Metallica

Discussion in 'Music Discussion' started by Night Prowler, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Megadeth is better in studio than live though. Metallica is the opposite, mostly because it's harder to fuck up live sound :D
     
  2. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    Metallica does quite a well job in decreasing the quality of live shows, though. Lars' live drum sound is fucking horrible. Not that he plays bad (he's okay) but it sounds atrocious in the mix. You can't even hear the double bass most of the time and believe me, he does play them. Sometimes guitar doesn't sound natural, also, check out the opening riff to Fight Fire with Fire from their latest tour, it almost exclusively sounds absurd.

    12 to 9 is not really a big difference in this business, especially considering Metallica's breaks were caused by personal problems. (James) Death Magnetic was worth waiting, in my opinion. And they also do put out stuff to keep us excited, Beyond Magnetic songs were pretty cool.
     
  3. 425

    425 Starblind

    They can definitely be forgiven some of the earlier breaks on the point of personal problems, but I don't recall there being anything like that since Death Magnetic. What is the excuse for a total of six years since then to the next album?
     
  4. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    It may very well be their final album, I think that's the excuse. They're trying to put up the best they can.
     
  5. Ariana

    Ariana Black-and-white leopard

    Yes, if it really comes out in 2014. But back in 2010, let's say, they may not have thought it could be the last album. Do they really need a year per song?
     
  6. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    Lack of creativity and inspiration. Laziness. Enough money. No lack of anything. No real drive to make anything new when responses to old material is ten times better than to new songs. Maiden may also have better response to old songs but the difference with the recent isn't that appalling.

    *On the other hand: they still dared to work with Lou Reed and were not afraid for negative reactions.
     
  7. 425

    425 Starblind

    @The Flash: That's not a bad point. Normally, given their ages, I would give them two more, but then given the speed they work... It doesn't sound unlikely that this will be it.

    Actually, the cool thing they have been doing in 2012 is taking control of their whole business. I'm not sure how many people are actually interested in the business aspects of bands, but I sometimes am. In addition to establishing the Orion Music + More festival, which will become an annual thing, Metallica launched their own record label this year, Blackened Recordings. Somehow, back in 1994, they negotiated their contract with Warner to stipulate that on November 30, 2012, ownership of all master recordings would revert to Metallica. Anyone who knows about the music industry knows that that is a pretty rare thing for a band to do.

    In truth, I may be more excited to see what they do at Orion this year than for a new album. I mean, last year they did both Ride the Lightning and the Black Album in their entirety. I have my fingers crossed for ...And Justice for All.
     
  8. SixesAlltheway

    SixesAlltheway (slow heavy metal music playing)

    In all honesty I think Forostar is right. If there is no drive or motivation to do a new album then they don't have to. As long as they go on the road every now and then to sustain their families/please the fans they are fine doing that :D
     
  9. Maturin

    Maturin Sköldpadda

    Metallica. A band I've had much hate for since I started getting into music.

    Mostly because of Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett. One a pretty bad drummer, to say the least. Not only because he can't keep up, but for the drum-parts he has written. The drums over the clean part in "One" is absolutely horrible. The other one is a lead guitarist that makes me more nervous than any other. Out of tune bends, and overall very nervous sounding runs, time-wise. He was pretty good at structuring solos on ...And Justice for all, but the execution is sub-par. As his lazy use of the wah-wah has grown over the years he has lost everything that was good about his playing.

    On the other hand, James Hetfield is an incredible rhythm player, and is at the absolute front of the genre. Playing guitar like that while singing is an amazing performance, every time.

    I do not have much to say in the "sellout" discussion. It doesn't matter to me, really. They changed style and direction, don't really care why. ...AJAFA is the album which I like, have not much over for the others except for Ride The Lightning. Master of Puppets sounds out of tune and is unlistenable to me. The title track is horrendous.

    I'd be glad to discuss, if someone has different opinions on these matters I've mentioned, but I have really tried to see the appeal of the band - and while I do see how cool their live-performances can be, I also find the band as a whole sub-par when it comes to their musicianship.
     
