Angst-ridden alternative youth kings of Lollapalooza
*special introductory paragraph!
*Kill 'Em All
*No Life 'Til Leather
*Whiplash 12"
*Ride The Lightning
*Day On The Green 1985
*Master Of Puppets
*The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited
*...And Justice For All
*Live Shit: Binge & Purge
*A Change Of Seasons
*Garage Inc.
*S & M
*St. Anger
*Some Kind Of Monster
*Six Feet Down Under
*Live On Long Island (reviewed by Nick G)
*Live at Grimey's
*Death Magnetic
*Six Feet Down Under Part II
*Lulu (with Lou Reed)
Metallica started off as a raw thrash metal band, then began to work in some wild fantasy/horror/philosophical ideas in a sort of prog-thrash hybrid that grew and grew and grew until it almost ate itself up in lengthy riffage, returned to more traditional midtempo five-minute verse/chorus constructions that retain all the hookiness of their early work (if little of the intensity), then got confused and did all kinds of things -- blues-rock, weird-metal, a triple-album of cover tunes, an orchestral work, and a horrific piece of shit -- before returning to the thrash metal from hence their weave was woven. The guitarwork has always been incredibly tight - two guitarists working as one - with lots of emphasis on the distorted stutter riff sound that characterizes the finest work of the genre. Were they innovative? I'm not sure. There were certainly thrash bands before them, but surely they brought something of their own to the table. I don't know. And ummmm...... well, let's just start discussing the individual albums. I'm sick of this generalization crap. Frig you, generalization - in all of your unruly forms!

Reader Comments
To set the record straight, most people point to an obscure Swiss band called Hellhammer (I think that was their name) as the originators of speed. Hellhammer became Venom and Venom is really the true starting point of speed metal, circa the late 70's/ early 80's. Like Motorhead, Venom was originally a 3 piece band. Unlike Motorhead, Venom couldn't make any claims to being musical in any way. It was all noise, albeit fast noise. I've never owned or heard a Venom album so I can't say how good they were. I have heard Motorhead and though they were fast, they weren't really metal, more hard blues. Some other people point to Girlschool as a founding member of the speed scene, but I've never heard them either.

Metallica weren't innovators. Their contribution to the speed scene was to build upon what the early speed bands did and refine it and make it more acceptable to the masses. As to their sudden rise in popularity, it can be traced to two events. First was the backlash to the glam metal scene of the late 80's. The second and probably more important event was that they were picked to support Ozzy Ozbourne's U.S. tour in 1986 (when Master Of Puppets was released). This allowed them to expose the mass metal audience to the speed scene. (Jim Hull)
Well, all I know is this: Lars Ulrich was/is a maniac Lemmy Kilmister fan, virtually worshipping the guy. Make of that what you will... I think early Metallica owed more than a little bit to them, while having much better "musical ability" and a more updated "shred" tone with Mustaine...who the hell knows? Me? I think the Ramones are their Daddies...!
Didn't Hellhammer become Celtic Frost? Although, you are right about Metallica not being innovators, just kind of refined on what was already there. (Doug Swalen)
In your summary you've got a comment from me regarding the history of speed metal. I was incorrect in saying that Hellhammer became Venom. Hellhammer did in fact become Celtic Frost as another person pointed out. Thing is I knew that. I don't know why I said Venom for. But Venom is still probably the earlies incarnation of a Speed band. It's really a three way tie between Venom, Motorhead, and a third band; Sodom. Sodom was also a three piece band. In their later years they were more like a three piece Slayer...very fast...faster than Slayer...more Sepultura speed. I've got one of their albums which you probably wouldn't like too much because of the singer.
I'm undecided on the whole "Metallica selling out" thing, but in the end, it doesn't really matter - if I like the music, I'll listen to it. That being said, this isn't a bad album at all, just the Metallicars paying homage to the bands they themselves enjoy. I really have to comment on the Motorhead covers, though - what were these guys thinking? There are some things you just shouldn't do, and some bands whose songs you really just shouldn't cover; AC/DC and, specifically in this case, Motorhead, come to mind. The four Motorhead covers are really just pathetic, good-intentioned as they are in spirit. Newsted can barely manage to play Lemmy's basslines competently, and they sound so stilted, reinforcing the notion that if God played bass, He'd sound like Lemmy (Tom Angelripper did a better job with Sodom's cover of "Iron Fist," but even he couldn't measure up to the mighty Kilmister); Hetfield sounds like a little kid when his delivery is compared to Lemmy's. Metallica just really sucks the life out of these songs - imagine if they'd tried to play "Ace of Spades!" I truly hope that Metallica doesn't try to cover any further Motorhead songs, because they'll just embarass themselves again - especially if they try and cover some of the really fast later Motorhead songs, like "See Me Burning" or "On Your Feet or On Your Knees." Of course that leads to the question, how come Motorhead (whose median age must be in the mid to late 40's - Lemmy's nearing 60, now) can play faster and heavier music than Metallica? I suppose the answer (sadly) is obvious... All that being said, Sepultura's "Orgasmatron" cover IS really good, and Lemmy does a killer version of "It's a Long Way to the Top." Still, you have to know who your masters are. (Jim Matzorkis)
Hey man, I must disagree with anybody who disregardes metallica as an innovative band. What people don't seem to understand is that these guys did more than just pound staccatto 16th notes at 250 beats a minute. These guys knew their theory (especially Burton) and they put their knowlege to good use through to 1991, when they released the Black Album. Look, I'm a thrash metal fan, so I was mildly hurt when Metallica abandoned me and released Metallica. But I still respected them as artists, because they still wrote the music wonderfully. (nevermind the pretend-to-still-remember-our-true-fans songs like "Holier Than Thou" and "Through the Never", both a pathetic 150 bpm) Sure it was more polished, less raw, less agressive - fine. The music still had class, and they were still scores ahead of anybody else at the time.

Now, on the other hand, Load and Reload are not so much "sellout" albums as they are "we have a good name, so people will now buy anything we slap it on" albums. In other words, it seemed to me that they just stopped trying altogether. It was as if they realized that the masses would still eat up music without any effort behind it, just as long as they recognized the name Metallica. They knew they wouldn't have to be so meticulous about how they put stuff together, and so they gave themselves a break and produced a bunch of sub-standard music. Just for an example, listen to the solos Hammet belts out in "Damage Inc.", "Blackened," "Ride The Lightening," "Enter Sandman," and "Wherever I May Roam." It's obvious that he spent time and effort putting each one of those masterpieces together. Now listen to his pitifull effort on "Hero of the Day," as well as his shit work in all the post-black album solos. Isn't it obvious that he's just fucking around? There's no substance there, no emotion behind what's being played. The problem I have with Load and reload is not the lack of speed. Hell, they dropped enough in speed in "Metallica" to piss any self-repecting thrash fan off. There's something else missing. Its the dense layering of intricate riff on top of intricate riff. It's the masterful fashion by which the songs fit together. It's Hammett's soulfully powerfull wailing guitar solos. In short, it's the effort that made their past releases such masterpieces. (Ernesto Catalan)
This is for Doug, who mentioned that the originator's of "speed metal" were "Swiss" band called "Hellhammer" who later turned into "Venom". Mmmm. Doug, if I were you I would make historical comments that were at "least" accurate. Hellhammer is a totally different band from Venom. Hellhammer are being cited as the founding fathers of "Black Metal" (along with Bathory). The band later changed its name to Celtic Frost and released many albums through out the 80's. Hellhammer only released one EP and a couple of demo tapes (some available on a CD comp). Venom, on the other hand, were the most "extreme" band of the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal). In fact, their sound owes a LOT to Motorhead, although Venoms dispensed of the more obvious rock 'n roll leanings of the former. Although their were, to some extent, considered as the "spark" that ignited the Thrash/Speed metal movement, many critics, fans and music writers acknowledge that honour to be Metallica's. Thrash Metal, as we knew it, became evident in Metallica's first album, "Kill 'Em All. The dizzing speeds (way faster than Venom's, by the way), the relentless riffage of the guitar (which spawed a whole new style of playing guitar) and the top-of-your-lungs vocals made serious comparisons to hardcore punk bands of the time. But their song structures, odd melodies and quasi-classical musings on guitar revealed them as punks with a metal heart. Other bands of the band may also be important to mentioned, since they were more obscure and never attained the recognition of Metallica. One of them is Canada's Exciter, a band that predated "Kill 'Em All" by a matter of months. They almost had "the" sound nailed down, but it ultimately Metallica who got it right. The other one was Chicago's Znowhite, who featured a female on vocals. Their sound was pretty intense, and the guitar playing worthy of admiration, but again, Metallica came and swept away any competition. One final note: It's noce to see you mentioned Girlschool. They were, in fact, a very heavy band at the time, despite them being girls. They were basically a female version of Motorhead (with whom they had close ties) and this sounded quite similar: speedy, dirty, almost bordering on punk. Unfortunately they ended up sounding like a lot of those mid-80's pop metal L.A. bands. Actually, The Donnas sound a lot like a mellowe version of Girlschool. Nuff said!
Dates and stuff. Where does this speed metal or whatever you want to call it come from? Some thoughts after reading the bit about 'Kill 'Em All - MegaForce 1983.' on

Motorhead started up in about 1975. Lemmy had a band called `Iron Fist and the Hordes from Hell' beforehand (after being sacked from Hawkwind); that was the direct precursor of Motorhead. I've read Lemmy's description of Motorhead as a blues band; just very, very fast.

Motorhead's first album release was `On Parole' in 1976. The album called Motorhead by Motorhead was released in 1977 - 'twas their second.

Larry Wallace was in the band (IFatHfH *and* Motorhead, IIRC) in the very early days. He'd previously been the guitarist with the Pink Fairies, also very fast and very noisy - but predating Motorhead and playing a similar sort of thing.

Lemmy had developed his trade (so to speak) playing with Hawkwind starting in 1971 (Hawkwind started up in 1968ish - first name `Band X' or `Group X' depending on who you ask . People don't pay much attention to Hawkwind, but in Simon King (from 1972) the band had a *very* fast and dedicated drummer , and when you've got Lemmy on bass the effect is - well, what you get is a cross between fast metal and whacked out hippy space rock. Certainly loud and fast - try the Hawkwind track `Brainstorm' from the `Space Ritual' album, to take one example. Maybe the bpm isn't as high as some would like, but imagine how it'd feel at a gig with some really *big* speakers. As I heard Lemmy say about the effect of the music being so loud and fast `We used to really hurt people at times'.

So you might call Lemmy under cover of Motorhead the godfather of speed metal - but the story began a long time before Motorhead. Consider also that Lemmy developed his musical ideas by listening to what was going on around him - stealing some elements, developing others, inventing some. I'm sure a careful study could show the line of development all the way back to the old bluesmen and rock'n'rollers - and where did those styles come from, in their turn?

btw, far from being a silly overblown band in the early days, Iron Maiden was a *reaction* to all that sort of stuff that bands like Led Zep put on. Then Bruce Dickenson replaced Paul Dianno in the early 1980s, and I began to lose interest (I shan't tell you my age, but that should give you a hint). btw, I saw Robert Plant and Jimmy Page perform at a folk festival[1] a year or so back and was utterly blown away. The bloke I thought was Jimmy Page was flying around like he was 18 years old and had a *huge* grin on his face a lot of the time.

(who grew up in London and has a copy of the leather-clad `No Remorse' which he bought new when it came out in 1984 and never did care how silly anyone thinks it is)

[1] Priory of Brion appeared at Cropredy in 2000.

I note that page say Jimmy Page wasn't there. Well, *I* thought I saw him, and heard him - it was the guitar playing which convinced me that it could hardly be anyone else because hardly anyone at all can play like that (it's not humanly possible to move your hand up and down the fretboard like that - he must have made a pact with the devil). But then again, I was a fair way back from the stage so I could be mistaken. On the other hand, my wife recalls Jimmy Page being introduced and is *sure* it was him.

On the other other hand (is that three so far?), the music was superb, so who really cares?

Kill 'Em All - MegaForce 1983.
Rating = 9

Regardless of the violent title and bloody cover art, this isn't an incredibly threatening collection of songs. Fast as hell, sure, but mostly really celebratory and sweaty, with lead shrieker James Hetfield just as likely to be singing about rockin' and rollin' as death and destruction. The production is phenomenal, the guitar tones are raw, mean, and alive (like early Van Halen - in duplex sound!), and the whole combo is tighter than a very small girdle worn by a very large animated tree. Exciting stuff meant to get your blood a-flowin' and fist a-pumpin' at no real enemy whatsoever.

The only real problem with the album is that, in comparison to the mindbogglingly thrashin' speed shredders "Hit The Lights," "Motorbreath," "Phantom Lord," "Metal Militia" and the deservedly legendary "Whiplash," the slower, more conventional metal tracks, though catchy enough, seem awfully sluggish. "Jump In The Fire" and "Seek And Destroy" in particular seem to be poking along at like one mile per hour. I guess they help to make the fast ones seem even tougher, but they still seem a bit out of place. Awww, why complain? Cliff Burton's distorted bass solo is totally wild and, if I recall correctly, is cherished by bass freaks just like "Eruption" is honored by budding guitarists. And ummm.... Oh! The lengthy "Four Horsemen," in addition to being about sixty-eight jillion times catchier than The Clash's song of the same name, makes it pretty clear that these acne-prone lads are capable of tons more than straight head-bangin' R 'n' R. Artistic growth? Comin' up!

Reader Comments
When I first heard this record I liked it a lot. These days, I consider it a pretty bland record; it doesn't hold up well to the passage of time. It's more of a monument to what the metal sound was like in the early 80s than a "classic speed" album. The slow songs ARE too blase. The faster songs are okay but the production, which I loved at the time, is now kinda lame when stacked up against modern (read: late 80's) speed albums. Only "Four Horsemen" and "No Remorse" still manage to motivate any real feeling in me nowadays.

By the way, "Four Horsemen" was a slowed down version of a song Dave Mustaine wrote called "Mechanix."

G.H.A. (Gilbert van Hagen)
This one is raw and promising, but the only truly exceptional song is the Mustaine composition "Four horsemen". I think this album is strongly overrated. The subsequent releases are much better. Moreover, I find that when you listen back to those old Black Sabbath albums, you encounter many riffs which ten to fifteen years later turn up on a Metallica album. Also, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (e.g. Iron Maiden, Saxon and Diamond Head) were a clear inspiration for the band. Metallica, indeed, was never all that innovative. (Nathan Brewer)
ok, i FINALLY got this album again (it really sucks when people steal your albums), and only having the "Jump In The Fire" single when i didn't have this record, i forgot how good the faster songs are. many songs here point in the great direction of Ride The Lightning. the production also sounds pretty good to me too. if only they put "No Remorse" on Ride The Lightning in place of "The Call Of Ktulu"... (Nima J)
First of all i think that Gilbert van Hagen is an asshole. Metallica is totally innovative, and i don't agree with him. in regards to the album, its not their greatest but it still kicks ass. those hard-ass solos are great! I really enjoyed "The four horsemen," "no remorse," and the dark theme on "Phantom lord." (Patrick Durba)
I recently bought this album (I owned all the others, but never got around to buying this one) and I agree, this is probably the greatest debut of all time. The best song, though, is "Motorbreath". I disagree about the production, however. The drums are poorly tracked so that Lars' snare sounds muddy. This is also a problem with Ride and Master.
It's unfortunate that there is no mention of "am I evil" or "blitzkrieg" in your review. I know most people haven't seen Kill Em All with these two songs but "Am I Evil?" is worth the price of the album alone. A true Metallica classic although I like Diamondhead's version of it as well.
Kill 'Em All certainly isn't the most revolutionary heavy metal record of all time, but it DOES seem pretty cool today considering it came out in 1983. I just can't stand James Hetfield's "singing" on this album... was he taking lessons from Michael Stipe at the time??? (Dean Reis)
I enjoy this album a whole bunch. The main reason I got it was because of Cliff Burton's bass solo on the album, for me that's reason enough to get it, but the other songs are pretty damn cool as well. James Hetfield sure sounds strange on this album with a voice still going through puberty, but that's hardly a distraction. Like Mark said, the whole band is very tight at this point, and you can sure the hell tell. Some songs just don't do it for me, just sounding like generic metal, and like I said, James's voice gets annoying like in the main chorus of "Motorbreath". But "Hit the Lights", "Phantom Lord", "Four Horseman", and "Seek and Destroy" sure kick my ass all over the place. The bloody cover art is good and it's fun to see the picture of Metallica way back in the day when they looked really funny. Gets a 7 from me.
I think Kill 'Em All is the best Metallica album. When I first started playing guitar, I've always wanted this sound. I used to write songs like these. (Michael Rohm)
Cool title, although this album isn't perfect. The first side rocks, but the second side has never really appealed to me. I was not with Metallica "from the beginning" so I have no clue how revolutionary this was to people in the early 80s, although I can imagine if all you had were bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden (not that I dislike either; but they're not like Metallica, obviously) that this would sound pretty revolutionary (unless you were into the more underground stuff like Venom and Mercyful Fate, who I think were out around this time?). Certainly not a poor album, by any stretch of the imagination.
Well, it's been a long time since someone's posted on this board, so I'll post my tastes now. Kill Em All- In my opinion, a raw, immature, but nonetheless tight album. The production sucks so bad it hurts, but the songs are very good and if you have ever heard "Whiplash" live, you know how much ass it kicks compared to the studio version. Also, Lars' bass drum is almost impossible to hear, though his snare sounds crisp enough. I would give it an eight. Many people disagree with me, but I find alot of similarities between this album and the later Load/Reload stuff. "Jump In the Fire" and "No Remorse" could easily be on those albums and no one would think it odd.
Kill 'Em All was the last of the early albums I bought, but it is still as good as Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets and ...And Justice For All. I was blown away the first time I heard this album, hell wasn't everybody. The one thing that I don't think anyone has mentioned is that these guys were fucking were barely out of their teens when they made this album. Look on the photo on the back of the Cd booklet, they've got zits for fuck's sake! And they still made this masterpiece. Whenever I'm pissed off, I listen to this album, and it makes me even madder. Should be considered a masterpiece simply for "Phantom Lord" - One of Metallica's best by far. (Michael Burrus)
wow! This album is amazing! Not the best, but most of these songs are true classics. My favorites are "Whiplash", and "Metal Militia" too! I love the production, and I can see why other metallica fans would disagree. It's not HEAVY, but it's raw, and aggresive. Metallica would never sound the same again.
A fucking 10 for sure! "kill em all" starts off with a song that was first heard on one of the "metal massacre" releases,"hit the lights",and from there it does'nt slow down or soften up {the word ballad was'nt in the vocabulary at this time}. I feel sorry for the kids that discovered this band from "load" or anything after that. The best song here is "no remorse" in my opinion.......the band continued to make heavy metal music for about the next 3 releases but nothing they recoded after this sounded as raw and unapolagetic,fuck this is what metal is supposed to sound like!
Awesome record. My favorite Metallica album. Raw, tight as hell, live sound and it just kicks my ass all over the place. And Cliff's bass solo IS definatly the "Eruption" for bass freaks. Cliff gets my vote for Best bass player ive ever fuckin heard in my opinion. Flea just doesnt hold a candle to this shit. Some of my faves are "Jump In The Fire", "Four Horsemen", "Whiplash", "Seek And Destroy", "Motorbreath", every song totally rules. 10/10.
This is in response to the discussion about Metallica's status as innovators and the history of thrash metal in-general... For some reason, I'm quite interested by this subject and have done some research on it (what else is there to do in college, anyway?) ---> Don't post this part, please. :)

The whole history of thrash metal seems pretty haphazard - there's no general consensus on when and wwhere it began, or who started the whole thing. Though many will argue, I believe you can hear the very beginnings of what would become the thrash sound all the way back in 1969, with Zep's "Communication Breakdown" - you can really hear the foundation for Motorhead's sound in that song. Further signs of thrash/speed can be heard in Deep Purple's song "Fireball" from 1971 (Wargasm covered this song and when you make the guitar tone heavier, it sounds very much like a modern-day thrash song) and "Highway Star" from 1972.

I believe the first song that can be in any way be classified "thrash" is Sabbath's "Symptom of the Universe," from 1975 - as Prindle said in his review, this is a VERY important song. 1977 sees the release of Motorhead by Motorhead (obviously), probably the single most influential band in this genre (and all of so-called "extreme metal"). While I wouldn't categorize Motorhead as metal per se - the guitar tone was more bluesy then metallic - they were the first band to fuse the blues-rock approach of Sabbath and the speed of punk, laying the true foundation for thrash metal. So, like the Stooges (who are considered "The Godfathers of Punk" without being punk themselves), Motorhead are "The Godfathers of Thrash" (or, rather, Lemmy is, because Lemmy IS Motorhead).

The members of Venom were also from England and watched Motorhead play, and they started playing similar music (though much less skillfully). Unlike Motorhead, Venom were/are definitely metal, and their 1982 release Black Metal (predating Slayer and Metallica's first LPs by a year) features double-speed riffs, i.e. the quintessential trademark of thrash metal.

So, I would have to say that Venom released the first thrash album, but that Slayer and Metallica were probably the first true thrash *bands*, as Venom's previous release was not a thrash record and Venom is generally considered mostly a black metal band. Hellhammer (which became Celtic Frost) did not release "Apocalyptic Raids" until 1984, placing them two years behind Venom, robbing of them of the status of thrash-originators (as someone claimed); Frost has always been more death metal, anyway, and with Possessed can claim to be the first true death metal band. Similarly, Sodom did not release their first EP until 1984, putting them behind Venom (of all the thrash bands still around from this early period, however, Sodom are unquestionably the most vicious and have changed their approach the least).

On the difference between thrash and speed metal... Some people may argue, but there is a major distinction between the two. While I know less about speed then thrash, the first true speed metal song seems to be Priest's "Exciter" (1978), the approach displayed later elaborated on in future Judas Priest releases, and also in the work of such bands as Iron Maiden, Agent Steel, Rage, and Running Wild. Speed metal is actually not as fast as thrash, but is generally more melodic and far less heavy and "brutal" (as that factor is quite important to some metal fans). Listen to a Rage's "Perfect Man" and then Slayer's "Reign in Blood" and the differences become obvious quite quickly.

Well, I think that concludes the history lesson on thrash metal...
To set the record straight, I'd like start off by saying Dave Mustaine is lame. I hate the dude, he's just a prick, simple as that. So when some people (*cough* Doug S. *cough*) try to make Metallica look inferior to Megadeth by saying The Four Horsemen is a slowed down version of Mechanix, it is not giving all the facts. Okay, here's some facts for ya. First, when Mustaine played in Metallica, Mechanix was the same speed as The Four Horsemen. Oh, how do I know, you say? Because I have a bootleg to prove it, dick! When Dave was kicked out of Metallica he was so butt hurt that he felt he just HAD to make them look worse than his new band. Well, any compitant, honest person knows that failed miserably. He speeded up Mechanix to try and make it better than Metallica's version, but it literally bellyflopped IMO. Everything about it sucks. The lyrics suck, his vocals blow, and the musicianship is grotesque.

As far as my opinions on Kill 'Em All go, what do you want me to say? What can I say about a classic thrash record that hasn't already been said a million times? It rules, that's a fact.
1983. when madonna debut, it was a synth pop revolution. when return of the jedi was released we root for the good guys and the cute ewoks. the redskins win the game. slick l.a. pop metal was released. motley crue and poison and such will later on be a megahit! but out of the ashes of l.a. glitter rock came these guys. four dirty, long haired hooligans who jerked off the latest hustler magazine. greased the hair into thinking they were sexier than chachi and played the loudest metal the world has ever heard. L.A. SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! when there was a time when synths ruled and videogames sell. when nobody gives a shit about when record sales are dying the metal crowd focused on the new wave of heavy metal. and now these 4 long hairs will dominate the world. METALLICA: KILL 'EM ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!








BOW TO YOUR KNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND BOW TO THE PHANTOM LOOOOOOOORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




10! you cannot get more metal than this.
Okay, the reader comment by Paul Leach claims that Mustaine fucked up when recording "Mechanix" for KIMB.

"He speeded up Mechanix to try and make it better than Metallica's version, but it literally bellyflopped IMO. Everything about it sucks. The lyrics suck, his vocals blow, and the musicianship is grotesque."

I think it's pretty obvious that he wasn't just trying to make it sound more bad-ass by speeding it up, seeing how it's not even a proper thrash metal song. He made it a lot more rockin' and thus it's not as stale as Metallica's version here. The vocals were HIS more than can be said about James', and as for the lyrics, I still don't understand how people keep bashing it. I mean at least it's funny, at least today he can look back and not feel as if he was trying to be oh so epic as James probably does now, or whoever the fuck penned those lines.

That's why Dave was always the winner (not in terms of commercial success), he had more guts than James and Lars, and maybe he just managed to get out his crazyness in a positive way.

All hail Dave Mustaine.

Man, you can imagine the look on my ears faces when I heard this album for the first time. Metallica putting out a good album?! Wow! Up until last summer, I just pictured Metallica as a bunch of clowns and another one of those bands that cared more about their image than their music. Every song from this album kicks ass, so it's pretty hard to review this one. No ballads, fillers, nothing. I would give this a 10, but it's not as good as the next two, so it gets a 9. However, "The Four Horsemen" is my favorite Metallica song.

Add your thoughts?

No Life 'Til Leather - Demo 1982
Rating = 8

It is absolutely imperative that you understand this demo was recorded prior to Kill 'Em All. It is of the utmost crucial importance that you realize it was recorded when the band as you know it was only half there. People will die if you refuse to acknowledge that the bassist here was Ron McGovney and the lead guitarist was Dave Mustaine. Every star in our galaxy will simultaneously explode if you fail to recognize that I'm reviewing it here because I already discussed all the songs in the preceding Kill 'Em All review, written over 12 years ago.

I hate that last paragraph. Fuck you, last paragraph.

You'd think that replacing half a band would change their sound at least a slight bit, but in the case of Metallica, you'd be wrong as a hatter. J'apparently Mustaine's replacement (Steve Johnson or whatever - the Mexican-looking guy) chose to simply recreate his solos (at least as far as I can tell) (I don't really give a shit about solos). But these songs are GREAT! Aren't they? All these thrash classics? All seven were re-recorded for Kill 'Em All, but the only one that sounds significantly different here is the early version of "The Four Horsemen." Entitled "The Mechanix," it finds the band plowing speedily right through the "Detroit Rock City" ripoff parts, rather than having Lars slow down and place accents. Mustaine retained the original title and arrangement when he recorded the song with his next band, The Iris Daylillies.

The reason for the 8 is that it's impossible to download a copy of this that isn't 400,000th generation, so the sound quality is literally the La Brea Tar Pits. Plus you already have all the songs, played nearly the same way. Oh! This is kind of interesting: Hetfield's voice sounds more like Mustaine's on here than it does Hetfield. Some say that they actually exchanged identities shortly after it was recorded, and the newly appointed "James Hetfield" fired the awww fsdk

I hate writing. Fuck you, words.

Add your thoughts?

Whiplash 12" - Megaforce 1983
Rating = 7

There comes a time in every man's life when he has to say, "Whoops!" For some of us here at Mark Prindle, that time has come today. Hey!

You may recall about a month ago when I announced that my post-marital-separation "Lost Weekend" had reached cessation due to a particularly unpleasant incident regarding a table, my face, and two women I didn't know. Well, that cessation lasted a good ten days before I decided, "You know what? I'm bored. I know I can regulate my alcohol intake, so I'll just do that." And this worked for a while -- I would always be careful to drink a glass of water with each shot of vodka, as well as eating at the same time. So I got comfortable.

Okay, so last Sunday night a woman I know from karaoke was having a birthday party in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. It was B.Y.O.B., so I brought a big cheap bottle of cherry-flavored vodka. I got there and everybody seemed to be already well and sloshed so I dug right in. Unfortunately, I ignored the following facts:

a) I had not eaten a thing all day
b) I was already dehydrated from jogging earlier in the afternoon
c) I should not have been pouring the vodka into a big cup and just drinking it straight

Here then is my memory timeline for the rest of the evening:

1. Looking at the bottle and realizing I'd drank an entire half of it by myself in less than an hour
2. A split-second of weaving down the building's hallway, vaguely aware that I was leaving on bad terms
3. A split-second of taking two steps into the street, only to lose balance and fall to the ground on my right side
4. A split-second of trying to dial a number on my cell phone, only to realize that the entire back was missing
5. Waking up the next morning handcuffed to a hospital bed in Queens

Okay then! So yes, I won't be drinking anymore. It's fun and all, but really not worth the risk of ending up paralyzed or imprisoned. I alerted seven of my friends to this development, telling them that if I have even one more drink, they need to make me go to AA. I don't think it will be an issue because (a) it takes effort to purchase alcohol, (b) I'm not physically addicted to it, and (c) it tastes godawful. But I figure it's a good idea to have a support group, because you never know how your brain is gonna try to trick you one day.

Here's what I later learned about my evening of fun in the metropolis of my dreams:

1. I lost my keys and cell phone. Pretty sure I broke my cell phone actually, judging from that tiny memory.
2. The policemen told me that they'd found me lying on the sidewalk. When they tried to help me, I fought them and tried to get away. At some point I shouted that I was going to kill myself, so they took me to the hospital.
3. I left my bag with umbrella and Touch & Go book at the party thrower's apartment. HOWEVER.....
4. I must've done something terrible at the party because when I arrived home, I discovered that the party girl had unfriended me on Facebook.
5. My karaoke friend Shandi told me that I called her about ten times that night, starting at around 1:00 AM. The last time I spoke to her, I was apparently in a car going home. Was this a cab that I later exited? Or the police car? We'll never know.
6. My old college friend Adelfa told me that I left her several slurred voicemails and texts reading "Please help me." In one of the voicemails, I shouted at somebody "IT'S 91!" which is the street I live on, so again I was apparently in a car at some point.
7. I'm the coolest person in the world.

On that note, Metallica's "Whiplash" 12" is definitely not the place to hear Metallica's awesome thrasher "Whiplash." Stick to the Kill 'Em All version, because what you've got here is a remixed version that plants the drums fifty times louder than the guitars. Why? I don't know; maybe Lars was playing with the knobs. (He's certainly spent enough time playing with MY knob, if you know what I mean!!!!!) (he molested me) The 12" also includes the LP version of weak midtempo bore "Jump In The Fire" and two ridiculously fake 'live' versions of Kill 'Em All asskickers "Seek & Destroy" (midtempo yes, but hooky and heavy!) and "Phantom Lord" (thrash my ass, o lord of the phantoms!). Good songs and definitely alternate versions, but if these are 'live,' then my dick's an eggplant salad.

A fucken HUGE eggplant salad, that is!!! With a big fucken boner!!!!

Reader Comments

A. Strawn
I read somewhere that those two “live” tracks were recorded in Europe and had the audience noise added later.

Also check out the EP Creeping Death, although really all you have to do is listen to Creeping Death and the two covers of Blitzkrieg and Am I Evil? Side B of Creeping Death was the first Garage Days Revisited. So that’s why the EP with Newsted is called Re-Revisited. Elektra added them onto their re-relase of Kill ‘em All making the EP pretty much obsolete.

Glad to hear you are ok, we will miss hearing about your drunken antics on the ol’ interweb.

Add your thoughts?

* Ride The Lightning - MegaForce 1984. *
Rating = 10

A masterpiece so well-constructed that Metallica tried to recreate it for the next six years of their career. The speed tracks are unstoppable heavy-as-a-barbell anger ("Fight Fire With Fire" is the most intense track they've ever done, but you have to listen to it right. Even though James sings against the beat, the rhythm is a backbeat. In other words, it's a fantastic "doop-chick, doop-chick, doop-chick" song, but if your brain doesn't keep up with the speedy beat, you'll hear it as a plodding "Thump, Thump, Thump-Thump-Thump" song because of the way James sings it. So pay attention!!!), the slow ones weave their way through multiple melodies and styles to avoid predictability, and the whole package just sparkles with creative bits of broken glass.

It's also a lot more bottom-heavy than Kill 'Em All, and the melodies, though still somewhat traditional, are taken to wonderful levels of depth and elevation by this thoughtful instrumental combo. A ridiculously high level of reverb on the vocals renders Mr. Hetfield's throaty delivery a bit ugly at times, but not enough to spoil an otherwise phenomenal display of tearin' speed metal, gripping riffage, depressing lyricism, and a neat album cover. If you try to find flaws, you'll succeed (the nine-minute instrumental "Call Of Ktulu" is, well, NINE minutes long, and "Escape" is seemingly some sort of pop song and, as such, takes a little while to get used to), but this is still the most fully-realized combination of intensity and dark beauty that drummer Lars Ulrich, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, bassist Cliff Burton (or his replacement Jason Newsted, or his replacement Robert Trujillo), and rhythm guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield have unfurled onto this crazy Web site we call the world as of the turn of '08.

What else can I say to make you buy this? The band is much more serious this time around, leaving the "good time rock and roll" lyricism of "Whiplash" and "Hit The Lights" behind to concentrate on epic tales of misadventure and pain, and replacing the groovy hard rock guitar lines of "Jump In The Fire" and "Seek And Destroy" with intelligent fully-developed minor-key anthemic heavy metal music of a calibre far beyond the reach of the endless numbers of simple-minded combos that are to blame for the bad reputation attributed to an otherwise perfectly enjoyable genre of music.

Yeah, that'll make you buy it.

Reader Comments
THIS is the album that spawned a million imitators and virutally created the "Death Metal" scene by itself. The sound is raw as hell and stands the test of time even though the bass has disappeared. It's not their best in my opinion but it comes damn close. With tracks like "Fight Fire With Fire", the title track, and "Creeping Death", how can you go wrong? Well the instrumental is pretty boring, and I've never been a big fan of "For Whom The Bell Tolls." But it's still leaps and bounds better than Kill 'Em All....

definitely the best metallica album. master of puppets comes close. two complaints about "call of ktulu" though:
1:) it's too fucking long and rather boring
2:) it's an obvious lovecraft rip off (the call of cthulhu)
A fine piece of work, but not a 10. I really enjoy "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and "Trapped Under Ice". I cannnot, however, get into the song "Ride The Lightning". I am not saying that it sucks; it's just not my cup of tea. Overall, I give this one an 8.

G.H.A. (Gilbert van Hagen)
I agree that this is the best Metallica album and a near-perfect ten. I wonder why none of you mention the suicide song "Fade to black". It is the first ballad Metallica have recorded and, arguably, their best. It fits in perfectly among all those killer metal songs. (Nima J)
this album was a breakthrough for all metal, and started Metallica on a kick-ass career. Songs like "fade to black" and "Creeping Death" really are good, and i enjoyed the great guitar and drumming on "trapped under ice." This album defines who Metallica were and still are. (The Chameleon)
Doesn't this album just kick your ass!! Its fucking awesome! This album, like Nima J said, is the definition of Metallica...and HOT DAMN you can feel it. Each song is so unique and has its own brutal attitude. "Fight Fire With Fire" makes me just want to go out for a random ass kicking. And "Fade To Black" gets real close to convincing you to kill yourself...ahh... I LOVE THIS ALBUM.
I agree with the statement it is Metallica's best, but you neglected to mention the best song on the disc, "Creeping Death". Also, does anyone else wonder how much ass this album would kick now if they had made a decent recording of it? The drums are kind of weak, the bassline is nonexistant and the guitars lack the sharpness that their newer albums have.
To the person who said "This album defines who Metallica were and still are," thank you. I get so sick and tired of people knocking Metallica with their sole complaint being that they're 'popular' now. Who friggin cares! They STILL rock, even if they HAVE changed a bit. EVERYONE changes.
Maybe I'm not angry enough, but I just can't agree with you when you say this album's better than Master of Puppets. For one thing, you said side two of MoP fails to dazzle. Well, the first THREE songs on the second side of RtL all seem to sound the start the same way: with that fast chord progression on the middle of "Fade to Black." Plus, the songs on side two to this album are FAR less interesting than the ones on MoP. "Escape" is a boring song, NOT "Leper Messiah." and that nine minute instrumental only makes you wish what the boys coulda done with another song (or two) on there instead. Wrap up the facts that James still can't sing on most of this album and that two of the songs were Mustaine co-written, and you have several rather obvious weaknesses to this album. The rest is great, of course, but I'd rather listen to MoP because it's more mature, melodious, and malcontent. (The letter of the day is: "M.") (Dean Reis)
This is, what I consider, their best album. "Fight Fire With Fire" is amazing. I don't know how they could play that fast, but then again, they are Metallica. There is not one even semi-weak song on this album. This album comes at you and kicks your ass 8 times. (Michael Rohm)
Great album aside from "Call of Ktulu." "Orion" and "To Live is to Die" are far far far better. So let it be written, so let it be done!
i think that although Ride the Lightning is a great, ripping album, it is a tad overrated by the people who have posted here. I don't think it's their best by any stretch of my imagination. The two following albums are more refined than this one. Regardless, comparing certain Metallica albums to each other is a useless job, as they are all superb. my favorite songs on this particular album are "creeping death", "fight fire w/fire" and "call of ktulu" (i don't care what anyone thinks, i love that song, especially the first guitar solo). "For whom the bell tolls" is pretty great too and "fade to black", though a tad bit boring, is very decent. Only complaint i have is that James' voice constantly drifts upward during the choruses of the songs. Has anyone noticed that? (Michael Burrus)
This album is classic! What a brutal album! "Creeping Death" is so powerful! "Fight Fire With Fire" is a GREAT song! Way too much reverb on vocals. hmmm. It has the best Kirk's solos! I give it a 9! I love your page! (Pat D.)
Ugh, this album is very mediocre. Yeah, I know I wrote above that it was their best, but god knows what I was smoking when I thought that. "Creeping Death" and "Fade to Black" both rule, but the rest of the album is really dull. Sure, "Fight Fire With Fire" is damn fast, and about 5 billion people love "For Whom the Bell Tolls", but they're just not GREAT songs. I am positively clueless as to why "Bell Tolls" is such a popular song. Its too damn slow and boring. Ditto for "Escape". And the title track has a really irritatingly awkward riff and chorus. The bridge is pretty cool, though. Far inferior to Master, and just about every other Metallica album. 6. (Hossein Nayeb)
This is one of the most overrated albums's a bad album,very boring,not a bit original,cheesy... Fight Fire With Fire is alright,though too macho if you ask me...Ride The Lightning is one of the cheesy heavy metal kinds of songs on this album(Maiden fans probably like this).. For Whom The Bell Tolls.. is the song where they've STOLEN THE SOLO RIFF FROM BLACK SABBATH'S "Fairies Wear Boots".Fade To Black is Metallica's lame version of "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath"... Trapped Under Ice- filler Escape is officially a filler song,Metallica didn't want to release an album with just 7 tracks.

