Two and a half years ago I wrote a post about “Banjo Metal” that continues to be visited and still leads to the occasional e-mail contact from people interested in the subject (Google “banjo metal” and see what comes up first). That post focused on metal bands who have used the banjo in some of their songs (plus an obligatory item on the magnificent Béla Fleck). Today brought us news of a different type of banjo metal — a banjo cover of a metal song.
Okay, some of you might quarrel with applying the term “metal” to Sweden’s Ghost. Hell, I’ve quarreled with myself about that. But hey, they do sing about Satan!
The cover is of Ghost’s best-known song, “Ritual”, and it’s performed on video by Erling Bronsberg, a skilled banjo player who e-mailed me about the cover last night. He’s based in Örebro, Sweden, and performs with a group called the Black River String Band. He uses “standard sawmill tuning” for this song, which probably means something to banjo players but to me simply sounds cool. His cover is cool, too. He puts a bluegrass spin on the melody without completely losing the song’s familiarity, and the picking is tasty. Check it out: