Metallica

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Lulu is the most interesting thing Metallica has ever done. It's not necessarily good, but it's interesting.

However, the best part is "I am the table" becoming a regular part of Botchamania. Nobody will get that but me, but it's fine.
 

Ruflux

Ancient Mariner
I didn't read that review but saw that the final score was 80% or so and silently shook my head. All is as it should be in this universe.

I personally don't think any song on Hardwired is outright terrible (LoS is a bonus song and doesn't count), but Murder One (which is what Lars does every gig these days) and ManUNkind (fuck that title too) are pretty weak offerings. The former especially since it's supposed to be Metallica's big Lemmy tribute and he's certainly deserved better.

I would argue that the album would be much stronger and cohesive if they just lopped off everything from disc two apart from Confusion and Spit Out the Bone. That way the bloat on some of the songs wouldn't have been highlighted as much either. It just gets tiring to listen to the same plodding riffs at midtempo halfway through Here Comes Revenge.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
I dunno why Lulu clicks with me and KEA, DM, AJFA don't... but it does. It's the weirdest thing ever. A lot of times I get why people rag on it, but I find myself immersed in its content. I really, really like this album. Expect an even more insane review than you've ever seen from me yet.
Lulu (2011)



1. Brandenburg Gate - Some nice acoustic strumming opens up this album. I quite like it. Forceful and peaceful at times. Then Reed comes in with "I would cut my legs and tits off..." and basically from that point forward, I'm fucking hooked. Basically sums up entirely all of the album in one line and sets you up for what's to come. A heavier riff sets in and rolls over the listener as Mr. Hetfield sings about some "small town gurrrl!" I actually really like it. The riff here is pretty great and even Lars's drumming is pretty strong. Lou sing/speaking over the metallic riffage is weird but not off-putting to me at all. I think the lyrics here are fairly strong too, some of the best on the album and a great way to set up the rest of the affair. There isn't much variation in this song, but that doesn't make much of a difference because it doesn't run on forever and does enough in its time to be pretty enjoyable. This is a great way to open the album and one of my favorite songs from it as well. All the good qualities being considered, I think I can round it up. Not perfect, but pretty close. Sorry, I love this song. 9/10

2. The View - I love this drum opening leading into that riff. It's heavy, it's doomy, it's pretty fucking awesome. It's slow but everlastingly steady. I think one of the reasons I like Lulu is because of Lou Reed's voice... I quite like listening to him speak. His diction is really great, his accent, the way he pronounces the sounds in words. "...like a fortune; oh throw it away!" sounds fantastic coming from him. It makes an already fascinating album that much better. James comes in with "I am the root!" and it isn't bad but it isn't as great as his "small town gurl" from the previous song. The lyrics James sings on this song are kinda weird. Root? Tablet? Table? It's only when you start looking closely at the lyrics that you realize his talking about religious imagery. Table = the table Jesus ate at during The Last Supper. It's interesting, though kinda laughably executed and I prefer Reed's parts in this song more. I do like that wild Kirk solo we get as a part of the song's outro. It's pretty good. Overall I think this song is a step below the previous one but there's a lot to like here nonetheless. Far more inspired than most of what was on Death Magnetic. 8/10

3. Pumping Blood - I'm not quite sure what instrument makes this opening, but I like it. It feels like being on a ship sailing away from shore. A thumping drum beat leads into the riff which is again pretty good. Lou doesn't sound as focused on this song's opening with "pumping blood, pumping blood..." but it doesn't burn the song down much. He's better again on the actual verse, which is driven forward by his rambling sort of style and the boys in Metallica. About two minutes in we calm down after a piece that feels like a furnace about to explode. Then some quiet strumming comes in and I really like this bit. I love how Reed songs with "the stream, the trickle, the tributary of my heart". The "sr" and "tr" sounds are especially good, and there's something emotional about his pronunciation of "heart". There are some weird lines on this album for sure - "waggle my ass like a dark prostitute" for one - but they add to the overall work. We start building up some more slowly but surely with the Metallica folk, which slows down for a moment before coming back up and erupting in a roar, pumping the blood of their craftwork forward. "Oh Jack, I beseech you!" "In the end it was an ordinary heart!" I love these. I love this. It's so fucking weird and I like that. The music gets faster and faster and the blood circulates throughout the song more and more until we quiet down and return to the opening riff we left behind earlier. This song is about seven minutes in length, and yet it doesn't really feel like it. It's captivating, it's fascinating, it's a pretty great song. There are a few weaknesses that keep it below "Brandenburg Gate", but overall I really like it. 8/10