Creeping Death- same story as Ride The Lightning... Call Of The quite alright actually,then again Dave Mustaine took part in writing this.This album shows how Metallica are not enough creative to make touching albums... Sure,after this album they had lots of songs that really rocked, but that's just rocks,nothing more,

so there's no need buying the albums,you can play kick-ass riffs on your own if you want.And it's really not surprising, it's why they have so many fans, they offer A LITTLE to everyone.THIS album takes the price,ripp-off from the more melodic Sabbath tunes... those of you who want to listen to really great thrash music,get the early Megadeth albums, 'cause Dave Mustaine is a brilliant writer, both the lyrics and the songs are three times better than Metallica... and before i end this, Motorbreath is credited to Ulrich and Hetfield on the CD booklet, it was actually written by another guy (i don't remember the name)..the intro is written by Dave Mustaine.

"i just wonder what Metallica will do when they run out of my riffs"
-Dave Mustaine,1984
Wonderful album. Escape, though, sucks dick in hell. (J.v. Luttikhuizen)
I totally agree with the man who wrote the first reaction i'm only 14 years old and i'm so fuckin sorry for my self because i didn't discover METALLICA earlier i've got all there albums , but i find RIDE THE LIGHTNING the very fuckin best LOAD is the weakest album so far
I've seen metallica 3 times. The first in 1986 on the R.T.L. tour. It was in a 800 seat club and you had to see and hear their musical brutality to believe it. As far as I'm concerned those songs off R.T.L. sound as aggresive and lethal as ever and I'm well into my 30's now. Personally I've always thought that Jame's vocals on that album were his best ;ominious and devastating. Hard to believe now that at one time shortly after Kill 'Em All was released that the band was actually thinking seriously of trying to recruit John Bush of Armored Saint to take over vocals leaving James to "only" rythym guitar. Thank God that never happened! (Bryan Moore)
Great reviews of the Metallica Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets albums... I'm in agreement on most, though I think Master of Puppets is the greatest album of all time, and no I'm not one of those fans that ONLY supports one band. I've heard a lot of music, and have heard many great albums, but even albums like Exile on Main Street, KISS Alive, and Layla and other Assorted love songs, pale in comparison to metal perfection shown in Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning. But one thing, you left out CREEPING DEATH, one of their most intense tracks based on the bible of all things! Listen to that song live, and you'll see even more than on Ride the Lightning the intensity that Metallica wants to provide on that song.
Great fuckin' record, definatly, and i like it as much as Kill 'Em All, i think. At the time of release, none of these songs were popular on radio or MTV or anything, but now-a-days, some of these songs have became bonafide classics. Im actually sick of hearing some of these! "Fade To Black" and "For Whom The Bell Tolls" especially (both fantastic songs though). "Fight Fire With Fire" has to be my favorite song on here. Man, is that song intense, i love it! The title track, and the lesser known and also the shortest track on here "Escape" (its catchy as hell! The Band wouldnt do this Album probably!) has also become personal favorites of mine. "Call Of Ktulu" is also a beautiful instrumental. I give it a 9. (Rob DelMedico)
for a Sab fan to say that Fade to Black sounds anything like "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" is sheer ignorance. The two songs only share the fact that ...uh...they use power chords at some point? Numbnuts.

Not a bit original? Sorry...your little blinders are causing you ex post facto bias. Wasn't much that sounded like *this* at the time. Sure, thrash existed, but look at Slayer's debut--more Venom influenced than anything.

and whoever said RTL spawned the death metal scene, thanks for a million laughs. how the hell did Metallica influence anything remotely death metal? (Sam Davenport)

Best Metallica album out of the ones I've heard [KEA, RTL, MOP, AJFA, Black album].

Maybe the songwriting on MOP is a little more developed [and Orion beats Ktulu hands down] but all the songs on RTL are great [and yes that includes Trapped Under Ice and Escape]. I used not to like some tracks that much, but then I dug this album out again and the whole thing 'clicked' [same happened with Master of Puppets].

But what makes this album special is the vibe it has. The whole album sounds like the cover looks-remorseless, icy cold power. A 'wintery' vibe, one of ice, and cold blue lightning bolts, and glowing metallic power surges.

Awesome, awesome, awesome.
*furious shredding*
*unintelligible barking*
*break heavier than God on a steamroller*

In conclusion, Lightning Bolt = Metallica.
It has become somewhat trendy to pick this as Metallica's best album, just to avoid the cliched and obvious choice of Master of Puppets. Well, here's how I see things. Ride the Lightning is an album that set many new standards:

- Immense speed (Fight Fire with fire - I swear, people must have shit their pants when they first heard this back in '84. The speed...)
- Thrash ballad (Fade to Black - not too deep, but still thoughtful and exemplary of talent and songwriting ability)
- Long ass instrumental (The Call of Ktulu - I admit, it gets boring after a while, but who else dared to do something remotely similar back in those days?)
- Usage of non-generic themes (Creeping Death - ancient mythology and shit... Pretty ambitious for a thrash band)

These elements, along with a very obvious maturation compared to Kill 'em All are what make Ride a very likable album.

However, I think Master of Puppets expands and improves on the aforementioned elements, and shows even a deeper degree of maturity.

Final verdict: Thanks RtL for inventing it, thanks MoP for perfecting it.
Okay, I've commented RTL multiple times and I don't mean to nag about my dissatisfaction with its rating here, but just as some reviews have been slightly altered over the years after re-listenings, so will the comments. Especially if the comment person was an unbalanced teenager in the past. I've been listening to Metallica a lot lately and tried to find some good thrash on RTL, but once again I failed. It's just unbelievable that it's gotten the 10, just as MOP is deemed an inferior copy of RTL.

The only plus side I can add to my previous thoughts about RTL is that the title track is slightly better than I used to think, although still the chorus melody is dumb and in general the latter part of the song is lame.

It's obvious why this album is so popular in metal circles in general though. It's because the style appeals to the sectarian attitude of "true metal"-fans. RTL is as close as Metallica ever got to traditional heavy metal. True metal is all about being into wussy metal with clichéd melodies while trying to find a way to make this not conflict with the badass macho ideals of the person. So you have to solve this by just going total reverse about the whole thing, calling everyone who's not into metal a "fag". That way you know you're still way badass even if you dig on "Fade To Black" or "Hallowed Be Thy Name" or something. The rest of it is just about being into tired melodies and Hollywood/Fantasy novel aesthetics.

However, this is the Prindle site, and I think recommending RTL as Metallica's best may steer people away from the goodness of MOP, AJFA and KEA, for the ones who will just figure that since Mark has good taste in music, "I must have missed something". Then they'll put on RTL and soon enough it's like "okay, it's just heavy metal".

"Fight Fire With Fire" and "Trapped Under Ice" are decent thrash songs, and the title track + "For Whom The Bell Tolls" are also Metallica-worthy. The rest - instrumental one aside - is at best extremely clichéd and mediocre and at worst just shit music. Compare this to the heavy attack of MOP and the uncompromising effort of AJFA... Again, I just don't get it.

And here's another thing that I've been meaning to bring up before since it's not just about Metallica. It seems to me like there's some unexpalined bias in the reviews on the site, like the set standards being so different for different bands.

For instance, imagine if Guns 'N' Roses had written a song very similar to "Fade To Black". Even if it probably would have been three times better, Axl Rose and the rest of them would have totally been laughed at for making such an unoriginal metal balad. But with Metallica, it's as if they have to be given some slack as if they're a bunch of 8 year olds who can't be expected to perform something better. Even if the lyrics make Phil Collins sound like a poet, we have to pretend like they're moving or something. Or look at all those 90s bands. Smashing Pumpkins have taken so much shit, while Van Halen can write a generic hard rock song that gets credit for being "emotional" just because that's the intention. And Slayer of course can't miss a riff on a whole album since it's all badass. But if a heavy 90s band does the same thing, then it's judged by some kind of intellectual criteria by which the band consists of a bunch of posers who try to hide their artistic limits behind heavy riffs.

Yep, I agree again. Though Metallica had their shit together from the very beginning, this one just feels more intense than "Kill 'em All", and I know this is a little melodramatic, but theres some kind of magic on this album that's not present on the last one. The songs are a lot more epic here, especially "The Call of Ktulu". I don't care if it drags on for eight or nine minutes, it never wears out its welcome (this is not "Death Magnetic" or "St. Anger" after all). Really hard to pick an all time favorite here, but I really like the much hated "Fade to Black". Fuck it, I can't really figure out why but the title track is my favorite. I wish Metallica would go back to recreating this instead of The Black Album. Just like you I'll give this a 10.

Add your thoughts?

Day On The Green 1985 - Bootleg.
Rating = 9


Reader Comments (Kyle Atwood)
This was the single funniest record review I have ever read. That is all.

Add your thoughts?

Master Of Puppets - Elektra 1986.
Rating = 9

This is the most highly-regarded of Metallica's output, and for damn good reason quite frankly, as side one is without a doubt one of the most incredible collections of original metal riffitude this side of paradise. However (darn it), side two (aside from the instrumental "Orion," which kicks the daylights out of "The Call Of Ktulu") is kind of a letdown. "Damage, Inc." is a decent enough speed rocker, but "Leper Messiah" is kinda boring, and a good portion of "Disposable Heroes" is uglier than Sheryl Crow.

Plus, the whole darn album is like a remake of Ride The Lightning. It starts off with a pretty acoustic bit that turns into a kickass speed thrasher, which is followed up by the epic midtempo title track which gives way to the downtempo weirdass catchy-in-spite-of-itself lengthy-titled third song until side one ends with the slow eerie beautiful note-filled youth angst ballad. Then side two begins with a nearly impenetrably speedy semi-ugly number followed by a not-quite-as-interesting midtempo track, followed by - oops! A discrepancy! Ride The Lightning has a radically violent hardcore splorcher followed by a long instrumental; Master Of Puppets switches the order. So, in conclusion, if you liked the last one, you'll like this one and vice-versa. Less reverb on James's voice is good, and, again, side one will take you places you once thought only Whitney Houston could take you. But haven't they already made this album?

Simple complaints aside, I'd like to finish this review by pointing out that if air sounded like "The Thing That Should Not Be," I'd breathe a lot more often.

Reader Comments
This is THE album. Their best. Whereas Ride The Lightning used noise and distortion, this album used melodies. This album shows much more maturity than Ride. I could give you five reasons why this isn't a duplication of Ride. It's a much more complex record, for one. Another reason would be that James's voice has finally matured (they were only in their early 20's when they put this record out) and now complements the music rather than serveing as a distraction as it did the previous two albums. Side one is the classic side, but there is nothing at all wrong with side two. I completely and vehemently disagree with you about "Disposable Heroes". I think it, and not the title track, is the best song on the album and I wish they'd play it live more often. When they unleashed it upon a surprised audience in 1994, that song got more applause than any other song that night. Clearly a fan favorite. (David Aurand)
I have to say this is an excellent album/disc. My Andy Warholfifteenminutesoffame came when I interned at a rock station (I was the "heavy-metal intern") and got "The Thing That Should Not Be" played on the air at 10am. Never been done before, I will take credit for it.... Nonetheless, this is the pounding that speakers were made for....the crunching...locomotive roaring down the track licks that just make my ears burn....hadn't heard anything like it in my life.....and of course...the title....."Master...Master".....unreal.....kinda wish it had stayed that way....... (David Straub)
I probably would have written a response much like Doug's had I beat him here. Lightning is really great, but this record is my 10, the ne plus ultra of heavy metal. I admire this band because they make you think while you bang your head.

Saw Metallica twice, once for Justice and once for the Black Album, and was not greeted with "Disposable Heroes" or "Battery" either time. To add insult to injury, we could hear them soundchecking with "Battery" the first time we saw them.

This is probably the single most important soundtrack record of my not-too-long-ago high school career. The title track alluded to all the kids in my class getting whacked out of their skulls on coke (and worse), and "Disposable Heroes" seemed very appropriate to me the pacifist when the "Gulf War" broke. And "Orion", "Damage", wooooeeeee!

Plus "Sanitarium" is the story of my life.

G.H.A. (Gilbert van Hagen)
I completely agree with Mark's review on this one. Master of puppets (as well as ... And justice for all), despite being a strong album, lacks in originality as it largely copies the format of Ride the lightning. In addition, Metallica by now have developed a trend to make their songs too long which, for example in the case of the title track, makes the music lose some of its momentum. "The thing that should not be" and "Welcome home (sanitarium)" are pretty cool songs, though. (Nima J)
where are gilbert and mark getting this crap?? Master of puppets is totally different than ride the lightning!! It combines hardcore metal with more melodic and dark tunes. i think this is a great fuckin album, and gets me in the mood for kickin peoples' asses. (Louis Sweet)
This has to be the best album of all time. Metallica takes every aspect that makes music great and smashes it all together into one album. The fast yet super-controlled riffing of James Hetfield kicks so much ass, while Kirk Hammet provides the intricacies. And "Disposable Heroes" and "Damage, Inc." are full of mind-blowing power and intensity. If you don't have it, you've already missed out on 11 years...
If there was better songs on side B, this would definitely be my number one, if for no other reason than "Master of Puppets", but it definitely is a letdown to go from "Sanitarium" into "Disposible Heroes". Again, I wish for a crisper recording. I'll be waiting for the ultradisc. (The Chameleon)
A truly excellent album, although I still think Ride the Lightning is superior to this one. And to agree with most people here, this album is like a different kind of Ride the Lightning take. I'm not saying it is Ride The Lightning, it just has the same kind of format. It starts off with a softer acoustical guitar part on "Battery" then kicks into a high metal gear. The album's structure is virtually the same as Ride the Lightning even with the great "Orion" instrumental like "The Call of Ktulu" instrumental. So if this album is like Ride the Lightning in more ways than one, then it must be good!! Most of the songs here are really damn good. And in opposition to some reviews for this album, I think "Disposable Heroes" is one of the best fucking tracks on the album!! All the songs are just really good with the exception of "Damage Inc." I mean, if this album was a chick I'd do her, and have a great time. It's that good, and it's well worth your money.
Sadly, it took me a good ten years to finally get off my duff and give this album a spin. I remember in my whole K-12 school career how lots of people sported Master of Puppets T-shirts, and I always thought, "boy, this album must be really bad-ass!" Unfortunately, I had too much of a negative image of heavy metal at the time, because I thought it was all supposed to sound like Guns 'N Roses and Poison. But I have to say I was BLOWN AWAY by what's on this wreck-kord! I think the whole thing kicks tons of ass, and side two is every bit as good as side one in my influential opinion. "Disposable Heroes" is a more graphic war song than "For Whom the Bell Tolls," and "Leper Messiah" is heavy as hell...Methinks he should be introduced to "The Thing That Should Not Be," for crimminy's sake! The sound is certainly timeless in many respects, and James's improved singing lifts this one a few notches over Ride the Lightning, But hey, why argue? Just get 'em both! (Dean Reis)
A perfect 10. NO bad songs (although "Sanitarium" is MUCH too overplayed, sort of like "Sandman"), production is better than Lightning, and a song based on a Lovecraft story! Who could ask for more? BTW, "Disposable Heroes" is great. I can't see how anyone could think otherwise.
I know you're all talking about the format of Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets. Personally I think it doesn't matter all that much, because the actual melodies involved are quite different.

And did you know that if you think about it, Black Sabbath's Volume Four and Paranoid follow basically the same structure: they both open with the lengthy eight minute epic ("War Pigs"; "Wheels Of Confusion"), then they have the two and a half minute poppy single ("Paranoid"; "Tomorrow's Dream"), then the slow ballad ("Planet Caravan"; "Changes"), then the catchy heavy one ("Iron Man"; "Supernaut"), etc... until they both end with the long heavy one ("Fairies Wear Boots"; "Under The Sun").
i can see how, upon first impression, Master of Puppets might seem like a ripoff of their previous album, Ride the Lightning. but when you listen to the tracks, the melodies are VERY different. I don't see how anyone can think that "Sanitarium" sounds anything like the fourth song off of Ride, "Fade to black". And "orion" changes its melodies so much that it seems like alot of different songs put together as "Call of Ktulu" (which is perfectly good, by the way, i like it alot) follows the same pattern throughout the entire song. And I find Master of Puppets to be a little more mature and refined than Ride. Its a metal masterpiece. (TNT)
You want to know my thoughts? My thoughts are that Metallica looked at the order of their last album Ride the Lightning and said, "Hey, we did pretty good with that order of songs." So they did the same order. There is no way the songs are the same. I didn't even relize they were in the same order until I read this. Metallica's awesome!
Even though this album concentrates more on dynamics, harmonies, and musicianship, I am not so much crazy about it that much. I mean that was a good approach as far as I'm concerned, but I'm just not as crazy about it as I am with Ride The Lightning, and the Black album.
The music on this album is unbeleiveable, and Mark, nothing, repeat nothing is uglier than Sheryl Crow! I first heard this in my mates car and it blew me away, the anger, the power of the whole thing made me buy it as soon as I got home. I can't beleive you made the Sheryl Crow remark about "Diposable Heroes" this song should have replace "The Thing That Should Not Be" on the first side. I especially like the part of "Disposable.." just before James barks out 'Back to the Front', the guitars and drums combine to paint a mental picture for me. Listen to it and don't tell me that you don't see a soldier running through the battlefields. Call me crazy but it rules. (Michael Burrus)
The best. All of the songs just kick ass. The production is better on this album than Ride The Lightning. This is NOT a remake of Ride, I don't know how the hell you can possibly think that! These songs are just as massive as the ones on Ride. Both albums are very impressive. (Pat D.)
Changed my mind about this one, too. Without doubt the single greatest metal album of our time. Every song is great. Well, except for that severely overrated "Orion". If they had put "To Live is to Die" on this album instead of AJFA, Master would have a good run at the top ten ROCK albums ever. I have also grown to love "Disposable Heroes". Kirk Hammett finally ditched those irritatingly repetitive hammer-ons of the earlier solos for that song, and damn is it impressive. And "Leper Messiah" rules! I love that riff, and the song really kicks ass when it kicks into high speed at the bridge. 10!!!! (Sean Harris)
Well, I like it. My favorite and first Metallica album I ever heard. I'm glad to see most of you agree.
Master indeed! This album totally kicks ass and is certainly their best work (although Ride the Lightning kicks serious ass as well). Battery, the title track, Sanitarium, Disposable Heroes, and Orion are as good as metal gets. (Alex R)
I'm not a big fan of these guys by any means. But I must say that this album kicks fuckin ass!!!. " Orion " blew me away the first time I heard it and so did mostly every other song on the album. IMO, this album belongs in everybody's collection.

Oh yeah, don't make fun of Sheryl Crow. I would bang her anyday!.
Well, plenty has been said about this album, so I'll just say that it's awesome. Orgasmic even. (John Doe John Doe)
i feel Master of Puppets is probly the best fuckin metal album to bless fuckin heavy music. It has everything man its a fuckin full thrash package. none of the songs get u bored and tired and none of the songs make u wonder when the hell this album is gonna finish. this masterpiece will go down in thrash history. Metallica outdid themselves when they released this one. The best track on this alubm is definitely disposable heroes. WHAT IN THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT DUDE?!?!? this song lyrically is so well written it amazed the hell outta me! and the Back to the front part almost makes me wanna fuckin get out on the battlefield and serve my country man! lol. the more melodicand musically mature side of this album is mostly present on master of puppets and sanitarium. Master of puppets is my second favorite on this album. that little interlude section in the middle always makes the hairs on my back stand up when i hear. Orion is probly their best instrumental track and it in my opinion shows cliff burton at his absolute finest. this album is the greatest thrash album. its sits in with the greats, reign in blood by slayer and welcome to hell by Venom. dude fuck that metallihating bullshit. new mets suck but if u wanna judge metallica listen to puppets and then say soemthing.

later (Josh Cable)
Did I point out that this is their best album ever?

This is their best album ever.

Fuck these sellouts.
master! master!

for me, this album is metallica's high point until the black album. the tunes are more mature, the melody/riff combinations are well-developed, and the lyrics are certainly more sensible than all the other 'devil! blood! death! argh!' shite of bands like slayer. AJFA is also excellent, but seems to be a bit too self-congratulatory and indulgent, and doesn't have the same instantly gripping factor as MoP. come on guys, 'the thing that should not be' rules! heavy, heavy, heavy... (Robert Chaundy)
Surprised no one has picked up on the title track-War Pigs thing (opening riff and 'destruction/death's construction' couplet), and equally surprised that some people still think Orion is better than To Live is to Die. It's just not!

Of course there's no denying this one's greatness, and as musicians they are definitely at their peak here, but the sound of the album - which I used to love - now sounds sort of flat and restrained, as if it's straining to burst into new realms of heaviness but just can't make it. It just doesn't spit and crackle like Ride the Lightning does.

And yes, the format is the same as that album's (and indeed ...And Justice for All's) - but hold on people!! That's a strength, not a weakness! It allows you to see their musical development within clearly defined boundaries, almost as if they were challenging themselves to improve on the last effort; and it is also a sort of Metallica calling card, like a big spiky 'M' stamped all over it. What did you want after Ride the Lightning? Twenty 2-minute rock'n'roll standards?

So maybe not ten. Either these three classics all deserve tens or none of them do - they just can't be compared to one another. Go round to Fred Durst's house and play this at top volume - he'll thank you for it one day.

The greatest album is MASTER OF PUPPETS greatest now load and reload were okay but no KILL EM' ALL, RIDE THE LIGHTNING, MASTER OF PUPPETS(of course) AND MAYBE and...JUSTICE FOR ALL. All and all the best of METALLICA'S works ever and I take my hat off to thses former "METAL" bands. (Robert Chaundy)
What was I saying? Of course Master of Puppets is a ten. How could I ever have thought otherwise? How can Mark? (Madd Hunter)
I think "Disposable Heroes" is amongst the greatest metal songs ever written. Don't care what others say.
This one is supposed to be the classic, but i think its just as good as Ride The Lightning, although it has a more dark production. "Battery" leaves off where "Fight Fire With Fire" ended in the kick-ass dept. and the title track is a classic of course. I also agree that "Orion" is a better instrumental then "Ktulu", and that song which then segues into "Damage Inc." both could scare the crap out of you. Couple of tracks inferior to Ride The Lightning maybe, but i love this album. A 9. (Gee Star)
The people who say Kill Em All is metallica's best album or that metallica has never made a revolutionary impact on metal music obviously haven't heard Master of Puppets. The riffs are belting, hand delivered with extraordinary precision and symmetry; songs are sang vocally, remarkably skillful; and the lyrics explode on contract with the ear. From a musical standpoint, as I absorb music, I adjust myself and then enter a mental plane in which I tap into the artist’s state of mind. I realized that on Master of Puppets metallica combined a few songs into one almost on every song on the album. Except for “the thing that should not be” each song seems to possess an evolving sensation that captures the imagination and suspends it, as the mind waits in aw for the unexpected. A prime example is Disposable Heroes, a well underrated and overlooked song as one of metal’s top 10 ever! I doubt that anyone could cover exactly that song. However, Kill Em All was a successful foundation laid. (Hossein Nayebagha)
Sure, a remake of Ride The Lightning - they've improved a lot.

I just read the review for that one, and I seriously don't understand where you're getting all this from. RTL is a poor record because it's a metal album that doesn't kick ass and isn't really all that heavy. It's somewhat sharp, but it's got the speed on merely two - TWO! - tracks, one of which is pretty darn lame.

This one however has some fierce energy, speed and heaviness...And there's actually some substance in the songs except of predictable higher end arena rock riffs. "Welcome Home" is the "Fade To Black" of this one, and that's just one way of seeing the difference. The former is good, the latter is EMBARRASSING. And that goes for the balads, the heavier, faster tracks really put their earlier counterparts to shame. Rhythm, leads, vocals...ALL the arangement is superior.

At its worse, there are a few tracks that do get boring at times, but atleast they're not CRAP like half of the RTL songs.

And how can you refer to "Creeping Death" as a "violent hardcore splorcher"? It basically sounded like a more straightforward Maiden! Do they get that aggressive?

I don't really own Master Of Puppets, but I've heard it and you don't really need that many listens to tell that it's superior to the previous effort. Whether or not RTL is the base of Metallica's trademark sound, it sure as hell needed some improvement, and they managed to fix the problems on here and the next one, even the selftitled album. I just wish I'd known this, so that when there was a time that I thought it was a good idea to spend some money on Metallica, I'd bought the best ones.

Seriously, I think your view on Metallica's career, with RTL as the peak that they only managed to make lesser versions of, is the most insane thing there is to read on the whole site. I just don't get it and I can't really accept it...There must be some other reason behind it. (Jerry Livathinopoulos)
"...a good portion of "Disposable Heroes" is uglier than Sheryl Crow"? Dude! I think she's one of the most beautiful broads to come around in a while. (Sam Davenport)
To reply to Hossein's comment above-what are you on about?

Ride the Lightning is the pinnacle of Metallica's career by some distance. For you to say Fade to Black is embarassing when it's actually one of the most moving songs they ever wrote is just puzzling.

Anyway-Master of Puppets............ good album but not worthy of the legend status bestowed on it. It has its good points-the songwriting is more developed, the title track is-well, amazing-and Orion is one of the best instrumentals that I've heard.

But......... there's a couple of problems. For a start I can't remember how Damage Inc. goes. Leper Messiah is a bit substandard, and Sanitarium is a letdown after Fade to Black. The main problem however is The Thing That Should Not Be. This stop-start track is just boring. I'm sorry, it may be heavy but there's no reason for it to stop-start like that all the time. Keep the momentum up a bit!

But apart from the substandard songs the main gripe I have with this album is the production. It's too flat, dry, two dimensional. On RTL the production was three dimensional, it made everything crackle and glow and hiss, gave everything a special vibe, made the whole album sound incredibly epic and heavy. On MOP the dry, flat production just saps some life out of the record. If it had had Black Album production it would be Metallica's second best album, but as such I'm going to rate it joint third [1=RTL, 2=Live Shit Binge and Purge, 3=Justice=MOP=Black Album] and give it 8/10.

Still good mind.
Okay, I'm having a Metallica period now so I reread some of this shit plus reader comments, so here's my response to Sam D.

Embrrassment may be harsh, but it still makes sense to me to call "Fade To Black" such. It's just too damn clichéd even for a metal record. The melody is cliched, the lyrics even more, the cheeseball leads in the early parts, the theatrical power chord sequence of the "chorus", the too obvious cheap Sabbath-ness of the second half of the song.

Now you could say a few of these things about "Sanitarium" as well, and it'd be true to a certain extent, the chorus particularly get on my nerves a little bit, but all in all, the verses are a lot more moving, the melody is more complex, the lyrics are okay, and James vocals are finally rid of the pube-ness from the first two records. The vocal arrangement in general here is a lot better.
I've seen it used a bunch of times on your site but what exactly is an "ugly" riff as opposed to a "pretty" one? I don't quite understand this terminology and if "Disposable Heroes" is a song about the ugliness of war then doesn't it make sense to use ugly riffs? Personally I love the shit out of that song. But indeed scientists have been trying to solve which the problem of which is the better album ...Lighting or ...Puppets. I go for the latter and that's almost entirely due to "Damage, Inc.", which is more than a "decent enough speed-rocker". I think that is Metallica's meanest sounding song with the swear words and especially "never happy endings on these dark sets" and "step a little closer if you please", such anger and hatred, love it! And "Orion" is of course a classic.
Disposable Heroes has to be the best Metallica song out there. When they were writing the album, THIS was the song that they regarded as a centerpiece, not the title track. Just look at the album cover.

And I do agree that Master is somewhat similar to Ride. But think of it along these lines: RTL laid the base, MoP built up on it. MoP is more mature in every aspect.

Add your thoughts?

The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited - Elektra 1987.
Rating = 8

A delightful romp through thrash of yesteryear, this EP presents the Metallicers as a bunch of nostalgic aging headbangers reliving the glory days that have passed them by. Six covers of tracks by the Misfits (who kicked ass!), Killing Joke (who STILL kick ass!), Budgie (who had a few good albums then turned to shit for 20 years!), Diamond Head (first album was AWESOME!) and Holocaust (curse you, Nazis!) make it pretty clear that Metallica weren't the first folks playin' this heavy fast thing, so the least they can do is pay tribute to their fine influences with a nifty $5.98 howdy-do that you're lucky to find these days for less than 25. The reason it's called Re-Revisited is that one of the pressings of their debut album added two bonus cover tracks (or is it three? I think it's only two!) that were considered to be Garage Days Revisited. And thus explaineth I the complexity of said album title.

Reader Comments
A hard to find record. Don't know why the record company took it and the two bonus tracks from Kill 'Em All off the market. I had to pay $45 for my copy. YOW! This record has one real plus going for it. You can hear the bass! I used to love "The Wait" until I heard the original. Now when I hear Metallica's version, I wince....

G.H.A. (Gilbert van Hagen)
I would not pay $25 dollars for this EP. In fact, I would have to think hard whether I would want to pay $5.98 for it. I suspect it would be much more advisable to try to get a hold of the originals. For example, another hard-to-get EP of Metallica features a cover of Diamond Head's "Am I evil?", which is heralded by many as one of Metallica's finest songs. When I got hold of the original track, however, I found out that Metallica copies Diamond Head's version almost note for note and adds much weaker vocals. A few years ago Lars Ulrich put together a very attractive collection of original tracks from the NWOBHM period from bands such as Diamond Head and Holocaust. The songs on that double CD sound much better than Metallica's Garage days EP. Unfortunately, Lars decided not to include the songs which Metallica have actually covered themselves, so that these are still extremely hard to find.
I'd like to pick this one up...aren't the boys supposed to be re-RE-leasing this EP sometime soon? It sure would make some nice dramamine after sitting through Re-Load. (Michael King)
Go get a copy of the _EXCELLENT_ complilation The Metallica-Era, on Neat Metal Records. It might be in your local Media Play's Metallica section (or imports, if you have one), or look on Music Boulevard or CDnow. Tracklist below, it includes nearly all of the songs that Metallica has covered (notable omissions include Queen, Motorhead, and Misfits songs).

"Let It Loose" - Savage ("Dirty Money", also by Savage, which was on the demo EP with "Let It Loose", was omitted. I am at a loss as to why.)
"Sucking My Love", "Am I Evil", "The Prince", "Helpless" - Diamond Head
"Killing Time" - Sweet Savage (not the same as Savage, mind you)
"Blitzkrieg" - Blitzkrieg
"Crash Course In Brain Surgery", "Breadfan" - Budgie
"The Small Hours" - Holocaust
"The Wait" - Killing Joke
"So What?" - Anti-Nowhere League
FYI, this album has been extensivly bootlegged. The version I have includes Black Album demos along with studio versions of "So What", "Stone Cold Crazy", and "Killing Time". Another version I saw has the original versions of the songs along with the Metallica versions. Don't just sit there, GO! (Paul)
Yeah, I find out after I paid $25 for my copy that they're rereleasing it with yet more covers (I guess one of those double lp's)! Well, hopefully they're covers we haven't already heard, or I'm not shelling out more of my dough. I'll remain happy with my copy, thank you very much (I don't know if that made sense, but that's alright!).
I had borrowed this tape from my friend back in high school when it came out, i transfered it to a tape for myself, and played the hell out of it! I think my old grand prix ate the tape, and i have been looking to find this album again! man, what a bummer! This cd (now) kicked ass!!

John Castiglia
Come on, bro! It deserves a 10 because these versions of the songs are so much better than the originals! Except maybe Green Hell.

Add your thoughts?

...And Justice For All - Elektra 1988.
Rating = 9

The word for this record is RIGID. Though constructed as yet another remake of Ride The Lightning (aside from the amazing "Frayed Ends Of Sanity," which just doesn't fit into the pattern at all!), this one distinguishes itself from by the others by replacing "sweaty thrash energy" with "clockwork precision" and making the songs longer than my third leg; two tracks beat the 9:40 mark, and the shortest clocks in at a blink-and-you-missed-it 5:12!!! This clockwork precision thing - yes, it was there before, but never to this extent. These stuttering guitars are so perfectly and sterilely in sync with each other, it's difficult to imagine that they weren't played by some sort of pre-programmed heavy metal machine doohicky. Even the solos sound pre-written (as opposed to the show-off speed wankism of the previous releases), and Lars keeps hitting some really neat cymbal that sounds like Satan's Trash Can Lid!

Luckily, the razorsharp chunka-chunka doesn't get dull 'cuz the riffage kicks assage. "Blackened" and "Dyers Eve" are faster than a Jewish guy on some holiday or some crap, "To Live Is To Die" and the title track lope along like road-trekkin' hippy vans, building and building mountains of chords until your head explodes all over the ottoman, and the frightening Johnny Got His Gun tribute "One" is one of their finest moments yet. Beautiful, sad, disturbing, scary, and the end kicks tomorrow's poop clear out my ass before I even sit down to eat yesterday's Twinkie! Not every single song is phenomenal ("Harvester Of Sorrow" doesn't do much of anything, for example), but they're all good, and most of them are totally captivating for a ridiculously lengthy amount of time. Jason Newsted's the bass player now; Cliff was tragically killed in a bus accident that the rest of the band somehow survived.

Reader Comments
This is Master Of Puppets 2. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing. There are more catchy riffs on this album than you can shake a stick at. Most people now consider this their weakest effort, because it is so antiseptic and disciplined. I still think it rocks and is loads (hmmmmmmmmmm....) better than their next two records. It was their last foray into a genre now overloaded with imitators.

"One" sucks. There. I said it. I can't stand that song. Blech.... (David Straub)
Nobody could top them at this point in terms of sheer musical might. It kind of makes sense that the Next Big Thing would be all about quick, endearing, sloppy poppy tunes with cryptic lyrics (Nirvana).
O.K., let's get something straight; "One" is the most melodic song Metallica has ever done. It kicks so much ass it is unfair. I think that this album is without a doubt their best work. They combined the speed metal of earlier albums with the driving slower beat off of the latest two albums. It is simply their best. Case closed.

G.H.A. (Gilbert van Hagen)
Supposedly, Jason Newsted plays bass on this album. Can you hear him? I can't. It is rumoured that Lars Ulrich came into the studio at the last minute and deleted all of the bass parts from the album. Newsted indeed made a strong career move: from being one of the main songwriters in the promising speed-metal outfit Flotsam and Jetsam (whose first two albums are highly recommended) to an unimportant part of Metallica. They have yet to record one of Newsted's compositions. Oh well, on later albums you can actually hear him play the bass, and he is pretty well-paid. And during live concerts, James even lets him sing from time to time ...

Anyway, the overall sound of ... And justice for all is better than on their previous albums, and the compositions are -- with the exception of "Harvester of boredom" and "The shortest draw" -- damn good. I rank "Blackened", "Eye of the beholder", "Frayed ends of sanity", "One" and the title track among Metallica's best recordings.

