top of page

Metallica - S&M

On November 23, 1999, an album capturing a remarkable collaboration in the realm of rock music was released. It featured a performance by the metal powerhouse "Metallica" accompanied by the "San Francisco Symphony," under the baton of American composer Michael Kamen.

While such collaborations are not unprecedented in our world—the seasoned among us may recall "Deep Purple's" collaboration with the 1969 Philharmonic—Metallica's stands out as one of the most exceptional, thrilling, captivating, and impressive collaborations we've ever witnessed.

By the way, a subsequent performance, S&M2, has already taken place!

Cayman had a prior connection with Metallica during the era of the Black Album, having collaborated on the orchestration of "Nothing Else Matters." A year later, at the Grammys, the members reconvened, and it was during this meeting that Cayman introduced the idea of a collaboration with the symphony. It's possible that during the interim period, while the concept was brewing, Metallica released two albums, "Load" and "Reload," which, although not considered the peak of their artistic prowess, might have spurred them to pursue something distinctive and unique.

It's worth noting that James Hetfield mentioned in an interview that the inspiration for the idea came from Cliff Burton, who had a deep appreciation for classical music and was significantly influenced by it.

(Photo: San Francisco Chronicle)

Undoubtedly, many of you have experienced the electrifying atmosphere of "Metallica" concerts, perhaps attending at least one in your lifetime. The opening segment of these shows is likely ingrained in your memory—an instrumental piece titled "The Ecstasy of Gold," composed by Ennio Morricone for the soundtrack of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."


The recollection of the instant when we pressed play on that initial disc and the symphony took command of the aforementioned opening segment is etched in our minds forever. There are instances when music establishes an unfiltered and immediate connection with the neural pathways in the brain—indescribable. This particular moment left us stunned, hypnotized, and utterly captivated. From that point onward, resistance was futile!

Respecting the exhilarating opening, let's offer an impartial perspective here (acknowledging the paradox of an "objective opinion"). Cayman's collaboration with "Metallica" stands as a lesson that should be studied in the most esteemed music institutions. Setting aside the inherent challenges a composer and arranger confront when engaging with a formidable metal force, perhaps the most formidable challenge, in our view, is to add genuine value. To create another dimension—not merely to "accompany" or support, but to become an integral and indispensable component of the musical lineup. In this aspect, Cayman excels, surpassing expectations by a wide margin!

While we considered providing specific examples of songs where the symphony stands out, it seems unnecessary. Each track in this setlist is remarkably articulated, elevating "Metallica" to heights we could hardly have imagined. The symphony's colossal size, power, and grandeur impart an immeasurable galactic dimension to the already monstrous presence of "Metallica."

Some data for ending...

This live album consists of no less than 21 songs which are 133 minutes of pure enjoyment, the songs were taken from the albums "Ride The Lightning", "Master Of Puppets", "Metallica", "Load", "Reload" and "And Justice For All ". In addition to the songs from these albums, two new songs were added: "No Leaf Clover" and "Human"

Now click play and get ready to get excited !! Spotify, Apple Music

Follow us on Facebook or Subscribe to our website "Face/Off" - Israel's Rock Blog & Podcast


Enjoying the Blog? Subscribe to get it right to your mail!

Thank you !!

bottom of page