Metallica - Kill 'Em All (Cover Artwork)


Metallica: Kill 'Em AllKill 'Em All (1983)
Megaforce Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

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

Released a week after the first Suicidal Tendencies album, Metallica makes history with their 1983 debut Kill 'Em All by becoming one of the first thrash metal bands to ever come out of the North American continent. Some people aren't really a huge fan of this record, but I am. "Hit the Lights," .
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Released a week after the first Suicidal Tendencies album, Metallica makes history with their 1983 debut Kill 'Em All by becoming one of the first thrash metal bands to ever come out of the North American continent.

Some people aren't really a huge fan of this record, but I am. "Hit the Lights," "The Four Horsemen," "Motorbreath," "Jump in the Fire" and "Seek and Destroy" are all classics as well as the late Cliff Burton's bass solo track "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth." While not as timeless as their later albums, 1984's Ride the Lightning or their 1986 classic Master of Puppets, Kill 'Em All is still one of the band's strongest works and a fine piece of thrash metal, and as good a marker as any for the debut of the genre, if that makes any sense at all.

The guitars are the highlight of this album. All the main riffs are memorable and even a lot of the secondary ones are as well. Kirk Hammett's lead work is frantic (no pun) and energetic, and several of the solos on this album rank among his best. Hetfield's vocals still have the intensity of youth and are far more raw than his pathetic singing on St. Anger. Cliff's bass work is poignant and audible unlike a lot of early thrash albums. The track "Anesthesia" is sometimes called an extended solo, but it's really just a sweet bass instrumental, rich with effects and cool melody lines. Lars is a terrible drummer, but he clearly did his best to hide it on this album.

Every song on this album is unique and contributes something to the album in total. "Hit the Lights" is obnoxiously quick and full of lead guitar. "The Four Horsemen" has a killer solo section and a lot of great riffs. "No Remorse" has awesome vocals and particularly memorable lyrics, plus a ton of killer riffs (the Cannibal Corpse cover of this song is even heavier than the original). "Phantom Lord" has a clean bridge to add a change of pace to the all out thrash attack.

This is a must-have album for any Metallica fan. Whether you are a new or old fan, yes, I recommend you check it out, chill back and take an excellent journey back to their humble beginnings. The speed at which these guys can play while making some awesome music is incredible. Playing this music in your car will make you want to put the pedal to the metal and rock all night long. As far as I am concerned this is the peak of Metallica as far as their music.


People who liked this also liked:
Metallica - Master of PuppetsBad Religion - SufferThe Clash - London CallingMetallica - ...And Justice for AllMetallica - Ride the LightningOperation Ivy - Operation IvySuicidal Tendencies - Suicidal TendenciesMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyBlack Flag - Nervous BreakdownThe Clash - The Clash

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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.
fallenangel (December 8, 2009)

anything they do is awesome

skott_applecore (April 8, 2008)

"I don't give a fuck what anybody says, the black album is one of the greatest albums ever written and produced. Up there with Thriller, A Night At The Opera and London Calling."

Oh shit, well if its as good as Thriller....

TommyPickles (March 21, 2008)

So fucking what if it's on a punk site it's a good album.

punkgato (March 21, 2008)

Considering Kill 'Em All their peak musically is the most retarded thing I've ever heard...have you fucking heard ...And Justice For All???

moos (March 18, 2008)


royalt (March 18, 2008)

A review of a 25 year old, extremely popular Metallica album on a punk website...oooo boy this is useful

DrGunn (March 17, 2008)

oh yeah, a night at the opera is totally my favorite blind guardian album.

dktr (March 17, 2008)

Many bands thrive on the chemistry of how they write and perform for one another, rather than just how an individual writes naturally. It would seems true with the Clash, Primus, Adam Ant, etc. And it would seem true of Metallica. This album was very much written at the formation of a band, very much based on Mustaine's material. While he still has a presence in the following albums, it is minimal and the Hetfield/Ulrich writing really, really comes to prominance with Burton adding, what I think, was a crucial punk/hardcore edge that thankfully flowed over into Justice (which is my favourite album) but not further and have suffered from that lack of influence since.

As for Ulrich as a drummer - i miss drumming like he does on these first few albums. He's never outstanding, but always seems to know what the music needs. He's not OTT with the double kick, which is what most metal really suffers from today. And his fills, in the later albums, are great if pretty standard.

I wouldn't say this is a great album, but it's got some fun tracks and sets up a 3/4 album period where they did no wrong. I don't give a fuck what anybody says, the black album is one of the greatest albums ever written and produced. Up there with Thriller, A Night At The Opera and London Calling.

contrarian (March 17, 2008)

Back in the day Lars was a slightly above-average thrash drummer...now he just plain sucks. Despite the fact that the man often gets credit for introducing the prominent double-kick to metal, he's worse at it than a lot of novices. He struggles to keep time on practically every fill he plays.

Seriously, Lars is weak. By what standard is he anything more?

gritty (March 17, 2008)

Megadeth still rips live, eventhough its only Mustaine from the orig lineup. Hes such an underrated guitarist/performer

alex101 (March 17, 2008)

Metallica on Punknews.org? Weird.

I do like Metallica, but Kill 'Em All isn't really my favorite record, but Master of Puppets is.

aa540 (March 17, 2008)

Metallica nicked Dave Mustaines riffs, solos, and songs for the first 3 records....check the liner notes...if you love Metallica so much, go check Megadeth....all the talent and alot more of a raw feel....

gritty (March 17, 2008)

Its about time a good album was reviewed on this site.
If you havent noticed WilliamJess, there isnt much "punk" news to report.

William_Jess (March 17, 2008)

score is for reviewing metallica on punknews. aren't there enough metal sites to do this already?

damnitsderek (March 17, 2008)

So is this going to be like when all of the Ramones albums were reviewed over a two week or so period?