The bad news? Lars Ulrich announced that future albums would feature shorter, more to-the-point songs such as ... "Harvester of boredom" and "The shortest draw". Oh my God. (Nima J)
this is by far my favorite album from Metallica, if you are fans of kick-ass heavy metal, this is the album for you. songs like "dyers eve" and "blackened" are really hard and i enjoy a lot. Another thing i liked about this album is the double-bass drums that Lars does so perfectly. They really add so much to the songs and makes them all that better.
"One" is by far the best Metallica song ever if but for one reason: this is by far the worst recording job I have ever heard. Thank god they fired Flemming Rassmussen after this record. Despite hollow guitars and nonexistant bass, "One" still shines through as one of the most incredible audio experiences for me. It is poetic for the first four minutes or so with that excellent acoustic riff, and kicks into overdrive. The other kick ass song on the album is "The Shortest Straw" in which Lars plays some incredible drum parts. (Nima J)
Alright, lets get one thing straight; ...and justice for all is the greatest album that ever existed. Man, i don't care if it's not the hardest metal out there, it sure is the best!!!! Every single song is phenomonal! (How can you not like "Harvester of Sorrow," Mark?) There is not one bad song on the album. For all those dudes who love long songs, this album's got something for you, but this album compliments first and foremost the lover of metal. I don't see how any metal fan could not like this album. I think that James Hetfield's talent and voice reached a peak in this album, along with their extremely anti-government songs, makes me want to kick some major ska-listening ass. I'm not even going to tell you about any of the songs, because as i've already said, they're all good. This album is my all-time favorite, and it epitomizes my collection. GET IT GET IT GET IT!!!! If any new Metallica fan is going to buy an album, this is the one. (heh heh) I give it a very enthusiastic 10 10 10 10 10!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (The Chameleon)
If anything, just buy this album to listen to Ulrich and that double bass drum! It sounds so awesome in some of these songs. It's just a damn good album so go out and get it. I don't know about this being their best effort or anything...but it's just simply a great album..what more can I say?
This one is just too damn long and boring, at least on the CD/tape version. I always find myself asking for longer songs from my favorite artists, but in this case I'll make a glaring exception. NINE tracks at around 65 minutes??? Good golly, miss Molly! The whole thing is even lengthier than the Black Album, and at 12 songs even IT seems overlong. Plus the bass sucks and Metallica singin' about justice and greed seems about as natural as an oral bowel movement, if you know what I'm making a reference to. (Dean Reis)
Well at first this album really sounded cool, and everyone said it was the best, but after a lot more listens I pretty much hate most of this album. The only songs I like are "Dyers Eve", "Blackened" and "One". "Dyers Eve" I absolutely love and you can figure out why I believe that. Now, on to why I hate most of this. The songs are really long with nothing really interesting happening half the time. The worst song is "..and justice for all"..bleh..I can't stand that song. Maybe I'd like this album a lot more if 1) there was a lot more bass like there should be..well there should be bass sorry that for mistake being this album has no fucking bass grrrrr...2) I hate the theme. I hate this "hammer of justice crushes you overpower"...I hate them screaming about how nothing is fair and blah blah blah about how there's no justice in democracy is corrupt and politicians..blah blah's been done too many times. Get a new theme besides the old death and corruption thing. I'm getting sick of it. That's the only thing that really bugs me about a lot of metal is that it's all the same, doom, gloom, death songs. Can't for once like Slayer or Metallica put an album out with a theme of..........cuddly animals? Can't they at least try it?..well maybe not that..but..the whole themes and death and all that start to really bug after a while, maybe that's why I like danzig or alice in chains so much because it's always different. Songs too long but in a bad way because it's repetative and annoying, bad theme that's been done a lot in all walks of life, and no bass...grrr..fuck this album get Ride the Lightning.
What? BORING? Holy shit, I don't know how anybody can think this album boring. This album is so great! I personally consider it THE greatest thrash album ever. Not one bad track on the album. "Blackened" has a impossible riff/double kick drum combination. The title track has an excellent guitar riff behing the chorus, and the solo is catchy also. "Eye of the Beholder" also has a very catchy chorus and excellent riffage. And "One"? What can I say? The single greatest metal epic ever, IMHO. "The Shortest Straw" is most of the songs on this album, the riffs cascade over you till you can take no more, and the riffs have delightful hooks here and there, matched only by Anthrax's Among the Living..."Harvester of Sorrow" well, if your a metal fan, you've probably heard this one already. "Dyers Eve" is so impossible to play, that Metallica can't play it live. And "To Live is to Die" is their best instrumental, much better than that overrated "Orion", though there's no bass to be heard. Yeah, the production blows, and Flemming should die, but this album is a MUST have for any thrash fan. 10. (Scott)
I was a serious Metallica freak when this came out and MAN WAS I DISAPPOINTED. One of the worst produced records of all time. There is simply no bass. No bass guitar. No bass on the bass drum. NO BASS. And everything sounds very dry. I think the band suffers tremendously without the subtle influence of Cliff. He was the soul of the band in the early days (he convinced them to leave the LA scene and move to the "realer" Bay Area) and a good balance to the Hetfield/Ulrich egomania. A lot of the melody just disappeared. And JEEZUS ARE SOME OF THESE SONGS BORING. With this record Metallica went from forging an entire new style of American Metal to retreading old ideas. And no matter what anyone says, they simply SOLD OUT after this record. They started using the same producer as Bon Jovi!!!! Don't any of you realize what a SIN that is to the GODS OF METAL? I kind of wish the whole band had been killed in the bus accident, then I wouldn't have to watch their sell-out asses constantly suck MTV's dick.
And Justice for All is one awesome album. I think it's their best. "Dyers Eve" and "blackened" are awesome and "To live is to die" is probably the best Metallica song ever. It's especially bittersweet as it was written by Cliff Burton. "One" is amazing, as is the title track and "Shortest Straw". Only crappy song is "Harvester of sorrow" and "Frayed ends of insanity" doesn't do much for me either. but other than that it is a downright masterpiece. (Nima J)
man, what's the deal with everyone going: "oh, there's no bass on this album, oh that pisses me off enough to not even listen to it." WHAT THE FUCK. You listen to other Metallica albums and the bass is hardly recognizable, and they're still just as incredibly awesome. Hell, the first time we REALLY get a taste of the bass is on the black album, and hell, that wasn't much at all. In response to another review here, the person says there's no bass on the bass drum. This sorta struck a nerve. Other than Pantera's Vinnie Paul, Lars dishes out some of the best bass drumming i've ever heard. He is so fucking good and cool. The bass drums still sound cool even when he's not doing double-time like on "Dyers Eve."

Don't get me wrong, i'm not saying bass is bad, i love it, it provides a lot of depth, and no band should be without it, but i mean, that shouldn't be a reason not to like any album. Metallica makes up for the lack of bass by muting the strings, in which they place their palms on the strings themselves, and this gives a more bassy sound (believe me, I know). To sum up this bass argument; ...AJFA may not have the bass, but it is still the heaviest out of all of 'em, maybe they should take the bass out of all of em!(nah, that would suck)

The last issue is this whole screw the government theme. Although i gotta admit its been done, it hasn't really been done by metal bands that i've heard. Punk bands, that's for sure, there's plenty of anti-government punk bands, but this album was a first for Metallica. Its' not like every Metallica album is about the government, and even if you don't want to admit it, the government in 1989 when this album was released was a fuckhole under president (bush or reagen? i think it was bush. hell.). The bottom line in this topic is that it made for an awesome album, so i approve.

So, i apologize for all this text, but i had to blow off some steam, see ya later.
Sorry, this is in response to the above poster. I play bass, madame, and I can honestly tell you that there is absolutely no audible bass on this album. I still love the record, but bass would have been nice. And you also said that no other Metallica albums have audible bass. I don't know what the hell you have been listening to but the best part of songs like "Orion" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" is the bass guitar. Later.
The worst. No bass, no nothing. Next. (Michael Burrus)
This album is really impressive. The song "One" is one of their best. "Harvester Of Sorrow" is tolerable, but pales compared with the rest of the album. I still think the mix is horribly thin sounding. (Sean Harris)
Hmmm..Master of Puppets2? Hmmm....

Well, the production is certainly weird. NO BASS, anywhere (at least I can't hear it). Cliff's gone (sob) and that hurts the melodic structure in the songs. I was told by a friend who was close to James Hetfield that Lars didn't play for more than 4 seconds anywhere on this record--and that seems to make sense seeing as you won't ever hear Dyer's Eve or a few others from here played live. A

But, I still like it. Not as much as I used to, but it's pretty good for a band that went through a pretty bad time beforehand. (Andrew Pazulla)
I agree with everyone's complaint about the lack of bass, just a muddy wirring sound. But I actually like the mix of this album; it has a very cold, detached feel that works very well on songs like "Blackened" and "Eye of the Beholder." An anti-metal mix, hollow and thin. One of the weirdest mixes I've heard that somehow manages to work, a la Raw Power by the Stooges. Some songs are too long and pretentious, but the lyrics are their best ever.

I'd agree with most people that Puppets is the best album. 2nd best is a matter of taste, but it could be argued that this is second best. I would give it a 9/10.
The sound on this album hates you, it's great. I guess the were trying to compensate for what they were about to do (geez, how did they know?).

When they recorded again (Black Album), the crown was already on Entombed's head. Don't be a sissy, go listen to Entombed's Clandestine. Or Corrosion of Conformity's Blind, proving the Metallica legacy wasn't wasted.Corrosion of Conformity, another casualty of the Great Metal Band Turns into Mediocre Sub-Bluesy-Rock plague. Entombed, too (last album). Megadeth (after RIP). Sad times. Cowboy hats will fit neatly between your buttcheeks.
Well, I love the album... What the hell. Lars is probably the best hard rock drummer around ... at least in the top 5. I think the reason the mix on the ... And Justice For All album is thin (e.g., no echo) is so you can hear how intricate and precise the playing is. If there were echo on these tracks, it would muddy the precision... This is heavy metal Emerson, Lake & Palmer... And a DAMN shame it doesn't look like there'll be another one... :o( (David Straub)
Having just bought this on double vinyl not too long ago, after having lived on borrowing the CD from various friends for years, I can say that the bottom end is a bit stronger on the records. Still a disappointing mix in comparison to Puppets and even Lightning, which is no great shakes itself. The antiseptic songwriting on Justice doesn't do much for me either. Still a good record, though, and when you CAN hear him, Newsted acquits himself well enough. (Caleb Smith)
Well, compared to Master of Puppets it seems dissapointing, but there's still some great music here. "Blackened", "One", "Dyer's Eve" and the title track are all quite good, and most of the other songs are atleast average even if a few do plod along uninterestingly."To Live Is To Die" is no "Orion" but it's cool. Overall, it's a mixed album with brilliant moments and some dull ones too. It's worth buying though.
I remember when this album came out, in interviews hetfield and ulrich said they wanted a really tight, dry sound, but also that they might have gone too far. I've got it on vinyl and it's okay. I agree with the guy who said it adds to the precise feel, this album is sharp sharp sharp. it kinda feels to me like the album where they said "well, we've done three thrash albums now, what are we gonna do next?" it pushes the envelope a bit further, and makes space for other intelligent/progressive thrash bands. I seem to recall at the time it was this and voivod's 'nothingface' that defined the sound of heaviness for a while, everyone was blown away (here in the uk at least), no-one had was prepared for such an intense record. there was kind of a feeling that thrash was a bit dumb, a bit mindless, all speed and fret-wanky widdle-solos, and this record did a whole lot to change that. and I just wanna say that 'to live is to die' kicks my ass every time I hear it, it's frightening, a masterpiece. and if there's not enough bass on it for ya, TURN THE FUCKIN BASS UP! that's why your stereo has tone controls, dumbass.
this i metallicas worst album it is sooooo boring.but that is only cuz they keep repeating the same verse and chorus over and over again. if you want long grinding metal listen to the melvins. this album sounds too thin.but it does contain blackened and one two of the greatest gifts to bless music. (Pat D.)
I'd just like to point out to Mr. Walford that cranking the bass knob looking for the nearly nonexistant bass guitar will likely cause you to blow out your speakers before you hear Mr. Newsted. This album is just poorly mixed, whether thats Flemming's fault or that rumor about James and Lars messing with the controls to bury his bass in the mix. Unless you have a very specific graphic EQ, you arent likely to be able to enhance the bass guitar any, since most bass controls are too low in the spectrum to do anything about that, they usually attenuate around 100hz or so. And since the drums are already loud, you'll be experiencing woofer pop if you pump up bass control long before you hear Jason's bass. (Robert Chaundy)
Did I say Master of Puppets deserves ten? It does, but so does ...And Justice for All. On Master of Puppets the flame of early Metallica was still burning pretty bright, and the songs were confident, sneering and aggressive. Read the lyrics to Justice - these songs are frightened, vulnerable and exposed. Cliff's death was clearly a big, sober slap to Metallica's collective face. And these are surely their best songs - Blackened would, with a meatier productionn, have been the greatest metal song ever written, and almost everything else is blindingly great.

These riffs are stunningly complex - the only other album that takes The Riff to this crazy level is Relayer - but this new art form is for a reason; the songs are complex too. Uneasy listening in the extreme. I can see how some people would find it boring, but I can also see how those people would think Metal Militia is the greatest song of all time. You hear One? Why those changes? From mournful melodic mediaeval melody-making to hell's-teeth breakneck machine-gun assault? Nobody can say. There is no explanation. You have to experience it; it's just awesome. The Frayed Ends of Sanity is so insanely complex it's almost unbearable, and Dyer's Ever features Kirk Hammett's greatest guitar solo. There is genius at work on this album.

To Live Is To Die. This piece of music is the most enormous, terrifying, beautiful thing the world of metal has ever produced. Its scale is breathtaking, the genius of its playing unbelievable. Orion is left in the dust. It's Metallica's masterpiece and if you don't agree you've just got to keep listening until you do. All hail.


The Basslessness of Metallica

People will moan about ...And Justice for All's lack of bass until the end of time, but there's more to it than that. To be honest, none of Metallica's 1980s albums had much bass on them at all. Disbelievers of this theory always mention The Call of Ktulu, Orion, Damage Inc. and Anesthesia, which of course have plenty of bass on them, but that's Cliff playing LEAD bass. He wrote the stuff and he was hardly likely to be inaudible on his big set-piece compositions. But listen to any other song from those first three albums and you won't hear much bass at all. What makes Justice stand out is that it's not happy with being bassless: it has to go too far and have a gaping great HOLE in the mix where the bass should be - the thing sounds pretty similar to the noise Montgomery Burns's power plant makes and if you play the album too loud it will destroy your speakers. The other problem is that, on the first three records, heavy guitars and drums made up for the bass's deficiencies, but here the guitars have no middle at all and the drums sound like someone battering a cardboard box. I can see how sneaking in at the last minute and deleting the bass might have been necessary to make this album listenable at all - but I still wish they'd taken the time to get it right in the first place.

Conclusion: big problems with the sound.

But a ten nonetheless. (Pat D.)
Rob, you sure are right about the guitars not having any breathing room, along with the drums, but actually, the situation is VERY similar on some Pantera albums. They dont sound bad, because although Rex is playing a lot of root notes (i.e. doubling the rhythm guitar of Dime with his bass), you can really actually hear him. Thats the same with KEA, RTL, and MOP with Cliff---you could actually hear him even when he was playing mostly root notes.

But yeah, there are other problems like you mentioned that certainly dont help matters. However, i think if James and Lars didnt fuck with the controls like Jason accused them of in the Playboy article, and bury his bass, it would have been a lot more tolerable of a mix.
Definatly more complex then their previous albums. A good direction to take after poor Cliff died. Im glad they've pulled it together for this album at least. "One" is one of the best songs they've ever did, and one of the best damn solos ive ever heard from Kirk. I also love "To Live Is To Die". That song will put you in tears and kick your ass at the same time! I also cant forget "Harvester Of Sorrow", "Frayed Ends Of Sanity", or "Blackened" either. A 9. (Scott Campbell)
I think this is Metallica's finest hour. Then again I'm a drummer and a big Rush fan so what the hell do I know?
...And Justice for All is the biggest piece of shit metallica have released. how can you possibly give it 9 out of ten (Dr. Ryan McKay -- He's a Neuropsychologist!!!)
Well hello there. I was just about to weigh in with my boring two cents worth on the immortal, gargantuan behemoth that is Master of Puppets. but then I had myself a better idea (although still far from a great idea, admittedly). Why not establish, definitively, once and for all, which of the grand Metallica trilogy (naturally I refer to Lightning/Puppets/Justice) is the greatest?? At the same time I hope to settle at a stroke these lingering issues about Metallica putting the same album out not once but thrice!!!

Okay, so everyone's noticed that the song order on these albums is eerily similar. You've got your all-out frenzied aural assault to begin the album (with intro), your long, rangey multifaceted title track opus in second position, your Metallic ballad in fourth, and ultimately (or more often penultimately) a fabulous (and long) instrumental. Now what exactly is the problem here? The suggestion seems to be that in setting themselves this album structure, Metallica somehow imposed limits on their creativity. But what about Sonata form in Classical symphonies? Surely many of the greatest musical works follow a more-or-less prescribed musical structure? I'm sure I recall some composer or other (Dvorak? Sibelius?) blathering on about the burden of too much freedom. Not many people accuse Beethoven of composing the same symphony again and again just because he tended to whack an all-out frenzied aural assault at the beginning, with a Sanitarium-esque adagio second movement, a jokey Trapped Under Ice kind of number in third place etc?

The point I am belabouring is that structure in and of itself can be a good thing. This trilogy of fabulous albums follows a fairly obvious structure, but in my view that just makes it easier to compare them, cause in a way you're comparing like with like. After many wasted hours pondering which of the three albums contains the best opening scorcher, the best title track, the best mellow-melancholy-ballad-cum-powerful-thunderous-ballbreaker etc, I would like to proffer up to the masses my own suggested track-listing for the greatest Metallica album ever, laconically titled "Master of Lightning for All":

1. Blackened. The opening bars of this song were the first Metallica sounds I ever heard, at the tender age of 14. I was instantly smitten. Those soaring backwards guitars, goodness me. Who would have thought music could be simultaneously so beautiful yet so menacing? Incidentally, a similar effect (beautiful yet menacing) can in my opinion be found in Radiohead's "Exit Music for a Film" ("we hope that you choke") and in Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" ("you're going to reap just what you sow", with that exquisite icy piano). One last comment - try playing the intro to Blackened backwards, if you have the software. A completely different mood altogether. Cool. Oh yeah, the rest of the song kicks ass too.

2. Master of Puppets. Greatest metal song of all time. The wickedest all- time riff (esp. Figure 2 at the start), gorgeous middle section adds loads of colour, and my favourite single section of the song, that thundering rising figure just before the reprise of the main Master theme. My only regret in giving Master the second slot here is that Ride the Lightning was a strong contender, having what is hands-down the best guitar solo in any Metallica song ever. Pretty awesome composition for a bunch of 21-year-olds.

3. For Whom the Bell Tolls. Okay, so the bell sound effects sound better on "Hells Bells", and the main riff (before the vocals begin) IS pretty generic, but the harmonies in the guitar interlude made me cry back in 1989.

4. One. I think it's the best of the three "ballads". Okay, so the lyrical idea is so morbid its funny, but Fade to Black is a bit adolescently self-indulgent and the second half of Sanitarium is kind of boring. But don't get me wrong! I'd disembowel myself with a butter knife if only I could have penned one of these tracks!

5. Disposable Heroes. This one gets my vote solely because of that incendiary section where all hell breaks loose, where the boys play that awesome palm-muted staccato figure with the skidding single note in between before locking down at the end like a high-precision machine shifting down through the gears. It's great stuff. Then again it probably doesn't have that much competition - Trapped Under Ice is probably the crappest song from the whole trilogy, and Shortest Straw takes itself a bit too seriously (I know, it's a cool solo though).

6. Leper Messiah. Now what do people have against this song? It's a sullen, beautiful beast of a thing if you ask me. Cool main riff (thanks Dave Mustaine), but everything pales in comparison with that section before the solo, c'mon you know the bit I mean, de-dah-dah-de-dahhh.. de-dah-dah-de- dahhh.. Etc. Now that's the kind of musical interlude that makes you want to kill yourself with twisted joy when you're a 14-year-old - and that can only be a beautiful thing right?

7. Orion. Because it's the greatest single composition that Metallica have produced. Yes it's better than "To Live is to Die" - I know, the Am-G-Em-F chord sequence at the heart of the latter breaks my heart too, but the composition as a whole is too much, too dark, too repetitive (that consciously wrought arch structure doesn't do it any favours, because you just get bored at the end). Orion on the other hand has Burton's bass (which is a damned sight better than his poetry - give me Sylvia Plath any day), and just where the hell did they get the ideas for those sounds in the second section, way back in 1986?? The kind of jazzy, oriental stuff. Plus no-one ever mentions that the second guitar solo in Orion (by Hetfield) is a sublime piece of guitar doodling. Perhaps that's because it recalls the Quoniam of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, that winding rising figure. Could Hetfield have been listening to this?? Of course that solo makes way for Burton's own solo on bass, which is where the piece really starts to plumb the interstellar depths.

8. Damage Inc. The truth is that I've never liked this song. I've always found the crushing power-chord blows that begin the song-proper to be a bit low- brow. It's not the fact that it's all one note, after all it can be quite exciting when a band like Sepultura lock into a frenzied single-note rhythmic thing, perhaps because of the sense that they're playing just so fast and intense that it would be DANGEROUS to come off that note. Anyways, both Dyers Ever and Creeping Death are fine songs and would deservedly close this album except for one thing - the Damage Intro. Burton on bass again, and man this intro makes me really genuinely and sincerely SAD that this man died. It's so beautiful, the yearning in these chords, so very very beautiful. If I had to pick one single minute of Metallica's music to put on a gold record with the Goldberg Variations and assorted whale noises to blast off into space, this would be it. This single minute, created by one man who has not been in Metallica now for 18 years, represents the very greates of Metallica. 'Nuff said.

So that's it folks. The ultimate Metallica album. In the spirit of acrimonious dissent, allow me to pour scorn all over Mr. Prindle's claim that side two of Master of Puppets is a let-down. For it won't have escaped your notice that side two of this ultimate album is none-other-than side two of Master of Puppets. Adios.
The last metallica Album I ever bought, I lost all interest in them after this record, the one after this Metallica or The Black Album or whatever the fuck it is sucks big hairy dog nuts, people who had never heard of Metallica magically turned into fans after hearing Enter Sandman and I tuned out.

I actually was disapointed with this record when I first bought it back in the 88 but it's grown on me since, although the bass could have been turned up a few notched and Ulrichs drums sound week, thankfully I have a good sound system now and it sounds better than I remembered.

One is boring now, I've just heard it so many times and seen the vid so many times that I can't be bothered with it but every other track on this record gets my blood pumping, I cant say I agree with you about Shortest Straw, personally I think it's a strong track.

The last real Metallica speed metal album, after this they became stadium rock and a household name. (Vojin Sarcevic)
Hey man,

First thanks for the great site full of even greater info and a good forum. This is the first single time I ever got interested in some forum writing.

Second, I don't know is the forum about Metallica albums still active, I see some posts very old (as far as 2001) but anyway I felt the need to contribute... So here it is:

I am a kind of so-called 'die-hard' hardcore fan who collects everything possible about Metallica (various versions of the same song, either they played it live once or 100 times, to me it doesn't make any difference...). The work of these guys meant a lot to me through the hard times, and it still does... Have been lucky enough to see them twice, once on a "Nowhere Else To Roam" tour 1993 in Budapest and second time here in Serbia, last year ("Madly In Anger With The World") and both times they kicked everyone's ass... anyway this is the post about "And Justice" album...

In my modest opinion, it's the far as they could possibly ever go. Not only for the so-called 'progressive trash metal' masterpiece writing, but in a sense of feel and atmosphere they gave on this record. I actually started listening to them about the Black Album era, but wasn't overwhelmed by it... and I still think it was overrated, and Justice was underrated. People have different reasons for disliking each one of them (not to mention the Load/Reload era when I almost stopped listening to M.!) and they both are sure right - each one has it's qualities and vice versa. Since I'm into production stuff a bit, I have to say that TBA is simply TOO POLISHED, on the opposite of Justice which isn't polished at all. So that gap is drastic. I guess the period of Justice mixing was a bit strange for everyone in the band, and I don't think we'll ever find out the whole truth: why they put down Flemming Rassmussen from producer to simple sound engineer, ('cause he, whatever you think about him, pulled out something best out of these guys on Lightning/Puppets/Justice trilogy). Some say Jason was left out of mixing process, but it's pretty unbelievable since you can hear him more than clearly on Garage Days EP. Nobody of the guys today is very happy to talk about this period in their history, they just keep repeating that TBA is their Dark Side Of The Moon and stuff... (nah...)

Nevertheless, although a bit complicated for listening, Justice is for me a world for itself (literally). There is no bad song here, not a single one (I disliked some of the songs on RTL and MOP - i.e. Escape and The Thing That Should Not Be). They created a very dark atmosphere (noone in the forum mentioned this, so far I haven't read it) by using an unusual guitar-tuning (try playing the beginning of "One" on any standard-tuned guitar and you'll hear the difference) and by already billion times mentioned mix without the bass (which is obviously the greatest mistake!) and dry guitars. It's like someone told Hetfield or Ulrich they had too much reverb and echo on MOP, so this time they went into another far end. It is not necessary they record it again: just to take the master tapes, turn up the bass and add a bit of effects on the guitar section - there it is, the best metal albums of all the times (could be ideal for today's fashion of publishing so-called "digitally re-mastered albums"). Lyrically, it sure is the most mature album about the outside world (later albums speak better about the personal man's world). But what differs him from TBA is surely the construction of songs, not only the length, but their structure. This is the peak of "old" Metallica (along with the "Damaged Justice" tour which I'll regret my whole life for not seeing it). Later on, they moved from tour buses to tour airplanes, which was one of the reasons we saw them literally disintegrating before St.Anger went out. I am not using the word "sell-out" on intention because it can be read in many ways; I just don't like the sound and the structure of their songs after Justice. That's just not it... On TBA I can swallow "Sad", "Wherever", and the excellent painstaking "The God That Failed", but nothing else... Ah, even "Nothing Else Matters" to me sounds more acceptable than the poor copies of what they did before: "Tread", "Never" or "Within". Compared to, i.e., "Dyers' Eve", it's another band we're talking about (interesting, someone here said that it wasn't played by Lars at all; how comes he played it live exactly 17 times on last tour, 2004?)

All in all, their best album (without Cliff, of course). I managed to get a demo of the whole (whole!) album on the Internet, most of the songs don't have the words but it blows away in every single note. It's SO powerful! So much authentic dark personal anger and pain I have never heard afterwards. Load and ReLoad have a bit shiny moments, but it's hard to make a decent one out of them together. As with St.Anger - the only Metallica-sounding and structured song here is "The Unnamed Feeling". It would be like a dream comes true if I ever hear they fire Bob Rock and get back Flemming (which is not likely to happen... ever :-(

As you can see, I'm not one of the "how can you say this-is-better-than-that" guys, and I think there is something for every Metallica fan; on the opposite of many people, I am not going to spit or bless anything Metallica did. After all, it's just their music and their personalities that we listen to.

But Justice is Justice... :-)
Let this be the final comment on the "Where's the bass?" front
Seriously, how many metal albums do you really hear the bass on? This isn't Primus. From what I recall, I had to sell almost all my cds to pay rent due to unemployment, I feel for you Mark, the only early Metallica song not counting lead bass songs ("Orion". "FWTBT", ect.) is at the beginning of "Disposable Heroes". Does anybody complain about the bass in Reign In Blood, I sure as hell don't hear it. Pantera, I hear it during the solos because the do the Van Halen thing of having no rhythm guitar during the solos because of one guitarist, but don't hear it any other time. In metal the job of the bass is to follow the guitar to make the sound thicker and heavier. In fact the only metal band I can say that I hear the bass in almost all of their songs is Anthrax (Mark, where's your page?). Frank Bello plays lots of counterpoints and the production is such that he's allowed to come through. Sorry, I forgot Steve Harris, but Iron Maiden wasn't thrash.

Add your thoughts?

Metallica - Elektra 1991.
Rating = 8

Uh oh! This doesn't sound anything like Ride The Lightning! This was the big breakthrough MTV pop metal album that raised the ire of millions of formerly loyal Metallilisteners the world 'round while attracting the attention of gobs more folk who had simply never heard of this strange Metal Liquor band before. Since I didn't become a Metallica fan until 1994, I'm in no position to say jack poop about "selling out"; all I can say is that these songs, though not anywhere near as complex as the ones on Justice, nor wild, free, and kickbarnacle as the Kill 'Em Bill numbers, nevertheless are at least thirty-one times heavier and catchier than almost anything else you may have seen on MTV in the nineteen-hundred and ninety-first year of our lord Jesus Christ. A-fucking-men!

The popular rockers "Enter Sandman," "Sad But True," and "Wherever I May Roam," along with the dark ballads "The Unforgiven" and "Nothing Else Matters," were all over the airwaves in '91, but why the hell not? They're good songs! Sure, they're just basic simple midtempo verse-chorus-verse ditties, but, darn it to heck, they make you bang your head slowly, they've got great hooks and fine metal vocals, and they at least required more thought than, say, No Doubt's entire career. And heavy? How! Heavy heavy. No sissyish air-filled distortion like Nirvana's classic Nevermind LP. This stuff is Helmet-heavy but Hollies-hooky. So why, you may be wondering, did I only give the record an 8 out of 10? Because it's got too darn many songs on it, that's why! The last four songs are just like the first eight but less catchy. Screw 'em! All five of the hit singles are among the first eight, so maybe just turn the darn thing off after "Nothing Else Matters." No surprises await you following that stunningly melancholy love song. Except the loud fart noise right at the end!!!!

Okay, there's not really a loud fart noise at the end.

Reader Comments
I think this is their weakest album. Maybe I don't care for it too much because it has been overhyped and overplayed. I was at a stadium show and these 14 year old pissants were standing together and when Metallica started "Unforgiven" they got all hyper and started giving each other high fives and flicking their Bics. It repulsed me. I was never like that, not even at an AC/DC show. So now my favorite speed band is attracting all these hangers on. Where were you shitheads when Metallica was still considered an innovative band? Did your mommy not let you stay up at night? (Jim Hull)
"Of Wolf And Man" is my favorite song on this pablum. Am I normal? Jack London!! Lon Chaney!! I'm AFRAID!!!

Anyway...I kind of liked this record. It still rocks...the production is great, there.
"Of Wolf And Man" is awesome. Screw you for saying turn it off after the first 8!

G.H.A. (Gilbert van Hagen)
In the mid-1980's, Metallica announced that they disliked MTV and would never produce their own videos. Oh well. Have you seen the videos to, say, "Nothing else matters" or "Mama said"? Pathetic.

Anyway, having been a Metallica-listener (though not necessarily a Metallica-fan ... I rather choose to worship AC/DC, Scorpions, Slayer, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, of whom those idiots Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett have said some pretty nasty things) since about 1988, I do feel justified to claim that Metallica, by now, have sold out. Still, I found myself listening to their untitled (black) album over and over again, and I am willing to admit that this recording features some pretty good songs. In fact, I prefer this one over Kill 'em all. One point deduction for the fact that it's too long. One point deduction for playing "Nothing else matters" during their live concerts (during which this great ballad reduces to a lengthy, boring tune with incredibly weak vocals). One point deduction for being responsible for the ugliest song on the album, "Enter sandman", being played over and over and over again on TV and radio. Hence, I'd allocate seven points to this album. (Nima J)
first of all a message to Gilbert: how can you call Lars and Kirk wusses when you listen to ac/dc and the scorpions?!?!? i'm afraid that you are gravely mistaken. About the black album, almost every song is good, but some songs just seem dumb, and trying to sound like the others but failing. in this album they started to sell out more and more, which really disappointed me. P.S. i'll bet you have a cunt gilbert!!

G.H.A. (Gilbert van Hagen)
Dear Nima J,

I just read your reactions to my comments on the Metallica album reviews on Mark Prindle's site. Since English is not my native language, I'm not sure what a "cunt" is. But if it is what I think it is, then you have lost your bet (I am a male).

Anyway, I believe you could do with a new pair of glasses. In contrast to your remarks, I have never claimed mr. Ulrich and mr. Hammett to be wusses. I have only called them idiots! The remark that Ulrich and Hammett are idiots was not meant to be offensive. I only meant to say that I disagree with some of their public views on bands such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Slayer.

I don't mind if you think I'm a wussy for listening to Scorpions or AC/DC. I would agree that the lyrics and image of these bands suck big time, but they have really made some wonderful music. In particular, if you like the simpler rock songs on Metallica's most recent albums, you may well like such great hard rock albums as Love at first sting (Scorpions) and Let there be rock and Back in Black (AC/DC) too!

However, you may be correct in thinking that my comments to the Metallica albums are too negative. In fact, I think they are (or, rather, have been) one of the best metal bands of all time. And they have surely been very influential (though not necessarily innovative).

Still, I do think that they are a little overrated relative to MY favorite bands (Maiden, Priest etc.) Hence my negative reactions. And I still think Load is a disappointing album, relative to classic albums such as Ride the lightning and ... And justice for all. And from what I gather, you yourself would have preferred them to stick to REALLY heavy and creative speed metal too.

The thing I like about Mark Prindle's home page is that everybody is allowed to give his or her opinion. After all, musical tastes differ. An album that you like, I may hate (and vice versa). Still, I don't like people calling me names (i.e. "having a cunt") or misrepresenting my statements ("wusses" rather than "idiots"). Hence this letter.
I hate anyone for saying this album is a sellout. Sure it doesn't have the pure speed thrash of the early days, but it is by far the best recording and production yet. Plus, "Through the Never" blows away any other song on the album, and possibly some of their older classics. "Don't tread on me" also is a kick ass effort. Sellout, no. New direction? Yes. (The Chameleon)
Sure as hell steps down from the days of Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, but this album is not really a "sell out" album. It's not a very strong album and it does mark the slow decline of Metallica, but that isn't saying much because Metallica kick so much ass! Most of the songs on this album are clever and catchy tunes. Except for "The Stuggle Within"...what the hell were Hetfield and Ulrich thinking when they wrote that?? Just such a terrible song. (Jeremy Hurtt)
Scorpions? Judas Priest? Jesus, Gilbert, you need help. The music police are going to put a warrant out for your arrest. If you don't like Metallica, try some Danzig or some Pink. But please, give up shitty cock-rock bands like AC/DC.

On a different note, thay didn't sell out on this album. It's called aging gracefully, you cocksmokes. Listen to the first four Danzig albums and then their last one--that's selling out. Listen to Bleach by Nirvana and then to Nevermind--that's selling out. Why do I get the feeling most of these reviews are coming from disgruntled 14-year olds?
This album turned me on to Metallica, and why shouldn't it? Besides the fact that the last two songs are copletely unnecessary (WHY did they choose overbreadth for an album like this???), the rest of it has melody and all that other crap down pat. But are they sellouts? I personally think the term is a bit overused nowadays. For instance, R.E.M. were accused of "selling out" simply because they switched record labels. Nirvana was accused of selling out simply because they had a popular album. Even Marilyn Manson, fer Pete's sake, has sold out because they've (he's?) found a bigger audience. I think the true definition of "selling out" is purposly compromising your musical talent just to make more money. Can you really listen to this album and say that Metallica did something like THAT? The Black Album was just popular, NOT an en masse musical departure. (Jon Bloom)
I am curious about how some of you folks are defining "sell out." This album is more digestable for the average person on the street (simpler rhythms and mellifluous melodies), and the songs are shorter and therefore radio-friendly. In other is a sell out. That doesn't mean it's bad, it's just the album that allowed Metallica to get on the radio and pull in a larger audience. I love "Enter Sandman", but for very different reasons than I love "Battery." The former is simple kick-ass repetitive break-bottles-on-your-face fun. The latter is complex and caters to the part of me that craves some technical brilliance. My point is this: like or dislike this album (I choose to like it), but for God's sake, admit that it's a sell out!
This album deserves a 9. What is this crap about it getting a lower rating because it has too many songs? First of all, those last 4 kick just as much ass as all the others ("Of Wolf And Man" deserves a hell of a lot more credit than anyone here has given it so far) and how is too many songs an excuse for a lower rating? I mean, even if those last 4 sucked, and they sure as hell do not, but assuming they did, then turn it off after "Nothing Else Matters" every time, and give the damn album a 9! Now I know, the difference between an 8 and a 9 means shit, but...I hate the way you categorize things, and it seems you only do it with Metallica:

The second side of Master of Puppets is not that good. The last 4 tracks of Black are bad. The even-numbered tracks on Reload are a bunch of bad rip-offs. It seems almost like you are criticizing tracks because of their placement in the sequencing of the album! What you blatantly ignore is that, for example, "Leper Messiah", "Damage Inc.", "My Friend of Misery", "Attitude", and a whole bunch of other tracks you toss aside rank up there with the best Metallica has made! (Dean Reis)
what the fuck are some of you fags saying the last few songs suck for. They're easily as good as the first four songs. Jesus, every Metallica song dosen't have to be rated, you know. This album kicks ass. Yes, it does lack the kick-ass, fast riffs of Master and Ride, but don't criticize just because they're diversifying their music styles. Get a life, man.
this is my least favorite album by Metallica. the following one was much more confident and refined in my opinion. It seems like they are unsure about whether they want to be a straight thrash band or a groove-oriented ballad band. and the songs suffer for that, because alot of this album is filler. "enter sandman" gets old after hearing it a million times, as does "unforgiven". but it has its moments. "wherever i may roam" is good, as is "of wolf and man". but for the most part, i do not enjoy this album very much. and i hate self titled albums in general. i cannot remember any critically acclaimed self titled albums, but there are many crappy ones, like Alice In Chains, etc. oh well, anyways, its still worth getting because its metallica, but don't expect to be blown away. (Jon Poirier)
I knew it...I knew it..I knew it...fuckin garbage...Metallica sold out to corporate America and gained the "Real World" watchers. Crying shame. know who you are.
I think this album was a breakthrough for Metallica. It got them a Grammy award for best Metal Performance. I think a lot of the success had to do with the production of the album. It's really an excellent album. The sound is thicker, and stronger, and I think it's great. Just b/c they are not getting complex doesn't mean they suck. (Paul Glynn)
This album, and all to follow are pure crap. M.T.V. got ahold of these boys and made them media darlings. They used to kick ass. But now they are told to cut their hair and play more mainstream. They named the Black album Metallica so that new fans would think it was there first album. It's sad to see these guys sell out.
Sorry Jeremy but I think Metallica drew a lot from that Cock-Rock band you hate so much. Give a listen to Let There Be Rock some time or even Powerage! And they are a hell of a lot more innovative than these guys. As for the album definatley one of their best. (Ok the Scorpions suck.) Next. (Sean Harris)
Man, these Metallica old school fans sure get anal, don't they? Oh wait--I'm one of them!

Oh well. I like all the new stuff too. When a band makes a record like Master of Puppets, you know that whatever they do afteward (even though it may be entirely different) is probably going to have great shit on it. A group that puts out an album that good at their ages back then is rather incapable of producing "a piece of shit" record. It's just a matter of "can you accept changes?" If you can't--then play your old stuff. Don't sit there and call them sellouts. At the point of which TBA came out--really, where was Metallica to go next? There comes a point, no matter how anti-corporate claiming a band is, that the limelight is going to just land on them full throttle. It's what happens when a good band gets out there and kicks ass--people notice it. And more people. And then some more...

So what did the four boys from the Bay Area do? They went nuts and made a record that CONFUSED everyone. Really, can't you imagine how liberating that must have been in their position? It's like saying "well check this shit out---" and making a complete drunken spectacle of yourself in front of a public crowd.

BUT still--they write kick ass songs. Even Mama Said. It doesn't sound country to me--more like a southern rock tune that even a band like Zeppelin would have experimented with. So METALLICA still gets a big METAL UP THE ARSE award from me.

By the way, if you really don't like them, you should play their music even more often. That would really piss them off! (Andrew Pazulla)
A great album, but "Of Wolf and Man" is unintentionally funny. "Through the Never" is pretty dumb too. But the songs after "Wolf" are worth hearing. This album deserves 9/10, although Puppets is far better. (Rich and Lisa)
Just wanted to say that anybody that says this album isn't a "sell out" doesn't know this band very well.

I started listening to this band in the summer of 1985, when the only two LPs were Kill 'Em All and Ride The Lightning. I purchased Master Of Puppets 3 days after it's release.

I can certainly remember Lars Ulrich saying time and again that "This band won't lose it's touch with the streets". I remember watching MTV's Head Bangers Ball and thinking, Why doesn't Metallica do any videos? I watched the World Premiere of the One video, and again -Lars saying that they wanted to be different from other bands, even in the way they do music videos...

Enter Bob Rock the same producer of such "talented" acts like Bon Jovi and Motley Crue. Shortly they had a more mainstreem sound and videos that aren't unique and released before the CD hits the shelves. I've often said "You know they ought to change their name to Alternica!

With all this having been said, I actually think that there are some good songs on the self-titled CD, but it's not even close to the 4 that came before it, and they SOLD OUT -no doubt about it! (Graham Giles)
The true test of a great album - the more you play it, the more you hear in it.

