francisco band’s the debut and has gone on to be a touchstone to this day. Even now, as it creeps toward its 35th anniversary, the record is still potent. It’s built on riffs, speed, and the right amount of angst, and it still holds up. That is, unless you play it all in a major key.

YouTuber Ben Eller did exactly that, taking all those sinister, chugging riffs and turning them into triumphant, major-key gallops. At times, it sounds like a long-lost Iron Maiden record, all punchy power chords and some nimble guitar theatrics, but it could just as easily pass for an amped-up video game soundtrack. It takes Metallica’s then-ethos of “Metal Up Your Ass”—which was the album’s original title before it was changed to Kill ’Em All—and turns it into something a little more lighthearted.

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