4. Mistress Dread - Continuing where "Pumping Blood" left off, we get a cool little opening here that leads into a really, really frantic riff (no reference to the Metallica song intended) that leads to some more Reed-isms. It's here where I get completely where people get with their criticisms of this album. One thing a lot of reviewers bring up is that it feels like Reed and Metallica are in completely different rooms doing something completely different from each other. I can get that from this song. And yet... I don't hate it for it. It's quite good to my ears. It feels like a walk through the London alleys, full of dilapidation, bleariness and shit like that. I quite like the feeling, the imagery it prevents. I will say that the line "please spit into my mouth" is one of the lines on here where I'm really not on board, but it doesn't bring things down too much. Reed does sound kinda weird singing from the point of view of that of a prostitute. Kinda weird mix thing going on. There's some rockiness that I like, building forward punch by punch towards some sort of climax. There's a start and stop outro of riffing that brings us to the end. This is the weakest song on the album thus far, but it's also a grower. I like it better now than I did two days ago, but I think the weaknesses are enough to round down on. 7/10

5. Iced Honey - "One, two, three, and!" *Drum beat - guitar riff* I love this opening. It sounds so good. Reed sounds pretty good on the first verse and this is probably the most typical sort of song on this album. The chorus is simple yet effective. When James comes in in the second one it takes things to the next level. "If you make others feel like jam" is a line I never expected to hear in a song, let alone like in a song, yet here we are. The long Lou section here is great. "...and people wonder what you're all about!" is great. But my favorite part of this piece is "And ME?" and the piece that follows. It's Lou doing some more typical singing and it's so. damn. good. By the end we get the cool refrain "see if the ice will melt for you", which is backed by James as a sort of outro piece. We leave with James and Lou on top of one another and we head out the door on a high note. This is the second shortest song on the album, and damn is it good. It's easily my favorite song in here. It's really, really close to receiving top marks from me, but I don't think it's quite that perfect. As it is, I love it. 9/10

6. Cheat On Me - A nice little electronic sort of opening builds up the second longest song on the album and one of three to cross the eleven minute mark. There's some guitar stuffs here too that I quite like. It feels like you're in the 1880's of London, those sort of picturesque, smoke-filled streets that you envision every time you read a Sherlock Holmes story or, since he's a character in this album (and the plays that inspired Lulu), whenever you read about Jack the Ripper. It's really, really cool and I love this sort of envisionment the album can give one. Yes, this opening lasts over three minutes before Lou finally comes in, but it's just so good that I don't care. The song's lyrics are quite interesting. The title seems to either suggest someone is cheating on our protagonist, or perhaps is a command to someone (cheat on me!). Yet the lyrics are actually talking about Lulu cheating on herself. It's grammatically incorrect, yes, but it makes this song that much more interesting. I like how the music here builds up. It goes from the quiet opening forward to a more drum-focused bit while the guitars gradually get heavier. James comes in with "why do I cheeeaaat on meeeee?" It isn't his finest performance (not even on this album), but it adds to the song's atmosphere and effect. I love how it goes directly into the actual riff there and I always find myself bopping my head to it. There's about three minutes of Lou and James just repeating "why do I cheat on me?" and it's the sort of thing I'd typically not like... yet it's actually quite good here. Works to the effect they intended. We really start moving forward in the final fifty seconds as Lou uses that time to push forward and hit us with his stuff. We finally slow up and reach the end, and it honestly doesn't feel like eleven and a half minutes. To others, probably like an eternity. To me, I really like this song. I think there's a couple things here that hold it back from perfection, but then there's so much good stuff... gotta round up. 9/10

