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Metallica - Metallica (Cover Artwork)

Metallica

Metallica: MetallicaMetallica (1991)
Elektra

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: JeloneJelone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Goddammit. Let me explain. There are certain things I need to believe in order to go on living. There's love, for example. The potential for mankind to better itself and one day take its place in the United Federation of Planets. Stuff like that. Another of these guiding principles: Fuck Bob Rock.
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Goddammit.

Let me explain. There are certain things I need to believe in order to go on living. There's love, for example. The potential for mankind to better itself and one day take its place in the United Federation of Planets. Stuff like that. Another of these guiding principles: Fuck Bob Rock forever. Dude is a twat who takes rock bands and just shits all over them. The most famous example is supposed to be his production job on Metallica's Metallica, a.k.a. "the Black Album." And for the longest time, I refused to explore Metallica's best selling record simply because conventional wisdom holds that he ruined one of the best metal bands of the '80s. Up until now, I've held on to Ride the Lightening and Master of Puppets and just ignored all the jerkery that came later.

Except here's the thing: "The Black Album" is actually really, really good. It's stripped down compared to the speed metal of Ô?ŽAnd Justice For All, but it's preferable to disappearing up some sort of tech asshole. If anything, "the Black Album" is the first record where Metallica sounded like themselves.

Up to that point, Metallica's records generally reacted to the Sunset Strip (Kill 'Em All), the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (Lightening) and even the death of bassist Cliff Burton (Justice's low end sounds like farts simply because the other members wanted to haze replacement Jason Newsted). Satisfied that they'd achieved all they could with metal, Metallica shifted toward hard rock on "Black Album," a style that's dominated their songwriting for 20 years now.

Everybody knows "Enter Sandman," and it's hard to hear with fresh ears, so let's skip to "Sad But True." Like a lot of the songs here, it's driven by a simple but driving riff, powered by such an ugly tone and complemented by James Hetfield's bark. The true successes of "Black Album" lay in asskickers like this one; "Don't Tread on Me," "Wherever I May Roam," "Of Wolf and Man" and "The God That Failed" are mighty fine as well.

Of course, this being a Rock production, there a couple of ballads on there. "The Unforgiven" and "Nothing Else Matters" are decent tunes that brought Metallica more mainstream recognition, and they bring a little diversity to the album. Really, Rock's touch isn't too bad. While he made his name working with Bon Jovi and Loverboy, his cleaner pop approach benefits the more mainstream approach Metallica was gravitating towards. "Black Album" sounds significantly better than Justice, and is indeed a fitting capper after the band's gradual rise throughout the '80s.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
gugl0003 (November 5, 2012)

"All Nightmare Long" > The rest of their catalogue

glloyd (November 5, 2012)

The opening lines of this review are perfect.

overdefined (November 5, 2012)

"Justice > Master > Black > Ride > Kill > Death Magnetic > Load > Reload > St Anger"

Other than maybe having Black above Ride and/Kill, this is pretty much the consensus. My controversial opinion is that I LOVE Death Magnetic. Death runs out-ah!

thisrespirator (November 5, 2012)

Justice > Master > Black > Ride > Kill > Death Magnetic > Load > Reload > St Anger

mikexdude (November 5, 2012)

LOVE this record. It's so heavy. I think the production is great. One of the main things he did was slow them down, but if you heard what these songs sounded like at higher BPM you'd realize this was a good thing.

Fun fact: 'Don't Tread on Me" is one of Lar's least favorite songs.

givemeamuseumandillfillit (November 4, 2012)

I saw them play this album in full this summer. Now, that gig was one of the highlights of my year so far.
Does that have anything to do with the record? No.

Hetfield spent about 25 minutes going METALLICA!! AAAH! YEAH-AH! FAAMILY!!!! METALLICA FAAHMILYYY!!

Absolutely amazing.

That makes the second year in a row that Metallica is responsible for one of the funniest moments. Last year it was hearing Lou Reed be his usual self and then Hetfield backing up by going "ah, aauh, YEAA-AAH! aaarrhh!". It was exactly what I wanted it to be.

whynotquebec (November 3, 2012)

Metal Militia-uh-huuuuuh!!

slowstupidhungry (November 2, 2012)

Their only good album is "Ride the Lightning." Everything before that is generic and everything after is fucking cheesedick.

puddboy (November 2, 2012)

Hmm, I've not heard of this 'Metallica', perhaps I will check them out

chewie1234 (November 2, 2012)

This album officially marks the start of Metallica's decline...and why is this album being reviewed on this site?

johngentile (November 2, 2012)

It's no "Re-Load."

Dante3000 (November 2, 2012)

It's no "Load"

wallofyouth (November 2, 2012)

"I love this album but I hate how every song does that "let's keep playing as the song fades away" thing. Write an ending, guys!"

I have a similar reaction to the way mike ness has decided to end just about every social D song like it's the end of a god damned concert

Jonny0110 (November 2, 2012)

I like St. Anger.

radtothemax (November 2, 2012)

Master

timorous_me (November 2, 2012)

I love this album but I hate how every song does that "let's keep playing as the song fades away" thing. Write an ending, guys!

danwazz (November 2, 2012)

If you didn't listen to this on cassette, the review is null and void.

overdefined (November 2, 2012)

Whenever I heard Sad But True on the radio it sounds like he's saying "sex patrol." YOU KNOW ITS SEX PATROOOOOL.

Seriously, listen to it and tell me it doesn't sound like that.

moop (November 2, 2012)

ah lars' last competent record.

while i cant listen to the 1 2 tracks.. from tnen on its a solid record.. My Friend of Misery is one of my favorite songs..

BarleyPat (November 2, 2012)

My top 3 Metallica go Master/Justice/Lightning, but I've always thought 'Of Wolf and Man' is among their best songs.

I can't get into anything after this album though.

jo_punk_promoter (November 2, 2012)

Seriously?

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