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Metal Mixtape: Orion

Speaking of “Orion,” here’s a collection of all the covers I could find of the song. Unlike the massively popular “Raining Blood” mixtape, this one has only five covers, probably because (a) the song is an instrumental and thus less glamorous to recast, and (b) few dare mess with the masterpiece that is Cliff Burton’s finest composition. Still, five of “Orion” is almost 36 minutes (available as a single .zip file and as separate MP3’s below). Brace yourself for both interesting interpretations and awful, awful butchery.

DOWNLOAD: Metal Mixtape – Orion [53.9MB .zip]

DJ Shadow – The Number Song

Fellow Bay Area resident Josh Davis slips the intro drones over ferociously funky drums and amazing sample freakery. The burning question I’ve had for years: did he pay royalties for this sample?

Dream Theater – Orion

Dream Theater’s covering the Master of Puppets album live (and releasing it as an “official bootleg”) is just one more sign that the apocalypse is upon us. Only one guitar + James LaBrie’s yowling + Mike Portnoy’s way-too-big drumkit = the thing that should not be. At least LaBrie doesn’t sing on this instrumental. When the kazoo-like keyboard comes in at 6:40, try not to piss your pants.

Mastodon – Orion

Mastodon don’t screw it up as badly as Dream Theater did, though this cover sounds like a rush job. The mix is rough, and the soloing after the bridge is sloppy as hell. For some reason, the original recording (from Kerrang‘s Remastered covers disc, which I reviewed here) was terribly quiet, so I did some mastering (i.e., light brickwall compression) to raise the level. It ain’t pretty, but this’ll be the best-sounding MP3 you find of this cover.

Rodrigo y Gabriela – Orion

Fast-rising Mexican acoustic guitar duo absolutely slay on this cover, turning it into a passionate campfire workout. This is the full 7:45 version, as opposed to the abridged video clip I posted earlier. The recording is phenomenal. Cliff would be proud, I think.

Transmutator – Orion

A horrible, horrible trance version from The Blackest Album, Vol. 3 – An Industrial Tribute to Metallica, which is even worse than it sounds (who the fuck covers songs from Load and Reload???). This travesty is so bad that you kind of have to hear it all the way through. It will probably make you very angry.

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