  10. 425

    425 Starblind

    I do think that Master of Puppets - the album and its title track - have been very much overrated. The album is in last place for me out of the first four (1. Ride the Lightning 2. ...And Justice for All 3. Kill 'Em All 4. Master of Puppets 5. the Black Album), and the song, while so many seem to consider it the best metal song or at least Metallica's best song, would not make my top ten of that band. However, Puppets has great songs beyond the title track. Try "Orion" or "Battery". If you don't like the production on the album, try any of the many live versions ("Orion" I don't think has an official live release, but an extension of the official site offers audio of every live show since around 2003, which, coincidentally, was the year of that song's live debut).

    But, if I may quote The Flash, Metallica is "underrated because of their overratedness."

    No, Kirk Hammett is not a great guitarist. He overuses the wah and sometimes his solos seem to sound the same. But he is not untalented. Judging by the songs on which he has credits, he's created some very good riffs. And some of his leads are admittedly good (pretty much all his playing on "One" comes to mind, as does "Creeping Death"). And then there's Lars. As far as metal drummers go, Lars is unquestionably subpar in his live playing, and most of his studio playing. Only on ...And Justice for All have I heard anything even slightly impressive from Lars, and most of that he couldn't replicate live. But on all the other albums, he generally just keeps a low profile, and while there is nothing impressive about it, to me it is not annoying bad. The reason non-metalheads tend to praise Lars, I think, is because as a rock drummer he would be above average, but his playing doesn't cut it in the more drum-centric, virtuosic world of metal. There's no question that Lars Ulrich is the weak link of the band, or that Kirk Hammett is not by any standard a great, standout guitarist. However, it has gotten to the point where many metalheads, tired of uninformed praise of them by non-metalheads, disparage them to an unfair level. As The Flash says: "underrated because of their overratedness."

    I'm glad we agree that James Hetfield is a monster on the rhythm guitar (I would call him the master of the heavy riff) and (at least before Load) on the vox. And I would say that he's still got it as a singer. Yes, he's had to modify his approach quite a bit, but he proved this year that he can still pull off some of his harsher singing, at least for short periods, when he sang "Fight Fire With Fire" at Orion Music + More (video in the spoiler tags below). Also, concerning James, I love his lyrics from the earlier times (I've heard that lately he's been turning out stuff like "what don't kill ya make ya more strong," which is disappointing, coming from the guy who gave us "Yesterday seems as though it never existed" and "New blood joins this earth/And quickly he's subdued/Through constant pained disgrace/The young boy learns their rules").


    Can I just talk bassists for a moment? Cliff Burton was a giant on the bass (though not at Steve Harris' level), as is shown in "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "Orion" and "(Anesthesia) -Pulling Teeth". And Jason Newsted, when you could hear him, was no slouch either ("My Friend of Misery"). I've not heard much of Trujillo, but I have heard him playing Burton's parts on "Orion", and while he's no Cliff, I have no complaints.

    As far as I'm concerned, Metallica as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It is not a highly virtuosic band, but they have made some (in my opinion) great music, particularly in their 80s years. I can understand a lot of the many reasons why someone would not like Metallica, but I do very much enjoy the band and, since you've asked for dissenting opinions on them, I've given mine in hopes of convincing you to give them another shot. I am very accepting of dissenting opinions, though, on this controversial band.
     
  11. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    The Day That Never Comes has fantastic lyrics, I think James hasn't lost it lyric wise, especially in terms of creativity. (i.e. "Love is a four letter word." by The Day That Never Comes)
     
  12. SixesAlltheway

    SixesAlltheway (slow heavy metal music playing)

    Hmm. That is highly unoriginal though. It is more like a phrase nowadays. Bob Dylan wrote the song "Love is Just a Four Letter Word" for Joan Baez in 1965...



    Some of James' lyrics are OK to very good, but to call him a fantastic lyricists...Well, I would say that is a stretch. On the contrary I find most of his lyrics highly juvenile (perhaps more so in later Metallica) and simple.
     
    Mosh likes this.
  13. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    I meant its placement in the song, not the phrase itself. He's a thrash lyricist, of course the lyrics are simple. Check out his work on ...And Justice for All, though, one of my favorite albums lyric wise.
     
