In 1999, Metallica released S&M, an album that attracted a lot of attention not just because it came at a time when Metallica was still pretty consistently putting out music worth caring about but also due to the novelty of a metal band performing its songs with help from a presumably buttoned-up orchestra. In the decades since, classical covers of pop songs have become so familiar that the approach has formed a genre in its own right. The thrill is gone. We’ve heard all the old instruments playing all the not-quite-as-old songs.
Or so we thought until hearing this version of Motörhead’s “Ace Of Spades” being played on Weert, Netherlands’ 15th century Sint Martinuskerk bells.
Weert’s Torenfestival (or “tower festival”) featured carillon musician Frank Steijns playing the hell out of the city’s church bells in June and July and, in the process, providing the world with what we have to assume is the very first “Ace Of Spades” cover performed with medieval church bells.
The video shows Steijns, who Classic FM tells us “has played the church’s carillon for 27 years” now, and guitarist Jitse Zonneveld set up at the top of the building on July 17. They look to be having a great time as they play, Steijns smiling as he smacks the batons and Zonneveld mouthing along to the lyrics, though it isn’t until the end of the clip that we see the people of Weert getting into the performance.
Of the many, many Motörhead tributes that exist—a list that ranges from crocodile and video game resource names to cat-centric album covers and bronze statues—this one still manages to stand out. After all, it isn’t every day that a historic church turns into a vessel for performing speed metal classics.
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