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Sh*t I Could Watch Over and Over and Do # 9

Denis Pauna - "If Metallica was Death Metal - And Justice For All (FULL ALBUM)"

By Tom BakerPublished 28 days ago Updated 26 days ago 6 min read
Musician Denis Pauna (screen capture)

Note: Below are Denis Pauna's Patreon and social media links:


Streaming services and social media

Also, it has occured to me that I should provide links to the previous "Shit I Could Watch Over and Over and Do" articles. Those are posted below at the end. Ciao.

Metallica is the undisputed supersonic speed mega-monster BEHEMOTH of the heavy metal and hard rock demimonde. IDGAF what ANYONE says about them--they were, are, and shall remain, incredible. Yes, I admit, they've made slip-ups, boo-boos, and blunders on their meteoric rise to the top of the heavy metal shitpile, but, damn it, I could not CONCEIVE of youth, a bygone age of growing up in the wasteland of late Twentieth Century America without the precise, killing fury of their audio assault riveting steel into my spine, reminding me to come out swinging, even when the odds are stacked against me. Metallica is as much a part of the tapestry of my faded youth as baseball cards and, well, baseball is to some others. (I preferred collecting comics. At least the guys in the costumes were more colorful. And some of them could fly.)

Their massive, intricate, thrash musical mega-epic, 1989's ...And Justice for All, was most notable to me personally, most memorable, because my estranged aunt jumped up and exclaimed when she first heard the warped, distorted opening notes of "Blackened," that "That band sucks!" She went on to opine that those "losers were going nowhere."

A veritable Cassandra, her prediction laughably bellyflopped.

Metallica went on to be the bestselling heavy metal band OF ALL TIME. They even outdistanced Ozzy and the Sabs. In Moscow, they once literally played for A MILLION PEOPLE. (Don't believe me? Google babe.) I think they are pretty f*cking far from fading away into obscurity. At least, not in the foreseeable future.

Not so with the rest of the thrash metal "underground." Except for the "Big Four," which is also comprised of Anthrax, Slayer, and Megadeth, (the last being a creation of former METALLICA guitarist Dave Mustaine, who was unceremoniously booted from Metallica in 1982 or 83, thereabouts, to make room for Kirk Hammet, with whom he has nursed a grudge ever since), thrash metal bands such as Mortal Sin, Powermad, Sodom, Testament, Exodus, and on and on down the ladder to the very depths of obscurity, are more or less a relic of 1980s Cold War fears and Reagan-Era induced nuclear jitters. Overkill, Vio-Lence, Kreator, Wrathchild America, Metal Church, etc., etc. add infinitum for a universe of bands that became virtually interchangeable after a while, are the stuff of yesteryear, their ancient, strained audio cassette demos with hand-drawn demons and skeletons holding swords on the cheap photocopied covers (you can almost see guitarist little Ricky drawing the damn thing in biology class while the teacher is yacking on and on and he's dreaming of rock n' roll riches, cheap, easy poontang, and lots of beer), pay tribute to the naivety and juvenile bent of this particular vision. But it was fed by the cultural zeitgeist of the era. One of the most popular bands was called "Nuclear Assault."

Death metal came along just as thrash started to fade, and death metal was the new extreme, sometimes precise, sometimes heavy, sometimes blasted forth at the speed of hardcore punk, and even faster, speed blasts and guitar grinding, noise and lyrics about Satanism, cannibalism, serial killing, and any other subject matter that pushed the envelope of acceptable musical subject matter outward, moving the Overton Window slightly to the side of the Devil and His Legions, who, as far as the infernal metaphysics of death metal was concerned, "walked with earthly feet."

The cultural despair and sense of alienation suffered by Generation X (the first generation who could not be expected to live at any greater level of privilege than their parents--and who secretly knew, many of them, that they'd end up a lot worse), led, eventually to the popularity of extreme underground musical farts and belches, erupting flatulently from little hometown "scenes," wherein peculiar mutations of punk, rock, metal, and avant-garde (read: "electronica" or "industrial") soon were foisted on the wider public by the corporate-controlled jock venture capitalist pigs that owned all the shares of MTV. Grunge had its own Hollywood treatment in the wake of the mega-huge popularity enjoyed by Nirvana (for a remarkably short period, of course), and "industrial music" would enjoy a fleeting vogue thanks to the efforts of the incomparable Nine Inch Nails. Punk reared its ugly head once again, albeit in a watered-down, thoroughly neutered, radio-friendly, and marketable form (to be fair, local punk rock scenes remained typically true to form) in the mid-nineties. It was a time when being dirty, having blue hair, and whining neurotically were considered socially enriching attributes. (So, really, I suppose not a lot has changed.)