Metallica passes that test for me in spades. I reckon it's my favourite HM album of all time (and I've heard plenty).
Wow! Lot of opinionated people here! I must admit on the first few listens, I was a little disappointed... I was a fan from the first album! But this album grew on me. A little more each time I played it. It does strike me funny that more then a few of you complain that this album is too long! Too long? You're gonna shell out 15-20$ for a new CD anyway...regardless of length. Fill up that 80 min. CD, guys! At least they didn't do that shitty (clever?) trick of leaving 15 minutes silent. Just to have feedback noise or some crap for the last 15 seconds... The first 4 Megadeth albums pissed me off 'cause they were TOO SHORT! Now, THAT'S something to complain about... (Sandra York)
Many believe that Metallica lost it after Cliff died. I beg to differ. If you don't like Justice, you're sadly mistaken. If you don't like Metallica, you're just a frickin' moron. Well, that's my thought.
Err... One of the MOST OVERRATED RECORDS THROUGH THE TIMES! Some good stuff off course.. 'Enter Sandman' and 'Through the never' are really good.
well, this one's certainly kicked up a shitstorm, hasn't it?

okay - say you're in the best thrash band in the world, you're up to your fifth album, and what are you gonna do? what have you got left to prove? do you wanna be the fastest, all machine-gun riffs and moshing? been there. you wanna be the most complex, using your musical talents? done that. do you wanna combine the two, in an album that could be the 'zeppelin IV' of your generation? didn't just buy the t-shirt, but designed and printed it to boot. so what else is there left?

two things. first, since the production on all the previous albums has left something to be desired, get a decent producer. get a good sound. all that bass and treble is okay, but there's a little something that makes guitars sound really, really hot - it's called middle. turn it up. turn up the bass player's amp. rock out. doesn't that feel good?

secondly, since the metal crowd already hails you as gods, if you're looking for recognition and acclaim you need to break into a new audience. a large audience. a crowd that up til now would never dream of admitting they liked a heavy metal band. and if you can hook them, you must be doing something right, right?

lo and behold, the black album. big fat riffs, well produced, not too long and complex, nothing too brain-damagingly fast. this album rocks. personally, I tend to skip 'nothing else matters' and 'the unforgiven', but try putting on 'sad but true' and turn it up - I mean way, WAY up - and tell me metallica have sold out. not a chance.

can I also just add that metallica owe SO MUCH to bands like ac/dc, judas priest, and in particular iron maiden. without these and other NWOBHM bands, we'd probably all still be listening to whitesnake, and thrash/death/whatever metal as we know it would never have existed. if you don't believe me, check out judas priest's 'deceiver', maiden's 'phantom of the opera' for proto-thrash tunes.

the scorpions do suck, though.
Why, as Metallica's career takes the long slide from kick-ass to sucking of same, do the reader comments about Metallica get less and less intelligent? I'll tell you why - because this Bob Rock-produced piece of caca was produced to appeal to inbred, semi-literate losers, that's why. Oh the Sandman - so freakin' scary I'm pissing myself right now - wow, so much more intense than that pansyass Creeping Death... It's so good, I think I'll download it off Napster, just for fun... Too bad Metallica don't have a sense of humor - they could have beat Primus to the punch and just called it The Brown Album, for reasons even the "Metallica Roolz" school of - ahem - thought can understand.
They spent a million dollars making this turd. It does suck,sad but true guys! can you say sellout? (Robert Chaundy)
This is Metallica's 90125, or possibly their Highway to Hell... and it's pretty great. I think certain people, some of whom may possibly have 'contributed' to this page, need to lighten up a little.

No way did Metallica know that this was going to conquer the world - if they had consciously 'sold out' they would have gone all Nirvana, and wouldn't that have been horrible? ...And Justice for All was as far as the epic-prog-thrash genre could go, so no repeating that one. Cliff Burton was dead, so no repeating Master of Puppets or Ride the Lightning. So what if these songs are short and catchy? So are those on Kill 'Em All! Metallica is a fine, fine record, obnoxious Don't Tread On Me apart, and some people are just ungrateful.
Some asshole at a sister website set up like Pringle's (only not as informative) called this album a 'pop album'. I guess he was smokin loco-weed or something because this album is as HEAVY as anything they ever did. In fact, I consider this 'black album' to be as good as Master of Puppets.

The reason why the headbanger posers don't like it is because all this 'black album' stuff occured during their so-called "selling-out" period when they agreed to appear on MTV and do videos. Something they once claimed they'd never do. It really doesn't have jack-shit anything to do with the music, itself. That's just a lame-o excuse.

"Wow shit man, how UN-coool, man... Dey sold-out, man...", I can hear them say. Jezus, gimmie a fucking break....

Well guess what children? People get older and they say things when they're younger that they don't mean. Grow fucking up. Times change and it's utterly fucking stupid for musicians to be stuck in the way-back-when. 1985 was sixteen years ago and Metallica had to grow somewhere, so get used to it. That doesn't mean I like EVERYTHING that they did in the 90s, but so what. Big fucking deal.

Ya don't gotta listen to their newer stuff, boys and girls, so get a life....
This album is a very good effort by Metallica. But NO HARD SONGS!!! But lets not forget Don't Tread On Me, Through The Never, & Holier Than Thou(which all kick ass because they were the non-singles). Well I'm getting sick of Enter Sandman they played the song on the radio too damn much. And HOLY FUCKING SHIT Unforgiven is pissing me off when they play it on the radio when I workout at the gym because EVERYONE, EVERYONE knows the fucking lyrics and it pisses me off(even though it is practically good). And last but not least WHERE IS THE FUCKING INSTRUMENTAL SONG. I mean the band did this thier whole career til this album hit the stores when Garth Brooks was still kickin' the crap out of everbody during ' 91. This album is good but the future holds that load and re-load I would rather wipe my ass with. (Todd Lee)
...And Justice For All is a rock classic, even if the drums were so heavily dampened and the bass was non-existant. But for my money, the Black album is their best sounding to date. Full of fury and crunch, the producers were probably shooting for the grunge market, a fact the lead singer hated. But all in all, its their most accessible album, and thats why diehard Metallica fans can't forgive them for their output in the '90s, trying to make more accessible music. What fun is it to like Metallica anymore if no one's afraid of them? But everyone grows up, right? (Most everyone)

I never did get into thrash metal and to honest, I don't think anyone really did in the first place. It was just a new way to piss off your parents, the way punk was. But did punk ever move on? No, its still stuck in the '70s twix disco and new wave. Heavy metal pressed on because it was about musicianship, and punk was anything but. (hell, most just stood there with an instrument but didn't know how to play it) It was loud, obnoxious, and incoherent. It never grew up. Same with thrash metal.

So Metallica made some money in the '90s, BFD. (they grew up) Most of their '90s stuff is still grittier than any other rock band, and at least they weren't doing rap shit, like Anthrax. They were the only stewarts of heavy metal in the '90s and they outlasted grunge and may even outlast this latest wave of rap-n-roll. (Linkin Park, Limp Biscuit, give me a break) Hopefully, they'll stop being dicks to each other and keep from imploding, because if they split up for good, where does that leave us?

C-mon, do you really want Kid Rock to be representative of rock-n-roll in the future? Really? No shit? You gotta be friggin kiddin me! Well, then its time for you to take a fuckin bath for a change, quit your job at Sam Goody's and get a real job/life, and then move out of your mom and dad's basement you pieces of human debris! AC/DC ROOLZ!!!!!!!! (Anthony Negron)
Great album, great atmosphere.

I don’t think Metallica sold out on this album… that event would take place 3 years later, with the release of Load (of Shit). I think they were just evolving a bit; I think its called “maturing” by some, the same way other artists do. It would be pointless to make another copy of Ride the Lightning, just like if Van Gogh refused to paint the same picture twice (lame analogy, I know)… instead the band wanted to try something a little different. They still clung to the musical ideals of the “old” Metallica, but progressed a bit in the melody and song structure department. That’s why MTV and the public (the kids whose musical tastes barely go beyond boring FM rock stations) embraced them so. They weren’t intentionally trying to be superstars at this point.

Now, on to LOAD (of SHIT). That’s the perfect example of SELLING OUT. You don’t go from kick-ass metal band to simpering alternative band overnight, without some loss of credibility, do you? Money-grabbers! If you don’t agree, just take a look at the “Napster” incident and tell me why these assholes aren’t concerned more with money than music! (Hossein Nayebagha)
Yeah it sounds nothing like Ride The Lightning, it's a lot less embarrasing...but prehaps as boring. I don't see any pop in this metal though, it's more radio friendly but what would make this like a poppy Helmet, if anything Helmet has more pop to offer. I think it's an okay album, and the highlight is definitely the ultimate headbanger anthem; "Sad But True". There a few other decent tracks, "Holier Than Thou" and "Wherever I May Roam". "Nothing Else Matters"? No,thank you...I thought it was okay as a kid, but I'm a big boy now. I'm going to rate it as a metal/heavy music album, so I still like how it's stripped down to 100% metal (I don't see how the verse-chorus-verse thing would have to anything with that) even though they already started this on the previous album. 7/10.
I don't think this album sucks.. I just think that they wrote this during the period in which Lars was starting to notice that Kirk had a nice ass. Perhaps during their subsequent world tour, they started experimenting with their sexuality, feeling free to express themselves in new and unexplored ways. By the time Load came around, they were definitely fucking each other in the ass.
a lot of you just don't understand why so many people consider 'the black album ' as well as all the other following albums,as selling out by metallica. with 'the black album' some of us who been listening to metallica from the very beginning[i was a teenager then, now in my 30's] saw a drastic departure from everything they had done previously. they left behind the style and sound that we loved, and they were still selling lots of records without the benefit of radio and mtv. then out comes the black album[followed later by the load albums] which almost falls out of the heavy metal genre into hard rock. it's definitely geared towards the mainstream like say motley crue, ac/dc, etc. some of just feel like we got them to the level of success they were at with the blistering shit they put out through AJFA, then they took that away from us [those who love real metal] in order to become more popular, and make much more money. selling out-is what's it's it or not. no one can say TBA is just as good as anything before it, because it's not the same music, even if it's the same band. thats just my opinion i could be wrong...but i'm not..master of puppets rules.. (Eric D.)
Here's the other overplayed mainstream 1991 breakthrough i'm gonna get my two cents in on and get it over with... i got into this and And Justice... about the same time when i first got into music in general in '92-'93... back then this album sounded like a band modifying its sound a bit to attract a bigger audience. Now with what's come since, and 6 of the 12 songs getting played to death, this just bores me. In fact the only song i can listen to still is My Friend of Misery, for the cool beginning and middle parts. The Struggle Within is also a lame final song. Thumbs down. The rest...

Kill - 9
Ride - 10
Master - 9
Justice - 8
Black - 5
Load/Reload - 3
St Anger - 2
Although their self-titled album IS a motherfucking sellout, the band has somehow managed to overcome the burden of Phil Collins' singing lead, diversifying into world beat and thus pioneering the PC movement of Not in Our Name from

Although their self-titled album IS a motherfucking sellout, Rivers Cuomo is back to what he does best, making brutally loud cutesy rock from my freshman year in college and making me happy as a band geek with Clearasil under

Although their self-titled album IS a motherfucking sellout, Metallica has managed to come up with a metal masterpiece here. Seriously. No forking joke. I can't think of a single song on here I would do without-- except for "Don't Tread on Me", of course, since it just repeats the main riff of "For Whom the Bell Tolls", and perhaps "Struggle Within", since it just sounds a little dumb. Screw all those who cry "Sell- Out", "Capitalist", "Pop Metal", "Pansy-Ass", and "Too !%$#@%$ &* Listenable!!"--I like it, and I say it's better than Master of Puppets and Kill 'Em All combined. End of discussion.

Thanks for reading the top two paragraphs. That was my Prindle for the day.

Look, I don't listen to Metallica 'cause they play fast, loud, and "sound tough." I don't listen to them because they thrash and because they're the thrashiest thrashing thrashers who ever thrashed. I don't even listen to them because they knocked Bon Jovi off the charts. I listen to them because they write good songs. (Gasp! The horror!) And they simply don't write as consistently on their other albums. That's my opinion as of now. Hope I offended all the "tru" Metallica fans out there.

(a few months later)

MAN, what a dick that guy ddickson is.


I'm sorry. I don't mean to offend any fans, Metallica or no. I just like this damn album. I don't think I've ever heard a better metal LP. And I'm intrigued by the fact that most fans came by this band via their more extreme stuff. I honestly didn't know Metallica was supposed to be known as a fast, speedy, extreme, underground band until a year and a half after I first heard The Black One. That interests me.

If you've read some online review archives about this album from when it was first released, you know critics were hailing it as a metal landmark in 1991. Many were comparing it to Led Zeppelin IV. Then (sigh), of course, Nirvana broke, and the underground became the dominant school of thought in musical criticism. Hence, the Black Ablum was suddenly seen as a mediocre blot on history. It's funny how critics can flip-flop so quickly in the face of popular trends. Then again, Ryan Atkinson would probably have more than a few angry things to say about that, so. . . I will leave the field open.
This was the day the music died. A band who had faithfully served up viscera and bile to their loyal minions for years was sucked into the abyss of mass marketed crap. This album was produced by Bob Rock (whom I will henceforth refer to as Satan), a man who had such serious credits as Poison, Bon Jovi, and Cher. Metal fans everywhere knew that their music would soon be dead. “Those who could not be tainted” had made an album for the bubblegummers. I bowed my head, shed a tear and tossed this piece of garbage out the window of my car at 70 MPH. I held some faith that they would come back around, that they would kick Satan in the ding-ding and be done with this pansy music. But alas, it was not to be so. It got worse and today Lars is a whiny little girl complaining that he’s not making enough money because of file sharers. Perhaps, the reason his records don’t sell like they used to is because they have lost any passion that they once had, and people are turning to those who never left the fold (e.g. Slayer).
Bob Rock simply did for this album what he did for Motley's "Dr Feelgood"......turn a mediocre band into million sellers by turning the guitar amps up. And it worked. Who's laughing now? Or as Journey once said Who's Crying Now.
This was no sell out. All they did was take two riffs out of every song so that they are six minutes as apposed to eight. Look no run on sentences.
As I did with "... And Justice For All" I will give the last word on this album.

First and foremost, Metallica did not sell out. The only thing they did was take two riffs out of each song so that every song was six minutes long instead of eight. That is it. There is nothing pop on here except that it was popular.

Madan Mohan
One thing that has to be said in favour of Metallica was that they at least tried to expand their sound, while a certain Steve Harris preferred to remain the 'truest' of them all. That is not necessarily such a bad thing as it is often made out to be but I digress. The problem is Metallica's execution doesn't keep pace with their ambition. Hetfield is one of the top riffmeisters of 80s metal but that's his main bag. He is a very good thrash metal vocalist and, sorry, a rather boring and mediocre heavy metal singer. Hammett too is a rather limited and one dimensional guitarist. Sounds hot, sort of, when he's playing thrash/speed metal but that again is what he is mainly good at. All that tells on this first decisive break from their thrash metal sound. I find you can enjoy these songs better if you don't listen to them all at one go (which one tends to do with an ALBUM). But end to end, it gets rather tedious. A bit too much of heavy, mid paced metal music that never gets into top gear aka Ride the Lightning and still lacks the subtlety and breadth of great rock. Black Sabbath's Dehumanizer is somewhat like that but they had Ronnie James Dio to take care of vocal duties. Hetfield simply doesn't have such presence as a singer (not many do, for that matter) so he cannot lift the album the way Dio could. As for selling out, well, metal is not exactly high art anyway and certainly Metallica weren't operating on the fringes of the esoteric even in their 'underground' days so that's a secondary issue.

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Live Shit: Binge & Purge - Elektra 1993.
Rating = 9

This is a box set featuring three live CDs and some live videos. I have not seen the videos -- this review is only of the CDs. Fantastic fun! Who'da thought Metallica would be so FUN in concert? Breaking into snippets of "Dazed and Confused" and "Smoke On The Water"? Constantly taunting the audiences with 15-second intros to their favorite Metallica tunes, only to stop and launch into something else? Stage patter that sounds like James is talking to a group of his best friends (although his overuse of the F-word seems a bit fuckin forced)? Chances for the Mexican audience to sing along and feel like part of the show? Hilarious covers, solos for everybody and of course a huge selection of classic pre-Load material, all played perfectly and recorded heavily (somehow)? Unexpected and terrific! Are the videos this good?

Reader Comments
Yes, the videos are just as good, if not better. If you haven't seen 'em, then do so.

I'd also like to add that you are the best reviewer on the internet. I agree with pretty much everything you write, AND I don't think I've ever laughed as hard anywhere else on the net. You're a genius man!

P.S. - AC/DC rules this earth!

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Load - Elektra 1996.
Rating = 7

After five years of sittin' on their asses, Metallica finally got off their lazy asses and recorded an album with blood and semen all over their asses, the latter plural noun of course referring metaphorically to the album jacket. This one is quite the musical departure and, as such, earned the now short-haired combo some awfully hateful press, though not from yours truly except for that "truly" part because for the most part I'm a goddamned liar, which is especially ironic as it's not even true, although its very lack of truthfulness in and of itself supports my statement, however false it may be.

This stuff is real bluesy. It's still heavy, but they've replaced the "lock-step" (I'm not sure who coined that phrase, but I enjoy it) guitar style of old with this bending note crap that usually offends the cynical anti-pretentious side of me, but somehow sounds just fine with the whole heavy Metallica vibe backing it up. A lot of the songs sound pretty similar with all them bendy note thingies and funky grooves goin', but it's still 80% less soundalike than The Black Album, so why bemoan?

As far as the singles go, both "Until It Sleeps" (whose chorus sounds suspiciously similar to the main melody of "Nothing Else Matters," but the bass line and neat surf/spyish guitar bit in the verse totally kick ass) and "Hero Of The Day" (a catchy/annoying pop song whose entire guitar line is lifted from Fleetwood Mac's "Hold Me") have been played and played and played all over that dang M channel, leaving the superior "Ain't My Bitch" rotting in the "others" basement. It's a little disturbing that they appear to be repeating themselves in the melody department (I already mentioned "Until It Sleeps," and "The House Jack Built" is basically a slower version of "Ride The Lightning"), but, on the upside, it's nice to see that it's still possible for a band to record a good hard rock album in the nineties. See, I'm not into this Tool thing. Or any of them bigtime Grunge bands (besides Nirvarner). But this album is nicely funky and well-produced with heavy crunchy guitars, and "Mama Said" sounds like something off of Led Zeppelin III!!! By far their most accessible release to date (and by "to date," I mean post-Death Magnetic too), this rockin' lil' record greatly pleases my 53-year-old dad and, I must say, it makes me pretty happy too. It doesn't tear like their finest work ("Fight Fire With Fire," awww man....), but it's still pretty cool. Probably won't bore you too much if you have any history at all with classic rock. Metalheads I can see givin' it the thumbs down, but fans of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and early Aerosmith should be all over this baby.

Just like Michael Jackson!

Reader Comments
I knew this was coming so I didn't go into this with unrealistic expectations. In a way this is superior to the Black Album. It still rocks, though it isn't speed metal, but then Metallica haven't been speed metal since And Justice For All came out seven years ago. There aren't any boners on the record and this "new direction" the band has gone has kept things interesting. I totally agree about the Fleetwood Mac reference in "Hero Of The Day". I was beginning to wonder if anyone else picked up on that. All that was missing was Christine MacVie singing the lead vocals and I would have been in a time warp. It's still a good little album in its own way, as long as you have an open mind when you listen to it. My only complaint is that it's so damn long that I hardly ever get to the end of the album in a single sitting. I usually have to cut out by track 12....
This album has been given a lot of bad hype, but is actually pretty good. I think the whole album is awesome except for "Until it Sleeps". I hate that song! I think the best is "King Nothing".

G.H.A. (Gilbert van Hagen)
After I had heard "The house Jack built" and "Until it sleeps", I decided to buy this CD for the princely sum of (about) $15. What a waste of money. As it turns out, all other tracks suck. Well, okay, "The outlaw torn" is quite enjoyable, and "Hero of the day" and "Poor twisted me" are almost bearable. But the other forty minutes or so suck big time! It's not that I am not open to other sorts of music than heavy metal. Hell, I even own a couple of Fleetwood Mac albums! It's just that all of these songs are so damn uninspired and lame. I'd give this album five points at most. (Guido Marrocco)
LOAD OF SHIT would have been more like it. Metallica albums were great from beginning til the end. Not this load of horse shit. ONLY 2 good fuckin songs on 78 minutes of alternacrap! Metallica should fuckin all die for this album, their stupid haircuts, gay clothes, and Kirk's dick piece that is attached to his chin! I can't wait for LOAD 2. Metallica will try ska or for heaven's sake rap! (Nima J)
to all the people trashing load, here's a gigantic FUCK YOU!!! sure there are bad songs on this album, but for the most part it's good!! if you think they've lost their metal edge, well then listen to "the thorn within," and change your mind. with the bassy thrashing distortion in that song, it is a winner. sure there are some wussy songs on the album, such as "Mama Said," but it really conveys a message.
I totally agree with jsj. Load is yet another Metallica masterwork. This is an incredibly heavy album that has one of the best Metallica epics "Bleeding Me" among other excellent tunes like "The House that Jack Built", "Poor Twisted Me", "Cure", "2X4", "King Nothing", and yes i do like "Hero of the Day". I do however hate "Until it Sleeps".
Yes. Yes. Yes. This is another masterwork. It is heavy (if slow), and personally, I like EVERY song (although with songs like 'mama said' i can imagine why the metalheads and the anti-cool's (who are themselves, followers just like the people who became metallica fans after the black album (so FUCK ALL OF YOU))).

My thoughts on the subject are very simple. If you have half a brain, you know not to listen to this Load trashing bullshit these 13-year-old dimwits (who probably started metallica with TBA and went back along the discography from there) are spewing out. You don't trash an album or a group because they're popular when they once were not. That's incredibly closed-minded and IGNORANT. You also don't trash a group for how they decide to change their look. It's people like this who probably forced Metallica to have the long hair and mean look for all those years, anyway. Maybe they're saying 'FUCK YOU' to people like this. Sure sounds like it to ME.

Metallica is doing what THEY want to do, not what some pussy wanna-be headbangin' Cool-to-Hate (listen to the offspring song with this name) closet-homo long-haired crack-smoking numb-skull wants them to do... and that's the way it should be. So they got haircuts, so they play slightly different music, so they got piercings. So fuckin what!

Tell ya what. Here's what we can do. Metallica can just stop working, and keep releasing Ride the Lightning every few years so all these brain-damaged people can keep yelling 'rock on!' and smackin their heads against brick walls. If we did, it'd be more than they deserve.
LOAD SUCKS! I have been a faithful Metallica fan for years, and I thought that they were the last good metal band left, until they put out the biggest piece of dog shit album I ever wasted my money on. You don't just go from good to alternative just like that! There's a god damn country song on it. What a bunch of sell-out pussies. Cliff Burton must be rolling in his grave. (David Midgen)
You idiots out there who complain about Metallica going soft and getting haircuts and all that other shit, fuck you. This album is just plain good. Who cares if it doesn't speed through every song, who the fuck cares? It's good, that's all that matters. I've been a Metallica fan since before the black album, and I love all the old stuff, as well as the new. I'm glad they took a fresh approach.

And why does the critic compare every song to some earlier song done by Metallica or someone else? I didn't see what the fuck he was talking about. (Nathan Brewer)
I heard the new Metallica album will be called Reload. I hope not. (Jeremy Hurtt)
I agree with David. Fuck all of you no-good 12-year old critics who weren't even alive when Metallica started. You don't know shit!!! This CD kicks ass, whether your whiny asses agree or not. They haven't completely departed from their style, they have simply toned it down slowly over time. They are over 50 for Christ's sake!! Selling out would be to keep playing the same shit, even though you've matured and feel like alternating your pace some. Fuck you all!!! "Bleeding Me" may just be the best Metallica song yet. Take that. Juvenile imbeciles.
Doesn't give me much incentive to pick up Re-Load... (Red)
Load was ok , I'd give it a five , it doesn't nearly live up to its album's from the 80s. Master of Puppets should have gotten the 10. (Kieren Martin)
I see what you are saying about classic-rock fans liking this album. My two favourite bands of all time are Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath (followed then by Metallica), and I'd have to say this is one of my favourite, if not my favourite, Metallica album.

The first time I heard this album, I hated it. "Ain't My Bitch" just plain annoyed me. But my brother kept playing it, and I keep listening to it, and soon enough I couldn't stop playing the thing. I'd probably give it a nine. (Dean Reis)

I've been a Metallica fan since '83 when I first heard Kill 'Em All and they stayed my absolute #1 band all through the eighties. To this day--I'm an old man now :)--I still stick Ride and Master in the CD player at least once a week. So don't get me wrong, folks; I *love* Metallica and have ever since they hit the scene. So here's my opinion on LOAD:

This is not Metallica. This is a bland, uninspiring pile of sonic dung recorded by four short-haired sellouts in slacks who look like they belong in the Village People. No way is this the same kick-ass progressive metal band I adore above all others.

By the way, turning your band into hackneyed alterna-fodder and pissing all over many of your old-school Metallifans is *NOT* 'maturing musically'. If these guys want to play this crap, fine. I have enough _real_ Metallica albums and memories to keep me happy. I just think they should have changed the band name before releasing this abomination.

R.I.P. 1982 - 1996 (Thomas Hutley)
Just a note about the country song: Hetfield's been a closet country listener for years and years. Face it, the guy loves country. Maybe someday he'll be as big as Garth Brooks. Who knows, and who really cares anyways. No band in their right mind seriously plays just for the fans. Bands sell out the minute they put some songs on a black circle. That's just a basic fact. As Tool would say, I've got some advise for you little buddy...

Here's another fact, too. Music and their respective creators are neither good nor bad simply based on whether or not it sounds like the same thing they did five years ago. If you don't like it, go away. Leave. Never listen to Metallica again. Get back inside your trailer park mansion and stop breathing everybody else's air. Musically and artistically you are a primate. You should be taken behind the woodshed and seriously beaten. Profusely even. With a baseball bat. With nails in it. And a crow bar. And take off that damn Master of Puppets T-shirt! It's been nearly twelve years now! You people make my entire intestinal track hurt. If you love Ride the Lightning so much, shut up and listen to it. Stop whinin' to Metallica for moving on... (Michael Rohm)
I'll admit, I have not heard the entire CD and I will admit what I heard, I liked. It's sort of like Black Sabbath. Ozzy-era Sabbath was great! Dio-era Sabbath was great TOO, but it wasn't really the same sort of band. In much the same way, 90's Metallica *IS* good, but it isn't the same sort of band. My big problem with Metallica is that they swore "We will NEVER do videos" and what are they doing now? VIDEOS! I'd like to hear the whole thing, but I ain't supporting them.
Load has alot of problems ( Lars' drums being kind of bland for the most part, a tad too slow, the pictures inside the booklet ) but for all its flaws it is still a heavy, heavy album. I defy anyone to find a song by another band that is as crunchily ominous as "Ain't My Bitch". I'll take it over Korn or Limp Bizkit or Coal Chamber or any other silly "spooky" new age "metal" band. All those bands suck a big schlong, by the way. They cannot hold a candle to the majesty that is Metallica. Neither can Pantera, Megadeth or any other second- rate, stupid fuck metal band. I maintain that the only two good metal bands ever were Sabbath and Metallica. That has not changed with Load, or Reload. Sure the old stuff was alot more riot inciting and faster, but this stuff is downright heavy too, and its intelligent. By the way, I like the two ballads, including "Mama Said". I think I'm the only one.
Since I did not begin listening to Metallica until after Load was released, I have an objective opinion on all their albums. The first four ruled, the fifth had its good parts, and Load sucks shit. It may be heavy, but the energy is lacking. The guitar riffs are repetitive and boring. One of the things I like most about Old Metallica is the variation in the riffs. I haven't found another heavy metal band who can have so many good riffs in each song. This album may be good from an alternative standpoint, and the songs do sound fairly good on the radio, but when it gets down to buying the CD or not, the answer for me is no. I've heard all the songs in one way or another and they don't catch my attention (except Hero of the Day that for some reason tickles my fancy). A name change should have been in order because they have become a crappy alternative band with money in mind.
It's no black album, however I think Metallica did the right thing by trying to change their sound up a bit. I think it has some fairly good songs on it. People are always dogging Metallica for no reason. If they don't like it, screw it, don't go babying about it. (H.V.C.)
I think the sell-out mentality that people are complaining about is damn near a laugh riot. If Metallica was going to sell out, they wouldn't try sounding more "alternative" (which is exactly what Load is not). Besides, why would Metallica sell out? Answer, no reason, other than brainless metal fans (as opposed to the rest of us metal fans) are trying to rationalize the new sound away as being "sell-out".

10 out of 10, but I don't really like Reload.
Metallica sucks now. The Black Album was, in my opinoin, their peak. But now, its all down hill frome here. I loved it when they had long hair, just went up there and played as fast as they could. THAT KICKED ASS!!!! But now theyre all alternative, which sucks. All of their songs are very repetitious and slow. They're just getting old, i suppose. I love the "kick ass feeling" when you listen to their first 4 albums. (Ronnie Drew)
this is a totally kickass record its much better than their other pussyassed records give me warrant or white lion anyday over these queerassed mustachioed tossers (Michael Burrus)
This is a pretty good album! I HATE "Poor Twisted Me"! The rest is great, though.
To Jeremy Hurtt:

The members of Metallica are "over 50"? When did that happen? (Sean Harris)
Well, here's the obligatory sell-out thesis. I went through phases of hating both the black album and LOAD because I was from the Master of Puppets era and I just couldn't accept the changes. But then, I got a little older, and I did. And surprisingly, I play the later records more often now. I've heard Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets so damn much--it's nice to hear the band doing new things. I don't care about the short hair or the clothes anymore--in fact I think it's kind of the band saying FUCK YOU to everyone. Neato. But Metallica could have put out a record of belching and farting at this point in their career and still sold it well. Funny....

I hated it, and it grew on me. Now I think it's pretty cool coming from a band that once played ninety mile an hour riffs and double bass for eight and a half minutes straight. They can do what they want, and that's that.
It's easy to call Metallica sell-outs because they are popular, have less hair, play slower, and appear on MTV. No one can truly know whether they sold out or not except for the band members themselves. That being said, I do not like this album at all. I'm not gonna praise it like many have so that I can be regarded as a "true Metallica fan", nor am I gonna hate it just because their style has totally changed. I'm going to dislike it because James Hetfield's vocals are no longer angry, Kirk Hammett can not play rhythm, and the guitar tone is not as heavy as most good metal bands. Slayer slowed it down on Diabolus in Musica, but they stayed heavy and angry. Maybe Metallica has nothing to be angry about anymore. That would explain the forced nature of their songs on Load. Metal music is based on heavy distorted riffs, a pissed-off attitude, and an emphasis on the guitar. This album is not metal, but rather hard rock. On a closing note, I blame Bob Rock for a lot of the changes and Metallica for hiring him. I have a suspicion that he had a part in the taming of Metallica's sound. Bastard.
Sell out, shwell zout. The point is this album is unbearably dull. They can't rock. Even if they could, it's been done. Entombed beat them at the same game once more (Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth). That's not to worry, though, as Entombed, too, would fuck up next (Same Difference).
What an awful album. How the mighty have fallen. There is one totally kickass tune though in "Prince Charming", but I feel it only mocks Metallica's fans showing them that they can still play with balls...if they feel like it.
What the fuck is this?! Why do a lot of people like this CD? James' voice is so fucking terrible. I love the blues, but when Metallica tries to write bluesy songs, it sounds so silly. They've sold out completely. Reload isn't much better than this. It should go:

Kill 'Em All - the big 10
Ride The Lightning - 9
Master of puppets - 9
...And Justice For All - 8
Metallica - 5
Load - 1
Reload - 1 (Payne)
Jeremy Hurtt from Harrison AR, who e-mailed this site from the University of Arkansas, and is now in the army, is no music expert to speak of. He's the founding member of the Harrison area 80's new wave fan club, and has a shrine devoted to George Michael. Jeremy tried unsuccessfully to duplicate hair metal in the band he founded: GirleyBoys, and once was beaten by a 12 year old girl. Avoid him at all costs. Metallica fifty? See what I mean?
It's my personal opinion that needs to shut his uneducated cake-hole. He seems to have an opinion about what speed metal is, yet he seems to think JUSTICE is s speed album. Moron! If one was to know what speed metal is they'd only have to look at bands like Slayer, Venom and perhaps early Megadeth. JUSTICE was the tightest, albeit poorly produced album. More of an experiment in metal than anything. But we get to the topic of LOAD. An over-produced, aging Metallica making an effort to show musical maturity. I remember the first time I ever heard UNTIL IT SLEEPS. I thought to myself, " wow... it's amazing how the new generation sucks up this light but distorted crap that the music companies are pushing on them these days." Then the news... the new Metallica. I almost fell over. I think the only thing that kept me standing was the knowledge that it was inevitable that since Bob Rock destroyed them on the black album. This was only a natural progression. LOAD gets a -15 on any scale. Metallica have proven to all of their die-hard fans that money can influence even the uninfluential ( this means YOU, Lars...). (John Cable)
I don't see why we all go to review this album, and we just all end up tripping over ourselves to accept this as some sort of growth and maturity, when really they're going from hard, screaming, jackhammer metal, to soft, untalented, easy-to-play, alternative nu-rock. And we tell ourselves, "well they've grown as artists!" When really, they're just doing what will make more of their albums get yanked off shelves by ski-mask wearing Korn fans. This is not real music. This is a corporate ploy. It's just a way of getting you one step closer to buying the bullshit fake rebellion that record companies have shrink-wrapped and put a $20 price tag on (hence Fred Durst doing a duet with Christina Agulrlagra on the MTV Music Video Awards--how fake does corporate metal really have to get before people start coming up with ideas that they don't think they're SUPPOSED to be thinking?).

Record companies don't know what real rebellion is, so they just make a carbon copy of it, and create the IMAGE of some sort of rebel band, wearing dark clothing with scary faces or masks or makeup or whatever gimmick is necessary to make you think they ROCK. And that's what Metallica has turned into.

And a lot of old Metallica fans don't want to just say "hey, this isn't any good. These guys are sellouts." We want to say "hey, the music is softer and less threatening. These guys are really mature. I want to go out and buy an SUV right now!" But the truth is, no matter how much of a knee-jerk reaction it was to just say that Metallica is a bunch of sellouts, it's just true. It only seems like knee-jerk because it was so clear from the start after opening the album up and looking at the cover and the liner notes. It's just a shadow of what Metallica once was. Listen to "Ain't My Bitch." It sounds aggressive, but it's not the same. It's the sound of Metallica trying to sound as aggressive as they once were. And don't say that they just don't have the youthful anger, because why is the song on there in the first place if they aren't so angry anymore? It's all about that record company illusion of rebellion and aggression.

For a while, I actually told myself that yeah, I like this album. And musically, to tell the truth, it's not bad.

But you see, it's the principle of the thing. If we let record companies know that we'll buy any fake product they sell us, then it's just one step closer to hell. Just another foot in the already-dug-grave, where musical integrity and real art is going to go. (Josh Cable)
I still liked Load, as far as the music went.

When a band changes their sound to reflect their growth or whatever, it's usually not very drastic. It's usually the same genre, but different in some small way.

I dunno why, but Metallica went from being a metal band on the last album to not even bothering to act like they knew what metal was or is. They have totally abandoned everything metal, and just play these gay country ballads.

Mama Said is the worst song on here. The rest is listenable as far as music goes, but this shit isn't Metallica. As far as I am concerned, Metallica is dead. Since S&M, I realized that they didn't have the will to try making great music anymore.

Load is pretty much an alternative album. I would say it was classic rock, but the production is too modern. Plus, they try to sound angry at some points. Unfortunatly, because it's not metal anymore, all of their anger just sounds like whining. Self-depreciatory whining, which is just fucking gay.

Not a bad album, but I would rather hear it done by NIN. Because that's what most of this sounds like. I mean, Poor Twisted Me? Or whatever that song is fucking called.

This was their worst album until Reload and S&M. The vocals took a fucking nosedive into the ground after The Black Album. I think James started using a vocal coach-AH or something-AH. Gay.

So I like the album. But this was the last time I liked anything they did until that song No Leaf Clover, which was co-written with a team of 80 record company execs and studio musicians. Doubtlessly. No Leaf Clover, the over produced high point of one of the worst live albums ever.

At least Megadeth is coming back, or so it seems. I hope so. (Roland Fratzl)
Don't get me started on this one. can you say sellout?
I really like this record, actually. Lots of people called them sellouts and shit for this, but i dont really understand why. This version of Metallica reminds me of Van Halen or AC/DC or one of those 70's Metal bands, and i dont recall any of that stuff being real popular in 1996. Turn on MTV in 1996, what do you see? No Doubt, Tu-Pac, Oasis, Bush, Etc. Now yes, its more accessable then past Metallica albums, i can see that, and its certainly isnt as fuckin kick ass as Kill Em All or Master Of Puppets, yes, i see that too. But its still a great album, with kick ass songs like "Aint My Bitch", "Outlaw Torn", "Wasting My Hate", "Ronnie", and ballads of beauty like "Mama Said", and "Hero Of The Day". Only song that really doesnt do much for me is "Poor Twisted Me". The riff is cool and stuff, but it just drags. In the end, its a great album that i would give a very very high 8 to. (Jeremy Callahan)
Worst thing ever made. (Robert Chaundy)
Ah, Load controversial Load. This was actually the first Metallica album I bought, and that was in July 2000, so I don't speak from the lofty heights of old-school fandom. In retrospect, Metallica did go into a sharp decline after Load, but I don't see Load as part of the decline; more like a dignified last hurrah.

This is basically an excellent record. Too long, yes. Some boring bits, yes. Jim developing some rather irritating vocal mannerisms, yes. But quality still abounds. It's not all or nothing - you don't have to EITHER love this record unconditionally OR despise it completely. There is middle ground. I shed a metaphorical tear that Load sees one of the great thrash metal bands abandoning the genre they created (one of music's most magnificent genres, too)... but I also enjoy its hard-rocking grooves. Contrasting feelings, see? You can hold them both at the same time! It's good for the mind.