7. Frustration - A sort of circus thing opens up the second disc pretty sinisterly. Then a minute in, Metallica crack skulls open with another great riff. This one also feels like something that could've been in a doom metal song and I quite like it. Lou is basically reciting his lyrics over the metallic stuff, and I'm really okay with that. There's a build-up with the riff here that sounds like something completely out of Ahab's world, and I like that a lot. We slow down for a quieter section with Lou going on with this stuff while Lars does some cool drum stuff that adds to this atmosphere. We have some fantastic, well thought-out lyrics like... "spermless like a girl". Ha. Weirdest thing I've ever heard and it works well, shockingly. We go from "I want so much to hurt you" to "I want you as a wife!" So many ranges of emotion we're just constantly going through. We come back to the heavier riff section for great lines like "you and your prickless lover"... this album is something else entirely. And I'm on board completely. We come down again for some more Lou stuffs, this one a longer, less varied piece, but it still works well. Lou breaks forward with "I WANT YOU AS MY WIFE!" I have no clue in hell where the story is at this point, but that's okay. I'm still here, and so are these weird fuckers taking us on the weirdest journey in music history. The riff comes in faster than before and it works quite well. After some more Lou things we come back to the slow but steady verse we had before which lasts for fifteen seconds and brings us to the end. This isn't as good as the two preceding songs, but there's a lot to like nonetheless. 8/10

8. Little Dog - Quiet building piece leads into some acoustic strumming. Lou comes in with his most composed self yet; certainly the calmest stuff he's done on the album. I don't really know what this song has to do with the rest of the concept; maybe it has to do with Lulu becoming a social climber before falling to her demise in prostitution. Honestly, this is my pick for the weakest song on the album, but it's still not terrible. It's just a bit more long-winded than most the songs on here, and while I don't dislike the repetition of the other songs, this is the one where it does start to just go on. But even then it's not that bad, and I'd say that the good parts of it (it's nice and calm and works as a good breather before the final two tracks) raise it up above average. Decent, not outstanding, but not bad. 6/10

9. Dragon - This opening feels like something straight out of The Beatles's Revolver, or even "Revolution 9" (which I'm sure most people would rather listen to ten times in a row instead of this album once, but there it is). Lou comes in with some of his more "droning" stuff. His pronunciation of "hallucination" is kinda cool, though it's another moment where I can see an example of why people dislike this album. The backing instruments starts to build up more and more, kind of like a building storm that finally erupts after Lou's "one fucks with, one fucks with". This riff is another really heavy one that I like quite a lot. I like how Lou rides over the lyrics with his voice, and the riff is another one that I find myself bobbing to. Kirk interjects a really, really weird solo thing in here that sounds like he's just repeatedly scratching the guitar again and again. I don't dislike it, it adds, like most of the stuff on this album, to the effect. An "idiot's idiocy" sounds really serious if it needs to be stated like that. I like most of the elements in this song, but I do think that it starts to run long as it progresses. It's the third longest track on the album so that could've been expected. I do like the quieter outro though, but I think this one is more on the level of "Mistress Dread". Definitely better than the previous song though. 7/10

10. Junior Dad - The album's closer and longest track opens up with some string arrangements that are rather nice, and some Lou Reed humming that's also rather nice. After nearly a minute of this we get some really nice, calm, quiet, restful, peaceful, emotional, and clean guitar stuffs as Lou Reed starts singing. His voice is quite nice here too. It feels like after we've been through the rest of the album, we're finally seeing the end, and we're left with a "sad and wiser man" - as is the audience. Well, maybe just me. Everyone else is "sad and wiser" because they've heard this album once and will never, ever touch it again. Sad jams. So it goes. It is what it is. There's some heavier guitars that come in around the three minutes mark, but they're still quiet and serene and it's really just nice to listen to this song. I think that these are the best lyrics on the album, too. They're quite poetic and the way they're executed by Reed works quite well. "Monkey then to monkey" is perhaps the weakest line here, but you still understand what Lou was going for and that makes it okay. Apparently this song sent James and Kirk running out of the studio in tears because it reminded them of their fathers. I feel like that isn't actually surprising. This is such a beautiful song that there are times I feel like I'm about to see tears myself. Some calm guitar stuff leads us to the over eight minute long outro, which I've only listened to in full twice and don't know if I will again. I think that if they'd cut it after about a minute and snipped off some stuff from the other tracks here, you could've had a one disc album that may even be stronger than what we really got. These eight minutes of string stuff are a bit too much for my patience and thus in all good conscience I can't call this song perfect or my favorite from the album. But it is pretty damn close to perfection. I love it overall. Great song. 9/10

