Rachel Barton Stringendo - Storming the Citadel

Production: Chamber studio setting captures instrumental tone and mutual phenonmena.

Review: Two violinists and a cellist attack classicalized renditions of many formative metal tunes and some selected by popularity, qualifying themselves on the more intensive works with an insightful representation that maintains the detail and texture of the originals while enhancing overall harmony and conductive consistency to each piece.

Also featured are a Paganini piece and a Handel piece scored for violin and violin and cello respectively. Inflection of theme takes advantage of the lightness and resonance of classical stringed instruments to give a sense of expanding phenomenon to otherwise often more linear songs. A question would be, why not take it further and let the musicians fully classicalize the playing of these works and avoid some of the obvious emphasis and direct theming of the originals? However this does not diminish the strength of the works here that are of a useful caliber.


1. The Star Spangled Banner (1:50)
2. Thunderstruck / Back in Black (3:52)
3. Sunday Bloody Sunday (3:14)
4. Cowboys From Hell (3:10)
5. Blow Up the Outside World (3:45)
6. Paranoid (2:26)
7. Fade To Black (4:40)
8. Caprice No. 24 in A minor (4:35)
9. Heartbreaker / Black Dog / Stairway to Heaven (6:42)
10. 10-11. Symphony of Destructions (3:06)
11. All Apologies / Smells Like Teen Spirit (4:15)
12. Passacaglia for violin and cello (7:41)
13. The Spirit of the Radio (3:27)
14. One (5:49)

Length: 58:47

Rachel Barton Stringendo - Storming the Citadel: Heavy Metal 1998 Rachel Barton Stringendo

Copyright © 1998 Cacophony

It is puzzling to see instrumentalists of this caliber labor over Led Zeppelin and AC/DC, as the works of bands such as Morbid Angel, Burzum, Incantation or Atheist might give them more to play with, yet their ability to present such familiar themes in a newly understated yet doubly expressive method. Professionalism at every level distinguishes the playing, which is precise and aerobatically light in its fret-changing fury; technical megaliths like the Paganini work evoke the delicacy and position to distinguish between shades of intonation that is required for a classical attempt such as this. Further reviewing would involve the works themselves, which range from AC/DC or Pantera on the low end to an enlightening restatement of influential Nirvana themes and romanticist Metallica ballads.