Six-piece Belarus-based band Stary Olsa has made a career out of performing traditional medieval music, utilizing lutes, flutes, mandolin and simplistic percussion instruments common to the medieval era (between the 5th and 15th century).
Perhaps to prove their talent to an audience unfamiliar with their usual traditional style, Stary Olsa recently covered Metallica’s “One” on TV show “Legends Live.”
While this may sound like a novelty, the band’s performance is completely sincere, and the cover works unbelievably well.
Lute and flute combine for an eerie instrumental introduction, with percussion creeping into the background before the verses. The vocals are powerful and backed by bagpipes.
Surprisingly, the medieval instruments match the ghostly tone of the original, building to a climactic ending which replaces the original’s crunchy, distorted guitars with bagpipes and a traditional equivalent to a bass drum.
Though “One" may be amongst the lighter moments on 1988’s …And Justice For All, I don’t think anyone knew it could sound like this.
Hear the medieval cover here:
- Alex Wood