The Lord of the Rings films by Peter Jackson are some of the most influential movies of all time, inspiring countless creatives and a whole generation of fantasy adaptations. The Fellowship of the Ring, just celebrated its 20th anniversary last month. Fans have long enjoyed its timeless score by composer Howard Shore, which still sounds just as sweeping and powerful today as it did when the film was first released. And now, you can hear the metal version of it.
YouTuber Bradley Hall has released an epic, three-hour metal rendition of The Fellowship of the Rings score. To avoid having his video taken down for any sort of rights issues, Hall blurs the film out in the background behind him as he shreds and strums his way through the entire thing, turning The Fellowship of the Ring into a single, hours-long metal song.
Hall has already built a thriving YouTube channel where he does things like mash-ups of various songs and five-minute speed songwriting in the style of specific bands, but this new Lord of the Rings video kicks things up to a whole new level. Here’s what the guitarist had to say about his reasons for taking on this ambitious project:
Howard Shore’s music from the legendary Lord of the Rings movie trilogy captivated me ever since I first heard it way back in 2001. It was so epic, majestic, mystical…and pretty damn Metal! It was my hope that one day someone would make a full Metal version of the films, but alas that day never came. So as a culmination of months of pandemic-induced boredom/frustration/madness I plucked up the courage to finally do it myself! Several months later, I proudly present the entirety of The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring presented as one giant Metal song!
As you can imagine, tackling a project of this size was no small feat. Hall discussed the specifics of how he was able to bring this metal arrangement to life in the description of the video. “I imported my 5.1 surround-sound version of the Blu-ray into Reaper so I could split the audio tracks up into separate channels,” he wrote. “The majority of the dialogue is in a single channel, so I could mute it and be left with an almost-instrumental version of the movie. I then had to painstakingly tempo-map the entire movie audio to a grid so that I could program drums over it. Once tempo-mapping was done it was ‘just’ a case of laying-down all the drums and guitars. Thankfully I had the orchestral score as a reference guide which sped-up the process significantly!”
He also laid out the time frame: three months between tempo-mapping the film, programming drums, and recording all the guitar parts, and then another 10 days for mixing, filming, and editing the video together. He clearly took no shortcuts here, noting that “of course” he used the extended edition of the film, as opposed to the 30-minute-shorter theatrical version.
The guitarist also joked about the fact that he wore the same World of Warcraft Horde emblem T-shirt for the entirety of the four-day filming process, a necessity for continuity. “I vowed not to wash it until I was finished as encouragement.”
As for whether we’ll ever see Hall give The Two Towers and The Return of the King this treatment, he’s not giving any false hope. “Absolutely not! I may do another movie in the future but DEFINITELY not one as long as this again.”