Hear Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” played on church bells

Spencer Kaufman
David Drambyan playing Metallica on Church Bells

Remember David Drambyan, the talented carillonneur from Germany who delighted us all with his performance of AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” played on the largest carillon in Europe last year? Well, he’s back again at the pedals and levers of the carillon at the Roter Turm, a 600-year-old church located in Halles, Germany and he’s got a Metallica classic to play.

As seen in this video, Drambyan and a pair of headbanging children work their way through a rendition of Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” working through the rhythm guitar parts and vocal parts with dramatic aplomb.

The music is plenty cool but, unlike the AC/DC clip, this time around, we get a better look at the inner workings of the instrument, which is a set of bells set in a church tower and played with a series of levers and foot pedals. The new video shows some of the mechanics that makes the music happen and shows a bit of the bells ringing out the tones of this classic metal anthem. And we get to watch a couple of German moppets bang their heads and freak the hell out about a song that was written decades before they were born. Metallica is for the children.

Drambyan has also made use of the Roter Turm carillon in his own music. This Friday (April 19th), the Algerian-born artist will be releasing BeerdigungsLäuten UnTot, a “death” metal album that, according to our rough translation of the press information provided by the artist, deals “thematically with death” while promising to be “life-affirming, in contrast to the otherwise usually depressing death metal mood.” Drambyan handles the majority of the music himself on this album with the exception of some guest vocalists, musician Clemens Gaida soloing on the ancient wind instrument known as a duduk, and an appearance by a cat named Houdini.