Since 1999, Belarusian music ensemble Stary Olsa (Стары Ольса) has been known for playing medieval folk music on traditional instruments, including the lyre, mandolin, flute, and gusli. That may seem like an incredibly arcane and limiting specialty, but this unusual approach has sustained the band for 15 years and eight albums. A recent clip from a television program called Legends Live (Легенды Live) demonstrates what the sextet can do when it applies its archaic technique to songs written past the 1400s. Specifically, the band covers “One” from Metallica’s 1988 LP, …And Justice For All. Far from being a goofy novelty, the performance is spellbinding and eerily chilling, as if the Hetfield/Ulrich composition, inspired by Dalton Trumbo’s 1938 anti-war novel Johnny Got His Gun, was always meant to be played at Renaissance festivals. If anything, the track could go on a little longer, since it sadly cuts off before the “darkness! imprisoning me!” part.
[via Metal Injection]