Bleeding Me is the best song here, what with its nasty grind, nasty descending riff and cooking Hammett solo, but there are plenty of others which are Almost As Good. Namely, Hero of the Day, The Thorn Within, King Nothing and Ronnie. Thery're not rocket science, they're just good songs. Enjoy them! Life's too short not to.

The Outlaw Torn is a bridge too far for me though - I can accept most of the changes Metallica have undergone, but playing one (quite boring) riff for ten minutes? Uh-uh. That's much more of a betrayal of everything the big spiky 'M' stands for than Mama Said or video clips. On the other hand, though, I have warmed to The House Jack Built a lot - because, like most of this album, it ROCKS.

Sell-out schmell-out. And that's that.

postscript: Dream Theater stole the riff of Ain't My Bitch for their 2002 epic 'The Glass Prison', which was just plain naughty. As is the fact that Mark hasn't reviewed them yet... he knows he wants to though... (Nick Collings)
I can't think of many albums, where I am in two minds on how much I like it. Sometimes, I put Load on, and think, this is simply a solid, straight rock album, no way it deserves the constant hate-mail and disgust from so many Metallica fans. But at the back of my mind, it's a disappointment - I remember waiting years back in the early 90s for the follow-up to the excellant Black Album. And my first impression was... Where are the loud guitars? energy? and METAL power-chords! So in conclusion, I agree on a 7 - not that bad in places, but god! does it go on (for 80 minutes)
John and Josh Cable, I totally agree.

John, your assessment of what "music" has become could not have been more accurate. Unfortunately, since "nu metal" is now dominating the airwaves, Metallica have now chosen to go that route with St. Anger. Can they get any more lame? Perhaps the question should be this: Can modern "music" possibly suck any more than it already does?

It's funny what you said about record companies pulling the strings on a bunch of clueless teenagers today. In fact, every time I hear a hit song on the radio all I can think of is that particular song by Metallica: Master Of Puppets. Because that's essentially what the record companies are now. They are the masters, and the idiots who buy this shit are the puppets.

Oh yeah, and Load bites it big time. Worst Metallica record outside of Reload and the awful St. Anger (Great review, Mark).
This album sounds like the debut Audioslave album, its derfinitely more a hard rock record than a metal record! One or two songs here sound as though Cornell and co might have stolen an idea or two especially the second track. Ok, you can talk all the sell out bullshite you want but the bottom line is this a right good record. I mean, its a departure, which has to to commended from an artistic perspective, a band that is willing to challenge itself musically has to be respected irrespective of the results. The worst a band can do when changing tack is to come up something which is self indulgent. Take two other bands whos music I love; Radiohead and U2. They both created great works of experimental music in OK Computer and Achtung Baby, but also made some self indulgent shite like Amnesiac and The Passengers project.

I know all the metalheads wanted Master Of Puppets 2, 3, 4.. but the reality is that type sameness taints a bands legacy in the long run!

In 50 years when people who know their music talk about Metallica, LOAD will be seen as an essential work in their cannon.

But that St. Anger garbage makes me want to vomit!!!

Add your thoughts?

A Change Of Seasons - Masters 1996.
Rating = 9

One of about fifty billion Metallica bootlegs you can buy off of ebay, where the sellers claim that they're "imports" because if you use the word "bootleg," they throw your ass off. This is a good one that I got really cheap because it was recorded on the Load tour and nobody likes Load. The sound is amazing; very crisp and clear for a bootleg, and by gum it only includes four Load songs anyway! Great stuff - nice medley of "Old Shit" featuring bits of six tunes from the first two albums. And all the others you'd expect - "Sandman," "Master," "Fade to Black," "Sad But True," "One". I've not a whit of complaint about this bootleg. An excellent collection of some of their bestest stuff.

Add your thoughts?

Reload - Elektra 1997.
Rating = 7

As you probably gathered from the title, Metallica rushed this product out in a not-too-brightly conceived effort to release EVERY SINGLE FRIGGING TRACK they've written since The Black Person's Album. See, your normal band will write like thirty songs at a time and then pick out the best ten or twelve to release on the album, either discarding the rest or saving them for B-sides. Every once in a while though, some conceited band will get a wild hair and think, "Man! ALL these songs are good!" Well, of course they all sound good to the songwriter. But to us fans, a little pickin' and choosin' are appreciated. Much like The Clash with their silly triple-LP Sandinista! flop, Metallica have pretty much shot themselves in the aorta with this one, surrounding a hand and a halffull of great new songs with a bunch of numbers that really should have stayed outtakes. It's to the band's credit, though, that the overlong 74-minute Reload is still a DARN enjoyable record, and more creative than many a popular record you may have heard in dreary old '97.

So the sounds, umm? The auralacity? Well, you know how Load was really accessible? Like bluesy tough metal? Reload, for the most part, is almost a complete 130, concentrating on trudging, plodding uglyass songs that take about four listens to make any sense because when you hear them for the first time, you can't but think, "Why the hell would anybody bother writing this song?" They're still bluesy and very Sabbath-esquoeoa, but the riffs aren't accessible at all! Well, the best of them aren't, anyway. In case you own the CD, I'll go ahead and tell you that it's the odd-numbered tracks that thrill me. Not number five, but all the others. "Fuel" burns rubber, and the others are just so darned icky! Like "The Thing That Should Not Be" with more diverse guitar tones. Grand stuff. I'm very fond of them. Disgusting guitar stylings abound, along with some really cool Zeppelin rips (or homages) every once in a while. I'm going to end this paragraph here because it's making me uncomfortable.

This is by no means the strangest record ever recorded, nor in fact one of the top hundred strangest metal albums ever recorded, but it is, by a wide stretch, the weirdest (and least immediately enjoyable) record Metallica has made, which makes me personally pretty damned happy because it lets me know that they aren't content to follow up the success of "Hero Of The Day" with more dippy pop tunes. Would my dad like this CD? Not a chance in Hell. Too dark and depressing (except for "Fuel," which pumps, baby!). So why then would I dare to insult the altar of Metallica with yet another paltry 7? Because the other half of the record, that which isn't filled with lengthy head-smashers, hurdy-gurdy ballads, and cooler than shit vocal harmonies (did I mention the vocal harmonies? The vocals on this record are fantastic!) is a bunch of Black Sabbath rip-offs - songs that are decent enough, but basically pretty empty, when you get right down to it. You know, like they have a couple of really cool aspects, but the main riff is just your basic little two-chord heavy groovin' thing. None of the songs are lousy, you understand. They just sound more like B-sides than album tracks. "The Unforgiven II," for example. How necessary could this song be? Now don't hit me - I love the Pagey lead guitar as much as the next guy, but honestly - how necessary could the song be? And can you sit there with a straight face and tell me that none of the four band members heard the lead riff of "Slither" and thought to themselves, "Say! That sounds almost identical to 'Enter Sandman,' one of our biggest hits ever!" So that's my gripe. Six fantastic, beautiful and disturbing odd-numbered tracks paired with seven other ditties that are really just okay. At least none of 'em are as lame as "Poor Twisted Me," though, eh?

Reader Comments (Red)
Reload I recently bought , it's absolutely horrible, I would give it a 1/2 for effort. (Kenneth Fiduk)
let me begin by stating i eagerly await anything new that metallica puts out. they've kept the entire audience guessing for the past few years, and granted, it's not what everyone else wanted, so what? they've still got the 'fuck ya'll' attitude that they've always had. actually, this fuck ya'll attitude could be found in both going in their own directions, and fucking everyone (did anyone else see/hear the euro mtv music awards?). i just love it all and can't wait for new stuff.

reload's great. i love it. how can you disdain to mention 'prince charming' and 'attitude' (both of which are even number tracks)? i personally love the direction that james' vocals have gone with this latest album. great guitar work, and jason is finally getting some writing credit ("wtwta" is one of my favorites). for ya'll who keep wanting to hear old school metallica, you got four kick-ass cd's to choose from. for us who like everything they've put out, more power to us, we've got three more cd's to choose from.
Whoa....I'd have to disagree on this one. This album is far more consistent than the black album and LOAD. Where to start....."Fuel". What a kickass rocker. Can't get enough of this track. "The Memory Remains"- I started out hating this one, but now I can't get enough. "Devil's Dance"- That guitar riff is fuckin' heavy! AND catchy. I do HATE "Unforgiven 2" though- you were right there. And "Slither" is such a poor "Sandman" sequel they should have called it "Sandman 1/2"....."Better than You" is great, "Carpe Diem Baby" takes a while to get to like....."Bad Seed"=Great Song! That chorus is great. "Where the Wild Things Are" is the fucking weirdest thing they've ever done....but you know what, this one is definitely up there with the classics. Plus Hetfield sounds like Les Claypool when he sings "Wake up Sleepy One". "Prince Charming" is far catchier and groovier than "King Nothing". "Low Man's Lyric" is fucking incredible with surround on. Jason's bass at the end of that track is wonderful fading out.....Definitely one of my favorite Met tunes....."Attitude"....what can I say? An obvious Zep rip off at the beginning, but auch a fuckin' groovy song...And finally "Fixxxer", a bit overlong, but the guitar techinque in!...I'd give this one a nine. IMHO, better than TBA, and far ahead of LOAD..... (Matt Rohner)
I left the longest message in Load's feedback. I left the message about three months back, and it is now December. I was in the supermarket and read an interview with Metallica in one of the guitar rags. Before I go any further, I want to recap the observations I made... three months ago, i made these points:

1. People who hate Metallica's new style of music blaming Metallica for their problems is just plain lame.
2. Something to the affect that perhaps Metallica changed their look to tell them which of their fans are LOYAL. Ie, 'telling you freaks who hate their new look to FUCK OFF.'
3. Metallica does what THEY want, not what everyone else wants.

Now, here's what I found interesting about the article. Now, #1... well, that's just a plain ol' philosophical call, and it's an accurate one. On the subject of #2, I can quote 'Years I was in trouble for having long hair, now I cut it off and I'm in trouble again. Oh well.' This was James. Similar details were examined at that point, Including... in reference to #3, the Metallica Motto: "Fuck it." James made two things very clear... 1st, is that Reload is filled with Songs from Load that weren't finish, songs which got extensively experimental (truth)... and 2nd, that Metallica is doing what they want to do, that the same old thing has gotten boring (and that's what TBA was about), and that if anyone has a problem with where they're going, they're perfectly welcome to jump OFF the bandwagon.

Conclusion: If you don't like it, then don't buy it. Don't listen to it.

Sorry this ended up being so long. :)
First of all, thank you for pointing out the similarity between "Slither" and "Enter Sandman". I pointed this out to some of my friends and they disagreed, but jesus they sound similar. "Slither" should have been called "Enter Sandman II". But...about that 7...compared to the other Metallica albums, I'd say that's pretty fair, but I HATE the way you make out these songs to be crappy B-sides or something. Man, with Metallica, everything's good. I've never heard another band that was so consistent on all their albums. Sure, there are bad songs, but they only sound bad because everything else is so amazing! Still I agree with your rating though... Load is a better album and deserves higher...thanks for going back to the 8 on that one. Good decision.
Metallica has to be one of softest and crappest metal bands of the 90's. I think Mozart can put out a better metal album than Metallica's crappy Load and Reload shit. For all of you headbangers out there don't waste your hard earned money on something that is alternative. (Jens Folkesson)
Reload should have been best received if it would have been as a 2nd disc on a LOAD DOUBLE ALBUM, as Metallica first wanted!! But today the songs seem and feel boring and old. They should have written new fresher stuff again, preferably with a little bit more attitude, little heavier and faster. Some songs on Load and Reload are cool, but Metallica is best playing heavy music, plain and simple. I think Ride and Master are awesome and Justice kicks ass too!! The black album has some cool songs, but even though it should not be important, it is obvious t its attempt at selling more records. Whatsoever it's a good album, however, not a classic compared to the three previous releases. As regarding Kill 'em all, originally Metal up your ass, was a funny debut album with some funny songs on it, but seriously, the singing, the sound quality and the funny songs are just like a rehearsal in comparison with their masterpieces, i.e. Ride, Master, Justice and to some extent Metallica (the real name, but who cares) are Metallica when they are mighty-like the kings of heavy music. Maybe, they'll come back in a couple a years with another masterpiece?!

And you people, if you don't like Reload, don't listen to it, ok. Most bands have down periods in their careers! (Nathan Brewer)
Hey, Mozart is cool. Like speed metal on a piano. Anyways, about the album, I don't particularly care for it. Gets maybe a 5 from me.
Well Mark, its been a while since I have visited your page, and I had to check out your rating of ReLoad. I am sorry, but I totally disagree with you. I bought it on the first day it came out and I just ate it up. This album is much better than Load. Whenever I play Load I usually skip tracks 4,6,9,11, and 14. Now don't get me wrong, its not that I don't like those tracks, I just really have to be in the mood for them. Also, after listening to Reload it made me realize how much more I liked it than Load. On ReLoad the only song I don't care for is "Slither". In fact this album is as good as or better than the black album. "Prince Charming" and "Fuel" are the fastest songs Metallica has done since And Justice For All. I know people will probably disagree with me, but hey that is how I hear the songs, and I like them!
This album's reinforces the fact that Metallica should have retired after the Black Album. Especially if they are going to succumb to this type of rubbish. It seems as if they were dumbfounded in the early 90s as to how to follow up their BIG SUCCESS. Let's go back to circa 1984 where in an interview Metallica stated "We were going to do a video for 'Fade To Black' but decided not to because we weren't going to go commercial". Look at them now.. not only are they churning out big POP METAL hits, they look pretty dang undistiguishingable from alspermative weirdos like No Doubt or Smashing Pussys or whatever.. Hey I was a big Metallica fan, but sorry, a band that turns into a big corporate marketing machine is a sorry band indeed.

And another thing, while Ride the Lightning was the best metallica shit ever made, they stole that album cover concept from Nazareth's 1973 album Razamanaz! The logo, the lightning and all.. unoriginal BASTARDS! (Doug Swalen)
Dammit, I should despise this album. It's slow as hell. James' enunciation is becoming repetitious. It's like the end of every stanza of every other song has James choking off the last syllable of the last word. Just like Michael Jackson. I know he's trying to add emphasis but the constant barrage of this at exactly the same point of every vocal "break" in every song? about some veriety....

What bothers me most about this album is that any time I put this CD on I keep expecting Layne Staley to jump out from the shadows and scream, "Been there, done that". This album reminds me a lot of Dirt. I can't believe that Metallica could think that they could release this one without comparisons to Alice In Chains' best album. That alone should knock two points from my grade.

The solos are pretty uninteresting save the blistering "Fueled" solo which hearken back to the days of Master Of Puppets. And I was taken aback by the wholesale rippoff of Jane's Addiction's "Mountain Song" which shows up in pieces of the solo section of "Fixxer". Marriane Faithful sounds like she's gasping for air on "Memory Remains". That's what you get for dating Mick Jagger I guess.

By every right I should loathe this album. But darn it I can't. It's just too different from anything they've done before, which given Load is saying something. Metallica did what I thought was impossible, they wrote slow songs I liked. "Devil's Dance" is just so heavy and kicks so much ass I can't believe it. Despite the unwelcome forray into Jane's "Mountain Song" the pleading vocals and guitar licks of "Fixxer" sell the song for me. Almost the whole album is just so heavy and crunches. "Unforgiven 2" is dumb and "Low Man's Lyric" underwhelms me. But I don't have much else to say negatively about the album.

What's really interesting to me is if they'd pulled the best tracks off of Load ("Until It Sleeps", "King Nothing", "Hero Of The Day", "Ain't My Bitch") and the best tracks off of Reload ("Fueled", "Memory Remains", "Devil's Dance", "Prince Charming", "Fixxer") and put them on one album it would be a classic. As it is it misses that mark, but not by too much. I begrudgingly give it a 9. (The Chameleon)
Sorry, but I just don't like this album. I listened to it about 4 times and then I couldn't take it anymore. Ok, I'll give it credit that it starts out with a really bad ass song like "Fuel", but then "The Memory Remains", "Unforgiven 2", "Devil's Dance" and "Slither"? I'm sorry, maybe it's too slow for my tastes but these songs are just annoying. "Memory Remains" is good the first few times, but really how necessary is Marianne Faithful in it? She sounds horrible. "Unforgiven 2".....bad song.....and the list goes on. Nothing here on this album that really caught my attention. A few good riffs, catchy choruses.....but mostly slow, boring, adult rock that gets stuck in your head and not in a good way like Dirt and Nevermind did. This is just horrid. I give it a 4. (Thomas Hutley)
This is NOT the same group of people that just whined about the Load CD! Where'd all the cry babies go? How can you despise Load so much, and yet enjoy ReLoad like your favorite candy-bar? Metallica fans sure do bug the Hades out of me. I guess I should be happy though that you all haven't resorted to the Spice Girls for your new-found listening pleasures..

Speaking of things that suck... what about the horrible "Unforgiven II"?! I didn't mind the first one, but crimmey! Don't things of this nature usually go on the same album as it's predecessor. I believe these are commonly called reprises, and almost never equal to the level of excellence achieved with the original recording. All these requirements appear to more than apply to the "Unforgivable II"...
Look, People are stupid. I am an 18 year old with his roots in Classic rock. I have been listening to Metallica for years and, although shocked at Load and ReLoad, I am still with the band. Besides Megadeth, Metal is dead. I have said this earlier, I am sick of this sell-out crap people use as an excuse to complain. If you like the music and it inspires, that is what should count. Not if some dickmunch who listens to Oasis likes ReLoad. I have seen Kiss, Aerosmith, AC/DC and Metallica numerous times, and although every band I saw was good except for Kiss, Metallica and AC/DC took first place as my favourite band.

I admit Metallica looked a little anal on Saturday NIght Live, but the new "Memory Remains" could have been on Ride the Lightning, it is that good. Their live performances still kick ass. They have gone from the old Metal genre to a great rock and roll band.

PS. Don't get me wrong, I have all the albums and love every single one of them and play them all the time.

PPS I wonder how long it will be before we find out Hammett is gay...
I'm not a metal fan; never have been. I always thought that the kids in my classes throughout adolescence (I'm 26 now) who wore Metallica, Slayer, or Iron Maiden t-shirts (oh, pardon me, these bands have absolutely NOTHING in common) were nads, and consequently I assumed that any music that appealed to them couldn't be anything but crap. Then I actually listened to Master of Puppets and thought "Hmmm . . actual tunes?" Then I hear the black album, Load and Reload, and realize that these guys are real musicians who write some unbelievable songs. Then I listen to the old stuff and realize that underneath all the speed and wailing gheee-tars, they wrote amazing songs even way back then. So, in short, it's sad that a good many fans of the "Old Metallica" can't cope with the fact that these are NOT the same guys they were 15 years ago. For cripesake, do YOU still have exactly the same tastes as you did when you were 15?? Still wear the same t-shirts? I'd think you'd be happy that preppy bastards like me have come to appreciate Metallica's talents, but it seems you equate quality and autheticity with speed and hair length. Give them a break . . anyone who plays the same music for 15 years is in a rut. When they release a techno or rap record, maybe I'll support the "sellout" theory. (Ted Stinson)
I disagree with you on this album. I love it except for "Unforgiven II", "Better Than You", and ""Slither. The rest of it is killer. Especially "Fuel", "Carpe Diem Baby", "Prince Charming", and "Fixxxer". I would give it an 8, maybe 9. Just because of the strength of the other songs. It's loads (heh) better than Load.

People may laugh now, but I think they may be finding the path to the new Metal sound. They almost singlehandedly created the current sound, so it wouldn't surprise me if they do it again. Besides in a year or so someone else will sound like this album. (Alligator)
What about Metallica I agree with every review but the Last 2 ones, actually I don't even know how to compare them with their previous works, if I had heard Load and hadn't known that it was Metallica I guess I would have given them higher grade than knowing who they are :( Reload I think is complete junk, starting with "Unforgiven II", every single song in there I think is a bungle except maybe "The Memory Remains" that's not a brilliant one too, but say not bad or even good ( to be honest I'd expect from them something better, but after Load... although Reload was worse then my expectations :((( )

So my rates would be

Kill 'Em All - 10
"Seek and Destroy"
"No Remorse"
"Metal Militia"

Ride The Lightning - 10
"For Whom The Bell Tolls"
"The Call Of Ktulu"
"Creeping Death"

Master Of Puppets - 9
"Damage Incorporated."
"Welcome Home"
"Master Of Puppets"

The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited - ? Hard to say I've heard the only track on it.

...And Justice For All - 10
"Harvester of Sorrow"
"Eye of The Beholder"

Metallica - 9
"Sad But True"
"The God That Failed"
"Enter Sandman"
"Wherever I May Roam"

Load - 5

Reload - 2 (Jan Patterson)
This album, while quite possibly a collection of outtakes, is still a strong offering from a band that has expanded it's sound since ...And Justice For All. Clearly, this disc rocks harder than Load (and does not have some of the blatant pop confections found on Load). However, this disc doesn't quite have the variety of it's predecessor, and thus may be relatively less interesting to listen to. What I can't understand, though, is why so many Metallica fans look down on Load and Reload because they are not bone-crushing reproductions of previous Metallica offerings?! Give me a break! Yes, Metallica could be very successful finacially if they recorded the same album every time they went to the studio, but, ultimately, how satisfying would that be?? How many more albums could Metallica make that are high on substance and still retain the same (music) sound of previous discs?? When all is said and done, a "mediocre" Metallica disc is better than 90% of competing rock/hard rock/metal offerings. Why? Because a Metallica disc isn't an unimaginative, musical carbon copy of successful discs that preceeded it (can you say Hootie..., etc.?!)! (R & M SAMASH)
Metallica sucks.
Decent album. 7out of 10 (Jonah)
Metallica is NOT the same band they were ten years ago, but then again, who can say that they themselves have not grown or changed in that amount of time?

Re-Load is a good definitely stays fresh after repetitive listens, which is the yardstick I would use for measuring the overall quality of the album.

A few contributors are stating that this is not the kind of music Metallica usually writes. WHAT? Has Metallica ever written the same style of album twice? Negatory. No two albums in Metallica's fifteen year career have ever had the same feel.

Judge the album on its own merit, not on your expectations based from previous albums. If you're looking for music that feels like Kill 'Em All, I'm sure that Testament probably has some tracks out to meet your needs...
Metallica sucks now. plain and simple. They dont kick ass anymore. Pantera and Slayer and other thrash bands still kick ass because they have stayed true to their music and thats why theyre better.
Okok, listen. Reload is the 2nd worst Metallica album ever put out not to far behind from Load though, the worst album that Metallica has ever put their name on. It feels as though through the 80's they lured us in with great metal album after another...then in the 90's with Metallica, there name album, they really started to go off track. But we paid the cash anyway, becuase we loved Mtallica. Then we waited awhile! A good amount of time...about 4 years. We were all psyched about getting a new album finally and they knew they could sell us on it becuase we were all hungry for more metallica so they put out a piece of shit alum which they call Load and I call a LOAD OF SHIT! They quickly follow it up with a SLIGHLY heavier, but still HORRIBLE album which they call Reload, whihc I call RESHIT! So all they've done is lure us in with good music and now they know we'll keep coming back for more hoping that they will put out an album more inclined to please listeners rather then to make them shit. Ever hear of MegaDeth? They keep putting out the same great Heavy Metal that they've done for years and I believe they'll continue to do it! Unlike Sellout boys here who didnt make enough money and decided to turn over to Alternative music. Fuck you Metallica! (Sean Harris)
Another funny thing--this is my favorite record since Puppets (!) Why- I think it has to do with the strangeness and dark theme of the entire album.

Yes, it's crazy--the whole thing. But I love that. Prince Charming sounds like it could have been pulled from Garage Days, and that tickles me just fine. What else? Fuel rocks. I even like "Unforgiven II" better than the original. Fixxxer is a masterpiece to me. I like all the songs--though Slither and Better than You are probably my least favorite. It's Where the Wild Things Are that just blows me over. What a cool tune! Just listen to it loud and in the dark. Neat ambience! I think it's cool that everyone had a hand in writing it--proof that Hetfield and Ulrich really should let loose and give Kirk and James room for the spotlight.

Anyway, it rocks me. Lots.

Uh, Diablo? Nice summary of the last few years, but Megadeth? How can you stand Dave Mustaine's voice?

This whole alternative Metallica comparision is stupid. Just accept it, get grabbed by the arse and get dragged kicking and screaming out from the metal closet. Once you relax from getting screwed in the butt--you might enjoy it a bit. (Roadie)
Metallica's Load and Re-Load are complete trash - The manager thought the old sound stale and needed to get some more "sheep" (kids) to get into Metalica, so they souled (and sold!) out to the great God called Mammon. (the god of the mighty dollar)

It doesn't matter how much Kirk protests "we sold out every show" - Metallica sold out completely and produced chart-fodder in the form of the Load pair of drink coasters (that's all they're good for!) If you buy Load or Re-Load you're buying EXACTLY what the record companies WANT YOU TO BUY - they think that marketing a band with a "hard" reputation who play "soft" music will appeal to the teenage crowd who 1) want to show some sign of rebellion and 2) want to appease their parents.

Another comment on this board about someone's 53 yr old father mentioned the poster wouldn't play Ride the Lightning to him - when my father (in his late 60's at the time) heard RTL for the first time, he thought it was the most ORIGINAL thing he'd heard in years, and loved the song's anti-war, anti-government tone, even though he thought it all too fast. He could hear classical music in there that was actually a challange to play - if everyone thinks what I'm saying is wrong, let them listen to the MUSIC played on Load and Re-Load, and they'll see that a kid of 10 who has been playing guitar for 2 weeks could play them!

What do they sing about now? They get a faded harlet (who used to screw everyone who was famous way back in the 60's - before most of you were born!) Marianne Faithfull - to go "la la la la la la" through a very lyrically weak song:

gone insane"

That looks to me like an "idea script" - think of some words that rhyme and sing a song about them. Metallica have no balls anymore, no message, no path and no meaning. Long live Metallica, may NewMetallica rot in the hell they once dreamed about.

How about this for an exercise:


The words written here can be extrapolated to something like: (this is a quick example and not like my real work)

"The men with no ties, those men with their dice
Gambling away all of their life

Sweat running like lice, paying the price
Saying what no one will say

Using a pen, one of the men
Scribbles his name on a check in the den

The man comes around without making a sound
And shoots him dead see his blood on the ground"

See what I mean???
You write down some words that sound the same and turn them into lines. Anyone can think of just rhyming words........

Remember kiddies, everyone wants you to buy these pieces of crap - so REALLY be a REBEL - and don't give them the satisfaction of being right about how dumb you are.

Nuff said

Can we give negative numbers for the albums? (Star Sullivan)
Okay, let me prefix this by saying that I appear to be one of about five people on this earth who doesn't think that the Load twins suck.

Now, before you shoot me, let me also say that I am not, repeat NOT one of those fans who thinks that Metallica's discography starts with The Black and who has never heard of Cliff Burton. I've been a Metallikat since the underground days and have enjoyed every freakin' minute of the ride.

The reason that I became hooked on Metallica in the first place is that they essentially make hard, fast music that never looses sight of the melodic sensibility which as far as I'm concerned separates music from rhythmic background clatter. No where is this more evident than in Load and Reload. I also am pleased to note the turn that Hetfield's vocals have taken, gone from sounding (as one friend put it) like he was "singing into a toilet bowl" to really being able to refer to himself as a lead *SINGER*, One with incredible depth, range, and dare I say, diversity.

Let me also educate you all on the definition of the term "Sell-Out", which is so vastly overused, misused, and turned all bass-ackwards by frustrated music-fans. A Sell-out is a band who writes and performs music for money rather than the lofty ideal of artistic purity, or who produces music which they *think their fans want to hear*. Obviously with Reload this was not the case. If they tried to do Ride the Lightning Part Deux, would that not be more of a sell-out?
This is more prog than trash. And quite boring, too.
by this point, I've pretty much abandoned metallica to whatever they choose their fate to be. other bands do this kind of stuff so much better. what I liked most about metallica was the juxtapositioning of stuff - anger/intelligence, speed/detail, heaviness/melody. when I want to hear this kind of thing now, I listen to tool instead (except maybe the speed part). (Roland Fratzl)
I have a theory. The original Metallica are locked up in a warehouse somewhere. The people we see now are just some angry fans that have been following them since 1985. They managed to eliminate Cliff Burton, and tried to take out James Hetfield, but their plan was taking too long. So they just grabbed them after a concert in '94 or whenever they took their "vacation" and stood in. Of course these new guys are physically unable to grow very much hair and have serious trouble with originality (which would explain Garage Inc. and S&M). The Hammett clone can only play blues solos, the Ulrich clone can't drum as fast, the Newsted clone decides that quitting the biggest metal band in the world is a good idea, and the Hetfield clone enjoys country music. These new guys also have the philosophy that fans are unimportant and should all be sued for even mentioning Metallica's name or looking at a Metallica album cover. These carbon copies also don't quite get that Napster isn't Satan spawn and may have actually contributed to album sales. I think it's high time we put out a missing persons report for James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Jason Newsted, and Lars Ulrich. I also think that Brian Tatler and Sean Harris of Diamond Head and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath should hold each of the clones down and beat them like they so very much deserve.

(a couple of weeks later)

I have a follow up to my other post. The same sort of thing happened to Black Sabbath with Technical Ecstacy. After two uninspired albums with a couple of good songs each, they lost a member (Ozzy). Then they picked up a new guy and had one of the best albums of their career, heck, even in all of rock: Heaven and Hell. Maybe this is what's happening to Metallica. They put out two uninspired bags of festering puss called albums, somebody leaves, and the new guy, Dio, gives them the will to make good stuff. Except that I think that Technical Ecstacy and Never Say Die are Seargent Peppers and Led Zeppelin 4 compared to Load and Reload. Metallica just has to prove it now by releasing a good album with a new bassist. And another thing, Dave Mustaine can still shred. In fact, Megadeth just put out the fantastic "The World Needs A Hero". It sounds like his eighties stuff, back to the sped up soloes and riffs. I believe that Megadave was meant to be thrown out of Metallica so that he could go on to keep the good name of thrash. Metallsicka melted in a pool of corporate vomit and have been whizzing on the world of rock since 1996. Mustaine has stayed fast and has released more albums than the OLDER Metallica. That's right, Megadeth is 2 years younger than Metallica and has released more albums. And Mustaine still has his hair. Pardon me while I go out and get Peace Sells... and Countdown to Extinction. I'm also going to buy Load and Reload, as I happen to be out of toilet paper.
0/10 (Robert Chaundy)
Well if Load is a grower (which it is) then Reload is... a shrinker? Do such things exist? I guiltily enjoyed these messy, nasty anthems for a while, but oh my word, there is some truly wretched music on here. When all is said and done, Fixxxer is Reload's only really worthy song, and even that was written by Alice in Chains.

I stand defiantly by Load, but this is a waste of time.

Where did it all go wrong?

Here, I suppose... (Mike Trier)
Load and Re-Load should have been combined into one really good 12 or 14 song disc. If they weeded out some of the weirder, boring stuff (Bleeding Me is a total snooze, and Mama Said sounds like Dwight Yokam) this could have been a classic album. My ideal track listing:

Ain't My Bitch
Until It Sleeps
King Nothing
Hero of the Day
The Memory Remains
Unforgiven II
Better Than You
The Thorn Within (The most underated song on Load)

I know these aren't the most experimental tracks from the albums, and that's why I like them. Just because a band gets bored and starts changing their direction doesn't mean all the fans will follow. Judging by the sales of these albums (especially of Re-Load) a lot of them didn't. The Black Album sold more than both Loads combined. Not that that's their best album. That, of course, is Master of Puppets.
Metallica fucking rule$!!! Hey, did you hear they're recording with Ja Rule!!! How awe$ome is that! Ya, that$ that cool rapper that doe$n't accually have an album out but he'$ alway$ in everyone'$ video$, from J-Lo to Ludacri$, and now Metallica join$ the li$t!!! It'$ amazing how they can be working on new material while $ueing the a$$e$ of of $ix different companie$ all the the $ame time!!! Well, that ju$t $hows you how much Metallica care$ about the real fan$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
A-HA!! Mike Trier, you are a genius! Just for the record, here's MY preferred "Load and Reload edited down into a single disc album":

Ain't My Bitch
Hero of the Day
Until it Sleeps
King Nothing
Mama Said
The Memory Remains
Bad Seed
The Unforgiven II
Better Than You
Bleeding Me
The House Jack Built
Low Man's Lyric

THERE!!! Now, if they'd done that, then neither Load nor Reload would suck! They'd be the best album Metallica ever cut! But NOOOO, they had to get it into their heads that, having been on hiatus for five years, they had to put on tape EVERY SINGLE FRICKIN' SONG THEY'D RECORDED! Dimwits! If you change your style, you're going to suck!!

Phew! I really don't care if they sold out--I actually kinda like the new style. It's melodic, bluesy, and cool, and for fuck's sake, it has nothing to do with alternative rock, you fucking dimwits. Here's my impression of a disillusioned early fan:

fuck metallica fuckin sellouts they were just jumpin on the alternicrap bandwagen i fuckin hate alternicrap they just wanted money and more money just like bush and enron and iraq and britnee spears and n'stink fuck tha sistem i shure wish i could spell

And there you go. Dumfucks reign supreme. My problem with both Load and Reload is the irritating OVER-load (har!) of filler. Too much dang filler, dangit. But half the songs are really, really good. Some comfort, I guess. Except for the filler.
nice to learn that so many Metallica fans are homophobic rednecks who think heavy metal is intrinsicly tough and manly









(a few months later)

speaking of that, her sweet love is so incredible! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh anyway back to reload


















Add your thoughts?

Garage Inc. - Elektra 1998.
Rating = 8

A triple-album of cover tunes? Make it good! And so thus they did. They've paired the original Garage Days Rerevisited EP with several other metal covers recorded throughout their career, then gone a step further and recorded a truckload of brand NEW cover tunes of varying genres. It's really great. Even the Bob Seger song kicks ass. It's pretty clear while listening to it that the young, hungry Metallica kicked a whole lot more ass than the adult Metallica, but I guess that comes as no surprise. You can't fake kickassitude if you don't feel it. Really enjoyable, though. Pick this one up if you like cover tunes!
Reader Comments (Nima J)
Alright, this is pretty damn cool. I couldn't think of anything better Metallica could've released at this point. This album is well worth your money. I must say though, i enjoy cd 2 slightly more than cd 1. Its just got most of the really hard tunes on it. Im not dissing cd 1 or anything, except for that song "loverman." I cant stand that song. Its the only one on here i wont listen to. The Misfits covers are great, but they still dont live up to Glenn Danzig's vocals. I really dig them though. They sound pretty damn cool all sped up like that. Hell man, even the lyrics book is cool. It gives an explanation behind all the songs. Overall, just a great album. Is Metallica capable of anything less? I dont think so. They are the ultimate ass-kickers. I give it a 9.
THE SMALL HOURS!!!! One of the heaviest, moodiest tunes Metallica has ever done. This album may be "just covers" but there+s something to be said about interpreting somebody else+s song and playing the hell out of it!!! All you new Metallica fans that think a tune like Ain+t My Bitch is intense should go buy Garage Inc., take out Disc I and use it for a coaster, and listen repeatedly to Disc 2. If you+re not careful you might learn something. (Doug Swalen)
There's going to be two groups of people who buy this record; those who buy it for the whole album and those who buy it for the 2nd CD. I fall into the latter category. The first CD isn't as good as it should have been. "Whiskey In A Jar" is not a very good song for Metallica to cover. Thin Lizzy wrote better tunes than that. The oddest cover is "Mercyful Fate". I hate Bob Seger's rendition of "Turn The Page" but Metallica's take is rather enjoyable. "Sabbra Cadabra" is a waste, particularly because the song itself is flawed.,

The 2nd CD is where it's at for me, particularly because it let's me chuck a hella lotta CD singles which are now redundant. Saves space that way.
Okay, I'm fed up. Why pair a bunch of stupid alternative songs with the 5.98 EP. It just makes no fucking sense. Hetfield sounds so damn funny singing ' Whiskey In the Jar', that Phil Lynott must be rolling in his casket! Why does he have to attach 'AH!' at the end of each word? And doesn't Kirk Hammet look like he likes it in the ass? egads.. whatever. A bunch of kids seem to be buying the crap out of it so I guess the marketing scheme worked. But hey, Reload is a good album... if you're gay.

And another thing! Metallica is a dumb name. It's like calling a rock band 'Rock N Rollica'. They should think of changing Metallica into something more alternative like ' Evermetal ' or ' MetalliPumpkins ' or 'Sublimetal' or ' The WallMetals', 'Metalbox 20' anything that fits into the type of sissy rock they're playing right now. I dunno.. Whatever MTV will play I guess.. (Sean Harris)
GARAGE INC: A class act presention of old and new Metallica. What better way to showcase it than to play a bunch of influential songs?

Disc one is pretty good, actually. It's Electric is my favorite track, but Whiskey is good and so is just about everything else. Disc II--if you've been a fan for awhile, then it's a treasure chest. Finally, the compilation from HEAVEN that has only been available for years through numerously overpriced import CD's.

I give it a 10. It's ELECTRIC. (Ron & Bev)
I'm not saying that Metallica didn't rock before, But Garage Inc is thier best album in 10 years. The Second disc is what really makes it good. I know some of you are pissed that they included the $5.95 ep songs on it, but when I went to look for that particular record on CD, it was $29.95. So I just bought Garage instead. I loved hearing the "Tuesday's Gone" jam that was played on KSJO (a local radio station here in the Bay Area), as well as "Am I Evil", "Stone Cold Crazy", and "Overkill". "So What" is the most hilarious song I have ever heard. I give it an 8.5 out of 10

By the way, someone made a crack about Metallica covering alternative songs on this album. Since when did Black Sabbath, Bob Segar, Lynard Skynard, and Queen become alternative bands? (Jeremy Hurtt) is one moron of a moron. He caims the cd is full of alternative covers, but there are no alternative covers. Then he attempts to make a joke by combining Metallica with 5 different "alternative bands". Problem here, spunky, is that only one of those bands is alternative. To place everlast, matchbox 20, the wallflowers, or sublime in the alternative category is like calling nirvana r & b. Night and day, punchy, night and day. Sublime is a reggae rock band and the other three are straight late 90's pop.

