In collaboration with the film’s composer, James Newton Howard, Metallica create a lush, cinematic rendering of the “Black Album” ballad. Epic strings and a climactic crescendo — during which the full band surges through — make the new version just as heart-wrenching as the original. As one YouTube commenter astutely put it: “If ‘Nothing Else Matters’ was a power metal ballad!”
The song will appear twice during emotional high points in the new Disney film, which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Emily Blunt.
“It was an honor to work with renowned, legendary composter James Newton Howard as we reimagined the song by performing his arrangement and creating a rendition we like to think is fit for an excursion through the Amazon,” Metallica commented in a statement on their website. “Not only are we big fans of Disney, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with Howard, an eight-time Oscar nominee who has been recognized for films such as The Fugitive, Michael Clayton, and The Village.”
As previously reported, drummer Lars Ulrich had revealed that “Nothing Else Matters” would “play a key part” in Jungle Cruise. He also said that the band was working with Howard — a longtime Metallica fan — on the project.
“We wrote the song, but he took the song and rearranged it to fit something specific in the film — and obviously, I’m not going to give any of that away — but we then kind of took on his version of it,” Ulrich said at the time.
Speaking of the “Black Album,” Metallica are readying a massive box set to commemorate the LP’s 30th anniversary. In addition, The Metallica Blacklist charity covers comp is also setting up to be a thrilling collection, with artists such as St. Vincent, Miley Cyrus, and Jason Isbell taking on “Black Album” cuts in their own musical style.
Jungle Cruise finally hit theaters today and is also streamable on Disney+ following delays due to the pandemic.
Listen to Metallica’s Jungle Cruise version of “Nothing Else Matters” below.