Torgo (March 17, 2008)


Ass_Pirate (March 16, 2008)

i don't condone suicide, but if you can't admit this is a good piece of music.....just give up.

gritty (March 16, 2008)

Kickass album. Underrated no doubt.

But Ulrich is def not a terrible drummer, he's actually pretty damn good, and a better songwriter. He writes most of the music.

nocigar (March 16, 2008)

Playing this in your car will make you want to put the pedal to the metal and drive off a fucking cliff. these guys suck, always have, fuck this shit ass band.

Cos (March 16, 2008)

Sweet jeebus I hate this band.

skott_applecore (March 16, 2008)

Metallica fucking sucks

williamhowardtaft (March 16, 2008)

scores for how much i like metallica.

contrarian (March 16, 2008)

Hammett's "lead work" can hardly be praised here, as all he did was copy Mustaine's solos note-for-note.

Justice is their best, ignoring the weird production.

lushj (March 15, 2008)

"Seek And Destroy" has a PERFECT guitar riff. Seriously.

Of the good Metallica records:
1. Master of Puppets
2. Kill Em All
3. Ride the Lightning
4. And Justice for All...

red_eye_inc (March 15, 2008)

dear wyzo,

I can't argue. Puppets owns.

JerryCola (March 15, 2008)

If you look at the writing credits for this album, Metallica used a couple of Dave's riff's on this album after he was kicked out of the band.

Hell Mustaine even has writing credits on Ride The Lightning.

Ass_Pirate (March 15, 2008)

" Easily a ten. Thanks mostly to Mr.Mustaine" what's that supposed to mean? metallica were just fine without dave, at least in the 80's.

asparkoflife (March 15, 2008)

In Order:

1. Justice
2. Master
3. Ride
4. Load
5. Kill 'Em All
6. Black
7. ReLoad
8. St Anger

blackmetal666 (March 15, 2008)

Good album, but if you think this is the pinnacle of their career I don't know what fucking band you're talking about. They got better (ok Puppets is their peak, but AJFA is fucking awesome) and even the black album has some awesome stuff on it. Lars is quite an average drummer, but he's by no means terrible. He's definitely gotten worse, but so has Kirk. Anyways, I'm gonna go with
1. Puppets
2. Justice
3. Kill 'Em All
4. Lightning

cherrycolarain (March 15, 2008)

Just hope I have my metal history straight here but wasn't this album originally going to be called "Metal Up Your Ass" and the cover art would feature a muscular hand with a knife emerging from the confines of a toilet? That's pretty sick.

Anyways, I could never get into Hetfield's voice, something about it just irks me.

Albert_Belle (March 15, 2008)

Just for fun.
1. Master of Puppets
2. Kill Em All
3. And Justice for All...
4. Ride the Lightning
5. Load
6. Black Album
7. Reload
8. St. Anger

Albert_Belle (March 15, 2008)

About time this album was reviewed. Easily a ten. Thanks mostly to Mr.Mustaine, but I won't open that can of worms.

tenwestchaser (March 14, 2008)

" While not as timeless as their later albums" and then ending with "As far as I am concerned this is the peak of Metallica as far as their music. "

I'm lost. Did not seem like this review was highlighting how this album is the peak for Metallica. More like...it's a fantastic record but not their peak.

damagdsole (March 14, 2008)

as a 16-year old punk hearing this album blew me away.

this is more punk than most things that claim to be punk. shit rips.

but ride the lightning is the best hands down.

everyone on this site should give this album a shot, it opened to doors of metal for me and i've never looked back.

rust in peace next!

bryne (March 14, 2008)

I love the hell out of this album and everything else up to ...And Justice For All.

Most bands will never write and record one five star album, and these dudes made four of them.

HonestAbe (March 14, 2008)

I'm not much of a metallica fan, ut I was all about that ST review.

Scores' for the reviewer taking the time to do some thrash metal reviews

Reign in Blood next?

sugarfull (March 14, 2008)

Motorbreath is always good, but most of the stuff on this album was topped by Ride The Lightning in my opinion.

cheesetits (March 14, 2008)

Totally random review.....but yes this album shreds like few others. And Lars "drumming on trashcans" is from their latest album, which yes it does sound like that, and it's awfully embarrassing. But all members of this band had some amazing talent.

wyzo (March 14, 2008)

Ride the lightning is the underdog, very good album but gets overshadowed most of the time.

The new metallica won't be produced by Bob Rock so its got that going for it, man gave them some commercial success and stole their spine.

But let's be honest, it all boils down to:

Justice or Puppets?

Friends have been torn asunder over this question.

I say Puppets hands downs. Let's argue.


MaxEThunders (March 14, 2008)

I've never heard the whole album but Seek & Destroy is fucking awesome.

MsJustinChris (March 14, 2008)

"Lars is a terrible drummer? What?"

I've heard several songs that sound like he's just beating on trashcans.

baseball (March 14, 2008)

only thing worthwhile Metallica has ever done, in my opinion

TROOF (March 14, 2008)

Everything this band did in the 80's rules. If only that Metallica would return.

24HourPriapism (March 14, 2008)

something tells me we all got massively trolled with this review.

regardless, i'd give metallica a free pass all the way up to black album. however, ride the lightning was easily the peak of metallica's talent.

Hey_Asshole (March 14, 2008)

fuck this band

Anarchypants (March 14, 2008)

Lars is a terrible drummer? What?

Branden (March 14, 2008)

a stone cold classic. god, im on the biggest metal kick of my life right now.

icapped2pac (March 14, 2008)

Wow, all the ethnocentrism and elitism have finally paid off. We're our own continent now! Eat that, Canada & Mexico! U! S! A! U! S! A!

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