Now, onto the subject of this cd. It kicks ass. Any questions? No, godanek, you may not have more glue to eat. (Josh Cable)
Yea, the second disc is a classic. Even the newer stuff from it was pretty damn cool. I am of course talking about the Motorhead songs.

Disc one is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it shows that Metallica are excellent musicians. On the other hand, they're sellouts. Such a tough descision.

I bought this instead of Master of Puppets, and I curse that. Not because this is a bad album, but because I should have gotten Puppets instead, as a rule. But oh well.

Half the songs on the first disc are all terrible choices. The other half are all run of the mill. There's a few interesting things in those, like a cover of a Bob Seger song, but that novelty wears off after about 2 minutes in, with James' 100th AH tacked on to the end of a line. Or something.

Fuck these sellouts. (John Cable)
Disc 2 is naturally good, but disc 1 is the most pretentious circular item of music that we currently own. Disc 1 of Metallica's Garage Inc. is just plain faggoty.

Fuck these sellouts. They just don't have enough millions of dollars.

And by the way, yes, disc 1 is also alternative. If it has guitars and yet endless amounts of "slow start/loud whiny chorus" vocals and playing, then it's alternative. It's also alternative if it sucks. Hence Metallica being an alternative band ever since Load. If you currently still have respect for Metallica, you shouldn't be allowed to listen to music or have opinions. You're just a big waste of resources. (Jeff Melchoir)
OK - that last comment was one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read on the Internet up to and including Mark Farner's conspiracy-theory page (but this guy would probably even consider Grand Funk Railroad "faggoty alternative").

Sabbath is alternative? Thin Lizzy alternative? Lynrd Skynrd alternative? Man, THIS is the shitty attitude I hate the most among hardcore metal fans: if it doesn't go at about one billion beats a minute and shows any kind of human feeling at all, it sucks. If this is the legacy Metallica, Slayer and their contemporaries have brought to music, maybe it should never have existed in the first place. And as much as I've never been a big fan of Load, Reload or even TBA, if that's what it took to piss off a bunch of girlfriend-beating (providing they have girlfriends) trailer-park inbreds, then they have my blessing.

The reason, you morons, that Metallica sounded so good back in the '80s is not because of how fast they could play, but because they were one of the few '80s bands that delivered the raw, intense feeling of those old '70s hard rock and metal bands without copying their styles directly. Every '80s band had dreams of being Led Zeppelin, yet Metallica didn't even try and they became the Zeppelin of the '80s.

But I guess the classics are all "faggoty alternative". The fact that he even says the word "alternative" in 2001 shows he's already badly dated. (John Cable)
Thin Lizzy? "Lynrd Skynfdd"? When did this come into a discussion about a once talented band watering down their musical complexity to appeal to the mainstream? Remember not to eat a bullet before e-mailing, and maybe you can make sense, or a point, or something. Hang up on yourself, mommy wants her AOL account back.

I'm pretty sure that last unproofread post in this section was directed at me, although no names were mentioned and no clues were given as to what exactly "jeffm3424424243" was talking about. Metallica was good not just because of how fast they could play? Wow, I believe we were talking about simplistic, formulaic song structure being an obvious sign of the (semi) recent alterna-trend in music, not simply "DUH SONG GO FAST IS METAL SLOW MUST BE NOT METAL." Graduate high school, then come think with the big boys. And get a real fucking e-mail account, cluetard.

P.S. Yes, faggoty alternative. I'd just say "alternative," but apparently some 12 year olds actually LIKED that shit in the early 90s, so it may not catch on exactly what I mean when talking about that kind of wimpy music. (Robert Chaundy)
Disc II is of course fabulous - Am I Evil is the standout, but virtually every song is a minor classic. And as for So What...

But Disc I has the same old problem - half good, half terrible. I think someone must have bet them quite a lot of money they wouldn't put Loverman and the Mercyful Fate medley on the album, because they are easily, definitively, beyond any doubt, the worst songs Metallica ever recorded. Whiskey in the Jar and Tuesday's Gone are totally enjoyable if a little predictable, and Astronomy... well that one's a bit of a classic, (and much better than the original. Surprising that nobody else thinks so.

But what happened to the Metallica guitar sound? In them good old days it sounded not unlike the sheet metal press from hell, but since Reload it sounds as heavy and menacing as an electric potato masher. Seriously, Hetfield's guitar just doesn't have a TRACE of power any more. They have to fire Bob Rock, hire Fleming Rasmussen and get that old wires-dangerously-loose-and-studio-walls-crumbling- under-the-onslaught sound back, or else the next album (assuming it materialises at all) will be too painful to listen to.

Eight. (Ooes)
"The 2nd CD is where it's at for me, particularly because it let's me chuck a hella lotta CD singles which are now redundant. Saves space that way."

Actually, I wouldn't reccommend doing that. Why? Because the Garage Inc. compilation (both the new stuff and the old stuff) had most of its dynamic range squashed when it went through the mastering process (I haven't heard the songs on disc 2 in their original releases, but I imagine since most of them were recorded during the early '90s or earlier, before "squashing" became commonplace that they had more dynamic range preserved before going through the remastering process). For those who don't know what dynamic range compression is, it's basically altering of the levels of different sounds and dynamics in the song itself, pushing softer parts of the sound closer to the louder parts, making the song "louder" in the sense that there is more presence rather than higher peak levels so that the music is easier to make out in heavily populated areas like resteraunts and when driving in a convertable. While some compression is neseccary to make the music sound solid and more accurately recreate what the band in the studio actually sounded like, in recent years record labels have taken compression to uncomfortable extremes, making music as loud as possible to get people to notice the music they publish when played on the radio and television, with rival labels trying get their albums to sound "hotter" than the other in a relentless loudness war, meanwhile the actual LISTENER who buys or downloads music for private listening gets the shaft. Overcompression "squashes" the sound, taking much of the force out of the percussion, sucking out the ambience and is very uncomfortable to listen to, especially at loud volumes.

Some more information on this phenomenon can be found at:
Mr. Cable is an arrogant, intolerant fucknut.

This album still sucks, though. So do Load and Reload. And The Black Album is the best heavy metal album ever.

Whoa, I just alienated the whole fucking world.
Okay, Mr. Cable, you're not an intolerant fucknut. I was in a shitty mood that day, and I'm sorry. I just don't think that those of us who still listen to radio rock haven't graduated from grade school yet, that's all.

That said, based on my comment. . .
can metallica get any beta??? well they do get beta with age if thts anything to go with. but turn the page is my favourite, but the version featuring kid rock at pheonix is soooo wrong!!! metallica pure is the best thts all i can say. Kepp on doin wat u do, becoz i love it!!!

I figured an album like this would not be fun at all to sit through, seeing that it was like 28 songs and some of them went on past 9 minutes. Shit, I can't believe I like all these songs! Sure there's some I like more than others but still, well fucking done. I'm giving this a 9. This is their most underrated album.

Add your thoughts?

S & M - Elektra 1999.
Rating = 5


Often when a heavy metal band decides to record an album with an orchestra, the results are underwhelming. For example, the CD that Sepultura recorded with the Boston Pops made most listeners poop in their refrigerators, and the Deicide/London Symphony Orchestra ballet troupe didn't fare much better. But somehow here, somehow indeed, Michael Kamen of The Final Cut fame has written a bunch of orchestral sections to accompany already existing Metallica tunes, transforming them into delightfully incongruent masquerades of ambiguity.

Oh sure, at some points it sounds like Michael made up the orchestra bits without even bothering to listen to the songs first, but most of the time the violins, horns and such add a majestic, bizarre feel to the songs that TOTALLY works in presenting the songs in a new light. Plus Metallica is putting on an awesome show, James' voice is powerful as FUCK and the production is heavy as a 5-pound barbell while still allowing the most important of the symphony parts to creep through. Bits and pieces sound corny (not sure about all that toodling stuff during the chorus of The Thing That Should Not Be), but as a whole, it's just a really, really, really cool approach to the "live album" undertaking, with 20 of the best Metallica songs given the proper treatment (although sadly there's nothing on here from Kill 'Em All).

I'd like you to know that I was very wary of this idea and vowed to stay away from the CD until I saw it really cheap, but the day after it came out, a record store downtown was BLASTING this version of "The Call Of Ktulu" and I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY. By a hooker. But at the same time, the music blew me away too! Powerful, righteous, self-important and so much better produced than Ride The Lightning! I knew I had to make it mine. Even my girlfriend likes it! And it has two brand new songs that are really good too, in that bluesy Load tradition.

Say! This is a double-CD. Am I the only one who's noticed that Metallica has put out four really long albums in the past four years? That is an astonishing rate of output for a band this rich. Respect it!

One final thing: Earlier today I wrote an email to my good friend and golfing buddy Alex Rapagna about the nature of "selling out." Since everybody in the world accuses Metallica of selling out, I thought I would reprint it right here. Feel free to respond!

It's hard for kids to understand the "selling out" phenomenon -- I know because I never understood it when I was young. But when you're an adult (if 26 is old enough to be called an adult), it makes a lot more sense. See, you really do change a LOT the older you get. Your priorities change, your interests change, your tastes change and things that seemed really, really important when you were younger no longer seem as important. Yes, Metallica once claimed that they would "never make a video" and would "never do a love song," but they were REALLY young when they said that. They're almost forty now and have likely slowed down a lot, tired of thrash and begun wanting to concentrate on playing the sort of music that they actually LISTEN to these days. They've also realized that it's not a crime to make money off your music if you're playing music that you love. It's understandable that old fans would call them "sellouts," but the truth is that they changed their music because they WANTED to change the music, not because they knew it would sell. Look at what was going on in the rock world in '90-'91. Was there really any indication that the black album would sell so damn many copies? Not at all. It didn't sound like Guns n Roses or any of those pop-metal bands that were so big in the late 80s. More than anything else, it sounded like really angry AC/DC, who hadn't been selling many records for quite some time. The reason the black album hit was because it was really HARD music, but not fast and noisy. Personally I think the riffs on there are awesome. LOAD gets boring in places, but it's still not a sellout. They're playing music they want to play and they're successful. And I say more power to them! This orchestra thing is DEFINITELY not a sellout; what other metal band has ever done this sort of thing? I think it's a really cool, unique idea! And Reload is WAY too ugly to be a sellout. If anything, it seems like it may have been calculated to drive away all the fans that the bluesy/accessible LOAD had won them.

I myself don't care if a band "sells out" because when you get down to it, a band HAS to make a living. They can't live off their parents. All that matters is whether I like the music or not. Yes, Aerosmith's music is clearly aimed towards teenaged girls now, rather than guitar rock fans, but I still like SOME of the new songs, and hell, they're in their 50s and I understand that they need to make a living! And besides, when you get right down to it, the minute a band puts a CD out for sale, they have "sold out." Their "art" has become "product" for them to profit from.

Reader Comments (Zach English)
Just a quick note about the selling out thing: For me personally, "selling out" means conforming your music to a watered down and banal mainstream MTV culture. Aerosmith did indeed do it, and Mark, no matter how much you sympathize with their need to eat and bathe on a daily basis, their songs just flat out suck now. There's no getting around that fact. I've found that true musical artists and talents have too much respect for their art to flaunt it to teenage girls with a permed coiffure and gentle smirk. They may do this ONCE THEY'VE LOST the talent (I'm speaking of, say, Bob Dylan's 80s records, anything by late-period Elvis and the dreck put out by already-lame 60s bands like Fleetwood Mac and Jefferson Airplane in the 80s). Metallica's situation is a little touchier in that I can't really distinguish whether they've watered down their songs for mainstream talent or simply shown people the music that they truly love. Since I'm undecided, I'll go ahead and give the latter as the reason behind all their changes. Still think S&M blows though.

P.S. One more side note, it can sometimes be sickening to see arrogant "indie" stalwarts refuse to "sell out" and keep putting out the same fucking records their entire lives (I'm looking at you Superchunk and Sebadoh). (Dan Gold)
I think that Apocalyptica, the four celloists who cover Metallica songs (as well as some Sepultura and Pantera) do a better job with those songs than Metallica does here. They demonstrate some amazing musicianship in interpreting Metallica's songs for the cello as well as demonstrating what strong compositional sense Metallica's songwriting used to have because it translates so well. I don't think Metallica sold out, but their newer material lacks the complexity their older material had.
You play golf? Fuckin' sellout!! :) (John Gary Doyle)
Well, I for one love this cd...I think its one of their best ideas ever. They seem to enjoy flying in the face of what their fans want. I even recall Hetfield saying that their fans are put through a lot of crap by Metallica, or something to that effect. Anyway, back to the album. I absolutely love it. Most of the people I know, however, don't. Rock fans can be so narrow-minded. I guess I have always enjoyed symphony music, though. A few complaints, though. Of the 20 songs on this 2 cd set, there are only about 10 that really work. The rest aren't necessarily bad, they just don't really go anywhere. They would have done better to take the best 10 or 12 and put them all on one cd. I get the feeling they made it double just to piss people off, since nobody likes to shell out the 25 or so dollars for double albums. I think this kinda disproves the "sell out" theory, though. If they wanted to sell out, they should have put out a regular live album full of song from the black album and reload. Myself, I'm glad they didn't. Anyone who says that they've lost it should listen, or see the videos for One, The Memory Remains, and For Whom the Bell Tolls. That just sends chills up my spine.....Not to mention the fact that the performance just dripped sheer power. I was listening to "master of puppets" the other day(on my decent but unspectacular stereo system) when my friend came over. He told me he heard the trumpets from 100 feet down the road!! And even if you don't like the finished product, you have to admit it takes big ones to even try something like this. I would give it 8 of Mark's little round thingys, just based on the fact that this cd WHOMPS!!! (Sean Harris)

I don't know--you couldn't have predicted this thirteen years ago. Not a chance in hell. People would have thought you mad. I would have laughed until I spit snot from my nose.

Metallica and an...orchestra? I said before, I still love PUPPETS and find it to be my nostalgic fave, but RELOAD is my second runner up and I play the hell out of it more than anything else (this is my studio album deal--GARAGE INC. gets played more than just about everything) Black album I went back and forth on...Load I loathed and then learned to gently love and nurish, and now...this. This is fucking brilliant.

Why? Because, simply, only this band could have done such a thing. Metallica's work has a definitive symphony feel, all the way back to Lightning. It's the structure work--and this certainly proves the theory. A great list of songs, all played at full volume by the band, and made even cooler with a nifty, dark maestro thingy happening in the background. I love and adore it.

Man, No Leaf Clover is good! Damn good! A perfect fusion of the two styles. You can play this album loud and still sleep to it--that's how wickedly cool it works.

It was a great idea, an original, innovative move that Metallica has sort of become accustomed to making in the last few years. You just had to sort of take the damn leap of faith with them.

Get it and be grateful we still have the masters. (Josh Cable)
Ok, here's something we can agree on! Yay, Metallica, with a faggy orchestra! Well, we always seem to agree on EVERYTHING MUSICAL, so I'm sure S&M is just an awesome album. Man oh man, is it an awesome album.

Seriously though, No Leaf Clover sounds goddamn awesome. It's certainly a cool song, and it's another GIANT step in the Load direction. I mean, the song is even more different than stuff on Load, while also sounding similar to TBA. The song really rules.

The only bad thing about the song I guess, is that fucking dumb orchestra. I think classical is ok and people who occasionally listen to it for it's musical qualities are in their right mind, certainly. But orchestras and rock music DOES NOT EXIST. Rock was made to KILL all that smaltzy whites only music, which it succeded in. Micheal Kamen can eat my ass. The "Rock and Roll Ensamble," I'm afraid not Mike. Fuck Kamen and Fuck his Final Cut fame.

But I suppose he might have wrote more than just the orchestrated parts on No Leaf Clover. In that case, I give him a SMIGIONLY SMIGON of credit. Because orchestras and rock bands just = GAYNESS.

The above was not meant to reflect the homosexual community of our world. It is simply used as it's own word, as an insult. YOU FAGS. (Patrick May)
You can tell your well informed friend black metal bands have been playing with orchestras since the mid 80s. Blind Guardian released a whole album of songs written with an orchestra last year and have been doing so since '91.

Also, bands like Iced Earth, In Flames, and Children of Bodom are playing real metal music better today than Metallica ever was in the 80s. (Sean Harris)
Just one more thing--this guy above me, PATRICK MAY, wrote me an email saying "european" metal bands have been doing orchestrations since the late 80's. I wrote back saying "good for them". I'm a friggin' American, for Chrissakes! Why would I be listening to European metal?

An another note--I don't particularly care for metal at all anyway--just Metallica. All of it. It never really was anything but its own thing. I always hated Slayer and Anthrax and Pantera--and I'm sure I'd probably hate all the "european" metal I could get my hands on.

Love Sabbath, love Zeppelin, love Metallica. That's all there is to it.
OK Metallica's newest CD is SO AWESOME.......its like their Greatest hits and them being live with a kick ass symphony. People that say this album is bad or it sux cause its still a SELLOUT album....they are DAMNED wrong......a good part is old Metallica at its finest + their new stuff.....which is really good to me. No Leaf Clover is probably one of the best songs on the CD and its NEW Metallica. The San Francisco Symphony does an awesome job keeping the pace and music style of Metallica through out the CD. On another note....the SELL OUT DEAL! Ok i hear the metal heads always ragging about how metallica SOLD OUT.....yeah right....the adapted to the rest of the they wouldnt be left in the dust with COUGH COUGH MEGADETH! Get what im saying? It makes sence doesnt???!?!?

OWELL.....Bottom LINE! S+M is a AWESOME CD for *NEW* or *OLD* metallica lovers alike................10/10 all the way
If Cliff was still around he would not let this shit happen. (Rob Y)
If Cliff were around he WOULD let this happen, because he was the most classically trained of anyone in Metallica. S&M is awesome. In fact, all of their stuff is. So there.
Cliff would let this happen, he was the most clasically trained of them all. Metallica rules. (Paul Stewardson)
A question for Sean hate "European metal" (which is a meaningless term anyway) because you're American...but you love Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin? Both of whom come from England. In Europe. Hmmmm... (Neptune Salad)
Fuck these sellouts. (Sean Harris)
Well, that's like twisting what I said around. I didn't say I hated European metal...I don't even know what they fuck he really meant by European metal anyway. I said I'd probably hate it because I don't like metal much as a rule of thumb (and he made up the term)

I was making a reference to what he was talking about. Zeppelin and Sabbath go without saying...I figured that would be obvious. Guess not.

While I'm on the subject, I want to add THE METALLICA SUCKS for the NAPSTER thing. Way weak. Way gay...
I found your site tonight and was reading the reviews from you and from fans. I'm kind of shocked at the blatant dislike for the Load and Reload and S & M albums. I've listened to metallica since I was very young. I've grown up listening to them. Yes, they've changed over the years, but since when is that a bad thing? Why do people want things to always remain the same? Metallica has grown up. Plain and simple. Most of the band members are married with children! I personally feel that Metallica has grown and changed and aged very gracefully. Sure they've lost alot of fans along the way (who cares about those goobers anyway) but I can't understand someone claiming to be a die hard Metallica fan..and then decide the band sucks when they change their music style a little. Frankly, I still think they totally are "Metallica" the whole 'fuck you this is what we play' attitude is still very much alive and it shows. I think that Metallica has done a wonderful job and will hopefully continue for quite some time.
Great album... Really enjoyed it! BUT...heh heh heh....

Well, I'll put it this way... What do you get when you cross Metallica with the San Francisco Orchestra? The soundtrack to any James Bond film. Just listen to Ktulu! Can't ya see bond dodging bullets or something...? Maybe it's jus' me...

But I. Love the album... Really! I do!
Well, it was nice to hear "Ktulu" again anyway...been a while...miss Cliff though, Jason always adds too much bass wah to the intro the "Bells"... Also...I will never again buy another Metallica product due to their Napster bullshit. I was saving sooooo much money and they are like the richest people in all of metal...If I had that much money and loyal support from my fans...I wouldn't care. I hated Load and Re-load, but still went out and bought the S&M CDs and Video the day they came out...never again. Sorry lost a fan for life b/c you all (ie. Lars) were to greedy. :(

PS. I miss MASTER, MASTER!!!! (Star Sullivan)
Wow! Damn! At the risk of sounding like a caps-happy ten-year old, THIS ALBUM FUGGIN' RAWKS! For one, I didn't think that Metallica + Symphony = big surprise or major heresy. Metal has oft been referred to as "the bastard child of classical music" for it's complicated composition and melodic/metric changes. And who was that jaded asshole who referred to classical as being "smaltzy [sic] whites only music" Go listen to some Orff or Wagner and tell me that's *schmaltzy*, bastard.

I will concede that in a few places (Puppets, Fuel, Battery) the orchestra had to struggle to keep up with the band and that in some parts the upper-string noodlings got a little too cute. (Thing that Should Not Be) But how in the hell did Kamen manage to turn "Hero of the Day" into a *good* song, Give "Outlaw Torn" the extra kick it needed to really resonate and turn "Call of Ktulu" into a damned BEAUTIFUL fireworks-show?! More power to Kamen, and more power to the guys for weathering all of this snobby "sell-out" bullshit and turning out two hours of Heaven-to-Hell-and-back that would've made Dante proud. (Josh Cable)
Yea, Metallica and a fake orchestra. Any orchestra assembled in HellA is just plain phony.

I'm not debating that they sold out with this album, because they didn't. They sold out when they started suing fans. My debate is that cramming a completely unrelated and overdone movie soundtrack into your live-AH album-AH doesn't equate to "classically trained," or even listenable.

And just because Mr. Nosering was classically trained (Cliff was not, he was self-taught) doesn't mean that Metallica was meant to put a shitty LA symphony behind the band. LA being the capitol city of morons and posers.

And no, black metal bands almost never use a real orchestra. It's called a synthesizer, and it duplicates the sound of real instruments by use of sampled sound effects and notes. Blind Guardian did use a real orchestra, but they also threw in a fake opera vocalist. The same fake opera vocalist they used on all their other albums. And of course, they're still really queer. Fuck those pussies.

The symphonics in this album don't even match up with the real music. Kamen threw some left over Aerosmith sheet music on top of some Metallica songs, and Hetfield went AH and WAH for two entire hours. That's what S&M really is, in a nutshell. The whole thing reeks of a movie soundtrack, totally unrelated to any of the goddamn songs that the band is actually playing. Kinda like all of Kamen's movie soundtracks. Just a big collection of musical stings. Sorry, but that's not music, and it requires no talent at all. You know what talent is? Heavy metal, just in general.

What was done on this album actually requires NEGATIVE amounts of talent. It's certainly one of the worst live albums since Kiss' live bullshit. Not like it's as bad, because then none of the album would have been recorded live, and S&M is at least live.

Megadeth has actually returned to playing metal, because Mustaine knows that this poppy nu-rock crap isn't even fucking worth writing or thinking about. The new music on that Best-Of is excellent. Thank God for Megadeth.

(two milliseconds later)

Whoops, didn't even read that last one, and it was a reply to me. Darn.

And it turns out to be a fairly worthless reply. Just more sucking up to a band that's so past it's prime that it's both funny and sad. Kinda like the actual message directed at me.

By proclaiming that I said "classical music is smaltzy [yes, sic, I didn't bother looking it up] whites only music," you bring up the question, "are you on peyote or something?" I don't know, maybe you're not a very good reader, or maybe English isn't your first language.

Wagner dealt mostly in operas, which is a different writing field from classical, obviously. So I answer my own question with a resounding yes. And you defeat your own argument.

20 years ago, Metallica left SoCal, with the loud and proud exclamation of "LA SUCKS!" And not only were they right, but LA went right ahead eating up bands like Poison and Scorpions. Now they're collaberating with arguably the worst symphony on planet Earth. That's what a sell out is. It's when a person defies logic and rational thought to look cool or make more money. Kinda like a certain someone who gave S&M a 9, or maybe the person sticking up for classical and ignoring the fact that S&M is still a terrible album. (John Cable)
Aside from limp bizkit, Metallica has to be the biggest sellout band in the history of the music industry. And S&M has to be one of the most embarrassingly bad corporate/alternative rock albums ever. The first little hint was Michael Kamen's name. The second was the words "LA Rock and Roll Ensemble." The last was the title of the album. There's absolutely no talent going into the playing of the orchestra--my cat could ACCIDENTALLY play better than that. There's really nothing interesting going on music-wise, which completely destroys the entire concept of there being an album at all. This album is so bad, Lars plays on it. That's just how fucking terrible it is.

It's a nightmare of music, made even worse by the syrup-thick trendiness surrounding it. A fucking orchestra. Talk about running out of ideas. Anyone who's a fan of this album is just kidding themselves. Thousands of losers thinking that just because there's an orchestra screeching tunelessly behind the band, suddenly it's high-art and it "FUCKING RAWKS DUDE." These people are too afraid of real metal, instead opting to gulp down some watered down "we're-just-finishing-up-our-contract" lie of music.

I don't care if Cliff would've let this happen or not. Cliff is dead. What he would've ever done about anything doesn't matter. For all I know, he would've been all for this album--therefore deserving the death he got.

S&M is the worst thing ever made by a group of dark-colored designer-clothes-wearing sellouts, ever. This is Metallica's Kilroy Was Here. (Roland Fratzl)
As of July 2001, Suckassicka is a band in dissaray; Their bassist of the last 14 years suddenly departed, correctly citing the stifling, fascist influence of whip crackers Lars and James; the Napster controversy was handled very poorly by the band, succeedingly only in portraying themselves in the media as money grubbing assholes who don't give a rats ass about their hardcore fans (this isn't the first time this has happened); their music ceased to be creative or innovative after 1991, getting worse with every seeming release and even the Black album is questionable...they may still be popular due to the big sell-out, but if you're talking strictly in terms of creative and original musical ideas, they're about as relevant in 2001 as the Bay City Rollers (unless of course you're one of the many blind, mindless fans they have that consider something like the inclusion of that washed up old fart Marianne Faithful going "Da dee da dee da" on "The Memory Remains" with her whiny drunkard strangled cat shitvoice to be a stroke of genius); finally, the clincher is James Hetfield's current state of rehab for substance abuse...I certainly hope he was driven to drink by feelings of guilt over how pathetic the band has become over the last 5 years. Fuckin loser...don't hear him acting all pompous and arrogant now, do you? This would be the perfect time for the band to split and put themselves (and the rest of us) out of their misery. (Pat D.)
Man, this just shows you how great Metallica were in their heyday. I have never seen such posts for a band after changing styles. Irrational hatred towards a band just because they're not playing the music YOU think they should play? LOL. So these are "fans" eh? Now i have no desire to be a musician whatsoever.

I mean, its one thing to express displeasure about the direction your favorite band is going, but to call yourself a fan and then proceed to call the band names because they had a hand in taking away your pirating music service (yes people! grow up! napster was WRONG and you knew it. be happy you were allowed to steal mp3s from it while you had the chance.), or because they dont play the kind of music you like anymore, OR because they just happened to pen one of the most enjoyable hooky albums of the 90s that also happened to sell lots of copies(TBA), is just laughable. And the really funny thing is that you people call yourselves ex Metallica fans. You are/were (at best) thrash or speed metal fans. Nothing else. Oh, i cant wait to see what lame, childish namecalling replies i see to this post. (Robert Chaundy)
Well, Prindle loves it and the Cables hate it, so the truth probably lies somewhere in between. Five would seem to be about right.

I shelled out fifty Deutschmarks for S & M and to this day occasionally break out in a cold sweat when I realise I will almost certainly never listen to it again. Not because they sold out, not because they have short hair or anything so childish, but... well, for three reasons, actually:

1. Too damned long. Metallica seem to be determined to prove that more really is less - of the six full-length CDs they unleashed on the world between 1996 and 1999 only one (disc two of Garage Inc.) deserved to be over forty minutes. Hire an editor, boys - I'd be happy to do it.

2. The Orchestra - and what Kamen gives them to play - is so very bad. At times it sounds as if the band and the orchestra were accidentally booked for the same night but decided to carry on and play regardless. At least half of these tracks are big old wastes of time. Make you kinda wanna slam in God Hates Us All.

3. It is a missed artistic opportunity. Tracks like Fade to Black, Orion, To Live is to Die and Fixxxer were the absolute perfect material for this sort of project, songs destined to be brought to life by the might of a symphony orchestra, so WHERE ARE THEY? Why do we have to put up with Hero of the Day and The Unforgiven? I guess the sad truth may be that they just can't play some of the classics any more.

But if you don't like S & M, and want to hear how it should be done, hunt down Deep Purple's Concerto for Group and Orchestra. If you do like S & M, then you hunt it down too. And don't kill the whale. (Peter Ross)
And thus, the Cable brothers make 100% total sense. Wow.

John, Josh, R. Fratzl and all the Corporate KissAssica ex-fans (myself included)--I applaud you all. THANK YOU.

Folks, after Napster, I lost all fandom towards this band. I own almost every album and videotape these retards released. I had, and to a point still do, thought that the albums they released after Smell The Glove Part II had their moments (Low Man's Lyric, The Outlaw Torn). I ignored all the sellout talk, saying to everyone who said that that I thought they were just "broadening their horizons."

Oh, how wrong I was.

When Lars started bitching about Napster (VIVA!) and their "thievery" of the shittyass track "I Disappear," I gave up on 'em. Stopped listening to them 24 hours a day. Stopped looking for rare shit on eBay. Just stopped with 'em entirely. I frequented and viewed all the Metallica-bashing cartoons, all of which are a hoot and three-fourths. Check out the Metallica Millionaire one for a great, piss-yer-pants laughfest.

When Jason left, I couldn't have been happier. The "fascist nature of whip crackers Lars and James" Roland "Frequently Right" Fratzl was true. Yes sir. I heard his statement about leaving because it was getting "harmful to his health." I didn't believe that crock of sheeyit for a second (*cough* Lars and James told him to say that *cough*). When it happened, I remarked in my comment on the MJA DT review page that I'd give Kirk two weeks. I'm still waiting.

Josh--dead-on assessment of the city of L.A. Everyone there is a fake, phony, yuppie trash spoiled brat corporate ass-kisser. Fuck 'em.

John--yeah, Kilroy sucks. Yeah, present TakeItInTheAssica fans are afraid of real metal. Yeah, this isn't high art. Scenes From A Memory, Awake, Disconnected, SMPTe, Fragile, etc.--now THAT'S high art for ya, bub!

Roland--dead-on assessment of Marianne Faithfullofshit. Creative downfall, anybody important?

All I know is that when Hetfield gets out of rehab, I'll get their new album. But I won't enjoy it. No sir--I'll savage it mercilessly for my school newspaper and I'll send all three of you that review.

And thus ends my tirade. I leave you with a sentiment that makes perfect sense in this context...

Kirk Hammett is the most over-rated, one-dimensional guitarist EVER ...and should have his WAH WAH Mercilessly Shoved up his Rectum
Mark, I totally 100% agree with the sellout thing you said in your review of S & M. I couldn't have said it better myself. I love S & M, and that's all that matters. I'm not going to give any reasons why it rules, because if you can't figure it out after listening to it, then you don't deserve to listen to such kickass music. I'm only 20, and recently have been looking at things differently, and what Mark said about selling out makes total sense. And for all of you that claim they sold out, that only tells me that you're between the age of 10-14. I hate people like that.

Anyways, this stuff is awesome. I'm not saying all of their new songs sound that great with the orchestra, but they are all pretty good to excellent. 9/10 all the way. Only a fool argues this isn't kickass.
I hate mattallica they really sucked. I expected harder rock from them It's all basic. bla bla bla bla bla they all a bunch of crack heads on dope. I used to like mattallica until i found out their gay. I mean come on theres harder stuff than mattallica I found harder music. Lifes not all about Mattallica to me Mattallica is like brittney spears on a guitar and drums. There all jackasses. (Patrick Hertzberg)
Prindle, You are starting to grow on me!

I have been reading your whiny-ass stuff for a while now, and to be honest, I thought you were full of shit. Actually I think you still are, but the more I read, the more I see that there might be some brain activity going on behind all the shit you pull off. To my own dismay, I kind of like it...

I am one of those inferior metallica fans that discovered the band in -91 with their "sell-out album". Through that album I have later discovered and learned to appreciate and grow to love their earlier stuff. Had it not been for their "selling out" or "maturing in taste" - whichever way you wish to put it, I would never have discovered the wonders of "whiplash" or "call of Kthulu", etc. Their broadening of horizons expanded my musical world, and I would have been a lower lifeform had I not hooked on to the so called sell-out album.

Entering the S-O discussion, I must say that prindle's own letter was the most intelligent statement ever made on this site, on any band or topic (...yeah, I know. How likely is that?). People grow older, and change. Their priorities change, and their musical tastes change. I sure as hell would not like to be held responsible for things I said, thought or did when I was a stupid teenager (yes, teenagers are generally stupid! ask anybody who turned 25...). Neither should Metallica. I too think that the Napster issue may have come across as a little greedy on Metallica's behalf, but htey should have credit for being one of few bands who stood up and said "those money are ours!".

Metallica is perhaps not the hottest band in showbiz anynore, but they've been around for 500-odd years and STILL they make kick-ass music (albeit different from their first couple of albums). How many other 20-year old bands make good music today, whatever the genre (I tell you: Pantera, but not many others!)? Bob Dylan once said "just because you liked my music before, it doesen't make me responsible for you liking my music now" (this is not a straight quote, but the spirit of it is intact).

In conclusion: Metallica are NOT sellouts. Only stupid-ass pussy-silly, rigid, dorkhead idiots think that. They changed their output. Changed their musical tastes, and surely they are securing their (financial) exits, and they are doing it with their heads held high and their pride intact (maybe except for the napster thing). That said, I'm gonna go pull some teeth!
I just have to say that Robert Chaundy is damn right about everything, read his comments everyone.

PS: If you're hunting down Deep Purple's Concerto, make sure you get the new one and not the 1970 version because the orchestra sucks on that one. The new one showcases one of the better orchestra performances out there, check it out!
To the person who would never buy a Mettalica album again because of the Napster Crap, I have to agree only on one reason. If you dislike Napster, Bann the Freakin radio! Bann tape recorders! The only reason Mettalica didn't like Napster is...It's digital baby! But the digital...Is the huge problem with Napster. If anyone has a good ear, and has listened to a Napster downloaded song and then a song off the real album, You'd Understand me. Only 128 kbps .ogg files, which is equivalent to 256 k MP3, come close, and Frankly, I have a hard time telling the difference, I don't think I can. But 128 KBPS Forget it. Now about the Album itself, I haven't heard much Mettalica, but this is an evil version of the Scorpions Moment of Glory. And I love that Album to death. Both MOG and S&M get a 10+. Yes, Mark doesn't do 10+s, He should though!

John Cable
Wow, me and my brother sure wrote a bunch of trolly comments for this album, a bunch of years ago. I think we wrote them in 2002? Being honest now many years later, we were just trolling, we really forced more hate than we needed for our comments here throughout this entire page. I think we were very discontent in our lives at the time also, so for some reason we lashed out really hard, and for some reason Metallica, and I remember also Kiss was a big target.

I don't know why we were so mad. I listened to this album again, and it's actually really good. I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with your revised score Prindle, this is a pretty kick ass rockin' album!

No just kidding this album is still fuckin retarded. 8)

I mean we were trolling back then, but we were trolling with our honest opinions. I actually liked Metallica even up to Load and so on, but when I heard songs from S&M on the radio and TV and all that, it was like watching Cats. I couldn't help but think, WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS? It sounded like a fuckin train wreck. They didn't really add an orchestra to Metallica, they just had violins screeching back and forth playing the same two notes over and over and over until the album ends. It's like that Todd Barry joke about Guns n Roses playing with a live orchestra, "A, okay, over to A minor whoa, BACK TO A, CURVEBALL! My 30 years of practice did not prepare me for this!" This just sounds like a band desperate to be relevant, and trying anything to stay that way, but it just sounds like a cheesy mess. I dunno, Metallica wasn't that important to us as kids anyway, so when they started taking themselves way too seriously like in this (and the new shit from Garage Inc which is still laughably pretentious) it wasn't really much of a loss for us as much as it was an opportunity to mock people about it.

Also our hatred for Kiss has really waned in the past several years. We got a few Kiss songs on mp3 now. But we only like them in the same way we like Billy Squire or Whitesnake, or the occasional Styx song. Sure the bands suck ass, but it's always possible to squeeze enjoyment out of it against the forces of all gods. See, even the worst band of untalented jerkoffs can produce a guilty pleasure every once in a while. So it's a happy ending after all. ^_^

Add your thoughts?

St. Anger - Elektra 2003.
Rating = 3

"st*anger" it says on the spine. Could easily be misread as "stranger." As in "imposter." As in "NOT REALLY METALLICA AT ALL - THEY'RE OFF SOMEWHERE RECORDING A GOOD ALBUM."

Let the child dream. Children must dream or their hearts fall out - it's a medical fact easily proven by removing a non-dreaming child's ribcage and dangling him/her upside down from the ceiling.

St. Anger. Hmmm.... So much to say, but where to begin. Hmmm.... Oh wait, I know! It doesn't have any good songs on it! It sounds completely half-assed! The lyrics are embarrassing! The vocals are far too loud! The bass guitar is (a) not played by either the old bassist or the new bassist, and (b) not audible AT ALL on the disc itself! All of the songs are seven minutes long and for the most part repeat two or three boring detuned chord sequences over and over and over and over and over! The songs are all mindless riff-by-numbers running up and down the three or four lowest power chords on the neck in surprisingly similar permutations! The band didn't bother to arrange the songs at all, leaving Lars to fake an arrangement by indiscriminately speeding up and slowing down the drums whenever he gets the hankering! None of the parts follow each other or have any flow at all! Most of the songs eschew vocal melody for ass-dumb shouting or crapping rapping! Lars has apparently added a sewage pipe to his drumkit, creating an out-of-tune "CLANG!!!!" noise that permeates the whole album! The guitars sound completely gutteral and are buried under the drums! Some of the songs have neat crunchy noise parts, but they always return to the actual riffs, which sound like the worst Helmet outtakes ever! (By the way, if you like this shitty album, buy Helmet's Strap It In because it's the same minimal low-pitched songwriting schtick, but done CREATIVELY instead of just plopping three boring major chords together and assuming it will kick ass if Lars thrashes hard enough.)