  14. SixesAlltheway

    SixesAlltheway (slow heavy metal music playing)

    I read your comment wrong in that case. ...And Justice does have some nice moments. Though some of the tracks seem to suffer lyrics wise from what appears to be James flicking through a dictionary and inserting cool sounding rhyming nouns to the lyrics sheet. Tracks like Blackened, The Shortest Straw and the title track suffer a lot from this :D

    One of my favorite overall Metallica tracks is Sanitarium, but that one line... "Can't they see it's why my brain says “rage”" always rubbed me the wrong way...My brain says rage?? ergh.
     
  15. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    My take on Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning:

    The album closers:
    I find both Orion and Ktulu quite repetitive tracks. Ktulu has an intruiging intro and Orion a cool riff. The intro is over at some point and the riff gets repeated for aeons. Especially Orion is getting boring after a couple of minutes. Not much variation for such a long song.

    The problem I have with with Puppets is that I miss the melodic/catchy-aspects from its predecessor. Especially shown on the second half. When Welcome Home (Sanitarium) is over I already have the idea "Well, that was that, the rest is only going to be less".

    Ride The Lightning sets itself apart because of some really nice melodies, solos and harmonies (the Maidenish ending harmony in Fade To Black still sends shivers down my spine!). Also I notice that this album contains a lot of variety. There's always the unbeatable Creeping Death we're looking forward to, and the songs before it are short (which is excellent) melodic songs leading to this heralded riff. So, the "Well, that was that, the rest is only going to be less" feeling is not starting before I am well into the final track.

    Instead of putting emphasis on melody, Puppets, relies heavily on riffs. Now if some of those riffs were less repetitive, and if some of the songs had more melodic passages built in, then it'd be a different matter.
     
  16. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    Your observation of James flicking through dictionary and inserting cool words is true, but what's wrong with it as long as they make sense ? I'll point out my favorite parts of the lyrics of Justice, simply because I enjoy doing it. :p

    Blackened is a great environmentalist song "Smouldering decay, take her breath away, millions of our years, in minutes disappears, darkening in vain, decadence remains, all is said and done, never is the sun, never." part is one of my favorites on the album.

    Title track's first part is incredibly powerful and imaginery "Halls of justice painted green, money talking. Power wolves beset your door hear them stalking. Soon you'll please their appetite, they devour. Hammer of justice crushes you, overpower."

    Eye of the Beholder may very well be my favorite of all. I used to write the chorus on my desk at class : "Independence limited, freedom of choice is made for you my friend, freedom of speech is the words that they will bend, freedom with their exception." The last six lines of the second verse are also fantastic : "Do you need what I need, boundaries overthrown, look inside to each his own, do you trust what I trust, me, myself and I, penetrate the smoke screen I see through this selfish lie."

    One's lyrics are like a blend of Fade to Black and Disposable Heroes' lyrics. "Back in the womb it's much too real, it pumps life that I must feel, but I can't look forward to reveal, look to the time when I'll live. Fed through the tube that sticks in me, just like a war time novelty. Tied to machines that make me be, cut this life off from me." Just a great great interpretation of the desperate situation one feels in the warfare.

    The Shortest Straw has a great creative edge to it. James uses the classic cheat of lyrics (as you pointed out) using rhyming cool words over and over again. But the chorus is really good "Shortest straw, challenge liberty, downed by law, live in infamy, rub you raw, witchhunt riding through, shortest straw, this shortest straw has been pulled for you." The fact that is has been pulled FOR the person is much stronger than one pulling the shortest straw for himself, fitting the concept perfectly.

    Harvester of Sorrow is a basic song lyric wise, I'll give you that. More like a 90's Metallica work.

    The Frayed Ends of Sanity's lyrics are up there with Eye of the Beholder's. Song itself is iniquitously underrated and the same goes for the lyrics, normally. "Into run, I'm sinking, hostage of this nameless feeling, hell is set free, flooded I'll be, feel the undertow inside me." Great imagination, great way to put the feelings of an insane person.

    Dyers Eve is also a basic song lyric wise, more like an angry teenager song. :D But knowing the problems James had gone through with his parents, they make much more sense than being words of just another teenager. "You've clipped my wings before I've learned to fly, unspoiled and unspoken, I've outgrown that fucking lullaby" part is powerful, in-your-face and reflective.
     
