Cliff Burton: Metallica’s “Orion” Isolated Bass

“Orion” is a heavy metal masterpiece, mostly due to the incredible bass work by the late Cliff Burton. Released on the groundbreaking 1986 album Master of Puppets, the instrumental track is the band’s most progressive work up to that point.

Burton plays “lead bass” throughout, with in-your-face distortion and wicked solos. The interlude changes the feel completely with the bassist laying down a solid yet melodious groove. In conclusion, it’s the perfect metal bass song.

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Share your thoughts

  1. I love his playing, definately a huge inspiration. Such musical lines, he has no restrictions!

  2. I can’t believe the tone and attack he’s able to get with his fingers.

  3. So overrated. Muddy recording.

    • Your comment is clearly very much based on option. Being “the greatest” and being “the most talented” are 2 different things. Plus, these days with the internet and stuff, everyone is ridiculous at playing bass, so we may not think what he does is such a great thing anymore.

    • Over-rated?? NO ONE was doing this kind of stuff in those days. He wrote a lot of the stuff Metallica did both musically and lyrically. Why do you think it took them so long to find Jason? You couldn’t have listed to the entire thing… oh because of “muddiness” probably…

    • Alberto Cortisana

      Brain full of excrement is more appropriate

  4. Melodic and progressive, still stands the test of time.

  5. They should have hung it up after he died. Instead they got a guy with a 5 string and a pick, gross.

    • I remember seeing Metallica in Dec 86, a few months after Cliff died. When Jason started playing his “solo”, I was thinking…wow…wtf?

    • I don’t mind Trujillo though. Too bad about the rest of the band nowadays..

    • I don’t think any of the dudes after Cliff are bad per se, I just think he was the soul, the bell bottomed, thai stick smokin’, riff writin’ mother fucker! And after he passed there music lost all it’s mojo.

    • i dont think they really lost there feel but it was a serious change in thier music after he dies. and for the people puting cliff donw. opinions are like asshole everyones got one and they usually stink. lmfao. cliff was the man. r.i.p. brother

  6. God! I worked this title some years ago from a commercial transcription, just to discover that I was thousand miles away from the original! A true Masterpiece… Cliff Rules, ever!

    • The same thing happened to me with Battery… spent YEARS trying to double the guitar parts because all of the “official” transcriptions said so, and, as a two-finger player, I could never get quite fast enough. It turns out that Cliff was a lot more of a groove-oriented counter player than a typical metal bass mindless guitar doubler. Now that I know what he’s REALLY playing, I can play along and I have WAY more fun. He’s my hero!!!

  7. @Brian – Maybe its because that’s like Cliff’s signature tone?

  8. Obra maestra del gran cliff, no que bajo uso para este tema pero creo que es un Aria.

  9. One of the best… It’s a muddy recording because it’s 1986 dipshit.

  10. Pure genius… especially the intro… perfection.

  11. loving this : can see ( hear) a Muse appreciative connection here :)

  12. I never realized until now, how much distortion he used on his bass tracks, throughout the entire song.

  13. David Paulson

    Times like this in my life I feel I have lost all hope and there’s nothing to strive for. Then I hear this and it makes me remember that there is something great out there; music in all its glory its anger its love its passion. ladies and gentlemen I give you the late great Cliff Burton R.I.P. you sir will never be forgotten as long as all you masterpieces are played.