75 minutes long -- and CHRIST, does it draaaaaaaaaaaaag. But you're in luck if you like part of a song, because they will inevitably return to it seven or eight more times before the song ends! Look, to be honest, I actually LIKE the gutteral anarcho-crust guitar tones, especially in the sick, weird intro track "Frantic." And heck, even that copper pipe that Lars keeps banging his wrench against has kind of a neat (though completely amateurish and moronic) tone to it. But these riffs are SO LAME. These don't even count as songs, do they? Fingers go UP the neck! Fingers do DOWN the neck. Fingers go UP the neck! Fingers go DOWN the neck. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The few parts where they actually branch out a bit (a quiet, intriguing part in "Shoot Me Again," some interesting guitar note tones in "All Within My Hands") stand out as the only parts that sound like any BRAINPOWER was put into this record at all. The rest is boring, predictable blues-metal interspersed with fleeting moments of hamfisted funk. Even a few high-speed thrash segments in every single song can't raise this stinker above a three out of ten. Unless you're not really familiar with the concept of songwriting, this album is the musical equivalent of the world's greatest female basketball player -- she just ain't no good!

Reader Comments (Douglas Stewart)
So I'm watching the MTV ROCK countdown and thinking, okay, I shouldn't do this anymore because I'm either angry old guy, or this just plain reeks, and then this song comes on that I like, I'm in the other room, and I think: sheez, this doesn't sound as formulaic, it has an actual real hook, the lyrics are somewhat deft:

and when I walk in, I see it's Metallica's "St. Anger."

So do my ears just go to mah-mah-mah generation, or do you know of others who like this song?

P.S. I'm not a big enough metallica fan to recognize their "sound," so it wasn't if I went, ahhhh, comforting music that I can deal with. It just didn't sound as obvious as all the other acts.
Heh heh, I guess you will receive a few "Fuck you, you´re no real FAN" e-mails after this review...

I don´t completely agree with you on this one, although I had similar feelings after the first two times I listened to it. I would have given it a Five or something. But I like it a bit more now, after hearing it maybe six times.

In Sweden, St Anger has been hailed as a major return to form. I don´t really understand this. It does remind me of ...And Justice For All, in the way that the songs are looong (and not always because it´s necessary)... but this doesn´t sound at all like an ´80s Metallica album. Helmet is an obvious reference (I actually thought about it yesterday - what does this sound like? Suddenly I got it - Helmet! And then I checked out your updated reviews and found out that someone else thinks the same way).

At first it irritated me quite a bit that all songs seemed to be in the same key and sounding pretty much the same. However, as I mentioned, this album has grown on me. OK, the songs could have been shorter in most cases, and there are a few passages where the drummer starts playing at double speed but the others don´t (giving the impression that they don´t listen to each other) which STILL irritates me, but all songs have something memorable, some kind of identity. Not as accessable as their ´90s songs, but songs all the same. It´s still somewhat retro, though - as the Helmet reference indicates. But, then, who else plays music like this nowadays? On the hit lists??

This album is not a complete success, but at least Metallica have tried to do something they don´t completely master instead of just dragging on playing things they know in their sleep. I´d rather have them trying, and failing, than not trying at all. That´s worth something, isn´t it?! Like a Seven, or something. Better luck next time.
Wow, are Metallica completing paralels with Kiss here? Both start off with a slew of great rifftastic classics (Rock & Roll Over, Master Of Puppets) - both change direction (The Elder/The Black Album) - both end up in a commercial disaster (The Crazy Nights Tour/The Napster Debacle) and both go for a rejuvenation by becoming sheep rather than the respectable shepherds of rawk they once were (Carnival Of Souls/St Anger) - so here we are - were at the "look, we started it and we'll keep up with the jones' if it kills us" album.... and we all wanna know - is it any good (right?)

Well, if you enjoyed Slipknots 'Iowa' album I know youre gonna dig this - cos its basically the same but get this - without the memorable hooks and individuality! (yeah - I finally got a reason to give the 'Knot some praise publicly no less!) -

We have detuned 3 note riffs for the Korn fans, we have a bit of screaming for the Disturbed fans, we have protooled up distorted vocals to keep up with the production values of - well, everyones doing that distorted vocals/processed drums on an AM radio type thing at the moment...

We have St Anger the lead off single which is the best arranged tune on the album, we have The Unnamed Feeling which minus the barking and the unnecessary extra 4 mins duration could easy be a single... hey... have we just had the Lars album? Think about it - Load and Reload were very groovy-bles boogie guitar oriented albums - this is well... a 75 minute drum solo with guitars overdubbed where it felt it might work!

plop CLAAAAAANNNGG ploppa CLAAAAAAAAAAANG duga dugga dugga dugga claaaaaaaaaaang (imagine this rhythm being banged on an empty metal dustbin)....

I dug 'Iowa', It was an extreme metal album that got to Number 1 in the national charts - no mean feat! This, has some moments - Unnamed Feeling, Frantic, St Anger, All Within My Hands, Purify would have been a beter choice of first single as it sounds like one of the only naturally constructed songs on the CD....

But then you watch the making of the album on the bonus DVD and there it is! Its clear as a bell - nothing tacked on - all well played (though a bit rough) - and believe it or not this is briliant! Would have made an awesome follow up to the Black Album released in this form!


5/10 for the album
9/10 for the version of the album on the bonus DVD

Its not for me really - but I bet the nu metal fans will love it and thats where Metallicas paycheck is. (Sean Harris)
Yep--big piece of stink. Don't worry though Mark, Bob "Cock"'s on bass--so this is officially NOT a Metallica record. It's the new Rock Pile with three additional ex-metal players! (Matthew Zimmerman)
Yeah, on first listen, it sounds like a three all the way, their worst since the Black Album (which of course, was the same damn song structure 12 times. Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, chorus. At least Load and its brother had SOME differences between the songs to make it interesting). But like Re-Load, it reveals itself to at least have a couple of good songs. Frantic, Invisible Kid, Purify, Shoot Me Again, Dirty Window, Some Kind of Monster all improve on second listen. Sweet Amber is a terrible song, a total waste.

I have no use for the title track. Whenever he says "Fuck it all and fucking no regrets," and then rhymes that with "dark sets," I remember that line being used on a much better Metallica track. "Damage Inc."

The entire record suffers from mediocre lyric-writing. Only the same verse or two repeated over and over, and that makes for a half-assed sound. I am happy they are trying to stray from the "Alternica" mode, but the results are mixed, mainly because Lars has apparently fallen in love with the worst drum sound in the band's history. Make the snare sound like the snare instead of the tom (the DVD clearly shows Lars hitting the snare on the tracks), and this album is a seven, possibly an eight. But those drums make it a 4-5.

It's still superior to Re-Load and the Black Album, and worth having, though. The DVD is pretty cool, though that new bass player is damn annoying, in a "Look how cool I am making an ass of myself crouching on the floor!" kind of way. The code included in the CD booklet leads to hours of live Metallica goodness online.
i cant say i agree with you on this, although i have with every other 'tallica review. I tohught the album deserved a BIT more, as the songs arent that bad, you just have to listen to them a bit more. The only song i cant stand is some kind of monster, the unrhyming lyrics in the chorus' piss me off. yes the quality is just plain crap, and yes the snare sounds like Lars is whacking a fucken hubcap. The high hat also sounds like some faint hissing. BUT, the dvd is awesome. The quality is much much better, the snare isnt as tinny, therefore not annoying and some of the songs sound almost better than the cd. The best songs here are frantic, st. anger, shoot me again, the unamed feeling and all within my hands.

Album gets 6/10. DVD 8.5/10. A good album that would have been so much better if the quality made the cd listenable (Pat D.)
Man, and i thought Flemming was the worst engineer on this planet. Bob Rock, Metallica, and their crew of monkeys have now managed to create the worst sounding metal album i have ever heard, topping even Testament's famous run in this area. According to rumor, its less Bob's fault then Metallica's, who insisted that he not retouch anything because they wanted to keep the studio "energy" on the disc. Well, thats all well and good, but then why does the DVD mix kick the CD all over the room? You can actually hear the basslines (yes, Bob Rock did actually play on the CD) and the drums actually sound like drums on the DVD.

Anyways, i havent decided what to rate this album yet, but i do think you are being a little too harsh, Mark. "Frantic", "Dirty Window", and "Sweet Amber" all kick ass, and I really dig the guitars during the chorus to "The Unnamed Feeling". I can also say the title track and "Some Kind of Monster" are awful. But a 3? I'd give it higher than that just based on the 4 tracks i like in preliminary listens. Thats just me, though. After all, i could change my mind and give it a 0 in a few days. ;-) (Brian Morton)
I really wanted to like this album alot, for it to be a cool return to some fast crazy metal that we -know- Metallica is (or apparently, was) capable of. So I watch the awful Metallica ICON thingie, and they play "Frantic" live. It starts off pretty neat, but the vocals come in and almost ruin it. The lyrics are okay, but the stupid sounding vocal melodies (or lack of which) kills it. But my hope remained! Then I heard "St. Anger", which boasted much better vocals, but incredibly stupid lyrics. It's an alright song. So I decide to get the album.

Bah. Basically, alot of the songs on here sound like Load outtakes, but faster and dirtier. Honestly, the production doesn't bother me too much. I think it's kind of a neat sound how everything kinda just blends together during the heavy parts, even though the snare sound can get incredibly annoying at times. The bass is also definately ambient, which doesn't bother me because Bob gets on my nerves anyways. But the actual riffs vary from being acceptable to completely generic. And the lyrics are so damned stupid. Why did they start printing the complete lyrics again if they all suck so bad? The melodies can get pretty bad too. "Invisible Kid" sounds like a damned "Money for Nothing" rip-off for god's sake. I thought that riff was retired twenty years ago. Oh well. My top cuts are "Dirty Window", "St. Anger", "Shoot Me Again", and "All Within My Hands" (which could very well be the best track on the whole album). Honestly, I think if Hetfield/Ulrich/Hammett/Rock shortened each song so that the entire album length was about 35 minutes, this could have been a damned good album. But nope. 4/10 (Ian Galley)
Thought I'd throw this into the ensuing fray, just for a laugh. I've never cared about this lot, not when I were a kid, a spotty teenager, a moody student or, as now, a jaded old fucker. They've always been shit. Well, that may be a generalisation as I've never been able to make it through an entire album. No, make that a side. Even when they were supposed to be the hardest rockin' troupe all I could hear was SHIT. Yes, METALICA ARE SHIT. They're so shit I can't even be bothered to spell the name right.

Anyway, there's no way in hell I would want to listen to their wares, but in this mass media age there is, sometimes, no way around being aurally mugged, (unles you do the Ichi the Killer deafening procedure, oh... this is a killer Japanese film you just have to see!!!) I digress, down these parts we've just had Wimbledon (bloody tennis, pah). The good old BBC cobbled together some clip reel to play out over the final credits (you know, where they show the high points, low points, hysterical pigeon interference, mass satanist orgy) and this year the music they chose was... yup metalica. The reason? Well one of our boys, Greg Rudeski (a Canadian), lost his rag, swore, swore again and then, a little bit more. Hence the logic??? St. Anger...??>>?? So, those demonic rockers are now being played behind Wimbledon highlights, (actually quite surreal when you have that racket OH HAHAHAHAHAH juxtaposed to a clip of veteran English rocker, christian and celebate cause-celebre CLIFF RICHARD. Oh, I came in my kegs, I tell you.

To finish, you might not have heard the bass, but the sound mixer certainly did as he/she gave us a good 16 bar loop of the track's bass break. So I guess I've heard all the bass that album has to offer. Still shit. Shit Shit Shit. Shit shit. SHIT (Jeff Fortin)
How could you give this three dots? This album is complete horseshit. I would be hard pressed to give them anything over 1.5. James Hetfield is the worst singer in the business. He can bark with the best of them, but when he attempts to sing I want to smash the cd and poke out my ear drums with a piece of the broken CD. The drumming sounds like one of those guys beating on a 5-gallon drum outside Wrigley Field after a Cubs game. That sound would have been pretty cool if it was on 1-2 songs, but the whole CD??? With this album Metallica set out to prove that they were still the kings of metal, all they succeeded in doing was proving what most of their original fans already knew; that they are the most irrelevant metal band out there. (Michael J. West)
I laughed and laughed and laughed at this review, and I haven't even listened to Metallica since "Metallica." Mr. Prindle, sir, I don't know if you're the most overrated critic on the web, but you are certainly the most original music critic in the world.
okay, i've just read a couple of statement concerning pantera's / metallica's musical progress...i won't tell you that i also like the metallica records from 1991 to now, of course the older stuff, except kill em all i think, was better than load, reload and all the other stuff, but there's one thing i just can't understand is that you discribe their 90's period as trash metal, because Metallica and Pantera as well aren't any kind of trash metal most of the songs are virtuos! (Jeff DeCuir)
Are we talking about the same album here? The one with the fist, right? This is the best thing these lunkheads have done since Master of Puppets. (Kim Okkerstrom)
90% of the world's population hates St. Anger, wonderful, Metallica is back in its underground days. Woo-hooo. I know why people hate it, it's because it's a completely new thing, a new sound never heard before, they did something new and I like it. IT KICKS ASS MOTHERFUCKERS AND IF YOU DONT LIKE IT GO BACK TO YOUR BOYZONE RECORDS. Frantic has tons of kick ass melodies in it, St. Anger has that extreme cool riff that opens it up, +++++. And Ulrich's drumming rocks more than ever and you can hear melodies in it this time, it's not just your boring 4/4 bang on your left, bang on your right kinda stuff that they did all over Master of Puppets. This one has drum melody. The sound of the recording is beatuful, sounds like a tight packed piece of music and it is, lovely, and it's really heavy when you turn it on ur stereo, more heavy than Slayer, infact Slayer never sounded heavy 'cause of their shit sound and stupid melodies. St. Anger ROCKS and I'm glad you don't like it you modern pop lovers.
********************ITS A DIFFERENT OPNION READ IT **************IT IS TRUTH Hey Everyone it was my FIRST vist to the site i read all Albums reviews changin according to the time as i should say first people like speed metal then as the changed there style so people moved there ass on the other side but people still love them there r millions of fan for there each album its a FACT .ok first 5 albums are appreciated that is Kill'em all and Master of Puppets and And justice for all And Blackend 222 but then everyone was bored from old style everyone was saying they r repeating there style also in your web site that a new version of ride the lighting they gave a try a New STYLE so most of the people liked and few of them were angry that why they are not using old UNDERWEARS son its time to change ok then RELOAD was also good MeMory Remains CLimbed up the cHarts and all new listeners were attracted they were bored from all style but the songs on this album were great like the first single Memory Remains Fuel UnFOrgiven 2 Low Man Lyrics and Many moe they were also some fast speedy heavy tracks with meloady but the old fans hate it becoz they wanted old style so then Garage days was also good one for them as it was based on the old style but Cd1 was also cool like loverman and turn the page and astronomy and whiskey in jar but most of the old assess like cd 2 well after the shock of jason newsted they gave their new album ST ANGER Now this album is Great and review given is just a shit.St. Anger" is a song layered with very different and powerful emotions and tones the album is raw fresh a wake up call for All metall bands this is there best album but it need times we have all made our minds they should sound like this but if they dont they suxxx main problem is that they like new groups like L-i-n-k-i-n P-A-R-K L-i-m-p-b-i-z-k-i-t and etc and they want them to sound like them but it is not possible to all u freaks who say that this album sucks so kiss my asss all retarded apes this is a great album a variety of songs for all the fans a mixed feeling That will be liked by the people but little slower man Listen I KNOW IRON MAIDEN IS GOOD BUT THEY R FOLLOWING OLD STYLE BUT NOW IT IS THE TIME TO CHANGE THE OLD STINKY UNDERWEAES SON ITS TIME FOR CHANGE THERE NEW ALBUM IS GREAT I LIKE IT NOT THATS WHY BUT IT IS COOL SOMETHING COOL AFTER LONG TIME well about the album all the songs are good FRANTIC IS GOOD ,ST ANGER IS GREAT THEN SWEET AMBER IS ALSO GUD AS IT IS MELODIUS SOME PORTION THEN*********MY WORLD ********IS GREAT AS IT IS MIXED WITH COOL STUFF FIRST I HATE IT BUT NOW IT IS MY FAV ********SHOOT ME AGAIN IS ALSO GOOD CATCHY TUNES*********PURIFY IS GUD COMBINED EFFORT *******ALL WITHIN MY HANDS IS ALSO GUD ITS LONG BUT GUD WHEN JAMYZ SAY ALL WITHIN MY HAND ITS GREAT **************SOME KIND OF MONSTER IS FOR OLD PEOPELE STYLE LONG AND MOSTLY LIKE ***IRON MAIDEN ** DIRTY WINDOW IS FAST TRACK *********INVISIBLE KID ALSO ATTRAcTING THE AUDINCE ***************AT LAST UNNAMED FEELING IS GREATEST A LONG BUT HEART PENETERATING SONG I LOVED IT U WILL ALSO LIKE IT IM SURE I have never heard Metallica rock so hard. There isn't even a hint of 'Unforgiven' or 'Nothing Else Matters'. There is certainly nothing as melodic as 'Enter Sandman' or 'Until It Sleeps'. In fact you'll be hard pressed to find one hook on 'St Anger'. 'St Anger' is the sound of Metallica juggling to recapture the past and capture the future. The album opens with the single 'Frantic' and immediatly we are greeted with thrash drumming harking back to the early albums. "My lifestyle determines my deathstyle" screams James Hetfield through the song. What was interesting is the prevalence of the bass under the hand of producer Bob Rock. As the album moves on it is something that becomes more and more obvious. Has producer Bob wound up his own work deliberately in the mix or is this just a big finger to the departed Jason Newsted? The title track 'St Anger' is next. It is more brutal rock with speed drumming at the start and a racing drum break in the middle. Once again Bob appears to have a starring bass role. I can't help but think while Metallica are trying to regenerate that old sound at the same time they are also trying to modernise to compete with the nu-punk of bands line Blink 182. One thing is for sure, what may be strategic to them has made it interesting for the listener. 'Some Kind of Monster' hints at a bluesy beginning, nodding to their early influences maybe, and this is just about confirmed on the next track 'Dirty Window'. Keep in mind this is being written from a first impression but I've got Kiss's 'Detroit Rock City' meets AC/DC's 'Baby Please Don't Go' in my head for this one. It is more mayhem with a sound dating back to the rhythm and blues rock origins of Acca Dacca but then it sidetracks to occasional Kiss glam. "Protector, rejector, infector, defector" goes the lyric. "I'm jury and executioner too" it concludes. Let me stick my neck on the block right now with 'Invisible Kid'. This one is going to out them as closet Kiss fans for sure. It is grubby. 'My World' is the most retro of all the songs. "It's my world now", "It's my time, look out mutha fuckers". More speed riffs, more Bob bass and a definite 50's rock influence. (Well, hey maybe they've been studying the classics). 'Shoot Me Again' is once again totally frantic with driving vocals and then the wildcard 'Sweet Amber' lays the first mellow moment on us … but don't fret. It only lasts seconds before the chaos rules again. 'Unamed Feeling' with the line 'It takes me away" is penetrating. Lars drumming is the star of 'Purify' with more guitar attack as backup and then finally 'All Within My Hand' ends the album as hectic as it began. I do stress I have written this after just one preview listen. 'St Anger' is a powerful rock epic and much heavier than you would anticipate following their "Superstar" years. hOPE U LIKE MY IDEAS.... BUT WAIT A MIN WHO HATES ST ANGER A BIG FINGER FROM MY SIDE TO THEM ASSHOLE JUST BE NEUTRAL AND LISTEN THE SONGS ALBUM IS GREAT DONT MAKE UR MIND TOWARDS DEEJAY SHIT IF U WANNA LISTEN HEAVY METAL SHIT THIS IS THE BEST ONE TO PICK OK THANX N BAAABYES (Joe)
I agree with you completely. This album is worse than trash it's like a whole dumpster filled with trash and rotten seafood. It is so bad it's shocking. It is also incredibly pathetic that there is not one guitar solo on the entire album.

There are a couple of decent songs on Metallica's 1991 black album. That album was the beginning of the decline of Metallica. They really can't get any worse now. Actually they could put out another album and have guest pop vocalist's Timberlake or Spears. That would be worse but would also be hilarious.
ThIs Is ThE bEsT aLbUm EvEr LoLz!!11!!!1111!1!!

well, you get the picture.

i used to think this album was, well, listenable. then i came to my senses and realised what a shit album it really was. "st anger around my neck" um... ok scary freaky guy. if i had to rate it out of 100 i would give it a 7.5. it has 75 minutes of music so i will give it a rating that high.

I aM a MaLlCoRe KiD aNd I lOvE ThIs AlBuM LolZZ!!!111!11 = idiot.
Like most people here I too was very dissapointed with this album. The main reason being that there is no guitar solos. Kirk Hammett is one of the only remaining lead guitarists out there today besides Zakk Wylde that can play metal solos. The production is terrible (on purpose I think), and I can't think of another album that has made so many fans unhappy. Even Load and Reload are masterpieces compared to this. 3/10
I think Pedro Andino is the funniest man in the world!

As for this album... it's hard to know what to say really. There were only ever two talented people in this band - one of them has got dead and the other has got rich and old (I'm talking about Hetfield). There is therefore zero talent in Metallica these days, so the apocalyptically awful St Anger really shouldn't come as any surprise.

They're just not a good band any more! By any standard! They have negligible levels of talent, no motivation and no artistic inspiration! If they had two, or even ONE of these things then they would have a fighting chance of recording something worth listening to.

But no.

I would normally say something along the lines of 'I don't blame them for trying', but that would be a lie, because I DO blame them for trying. They must know how shit they are these days, it must be obvious to them. They are wealthy enough never to go near a recording studio again, but no, on some cruel impulse they insist on recording whatever artless, pointless, tuneless, sclerotic noise pollution their clapped-out brains and uncoordinated fingers produce in between court appearances. It can't get worse than this, can it? I pray we never find out.

If you laid the tolerable sections of St Anger end to end you still wouldn't have enough materilal to fill up one minute's worth of the worst song on Reload. No band has fallen from higher heights to deeper depths than Metallica has.

I hope St Anger won't put me off enjoying their earlier, great records, but I have a feeling it already has. I would rather listen to virtually any album in any genre of western music than this despicable waste of precious finite natural resources. American Life? Haven't heard it, but I'll take my chances...
I decided to read the review of one of the most successful (in sales) Pop albums of 2003. St Sucker. The first time I listened to this Pop work, was in the school. It was already more than a year ago. The day after it came out. A girl (cheerleader) bought and he took it to school. We had a substitute teacher so we could listen to music. She had a CD player. The conversation was like this:
1. Me: What are you listening to?
Cheerleader: Metallica
Me: Oh you like Metal?
Cheerleader: Yeah. I listen to "everything". Including Metal
Me: What are your favorite Metal bands?
Cheerleader: Linkin Park(!), Limp Bizkit(!), Metallica, Korn(!), Bon Jovi(!!!) and all those
Me: You like Iron Maiden and Slayer?
Cheerleader: What's that?
Me:(5 seconds of silence) Emmm never mind. What album is that?
Cheerleader: St Anger. The last one. Wanna listen?
Me: Emm sure
So there we go. I was listening to the new Metallica that returns "to the roots". Yeah right. After some minutes
Me: Hey, I don't find the solo. In any of the songs
Cheerleader: What is that?
Me: Forget it
That was my experience with St Sucker. No solos. The drum kit was replaced with trash, soda and coffee cans. James sounds like a country music singer (He sounds like that since the mid 90s). The bass is like the bass does not exists. This album sucks so much. Is hard to describe. To me, this album belongs to a box that has to be burned. In that box you have to put albums of the following singers and/or bands:
1:Pop commercial bands (that for some reason ,that is beyond me, people call punk) such as Blink 182, Sum 41, Good Charlotte and Simple Plan.
2:Pop singers that can't write their damn songs and can't release and album without the help of a fucking Computer such as Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, etc 3:The Queen of the 10year old girls and biggest poseur in the Universe. The pop figure that is tried to seem like "rock", "punk", "goth" and even "metal" (!!!!!!) and the same time. The one that is "being herself" when she doesn't do anything by herself. The fraud Avril Lavigne
4: 50cent and his two clowns. Known as the Gay Unit
5: Others. I'm just tired now to give their names.
Look, I like the first 3 albums of Metallica. I really do. I think that And Justice for All is ok. But then..... . Let's face it. Metallica SUCKS!!! In most of the songs of the Black Album and in the entire Load and Reload, all the Kirk Hammett solos sound like a baby. WAAAAAAAAAA - WAAAAAAAAAA - WAAAAAAAA. I'm 18. When I began listening to Metal, I didn't begin with Metallica like most of the people here .I began with German Power Power. But I still like the old Metallica. Many bands change but this is horrible. People. There are NO SOLOS.
Oh and about the cheerleader thing. I live in Miami. We don't have that stupid crap that the High Schools in the rest of The United States suffers from. The cheerleaders and the football players are not Gods here. Damn. Last time a football player gave me shit I beat the shit out of him. And the cheerleaders talk to everyone. Miami listen to the most horrible music in the world but at least the people in High school are like, not popular.
Well, I'm done. Avoid this crap. Unless you are a cheerleader and you like Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit . Get real Metal. With SOLOS. There are like a million of different types of Metal but still. Find better music. (Nick G)
Say'ay'aya'aynt Angher'r'r'r'r'r'r'r'r'r'r'r'r'r'r'r'r'r! Yep, that's right, that's the best old James sounds like on this piece of crap. Listen, I'm a Sabbath fan, and can't stand the new metal wannabe's, yes, they wish they can be like metal but I'm sorry, they can't. I can tell any note in a cord...most of the time. A lot of the songs on this are played in key of C, rendering them to sound the same as the next guy. I'm also an audio production engineer, and I'll say this. I have to say, judging by what Tim Pommer did for Ozzy Osbourne, Pommer should be whom Metallica goes for next, dumping drunken knob twiddler Bob Rock. The distortion of every song is too bloody high, rendering it impossible to tell from one note to the next, rendering the songs unlistenable. Heavy? No, it's some stupid piece of crap trying to be heavy. Heavy equals bass heavy, but being able to tell cords and notes. Heavy is not high distortion! This album deserves a 2, based on engineering alone. I'm being generous here! (Robert Attaway)
A Metallica cd with a good name, but with very bad tracks. This cd puts me to sleep, and I'm not playing. Every time I listen to it I go to sleep.
These guys are totally overrated, I mean 80s Metallica wasn’t much better then 90s Metallica the only difference being James couldn’t sing for shit in the 80s, he was like the Vince Neil of thrash metal...he only developed his voice in the 90s by which time they turned to adult pop rock shit…and the bass was actually audible on the 90s Metallica releases by which time it didn’t matter coz the songs were lame.

(a few weeks later)

Ignore my last comment on Metallica, it was an angry, silly, immature post (pretty much like all my postsJ) since then ive given these guys, well their 80s material that is, more of a listen and instead of pointing out the obvious…ill just say Kirk Hammnet looks more like a gay Hawaiian fashion designer, who wears tight black leather and does backup dancing for various Boy Bands in his spare time, than a friggin metal guitarist.
suck my cock ryan! faggots like you will be shot! eat cock! thanks rob chaundy for the compliment you know I am funny and crazy sometimes sexy with my writing! but I fucking hate haters! suck cock faggots! and now here is something u may enjoy!

I am now here today day with 2 of my favorite guys! beavis and butthead! I hope u are ready! ^_^

pedro andino: welcome to the record review page!

butthead: uh so you got any chicks? heh heh heh heh he heh!

beavis: no way,butt goblin!

bu: shut up!,dill hole! you never scored In your life!

pe: guys! hey! calm down! I got the new metalica cd! this one is called st.anger!

bu: uh I hope these guys won't suck this time! load and reload both sucked!

be: no way, butthead! I like this song called em..... kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing nawthing! ha!

bu: boy this song sucked! I like 3 songs bleeding me, hero of the day, and cure the rest is like a cowboy metal album that sucked! heh heh heh heh heh

be: no way, man! I like these songs! gimme fuel gimme fire gimme that w/ I desiah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bu: shut up, assmunch! they changed into this stupid trendy crap that gay men wear!!!!!!!! it is like that queer eye show! damn that was stupid! heh heh heh heh he he they changed from metal to country!!!!!!!!!!!!! ugh!!!!!!!!! what wussies! I think these wussies should do disco! heh heh heh!

pe: shhhh! any way here we go with this one (plays one track from the album) what the hell is this crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

be: uh this rocked!

bu: shut up, dill weed

(a few months later)

ok. so the joke did not turn out good. and you know it is going to be a long page. yeesh! so many comments! very angry. I still think the cliff burton burton era rocked. say, what do you think of the new band called lacuna coil? they have a woman! mmmmm yum! a gothic woman! fuck evananananashamalamafuckwad! ha ha ha ha ha ha ! did you catch fuse with juliya? mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmm bitch! yay! juliya! juliya! juliya! juliya juliya! I can go on forever! say is st.anger on top of the list as unioin, q2k, from genesis to revalation, love beach as the most hated albums ever!
Hello, this is Metallifan-who-agrees-with-yor-st.-anger-review #11847. Most of my friends found my followign opinions of this album to be highly entertaining, so I thought you might too.


I have 4 words for you - "YOU FLUSH IT OUT, YOU FLUSH IT OUT" These 4 words are what truly bring me back every time to realizing how god-awful this album is when I try to convince myself it's not that bad. Oh wait, no that's 8 words, because...they repeated it... like, um, every single measure of music on this entire half-assed compliation. To me this album wasn't maddening or infuriating...just disappointing and sad, really. Actually, no, I take that back. It pisses me off in ways that transcend space and time.

I'll start out with this -- I consider myself to be a very well-read and reputable 'tallica fan all-around. I'm not a rock snob who only listens to puppets and lighting and accuses all other fans of not being "true." I'm not someone who jumped in late in the game and thought they were rock gods when I heard "Enter Sandman" on the radio for the first time. I happen to think Load is an awesome album, albeit in a different way than Justice is an awesome album (my fav of their "old skool" works). ReLoad definitely has its moments, and, yes, I even get a kick out of hearing them play "Tuesday's Gone". I would have given my first-born child to have been in San Francisco in 1999, but i did get to seem them touring last year (2004 madly in anger tour, Columbus Represent!) Basically, I'd like to think my opinion counts for something a little least more than some of our youngsters of the Modern Era of Retard-Rock following the turn of the century. Before this album came out, the only song i really had a major problem with was Escape, from Lightning, which I can't stand for some reason.

Having said that....

I WANTED SOOOO MUCH TO LIKE THIS ALBUM!!! I watched some band footage before the release where they talked a little bit about the new album...Kirk actually used the words "rain of torrential hellfire" or something to describe it, so, of course i was nearly pissing my pants in anticipation. The first song I heard was the title track, of course, which was nothing short of traumatizing for my young and somewhat impressionable mind. I seriously put these guys up on a pedistal for years, and "St. Midlife-Crisis" was the demolition team that reduced that pedistal to a pile of disillusioned rubble. I never thought in a million years I'd be embarassed to be a Metallica fan around my friends. Don't get me wrong, I still love Metallica probably more than is socially appropriate, but this album stinks with a capital ST.

It took me a year to "get a taste for it". I figured I just hated it because I was expecting Master of Puppets II or something, so I was being unfair. For a short time I actually liked it, but the more I listened to it, the more I realized it just stank. I have given it a very generous listening-to on many occassions, and am being very fair in my judgement in my opinion. I was very relieved, although not terribly surprised, when I found out I wasn't alone amongst many Metallica fans that were left simply dumbfounded and in disbelief. When I attended a concert in 2004, Jaymz had the balls to scream into the mike, "ANYBODY HERE GO OUT AND GET AN ALBUM CALLED...ST. ANGER?!", obviously expecting some kind of uproar akin to that which automatically occurs at the sheer mention of Kill 'Em All at any live venue. I'll admit I didn't cheer with enthusiasm, but I was actually surprised when i heard what must have been at least 1/4 to 1/3 of the crowd erupt in a very audible explosion of booing and hissing disappointment. Oops is right.

The Composition? This album is REPETITIVE in every sense of the word. The style is repeated, the chords are repeated, the lyrics, the HORRIBLE word plays, everything. Think about it: the words repeat in the lines, the lines repeat in the verses, and the verses repeat in the songs!!!! You couldn't make it more repetitive if you tried!!! And HOW the FUCK do you make an 8-minute long Metallica song with NO GUITAR SOLO?!

The Lyrics? Does anybody think these play-on-word puns are actually clever? Let's take a look at some of the literary GEMS Hetfield cranked out for us:

"My lifestyle determines my deathstyle" i told this to my friend and he looked at me like i was insane
"Ominous, I'm in us, Ominus, I'm in us" - WOW it sounds the same! therefore it has meaning in the song?
"Projector, Protector, Rejector, Infector, Projector, Rejector, Infector, Injector, Defector, Rejector, Verschmechter, Bean-rector, Pee-nectar, Profector, Mo-mector, class lecture, interjecture..." i might have missed a few
"Fuck it all and fuckin' no regrets" does that sound...familiar to anyone?
"Frantic-tick-tick-tick-tock" no comment.
"I feel my world earthquake." wow, that was a far reach, but i THINK i get the connection.
"I'm madly in anger with you" ooooh i get it,
"Drape your back so you won't shine" does this even mean anything? honestly?
"KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL" what a creative way to display angst. 5 stars, really.

Compare these to "dyer's eve" "leper messiah" "...and justice for all" "fade to black"....the list goes on. There is something clearly missing here....Effort? maybe. Inspiration? Who knows. My frustration with the horrible lyric writing led me to make a highly inappropriate off-color comment regarding a certain someone's ability to write lyrics better while drunk...which i took back and apoligized for! We're proud of you Jaymz! Really!

By any chance have you heard the SKoM "Remix" on the single? As far as I could tell, it's basically what the song should have been in the first place...simply without the repitition that is so mind-numbingly apparent throughout the whole album. i think it's like 5:44 compared to the song's original length, which, if memory serves me right, exceeds a gut-wrenching 8 minutes...

Admitedly, my favorite tracks are Dirty Window and Some Kind of Monster (in spite of the last 10 seconds of the track, which make less fucking sense than any other 10 seconds in the decades-long history of Metallica). I just think Dirty Window has the best lyrics because its actually a great metaphor, and the lyrics actually have a discernable meaning and purpose (god forbid). Some kind of monster also has lyrics that actually seem to go somewhere, and it's just heavy enough for me to forgive it for lasting four times longer than should be legal in the state of California. Also, as much as I hate this album, I listen to it wayyy more than the Black album.

In my essay-writing class we were asked to write a comparitive review. I wrote a 15-page angst-ridden paper comparing the albums Justice to St. Anger, which my teacher insisted I reduce to 10 pages because the requirement was only 5 pages and I was "overdoing" it. . (I never did get it shorter than 11 pages.)

St. Anger is heavy. I'll give it that much. But so would be any album by a band who screams "fuck" o'er top of lightspeed DROP-C CHORDS to the beat of Oil Drum McGee and his Crazy Pipes. Maybe if Kirk played in this album it would have been better. Maybe if they had let Newstead's creative juices flow instead of bitching at him like a clingy girlfriend whose increasingly boring sex and one-sided conversations were no longer worth the relationship, this album would have sounded better. Maybe if they hired a new bass player BEFORE attempting to record, Trujillo could have had something spicy to add? At least something more than Pop Rock, who is actually "heard" on the studio recording. But that's anyone's guess. As far as I'm concerned, I've made peace with this piece of shit and have grown to accept it like the crazy uncle who farts and tells racist jokes at family gatherings. I could go on, (obviously, for another 10 pages or so) but i have to stop because i'm sobbing like a baby and my tears are short-circ iting the k ybo rd.

For those that found this review offensive, you better get a life right now or I will chop your head off!!! It's an easy choice, if you ask me.

And for those about to rock....I salute you. (John Castiglia)
Oh Christ. I don't know where to start. After reading the reviews on this site, I feel I have nothing to add, but here goes:

As noted in the previous reviews, the drum sound is awful. It sounds like the snare is turned off for the whole recording. The guitars are tuned too low. The riffs are boring and repetitive. The lyrics are horrid. How did the record company allow this to be released? It is not a return to their roots as proclaimed. It's a failed attempt by 40 somethings to re-establish themselves as players in the heavy metal genre. But to be completely honest, there are no real new heavy metal bands coming out these days.

Saying SLipknot and Korn are heavy metal is like saying Big Macs and Whoppers are fine dining. Any band that is played on a radio station after a Velvet Revolver song and before a Maroon 5 song is not metal. It's pop. It's Rob Thomas with long hair, a mean face, black clothes and distortion.

Metallica is the same. They lost it when they released the black album. Any metal fan will agree. For James Hetfield to stand there onstage and act like his former self is a disgrace.

For any fans of true heavy metal, check out bands like Lamb of God, Black Dahlia Murder, and Entombed.
Well now, what do we have here?

A masterpiece? No. A piece of shit? Nah.

Some of both? Yeah, I guess that's what this album is.

Where to start? Well, to begin with, I'm in the minority: I love Alternaca (Black Album, Load and Reload) as much as I do Metallica (Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets... And Justice for All). Though a few tracks off of Reload seemed a bit too uninspired, all in all I can just feel for this band. Personally, I believe that it wasn't going mainstream that prompted Metallica's alternative phase, but rather the opposite: I may not be Metallica and I'll admit I'm not too aware on what must have happened or what they were thinking, but I think it would be safe enough to say that their sudden urge for their alternative phase was what prompted going mainstream (only they made the Black Album a bit more radio-oriented to wank out their still-remaining desire to play metal and still give a great first impression to the mainstream and find a good place to start once they went commercial). Think about it: Metallica's music is, after all, meant to be heard, and I think Metallica realized what shit they'd get for releasing stuff like the Load series. If they did this kind of stuff while underground, I doubt that they'd have this much face.

Whatever, I guess I'm just rambling.

Getting to the album...