  17. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    I enjoy comparing Ride, Master and Justice to each other because they're built in the same format.

    1 : A calm intro then heavy riffs come crushing and make up for an up-tempo, energetic song.
    2 : Title track, long, in concern of telling a story, not as fast as the first tracks, but not as slow/heavy as the third tracks.
    3. Full on heaviness. At times sounds close to a faster doom metal.
    4. Ballad, first part calm, second part up-tempo.
    5. The same energy and tempo level of the first tracks without the calm intro.
    6. In the same path as the third tracks, but isn't anywhere close to doom metal.

    - Frayed Ends of Sanity is a bonus here, counting it out.

    7. Long, emotionally powerful, repetitive. (not a big deal this time for me since it's intentional and not a lack of material) - Ktulu switches to 8th in Ride, lets count it as 7th.
    8. Even more energetic than the first tracks, full on power.

    I might write a comparison post later.
     
  18. SixesAlltheway

    SixesAlltheway (slow heavy metal music playing)

    There is nothing wrong with it in itself but if we are discussing his worth as a lyricist I think it ought to be mentioned :D
     
  19. 425

    425 Starblind

    You know, I see it interpreted as this all the time, but I just don't think it is an environmentalist song at all. I'm fairly certain it's about nuclear winter, and in that sense is Fight Fire With Fire's sequel.

    Certain clues in the lyrics point it to have been about nuclear winter: "millions of our years in minutes disappear". The only type of permanent man-caused damage to the earth that happens literally in minutes is nuclear war. "Blackened is the end/Winter it will send". Most environmentalist disaster scenarios do not involve winter, they involve global warming. Nuclear winter, however, fits perfectly with that line. "Nothing left to kill" implies that there has been intentional killing, which makes me sense in a nuclear war scenario. The only line that I can see being cited in contradiction of the nuclear war theory is "Deadly nicotine/Kills what might have been". However, I'm sure that this is a metaphor (as nicotine is not even the environmentally dangerous bit of cigarette smoke, and cigarette smoke, compared to other emissions, is probably a minor cause of environmental damage), saying that we are addicted to war.

    Also, remember that this was written in 1988, which was still during the Cold War, making nuclear war a prominent issue at that time. I wasn't alive in 1988, but my guess is that the Cold War was a more prominent discussion still than environmentalism.

    Hmm, interesting. The Call of Ktulu is one of my personal favorite Metallica songs, and both of them are ranked pretty high within their albums for me. I get that the riff is repetitive, but there's a lot of variation for being within that one riff, and the point after it moves away from the main riff is (this is a word that is overused and has had its meaning cheapened, but I essentially mean it in the original sense) epic. I don't know if anyone else has the S&M DVD, but in the booklet there is something written by Michael Kamen, who conducted the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, where he's talking about the whole experience. One of the things he says about the process of writing the orchestra music to go with the Metallica songs is:

    "'Call of Ktulu' is a symphonic piece even without the orchestra. A story in music. Metallica music is always a story. Adding on an orchestra was like writing a film score to that story."

    I thought that was a very interesting and apt description of the song. When I listen to it, I picture the sea being calm during the intro; during the main riff section, Ktulu rising from the sea and wreaking his havoc; then during the loud part of the concluding section, Ktulu returning to the sea; during the quiet part of the conclusion, the sea is calm again, but the loud riff at the end is a reminder that Ktulu could return at any time. I've never read Lovecraft, and my entire sum of knowledge about Ktulu is from The Thing That Should Not Be, but that is the story that Metallica imparts to me through that song.

    I do very much agree with your point about Master of Puppets not being very melodic. In fact, to me it is the one of the first four albums that gets boring quickest. Lightning and Justice are my favorites, and I usually prefer Kill to Puppets.

    Forostar, I would be interested to know your opinion on To Live Is To Die from ...And Justice for All. I think it may be the best of the instrumentals, and is an amazing tribute to Cliff Burton (the spoken word part includes his favorite quote and an addition of his own, making To Live Is To Die the last song to have a Cliff Burton credit).
     
  20. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    It's about the effects of nuclear weapons and everything else to the environment. The main theme of the song is "mother earth", how can you say it's not an environmentalist song ?
     

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