Lulu is the weirdest album I've ever heard, but I love it because of that. What most people see as annoying, I really dig. This isn't your typical album and it's not music in the typical sense. This is best described as "a modern art experiment gone awry". But that's exactly why I consider it a good album. Lou Reed and Metallica weren't bullshitting anyone with this - it's a mess, but a glorious mess. Maybe it'll catch on with people eventually; I kinda doubt it. I also can't agree with David Bowie that it's Lou's "masterpiece" for the simple reason that I haven't heard enough of his other work to judge it on that basis. I also really don't know why it's this album of all albums that really grabs me... but it does. Oh god, it does. There's a lot of shades of emotion here - from the simple opening of "Brandenburg Gate" to the heaviness of "Mistress Dread", to the grooving "Iced Honey" and finally to the conclusion with "Junior Dad", where if you aren't moved to some extent, I dunno. Maybe you aren't. I am. This is a fascinating album. It's imperfect, at times it feels laughable, and yet... I like it. I really do. I will take this over a majority of the other stuff Metallica has released. There's just so much stuff here that it's worth coming back to. Weird fucking album. Great fucking album.

Rating: 80%
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Okay, I can definitely say that Beyond Magnetic is better than Death Magnetic. It's got much better ideas than most of that album did, although they aren't executed perfectly everywhere. Still a good enough listen and it's way shorter, so that's a plus.

"Lords of Summer" is still really cool. :ok:
 

Collin

New Tool is coming!
I quite like Beyond Magnetic. Any of the songs could have fit on Death Magnetic imo. ‘Rebel of Babylon’ is easily the best song. The riffs are devestating! Especially the one at 1:18. ‘Hate Train’ has some crazy riffs too. ‘Just a Bullet Away’ is an all around good song. (Sidenote: now that I’m listening to it, I can see where Dream Theater got their inspiration for Fall Into the Light. The middle section) I’m not the biggest fan of ‘Hell and Back’, oddly that’s the one they played live the most. It’s a good EP and I’m glad they released it. Also why didn’t Death Magnetic sound like this?
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Beyond Magnetic (2011)



1. Hate Train - We open with a pretty cool rolling riff. I think the guitar sound on this EP is much better than that on the Death Magnetic album, it's a bit tighter overall. The song changes up into a riff piece that wouldn't feel amiss on Kill 'Em All, and actually works quite well. Some soloing keeps up the momentum and leads us to the verse, which is kinda simple but it works pretty well. The vocals are still mixed in poorly, but it doesn't bother me quite as much on this song as on others and DM as a whole. The pre-chorus is pretty solid and the chorus is really good. It feels like they're taking inspiration from "No Leaf Clover" and upping it a little more. I quite like it. The quiet music backing it works quite well and I like the lyrics there, too. Some nice build-up too before launching back into the riff. Another loop through and we get a noodly solo that isn't outstanding, but it works. The riff changes here are quite good too, including one that slows down and leads to the bridge. It really feels like a freight train on its way forward down the rails. We go into the pre-chorus and come back to the chorus that this time is backed by heavier riffs and it still works quite well. This is my pick for the best song from both Death Magnetic and Beyond Magnetic. It's long, but it also does a lot of cool things in its runtime that most of the songs on DM didn't do. I think there's enough good things here to round it all the way up. Not quite perfect, but it's really good. 9/10

2. Just A Bullet Away - A Lars intro with drumming and a count open up this song, which goes into a groovy opening riff section that turns into a really cool chugging piece. That evaporates, however into a looser guitar piece. The song chugs its way forward into the verse which is pretty so- wait what? "Shonovamaynarevohvu"? Oh, "shine of the midnight revolver". My bad. Weird way to pronounce it, but okay. "Suck on the barrel, suck on the barrel, suck, suck 'til it's dry" is a pretty terrible line, which brings this song down a bit. Shame because it's a pretty good song mostly. The chorus here is pretty cool, too, with some good progressions through that almost sound like something off of a Death album, Metallica-ized. Another round through and we stop and go into a cool little melodic section that I quite like. The song builds itself back up into the riffs with some soloing on top, and honestly it's some of Kirk's better stuff since the 21st century began. Another run through verse and chorus and we reach the end. This is a pretty solid song throughout and it's got some pretty interesting ideas for Metallica... but I just can't get over that "suck on the barrel" line. Rounding down. 7/10

3. Hell And Back - Some cool quiet guitar bits here build us up into what will become the chorus riff. It's pretty great, and leads us into a pretty good grooving riff that brings us to the verse, which has some pretty intriguing lyrics. The chorus is even better, that heavy riff backing it is awesome. I think they could've done something different instead of the "I will! run. straight. to. hell. and. back!" It doesn't hurt it too much, but it could've been a little better. The verse still sounds pretty cool the second time, and the chorus is still pretty strong. We calm down and then head into a pretty epic riff piece that backs the bridge. Some more riffing and the song stops as James yells "yeah!" and woah, that lead piece comes outta nowhere. It's a noodly solo section but it works pretty well, leading us back into the chorus quite well. Some more riffing in the outro and we descend into oblivion. This song is pretty strong; not quite perfect, but I do like it. The pitfalls aren't as bad as in the previous song too. 8/10

4. Rebel Of Babylon - I like this quiet opening, it's a nice way to introduce this song given its subject matter (Layne Stayley IIRC?). James sounds pretty good here too, and I like the lyrics. We barrel into heaviness and I don't think it's as good, but it's not bad. Then we start to speed up into a heavier song and that's where it seems to lose its grip. The verse isn't really singing, it's more speaking loudly over the music. But holy shit, that pre-chorus is pretty fucking great! Sadly, it's far too short and unfortunately the actual chorus isn't that good, though I do like how James sings "rise up, Rebel of Babylon"... but then that heavy riff swings in and ruins the moment. Verse is again nothing special, pre-chorus is still great, actual chorus is just like what I said earlier. Honestly, they showed focused all their attention in developing the pre-chorus and making that the actual chorus, and this song would've been instantly better. As it is, it seems a bit... messy. Certainly weaker than I'd like from a song of this "magnitude". Some more riffing leads into a pretty solid solo section which honestly is one of the highlights of this song. A decent drum fill brings us to a bassy section that wraps itself back into the verse. Same thing as earlier, and we finish the EP with some pretty heavy riffing. This song has a lot of great ideas, including lyric-wise (they're pretty great), but the execution falls short. Could've been much better than what was released if they'd just honed themselves in, but alas. Rounding up for the good stuff. 6/10

Yeah, I quite like Beyond Magnetic. It's better than Death Magnetic, and while not perfect by any means, the songs here work pretty well together. Good stuff overall.

Rating: 75%
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
"Lords Of Summer" (2014)



Interestingly enough, "Lords Of Summer" may have been the first Metallica song I ever heard... albeit, not in full. I remember some years ago when I was much younger... actually, probably around 2014 itself. Only a little more than four years? Jesus, where has the time gone? Anyway, I was at a friend's house because of some church-related activity, and someone had a radio device that could pull stuff out from a bunch of radio stations. In flicking through the 'channels' I stumbled across a radio station that was playing "Lords Of Summer". I didn't listen to much of it and I can barely remember this much, but y'know. Life seems to be coming back full-circle now. Anyway, onto the song itself (which is the First Pass Version, in case you're wondering what I'm going by).

A drumbeat opens into a pretty cool riff, which is a bit raw but it works nicely. Some build-up here brings us into another riff that wouldn't be amiss on Kill 'Em All and I honestly quite like it. It works pretty well and is quite the banger. The vocals here seem to be mixed better than on Death and Beyond Magnetic, but James isn't quite as strong, particularly on the higher notes. It doesn't bother me too much though. We lead through the verse into the chorus sections, the first of which is pretty great ("Lords of Summer... bring the sun!") and the second works well too ("at last the thawing has begun..."). Another loop through and it's still holding up really well. Decent drum fill leads into another cool riff piece that in turn leads into the solo, which is pretty great actually. When both guitars join together for a twin-lead piece you can really feel the rawness of this recording, but I'm damned if this song isn't a great ride. Some more soloing and we enter another very KEA-esque riff that I quite like. We head back into the chorus sections and exit the song from there, on a high note.

This is a really good song overall and seems like it was tailor-made for live performances. I can imagine the crowd really eating this one up. The rawness of this recording is its one hindrance, but this is a pretty great song nonetheless and I enjoy listening to it quite a lot. I'll probably check out the re-recording they release as a bonus track on Hardwired... eventually. Overall, great song.

9/10
 
How does:
...it's a bit tighter...
...works quite well...
...kinda simple but it works pretty well...
...I quite like it...
...isn't outstanding, but it works...
...riff changes here are quite good...
...and it still works quite well...
...I think there's enough good things here...
... possibly equal "9/10" ?
o_O
 
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