Add to that the ugly, demonic growling of death metal "vocalists" (singer is not the most applicable term here), and their often ugly and sometimes unlistenable music, which invoked the very forces of Hell, not in a cautionary manner (such as Iron Maiden would do a decade earlier on their Number of the Beast mega-album) but in a celebratory Walpurgisnacht revel of brimstone, chapped ass-kissing, and human altars, was said to be on the very cusp of "breaking" into the mainstream, bell, book, candle--the whole nine (nine, nine) yards. (Hey, it's three sixes upside down, get it? Get it? Well?)

Never happened. Most of the bands sounded alike. Virtually as interchangeable as the thrash bands became. Kids got bored, grew up, moved on. It's hard to keep the auds in line for very long.

All of that immense, infernal diatribe (okay, I'm a narcissist that likes the SOUND OF THEIR OWN VOICE. I ask you: is there a problem here?) was to introduce this ALBUM LENGTH cover of Metallica's incomparable thrash metal masterpiece (and there aren't a lot of them to go around, so hold on tight). Pauna has covered it solely, exclusively, by himself, playing all the instruments, converting the blistering, technical thrash of Metallica into the guttural grind, the walloping double-barrelled bass assault, staccato twin-piston palm muting, and intense ogrish sulphuric belch of death metal, exploring the heavier-than-hell batrachian depths plumbed by bands such as death metal legends Morbid Angel, Death, and Amon Amarth. A new, bleak landscape emerges from the old, a reboot of the audio overkill, leveled until it is, often a seared and grey wasteland of the mind. The result is an album crushingly, brutally new, an album of such killing intensity and lethal precision, yet, of such an all-too-familiar nature, that the combination is like injecting the classic cuts with adrenochrome and watching as Lex Luthor bulks into Brainiac on a killing mission to end the listener's life.

This is one of the greatest albums I've ever discovered on YouTube.

Listen. Mr. Pauna has taken Justice to a whole new level. He's done "Justice for All" and provided the same. I'm not sure what else I can add to a piece that was supposed to be a few sentences long.

Justice may be blind. Thank whatever gods ye worship she isn't deaf as well.

Love and napalm, Tom B.

If Metallica was Death Metal - And Justice For All (FULL ALBUM)

Previous posts in this series

Sh*t I Could Watch Over and Over and Do #1: White Zombie "Thunder Kiss 65)

Sh*t I could Watch Over and Over and Do # 2: The Beastie Boys - "Rhymin' and Stealin'"

Sh*t I Could Watch Over and Over and Do # 3: Metallica - "Whiskey in the Jar"

Sh*t I Could Watch Over and Over and Do # 4: NOFX - "Bob"

Sh*t I Could Watch Over and Over and Do # 5: Toxic Reasons - "Destroyer"

Sh*t I Could Watch Over and Over and Do # 6: D.O.A. - "The Prisoner" and "Behind the Smile"

Sh*t I could Watch Over and Over and Do # 7: The Pixies - "Here Comes Your Man," "Gouge Away," and "Debaser"

Sh*t I Could Watch Over and Over and Do # 8: Hüsker Dü - "Don't Want to Know if You Are Lonely"

metalhistorybandsalbum reviews90s music80s music

About the Creator

Tom Baker

Author of Haunted Indianapolis, Indiana Ghost Folklore, Midwest Maniacs, Midwest UFOs and Beyond, Scary Urban Legends, 50 Famous Fables and Folk Tales, and Notorious Crimes of the Upper Midwest.:

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  • Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock27 days ago

    As you already know, not my cup of tea. I can't deny he has talent, though. And the anxiety he induced caused my left knee to bounce in time to his thrashing, lol.

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