Last week's BlizzCon saw its prerequisite share of big gaming announcements and Diablo-related trailers, but its inarguably best moment came during the event's guest performance from Metallica. We could set up the scene for you, but we feel it's best to just watch the 38-second clip sans context, as did those lucky bastards who decided to watch the show via Twitch's livestream. It is, without doubt, the best way to start your week.
For Whom The Bell Lols — Just as James Hetfield and company are poised to shred "For Whom The Bell Tolls," their audio is swapped out for some dinky-ass JRPG folk music, and it is sheer joy to witness. We're not sure who at Twitch made the call to play it safe and avoid any DMCA-related complaints, but God bless 'em for it. As The Verge notes, the most likely explanation points towards Blizzard failing to secure the music performance rights for Twitch's in-house channel, which isn't particularly surprising.
And yet, the decision to use someone's LARPing soundtrack in lieu of the granddaddies of thrash is so much more preferable to boring, unoriginal silence.
The irony is not lost on anyone — The fact that this hilarious avoidance of copyright litigation befell Metallica of all groups is lost on no one; or, at least, no one who listened to music during the Napster Era. It's a long story, but really all you need to remember is that Metallica (particularly the band's chief putz, Lars Ulrich) were some of the major faces leading the pushback against online music file-sharing, seeing as how they couldn't profit off of it as usual. Eventually, file-sharing platforms like Napster and Kazaa died out, and were soon replaced by the rise of iPods, streaming services, and everything that followed.
Online music rights issues are alive and well — DMCA woes are still very much a major issue in the era of online streaming (and it's not as though platforms like Spotify are doing right by musicians), so we would never claim that artists shouldn't be compensated for their work.
It starts to get a bit absurd when unfathomably successful bands like Metallica start nickel-and-diming you, though. In any case, seeing Ulrich with his dramatically aggro-drumming face keeping time to 8bit flutes is exactly the kind of thing we needed this Monday...so even if it's not a comeuppance, per se, it's still goddamn delightful.