Is Metallica's song Nothing Else Matters the most beautiful song of all time? Possibly | Matt Mohan-Hickson

I must admit to having spent a large portion of my life deliberately trying not to listen to Metallica.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 6:00 pm
Metallica's James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett at Leeds Festival, 2015

It sounds stupid I know.

But I can often have a hipster streak that runs through me and I turn my nose up at popular stuff, simply because it has mass appeal.

This is why I have avoided watching the worldwide sensation that is Netflix’s Money Heist (or La casa de papel as it is known in its native Spain). I would probably love that show, possibly end up raving about it in a column, but because it is so popular I refuse to watch it.

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However my veneer of snobbery and pretentiousness does have the ability to slip from time to time and as the music world celebrates 30 years of Metallica’s Black Album, I have found myself listening to Nothing Else Matters on a loop. It started when one of my favourite artists – Phoebe Bridgers – put out a cover of the song and I found myself spellbound by its spooky, baroque tones. For whatever reason it made me feel as if I was at a funeral for a vampire.

After exhausting myself with repeat listens to the cover, I decided to finally listen to the original Nothing Else Matters and now I feel like an utter fool for turning my nose up at Metallica all those years ago

From the gentle acoustic intro to the intensity of the lyrics and the way it continues to build throughout its six minute runtime, the song becomes something transcendent.

I find my brain repeating parts of the lyrics over and over at random times, even when I have not listened to the song for a couple of days.

‘So close, no matter how far’ in particular is a line that resonates with me. My girlfriend has recently moved away so she can complete her masters degree, so I have suddenly found myself covered in a cloud of loss that I can’t quite put into words.

Yet when I listen to Nothing Else Matters it feels like the thoughts I can’t describe have been pulled from my brain and transformed into music.

The simplicity of the instrumentation makes the song feel both grand and as if there is something missing, as if there is an empty space- a feeling that I am all too familiar with these days.

Go on FIFA, kick Hungary out of the World Cup qualifiers

I find myself yet again compelled to write about racism and football.

I know I’m probably sounding like a broken record at this point, but the ugly scenes just keep repeating themselves.

It is long past the point when the authorities should act, but the scenes in Hungary last week were truly grotesque.

Cups thrown at Sterling for scoring, monkey chants reportedly made at other England players and of course the booing of the knee.

If FIFA really wants to prove there is ‘no room’ for racism then they need to throw the book at Hungary, or nothing will change.

Is it possible to throw Hungary out of the World Cup qualifiers? That feels like the only punishment that would make people sit up and take notice.

Playing games behind closed doors doesn’t feel like enough. That would be an inconvenience, but it would be one that would quickly pass.

But if the door to the World Cup is slammed in their face, that seems like a far greater punishment – one that could force the Hungarian FA to take a long hard look at themselves.

Although that is probably asking too much of the same FIFA that gave the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

I’ll see inside Victorious Festival one day...

I have called Portsmouth home for more than three years now, but I have still not been Victorious Festival.

In 2018, I had a family get together over the August bank holiday. In 2019, I was working and helping to cover the festival, but from the office, unable to enjoy the fun I was seeing in the pictures and videos.

I don’t need to mention what happened in 2020, in fact what even was a 2020? The calendar jumped from 2019 to 2021 right?

And as Victorious Festival made its grand return the other week, I was once again working. Writing about the festival, but without having the chance to experience it.

It certainly makes for a weird disconnect, because it is the festival I know the most about – I spend a month every year preparing stories about road closures, banned items and more. But I have yet to actually step foot inside the grounds or see a single act.

I hope that finally in 2022, I will be the one at Victorious Festival but knowing my luck it would probably tip it down if I went!