First off, I can say that I like James Hetfield's urgent, gruzzled, yelling country-singer vocals on this album. I like the garage reverb and slight ambient effects that appear every here and there. I don't mind the fact that Bob Rock pretty much sounds absent (really, with the exception of folks like Les Claypool, bass barely impacts or helps jack shit). I don't mind the sudden weird distortion the riffs have. I don't mind the way the lyrics have suddenly turned personal and are based on the band's frustration and hard events ( Hell, I don't even mind the fact that Lars Ulrich traded drumsets with Oscar the Fucking Grouch and mostly plays standard 'bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang- bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang-bang' blastbeats again and again... Hell, a lot of hardcore bands and death metal bands do the same kind of shit.

The only thing I dislike about this album is that some tracks have guitar work that is just so fucking half-assed. Hell, even I could do better than that if I could just get the fingering to the guitar down. Sure, Metallica might be getting up there in terms of age and would likely get heads hollowed by their younger counterparts, but there's still no excuse for repeating the same small, simple 3 to 4 chorded melody strings over and over in some of the songs. I mean seriously, if you're going to play that kind of shit, at least back it up with some fucking SOLOS.

That said, however, there are some really awesome tracks on this mofo. Sure, the music is pretty much nu-metal, but for once we can have a band that plays nu-metal in a good way other than uninspired rap-beating drums mixed with repeated detuned monotone mosh chords mixed with rap and sung by either a cum-guzzlin' jock you probably bumped into during high school or some whining, spoiled middle-class white boy.

The style on this album is relentless and gives that kind of feeling like "bang rip shred bam boom bang bang bang, pump up, shout, criss cross, a;sfja;sldkjf nonsense, bambambam, charge, BAMM BAM BAM BOOM BANG D:LFKJSD:LFKJ:LSDKJ' and in some ways rather punkish for its urgency and attitude. Hell, interestingly enough a lot of this sound seems to be derived from not only Helmet, but also Superunknown-era Soundgarden.

For when the band puts some thought and expertise into their riffs, it all comes together really nicely and it's a fucking blast to listen to. Take the song My World for example: They have that nice and quick chug-swing-chug kind of thing rather reminiscent of their old thrash days and can hammer out hard riffs that go back and forth with dexterity and great melody, then go sliding down, then start banging out some more heavy riffs and keep on slipping and sliding and trucking about from one note to the other rather quickly. Also check out the riffs on Sweet Amber: Switching back and forth with all sorts of notes with that relentless rattling, hyper-intensive speed-shred that goes from note to note and then quickly shreds and burns way up with a jazzy vibe, giving a lot of nice and rather melodic 'bang bang chugga chugga chugga' action. Throughout a lot of songs are really awesome hammering leads, and for what it's worth when Metallica actually try, there is a lot more ingenious melody and dexterity than anything they've done in... Shit, maybe even ever, and it's still the heaviest album they've put out other than maybe Ride the Lightning. There are a bunch of other examples I could list, but I won't bore you with it. Simply put, I think that Frantic, Some Kind of Monster, Invisible Kid (well, whatever, this track's listenable), My World, Sweet Amber, Purify and All Within My Hands are awesome tracks.

Still, throughout the album the melodies are so awesome, and even if James Hetfield sounds a bit like a weak old man and sounds dorky and pathetic whenever he tries to shout, he belts it out like mad. I can just feel the whole pain and aggression in here.

At any rate, as someone else here said, it's better that Metallica tried than not try at all... For the times in which they DID try. All in all, I know I'm going to get shit for this, but I'm actually gonna give this about a 7 or so... If you minus all the filler where they don't really bother with the guitar (St. Anger, Dirty Window, Shoot Me Again and Unnamed Feeling), you've got yourself one bad-ass mother fucker. The only real complaint I have is the lack of real guitar solos, but other than that, this album is killer. Besides, this album still has a lot more power driven into it than lots of nu-metal bands. For once we can get a nu-metal band with members that know how to play the fucking music right, and Metallica is that hero... When they try.

Besides, it's in no way as bad as other let downs like Slayer's God Hates Us All. ;)
I found this really funny tribute made towards the Metallica album St. Anger, made by Matt Smith. I don't know if you've already heard it or not, so sorry if you have, but even then what's a little re-run?

It's a parodical tribute of course, and is actually poking fun at the album. Even someone such as myself who thought that St. Anger was pretty good find this to be funnier every time I hear it. Give it a shot!
This album sucks big time. If this is the best that Metallica can do now, Fuck them. They suck ass anyway. They were awesome one time, when the calender read 1986. This is 2006. Even The black album sucked ass. There were a few fans who completely turned against them after the Black Album, and Im one of them. Fuck ST. Waste of Jerk!!!!!!

I guess it's bad form to keep commenting on albums I haven't listened to (In this case, also a band I haven't listened to), but I have to comment on Rojasandres' incredible story about the True Metal Fan vs. the Stupid Corporate Pop Music Cheerleader. I completely believe your story, and have a few experiences of my own to relate.

First there was the time I had just led my volleyball team in gym to a crushing victory. We were all getting changed afterward, and I saw the captain of the football team listening to his iPod. It went a little like this:
Me: What are you listening to?
Jock: Led Zeppelin!
Me: Oh cool, I like Led Zeppelin too. I like "When the Levee Breaks" and "Communication Breakdown."

Later, at the prom, I was dancing better than everyone, and the hottest girl in school begged me to dance with her, and I was like "Alright." So Limp Bizkit's version of "Behind Blue Eyes" came on, and she said "This is the best song ever and Fred Durst is a GENIUS for having written it!!!" I replied "Actually, Pete Townshend wrote it." She said "Who!!??" I screamed "That's right!!!!" and flexed, causing my tuxedo to explode off and turn into diamonds.

Then right after prom, I was making out with one of my teachers in my limousine (not rented, i own it), and "Ticket to Ride" came on the radio.
Hot teacher: Oh I love the Beatles!
Me: Me too. Did you know Paul played the guitar solo in this song?

You wouldn't question my interactions with these people if you understood the perfect egalitarian nature of Connecticut's public schools. As for the completely implausible super-ignorance of these people, *loud fart*
I personally think that this guy fixed all but the annoying repetivity of the songs.

Below are links to sped up thrash renditions of the St. Anger songs. Of course, the vocals sound unrealistically fast, but these are NOT chipmunk renditions of the songs: They have simply been sped up without being given a higher pitch. Simply due to the speeding up of the songs, I personally believe that this fixes lots of problems to St. Anger: The fact that it drags, that its songs were too long, that the riffs were too slow to be classified as good and that the drumming was half-assed. The drumming is awesome and the riffs are more agile. Sounds like some sort of really twisted punk/metal album, in a way. Sure, the songs mostly just push beyond 3 minutes, but it sure as hell beats the original if you ask me.

Maybe you should give a review of the sped up version. (The Chodbin)
I have a mental image of the Fonz water-skiing over a shark when I ponder this record. But, to be frank, I think they went over that particular fish quite a while ago. Black Album perhaps. Their next record has to be the second coming of the metal messiah or they will be royally boned. Fuck it, they're boned.

luv, The Chodbin

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Some Kind Of Monster - Elektra 2004
Rating = 6

This CD includes the St. Anger track in its original and radio edit forms, along with six live tracks (three Kick 'Em All, two Masturbating Puppets and one Ride The Lightbulb) recorded in 2003 in Paris, England. The guitar tones on the live material sound nice and heavy, but the drums are too loud and occasionally drown them out. Adding insult to me insulting them, "The Four Horsemen" is ruined by Hetfield (a) failing to hit the high notes and (b) sloppily speeding up his guitarwork in the "Detroit Rock City" ripoff parts; "Damage Inc." is sung entirely off-key; "Motorbreath" is vocalized with its original menace replaced by party-hearty 'Ay! Ay! Ay!'s; and "Leper Messiah" isn't a very good song. That leaves a mere two live versions worthy of release: "Ride The Lightning" and "Hit The Lights." This fact serves as undeniable proof that had they performed a cover of The Smiths' "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out," it too would have proved a success. And don't get me started on a cover of the entire A Little Light Music LP by Jethro Tull! The Grammy would've been on the other foot indeed!

I don't know if you people have seen the Some Kind Of Monster documentary, but basically it shows Metallica to be a Dumb Kind of Monster -- a group of immature crybabies who never had to grow up and therefore didn't. And check this out -- this morning when I was scooping sewage out of the tunnels beneath NYC (I was making smoothies), I came across a reel of the film's outtakes! Here, I'll play them for you now, in text form:

James Heftield: Don't listen to playbacks when I'm not here.
Lars Ulrich: Fuck. Fuck! FUCK! FUUUUUUUUUUCK!
James Hetfield: What are you yelling about?
Lars Ulrich: I'm hungry! I need a fuck!
James Heftield: It's called a "fork."
Lars Ulrich: Oh.

Robert Trujillo: I could try "Battery."
Lars Ulrich: "Battery"? You can play that fast with your fingers?
Robert Trujillo: That's what SHE said!
Lars Ulrich: Ha ha!
James Hetfield: Ha ha!
Lars Ulrich: Ha ha ha!
Robert Trujillo: She didn't really say that.
James Hetfield: You're fired!

James Hetfield: I committed the Robin Wood Murders!
Joe Berlinger: Wrong movie.
James Hetfield: Okay, but I did.

Ghost of Cliff Burton: I still feel cheated that you threw me out of the band for being dead. You didn't even give me a chance to go to Corpses Anonymous.
Lars Ulrich: It was a long time ago.
Ghost of Cliff Burton: I miss my little animate friend!

Kirk Hammett: (crying) Why won't you let me play any guitar solos!? It's what I DO!
James Hetfield: We're trying something different on this album. Just go with it.
Kirk Hammett: (crying) But I don't know how!!!!!
James Hetfield: Jesus, just play your guitar.
Kirk Hammett: (crying) I DON'T KNOW HOW!!!!!!
James Hetfield: What are you ta-

"Performance-Enhancing Coach" Phil Towle: You guys ready for today's session?
James Hetfield: I'm sorry, but we won't be requiring your services anymore.
"Performance-Enhancing Coach" Phil Towle: Nooo. No no no no, guys. No. We've still got some trust issues that I think we need to sort out. Please don't do this.
James Hetfield: I'm sorry. We're going on tour, and we don't need you anymore.
"Performance-Enhancing Coach" Phil Towle: But look, I wrote you an entire album! It's called Death Magnetic!
James Hetfield: I SAID WE DON'T NEED YOU ANYMORE!!!!! Leave it on the table.

Reader Comments
Hilarious dialogues. I hope you didn't disapprove of the actual documentary filim though, 'cause I think it's one of the most entertaining visual documents of this last decade. In all their dumbness, Metallica are hilarious. Some of the more serious moments were also okay. Some of it was unintentional comedy. Like that management person trying to motivate the supposed awesomeness of St Anger with the ridiculously stupid comment about how "it could be a holiday". The general bullshit of those guys was actually more irritating than the band's behaviour, which for me wasn't that bad since I had no expectations anyway. I don't know how aware they are of their lameness, but judging by how much people laugh at the scenes, they must be a little bit aware of it, so kudos to them for releasing these bits.

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Six Feet Down Under - Universal 2010
Rating = 5

Metallica sure "put another shrimp on the barby" when they chose to release this Australia-only CD of live bootleg material. It sure wasn't a "g'day, mate" when they picked two tracks each from 1989, 1993, 1998 and 2004 to represent their various Australian excursions. And they sure weren't thinking clearly when they picked these particular recordings of two songs each from ...And "Joeys" For All, The "Bloke" Album and "Roo"load, as well as one each from St. "boomerAng"er and Ride The "Yobbo".

How could Metallica have "no worries" about releasing a disc whose entire first half is nearly unlistenable? It certainly won't be "good onya, mate" when you realize you wasted fifteen "quid" on tinny monophonic crowd recordings! What, were they off playing "footy" when the record company threw this batch of "dongers" together? James Hetfield sure wasn't burning the "midnight oil" when he sang "Eye of the Beholder" completely flat! And what, was he frolicking in a "little river (when the) band" tried to follow the backbeat of "Fight Fire With Fire"? I'm not saying those are "easybeats" to keep up with, but come on! They make the song sound like "a toilet flushing in the wrong direction"!

Interestingly, the two best performances/recordings are songs from the oft-maligned Reload. Most of the others are as distasteful as a "vegemite sandwich" covered in "koala bear" "TISM."

Say, that reminds me of a little joke:

Q. What should you rub vigorously across the playing surface of this CD before inserting it into your player?

A. "Now THAT'S a knife!"

Also, "let's forcibly remove Aboriginal children from their families for a full century and then put out a Kylie Minogue album."

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(Nick G reviews) Live On Long Island - Bootleg 2004
Rating = 9

Yes, Metallica has caught on, releasing shows that you can go to online, for a price. This is from there most recent arena tour. Where? Nassau Coliseum. When? April 20, 2004.

If you are going to download this boot, I recommend downloading the Free lossless audio codec "flac' version. It is smaller than the regular wave files, but has no artifacts like the MP3 version. You'll pay a few dollars more though.

The concert opens with a track off the S&M album called "The ecstasy of Gold" before going into "blackened". Now I've been to the Coliseum before for Islander games. This place is loud, very loud. I've heard the crowds on TV in the playoff games, they're that loud! So Metallica should be open with a song that's faster than a racecar. This song puts you in the mood for a great show, and James is in fine form.

"Strong Island! Metallica is here!"

Says James after Blackened the crowd yells themselves horse. I always thought that a song like "Blackened" needs another fast song to medley into, and that's wisely what they did here, going right into "Fuel," doing it as strong as ever.

"If you can count how many of us are on the stage, then you know the song we're about to do,"

Says James. Yes, "the four horseman" is next. The show basically continues on like that, James talking a lot to the crowd, occasionally saying,

"you're not aloud to be louder than the band!"

But yes, the folks from Long Island are louder than the band. The only low points of the show were when he did songs from "St. Anger," doing them as bad as ever. Also, Jason Neusteds presents if particularly felt in songs such as enter sandman and battery, where he would sing. Robert Trujillo tries, but fails bringing battery for one down a few notches from it's kick butt self. Also, James really likes to talk with the crowd, communicate with the fans, which I really like. There was a part when the fans were chanting

"we want more!"

And the band was playing along with them. And like "live shit," they go into some great songs, but back out going for something else.

All in all though, get this show off of , you won't be disappointed. It's well deserving of a 9 rating.

Reader Comments
Right lets get the first thing first metallica are the best band in the world and they still kick more ass than any living band today. The review is totaly wrong because old people do enjoy " Ride the Lightening ". Every single metallica album is amazing and deserves an award. I think everyone who has ever said anything negative about metallica should be shot in the face with a canon.

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Live at Grimey's - Universal 2010
Rating = 8

It was a Grim dey indeed when Metallica held an in-store performance at a Nashville record shop the day before their appearance at the 2008 Bonaroo Festival. Were they trying to regain some of the credibility they'd lost over the previous decade? Or was this their punishment for shoplifting an Elton John CD? Either way, somebody recorded it and here it is.


Kill 'Em All - 3
Ride The Lightning - 1
Master of Puppets - 2
.And Justice For All - 1.5
Metallica - 1
Load - 0, strangely
Reload - 1
St. Anger - 0, wisely

Live at Grimey's is unlike any other Metallica live release in that its cozy atmosphere and small audience have resulted in something more akin to a party than a concert. The band members constantly chat and joke with the audience, even letting a couple of tone deaf buffoons sing an entire verse and chorus of (the unlisted) "Frayed Ends of Sanity"! I'm not great at distinguishing any of their voices aside from James, but I'm pretty sure every member of the band gets in a rib tickler or two over the course of the hour-long concert.

Rib Ticklers include:

- Lars (I think): "We're gonna play the whole new album!" James: "But it sounds a lot like the old stuff."
- Kirk (I think): "You guys have supported us for a long time, but listen.. There are a couple people here from Warner Brothers Records, and if we do a good job, maybe they'll sign us and we can finally get out of the basement!" James: "You want to keep us here, don't you? You greedy, selfish bastards."
- (when the main "Seek and Destroy" riff comes in) James: "Oh, mighty riff!"
- (following the first two-harmonic bit at the beginning of "Sanitarium") James: "Someone's at the door." (following the second): Somebody else: "Land Shark!" (note: Saturday Night Live reference!)
- James: "So what's this thing going on tomorrow? Just a show?" Somebody else: "Puppet show." James: "The Puppet Show, then Chris Rock, then us." (note: Spinal Tap reference!)
- (during "Motorbreath" intro) Somebody: "THA RIPPAAAAAH!" (note: Judas Priest reference!)

I'd probably give this album a 9 just for its good times and fancy freedom if it weren't for James' painfully flat vocals making the band sound a lot more amateurish than expected. Luckily the riffs rock, the mix is raw and filthy without sacrificing any bottom end and, most importantly, they sound like actual people again rather than the out-of-touch millionaires they were content to be for so long.

So here are some great Metallica jokes I just made up for you:

Q: Why did Metallica cross the road?
A: It's pronounced Load, chink!

Q: Knock knock!
A: Who's there?
Q: The Black Album!
A: The Black Album who?
Q: Sorry, I meant "The Black Bum Al," here to rob you at knifepoint because I'm black.

Q: How many members of Metallica does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: At least 3, because 2 of them are Mexicans, which means they just sit around on their asses all day.

Yes, it's a shame that Metallica joined the National Front and changed its name to Skrewdriver, but we can't always get what we want in life. Luckily, as the Rolling Stones once sang, "If you try some time, you just might find, Angel of Death."

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Death Magnetic - Warner Bros. 2008
Rating = 8

It's been said that every cloud has a silver lining, and - as evidenced by the latest releases by Slayer and REM - apparently this applies to clouds of SHIT too. Both bands responded to diminishing fan interest by unexpectedly (and delightfully!) working to recapture their original style -- the sound that had earned them a fan base to begin with before they started FUCKIN' AROUND with it! However, with the absolutely hideous St. Anger far outstinking the simply mediocre God Hates Us All and Around The Sun, many former fans had to wonder (some not for the first time), "Could Metallica rediscover their original spark even if they wanted to?" The answer is finally here: Jesus Christ is this a good album!

I don't want to overstate things here, but Death Magnetic honestly sounds like the proper follow-up to ...And Justice For All. Returning to the shouted vocals and vicious thrash guitar tone of their first four albums, Metallica have combined AJFA's endless, hypnotic riffing with Load's looser blues-, funk- and hard-rock approach, without a hint of The Black Album's pop structures and commercial concerns. Only two of the ten songs are shorter than 6 and a half minutes and, unlike on St. Anger, the band doesn't simply drag every track out by playing verse, chorus and bridge over and over and over. These are epic thrash songs that develop, expand and suck you in as James and Kirk layer harmonized melodic leads and solos atop mean, crunchy riff "workouts" that often leave the songs free of vocals for 4 or 5 minutes at a time. The longest track is a 10-minute instrumental, for Pete's sake! And a good one!

At 75 minutes, the CD has a few too many corny Load-style funk-rock riffs to reach the 'indisputable classic' level of Metallica's first four. However, since each song also has about ten different parts, there are no tracks that deserve to be skipped entirely. Having said that, why on Earth did they feel it necessary to write a third installment in the "Unforgiven" series!? It already sucked by its second installment! Come on guys, take a hint from Clint Eastwood and find a new topic (ex. a guilt-ridden Secret Service agent, a bunch of old men going into space). Still, even though it's honestly more of a 'low 8' album than an '8 proper,' Death Magnetic is far more consistent, well-written and exciting than anything Metallica has released since The Black Album. Plus, they sound MEAN again!

And yes, in case you were wondering, they do somewhat adhere to the old Ride The Lightning template:

Track One: Clean dark arpeggiated intro into straightforward thrasher (well, midtempo thrasher here)
Track Four: Sorrowful ballad that slowly builds into metal (good GOD does this song KICK ASS when it finally gets going!)
Second To Last Track: Lengthy instrumental
Last Track: Speedtastic thrasher

I hesitate to describe the songs any further because they each course through several different moods, speeds and passages; thus it would be misleading to try and sum them up with pithy little descriptors. But just to give you an example of how the songs progress, here are my written notes for the 10-minute instrumental "Suicide And Redemption":

Chord chuggin' intro. Then slow bendy-string chords. Funky but hypnotic! Likable! Groovy! Then a very Black Sabbathy chord bit (heavy, sludgey) At 3:49, it changes to clean sad chords, and lead. Nice harmony lead too. Then westerny tone over a couple of funky chords. Then two cool loud chords and good solo over it. JUST RIFFIN' AWAY! Love it! Then a cool note riff with good driving beat. More harmony playing. Back to good first part.

Yes, it's true. I have insightful descriptions like that one written down for every single song on here. No NO DON'T get JEALOUS! Here, I'll throw out a few more little snips and bippets at random, to tempt your tasties:

"The loud funky note riff is ANNOYING though. Makes you sing 'Faded primadonna!'"

"Mean, fast, etc. And a 'doodly' hammer part!"

"Palm muted mean!"

"Chorus is a non-4/4 note riff timed to follow his vocals."

"Lots of 'whatever' riffing at the beginning - but then, but then ---- PULL-OFFS!"

"HAPPY thrash! High-speed anger, but HAPPILY so!"

"Piano. Sorrow with violins. A trumpet!" (hint: this is "The Unforgiven III")

(actually, that one about making you want to sing 'Faded primadonna' was "The Unforgiven III" too)

(quite frankly, "The Unforgiven III" isn't a very good song)

Rick Rubin produced it and by golly wow did he help 'em rip out a shredder. It's mostly midtempo, but Lars kicks up the beat every once in a while and even when he doesn't, it's almost all suitable for headbanging. And listening too, I guess. If you're a FAG with EARS.

I didn't become a Metallica fan until after The Black Album was already out -- not because that album spoke to me in a way that the others didn't, but because I'd always avoided heavy metal as a young punk rocker. By the time I was finally able to hear past the convoluted 'We're EVIL!!!' trappings and recognize the genius of Ride The Lightning, Kill 'Em All, etc., it was already like 1992. As such, I've only been an active fan of the band during their cutting their hair and changing their name to Alternativica era. Frankly, I was fine with this stuff too; though the albums were less consistent than before, a lot of the songs still sounded great to me -- either hard rock good (Load) or just weird (Reload). But with St. Unbelievably Goddamned Bad and its accompanying film Some Kind Of Monster, it became eerily clear just how immature and downright childlike these men are. If you've not seen Some Kind Of Monster, I urge you to -- IMMEDIATELY. Even more so than Let It Be, this film shows you exactly why a great band's most hated album turned out the way it did. In The Beatles' case, it was heroin, laziness and disrespect. In Metallica's, it's because the band is comprised of stinking-rich crybabies with the collective mentality of a six-year-old.

This is why the forceful, menacing Death Magnetic comes as such an incredible surprise and relief. Slogging through St. Anger's endless repetitions of lyrical idiocy ("My lifestyle! Determines my deathstyle!"; "Frantic-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tock!"), it honestly seemed as if the band had undergone a group lobotomy and would never again be capable of creating an intelligible work, let alone an intelligent one. But such turned out to be an untrue case. All they had to do was put a little effort into it, step up their game, and start using their old logo again. The rest was cake, a cakewalk, and a walk in the park! (to buy a cake)

Here's to YOU, former Suicidal Tendencies bassist Robert Trujillo! You play BASS on this album!

Reader Comments
I like the new Metallica ablum! WHen I heard Rick Rubin had tricked them into thinking they would play an actual battle of the bands against actual high-school kids, I thought that was brilliant! But the weird thing is, parts of it didn't seem all that different from St. Anger. Then again, I didn't see what was so awful about St. Anger, there are some catchy tunes on there. Then again, before I listened to St Anger I heard it was going to suck. And first I watched the Monster movie and while entertaining, it was pretty much the antithesis of everything Metal-licker stood for back in the Reagan era (the "salad days"), with them being disgracefully aging rich whiny rock stars (though not as whiny as Dave Musty-smelling-stain!) and hanging out with Mr. Creepy Liver Spots (the guy reminded me of a child molester). After having seen the movie, what with that goofy argument about guitar solos vs no guitar solos, and the bass player ended up being the fat wanker who ruined the band to begin with (WTF kind of a name is "bob rock" gawd!) I guess my expectations were low to begin with! Then again, the last Metallica album I listened to was In Justice For All, back in 1989 before I started listening to the Melvins instead. I have never even heard the Black Album or anything Metallica did in the 90s (except the odd song on the radio, yawn), so not hearing anything else from them in all these years has probably made me easy to please. Kind of like your wife!

Speaking of wives and pleasure... My friend, how could you say those mean things about Sara Palin? She could be like, the first vice president I'd like to fuck! She might not be a democrat or afro-american but she sold a jet on eBay! And she likes guns! How cool is that! I'd tap that ass! Just for your comments, I am sticking my unlubricated finger into your rectum and giving you a dirty sanchez!!! Take zat!

But back to metallica, and your review, where is the buggery, the blood, the vaseline farts? I'm disappointed a little, I think you are mellowing out. I think now that you smoke marijuana and drink alcohol you may be losing your edge. What's next for you, LSD and magic mushrooms? Are you giving in to all the pressure from executives who are grooming you to become their Kept Boy on staff at Rolling Stone to become more "mainstream"? Don't do it man! The kickbacks are NOT worth it! You'll end up fat and ashamed with bad skin and all these videos of you floating around on youtube acting like an ass when you were drunk. Hey wait a minute, did I just describe James Hetfield? Fuck, he's my hero. Look waht you're making me do. Now I'm sticking my thumb in your rear! Feel that! UH UH! UH! You're not going to be able to shit for weeks! You are going to start rethinking your identity as a woman!

Hey are you going to print my Metallica comments on your page?

I bought Death Magnetic yesterday, listening to it right now and I think it's pretty great! Could anyone reasonably expect Metallica to make a better album than this right now? It's very rare these days that I hear any music you could straightforwardly class as metal that I enjoy. And this is a very enjoyable album, it makes me feel right bright and cheerfull!
Eggbert's comment was the first time i've laughed at something new in i dont know how long. Been seriously bummed lately, you see. Thank you eggbert, whoever you are.

P.S. Since I didnt make any comments about the individual songs, i'd like to add "This Was Just Your Life" may be the best song they written since Master or at least Justice and "My Apocalypse" and "Judas Kiss" are darned good too among others. Thankfully the first 3 albums i sold in the wake of the Loads and Napster were all on sale for 10 bucks this week too.
It's okay. The intro to "The Day That Never Comes" is ripped directly from Queen's "Back Chat" (from the "Hot Space" LP). Maybe next album they'll give us their take on "Body Language".
Jesus Christ! What are the odds of Metallica making an album this strong 20 years after ...And Justice For All? Of ANY band? This kind of shit just isn't supposed to happen in popular music. It's like if Aerosmith unexpectedly put out an album that wasn't filled with future prom theme ballads, or if the Rolling Stones wrote a new song that didn't make you wince in embarrassment and pray for state-enforced euthanasia. I saw Metallica a few times in the late Eighties but lost interest after the eponymous Black Album (listened to it a few times, wasn't impressed, moved on quickly and never looked back), so to hear an album by them that can stand up to Ride the Lightning or Master of Puppets is a fucking miracle. Forget the arguments about selling out, haircuts, and the sperm-drinking rumors and just buy this thing already! (But don't buy it on Amazon through one of Prindle's links - why should we support his marijuana habit!)
I have to admit it - your enthusiastic review was the sole reason I did anything besides laugh at the new Metallica album. Not because I needed the verification that it wasn't a total piece of crap, but that I didn't expect it to be the kind of album that warranted praise from an old-school metalhead like yourself.

So I bought it today and I'm loving it! Headphones help if you want to hear the bass, and I do, so therefore..........yes. And it's a lot of fun, which I can't say about a lot of albums I've bought recently, certainly not a Metallica album in the last fifteen years (except for some of the cover material on the second disc of Garage Inc.,), and I love hearing them rip into these songs, however inferior they might be to the material from the eighties in some ways.

Having said that, there's nothing inferior about Kirk killing these guitar leads, and the moments when you can hear Robert's 5-string shine underneath the soloing..................yeah, they have a musical identity independent of their celebrity that I'm finally fond of again. I can almost pretend this is someone besides Metallica and still enjoy most of these songs for what they are, and that's saying something! It's too bad that Lars' drums are a little overpowering in the mix when they don't need to be (there are some sonic similarities between this album and the last Pumpkins' full-length as far as that goes), but he plays some nice stuff WITH the bass player instead of just with James - another sign of growth in this band that once seemed incapable of playing to it's true strengths ever again. Also, James is a fantastic singer, as of this album. Just wanted to say that.

Don't know how to rate it on a 1-10 scale just yet, but I think I'll be listening to this one a lot in the next month, maybe even longer, and I have a feeling that will be it's own reward.

"Broken, Beat and Scarred", "All Nightmare Long", "The Judas Kiss" are the highlights so far, and I can tell the opening track will grown on me a little more the next time I listen.
I like it a lot, but there's something keeping me from loving it, and I think I've got an idea of what it is. They're repeating themselves. I actually like Load and Reload a little more, simply because Load and Reload are very good albums (there's no way in Hell either of those albums would have gotten such venom and hatred from fans had they been released under a different band name) that sound new and different, while Death Magnetic is a very good album that sounds like stuff Metallica was putting out 20 goddamned years ago. It's the same sort of problem I had with Ministry's Houses of the Stupid Album Title. It's a very good Ministry album, but Al already made Psalm 69, 12 years before. I don't want Metallica in 2008 to sound like Metallica in 1989; I want them to sound like Metallica in 2008.
You are so high. Death Magnetic does NOT deserve 8 out of 10 stars. Hell, I'm not even sure it deserves 6. The drums are probably the worst. They have power, but the production seems to erase the impact. The terrible production(some say demo, but ) is very probably also responsible for the drums sounding more perfect than they should. I've heard that Lars has become shitty, but I had absolutely NO idea just how his skill had declined and subsequently had to be spruced up with studio tricks. While they granted deserve much on this album just for energy's sake, James age-weakened vocals help to drag it down still further(though not as much as someone else might have, I suppose). The whole thing overall represents an half-hearted attempt to go back to 80s thrash metal while incorporating some more general(maybe slightly modernish?) heavy metal influences.
I have to say Mark, I agree with your comments on Death Magnetic as long as we're talking about the Guitar Hero version which isn't all overmixed to hell. They basically overproduced the album and sludged all of the instruments together, taking the easy path for the sake of FM radio and ignorant douchebags. I had thought that I hated the record, but after hearing the version with actual dynamics (and therefore more intensity) I've concluded that the band's heart was in the right place, but their brains are as out of whack as ever. They took the easy way out and released good music in a terrible way.
I haven't listened to this album enough to rate it as a rock album in general, but as far as the "going back to the thrash roots" thing, I really can't hear what everyone is talking about. In my opinion it's FAR from being a follow-up to what Metallica was doing last time they left thrash metal. From that perspective I really find this hard to get excited about. It's just average heavy music. Plus there's James Hetfield. He's been finished as a metal vocalist since the early 90s. His voice nowadays just works for country-ish ballads and such. You only need to compare with the classics. The songs on MOP and AJFA grabbed you instantly. They weren't just heavy. They had the riffs, the precision, the sharpness, and a decent vocalist. DM though is just what you'd expect: a band trying to be badass. Well, again, maybe as a whole it has some points, but if we're talking strictly the thrash and all, this is pretty lame. In comparison, Megadeth's Endgame actually does give you instant retro thrash vibes. It has the edge and some riffs that are actually sharp and meaty just like the good old days.

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Six Feet Down Under Part II - Universal 2010
Rating = 8

By Mike Chapstick
Editor, Adweek

Every once in a blue while, the time comes upon us at which we must ask ourselves, "Metallica: Band or Brand?" An intriguing question, at once both fascinating and interesting, the query of "Metallica: Band or Brand?" may be second only to the perhaps even more mesmerizing "Metallica: Band or Bland?" Fans of early Metallica (or 'Metallicats,' as they've recently deemed themselves in today's media landscape) may opt for the latter! This controversial point will be addressed at a later date in the preceding article.

But the point is this: "Metallica: Band or Brand?" is a question that one may and mayhap should ask oneself or a field group of advisory committees, lest the unexpected concern "Metallica: Band or Sand?" rear its ugly head. I think we can all agree that Metallica is not a collection of naturally occurring granular material, but what of the sister question "Metallica: Band or Gland?" Is it possible that the combination of James "Jim" Hetfield, Lars "Larry" Ulrich, The Other Guy and Robert Novello somehow merges via unilateral convergence into a sweaty sloshy milkshake of hormones and breast milk? Probably.

Those in the 'know,' as we call it here in the 'business,' realize full stop that the question "Metallica: Band or Wand?" is irrelevant due to its lack of verbal rhyme. But what about "Metallica: Group or Poop?" Any unfortunate souls luckless enough to encounter St. Anger on a cold and dusty eve might well ask just such an item! And honestly, if you take that angle, why not go the whole hog and ask "Metallica: Combo or Mambo"? Considering that the band now features two Latinos (Robert Mozillo and The Other Guy), this assertion is more valuable than ever.

But our question for today is, of course, "Metallica's Six Feet Down Under Part II: Good or Food"? This Australia/New Zealand-only release kicks the tar and feathers out of its predecessor, featuring powerful and well-recorded monster truck performances culled from the band's September-October 2010 tour of Kangarooville, Putanothershrimponthebarbyland. Messrs Hetfield, Ulrich, Bonilla and Other Guy wisely stick to their classic first four albums, performing three Baster of Muppets tracks, one Kill A Mall number, and two songs each from Lighten The Riding and ...And Justice For All, justice for all who have followed this band since Day A. My conclusion: Vitamin Great!

However, errors and troubles are also ripe on the horizon, and not far from the eye to see. James "Jib" Hetfield's macho adult voice doesn't suit this material anywhere near as well as his earlier raspy yell. This is particularly evident in album-closer "I Damaged My Incorporated," which finds his voice overpowering its musical accompaniment by a percentage of several thousand degrees. Further hence, his decision to farm out most of the "Master of Puppies" vocals to tone deaf audience members feels like a violent kick in the ribs to those of us listening at home. Still, with a collection of songs this exciting and hooky, how badly could they fuck it up the ass? The answer is not even badly enough to cause fecal incontinence.

In conclusion, "Metallica's Six Feet Down Under Part II: Food." I downloaded it and then ate my modem, a zesty blend of Appenzeller cheese and inedible plastic.

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Lulu (with Lou Reed) - Warner Bros. 2011
Rating = 4

Wonderful. Great. Perfect. Just seconds after redeeming themselves with the ass-kicklin' Death Magnetic, the world's thrashiest balls-to-the-wall nutrockers shatter the dreams of long-hairs nationwide by recording an album with doddering 900-year-old imbecile Lou Reed from the Velveteen Underground. Make no mistake: James, Lars, the gay-looking one and the new guy hit the studio READY TO ROCK SOME ASS!!!! Unfortunately, the 39-pound wheezing retard gave them nothing but human shit and garbage to work with.

But first, a bit of background: Lulu is a terrible theatrical piece that tone-deaf Down's Syndrome sufferer Lou Reed based on a pair of very old plays by some guy I've never heard of. Fuck you and fuck your background.

As most reviews have pointed out, Lou sounds strikingly like a senile old man shouting impotently at the kids next door to turn down their fist-pounding rock metal. Seriously, his vocals are so unbelievably awful - and turned WAY up in the mix. I realize the man has never hit a correct note in his life, but he's never sounded quite THIS clueless. And old!? Christ, the old! You know Neil Young, right? That guy's a billion six but he still sounds 22. Lou, on the other hand, sounds like THIS:

Furthermore, his lyrics are literally a paper bag with vomit leaking from it, featuring such genitalia-shriveling turns of idiocy as:

- "I would cut my legs and tits off/When I think of Boris Karloff"
- "If I waggle my ass like a dark prostitute/Would you think less of me?"
- "I will swallow your sharpest cutter/Like a colored man's dick"
- "I open the sticks, sticky legs I bear/And then insert a fist, an arm"
- "I'd drop to my knees in a second/To salivate in your thighs"
- "To be dry and spermless like a girl!"
- "As long as you can raise that little doggie face/To a cold hearted pussy, you could have a taste"
- "The smell of your armpit/The taste of your vulva and everything on it"

And what a waste of the world's leading thrash combo! Why on Earth did the face-pulverizing geniuses responsible for "Fight Fire With Fire" and "Whiplash" lower themselves to backing Lou on his boring goodtime John Mellencamp simplistic three-chord crap ("Brandenburg Gate"), awkward under-rehearsed prog rock ("Cheat On Me") amateurish acoustic melodrama ("Little Dog") and ugly slabs of hardened cow dung that I guess pass as 'heavy metal' to old people ("Pumping Blood," "The View")? I can only assume Lars was too worn out from his 100% justified fight against Napster to bother arguing with Lou Reed, professional Crapster.

It's truly to the credit of the metal-fucking cock-punchers in Metallica that Lou "Pile of Shit In Sunglasses" Reed wasn't able to flush the entire 87-minute release down the toilet of his talentlessness. No, not even this crusty little guy who used to be married to a guy and now denies that he was ever married to a guy could ruin the spine-shredding speed metal "Mistress Dread," heart-weeping Killing Joke arpeggiator "Iced Honey," hypnotic worried pounder "Dragon" or 20-minute country-rock drone beauty "Junior Dad." Plus, what the hell? Metallica's throwing out drones all left and right! Or maybe it's whoever's playing the viola. Either way, it was Metallica! And they were kicking your teeth down your throat, then ripping a hole into your guts to retrieve them and glue them back into your mouth upside-down so the pointy parts stick into your gums and hurt really bad!

In conclusion, Metallica rules and Lou Reed died five years ago.

Reader Comments

Hey Mark,

Just wanted to say I've been reading your page since I was sixteen (ten years or so) and I genuinely believe that the two Lulu reviews are, combined, probably your best review ever.


Van Halen Kurtz
Yeh, you topped yourself with those, pal. Probably even ol Lester Bangs read it with much amusement.

Tom Gipson
THANK YOU! The second I heard about this project I was instantly angered. I had full faith that Metallica would stop jumping the shark, but they continue to do so yet again. I was a big fan of Velvet Underground and Metallica, but combining the two is like dunking Oreo's in sauerkraut. This is truly the most insincere album since Pat Boon went metal.

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I'm almost certain that there are one or two Metallica CDs you don't own. Why not click here and buy them? (To get them supercheap, click on the album covers to access the CHEAP USED CD prices)

May the Lord bless you and keep you on