Metallica

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
"The Four Horsemen". I could listen to that one by itself and basically get all I need from the album. That's not to say there aren't good moments elsewhere, but y'know. Before these two listens I'd actually already heard every song outside of "Motorbreath", "Phantom Lord", and "Metal Militia" at least once, so it's not like this is the first time for a lot of them. But "The Four Horsemen" has always been the one I came back to most from it, and that's unlikely to change.
Nice. My personal favorites are Phantom Lord and Hit the Lights.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I'll expound upon my opinions probably tomorrow when I go through and actually write up a review for it.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Kill 'Em All (1983)



1. Hit The Lights - We fade in with a big rock opening that seems to finish, but isn't, going instead for another round. It lasts for about thirty seconds before the actual riff kicks in. The verse here isn't outstanding, but the simple chorus works fairly decently. I don't really like James's voice here, a lot of its is shrieking because his voice hadn't quite evolved enough here. We go 'round between verse / chorus three times before it breaks away into soloing which is decent but doesn't really grab me. The song closes with a big rock ending and takes its exit. While I think that it feels quite generic, and I don't really like the vocals, I can't deny that this is a pretty strong way to open an album, and since there are worse songs on here, I think I'll give it a higher score, because for all the things I don't particularly care for, it is nonetheless a pretty cool banger and kinda fun to listen to, but I wouldn't want every song on here to be in this style. So take this as you will. 7/10

2. The Four Horsemen - Some well-paced drumming and guitarwork before the former drops out and in before the song gets going. It's a pretty cool riff whose style has been repeated often in metal, but this may be one of the best instances of it. The verse is quite strong, and the chorus is pretty great, even if I don't quite think that the lyricism is all there yet. There's a cool riff following the chorus where James showcase his love for the word "yeah", and then we go 'round again before the song changes direction, first going into a cool riff mode and then switches up again into another cool riff preceded by some signature Cliff basswork. The bridge here, in which all four of the horsemen get their introduction, is pretty great. The song then goes into a less offensive bit that's quite obviously inspired by the NWOBHM, and particularly early Maiden. The solos give off a great "Phantom of the Opera" vibe, and indeed, I think this whole song is basically Metallica's version of it - the longest song on the album that showcases the band has all the right ingredients for an epic but will get better as they go on. We return to the opening riff's style before going through the verse and chorus again. A swooping sound comes through and we enter another cool riff mode with some more Maiden-esque soloing on top of it and after about a minute of it the song finally comes to a close. I've thought long and hard over what to rate this song, but at the end of the day, like I've said, this is easily the best song on the album, with a lot of the ingredients the other songs have on here, but it executes it all quite well. James's vocals work pretty well on here too, and while I can't say that this song is 100% perfect, I can say that it's pretty strong nonetheless, and perhaps even better than "Phantom of the Opera" on strength alone... maybe. At any rate, I think this song deserves a 9/10.

3. Motorbreath - Some drumming opens this track before the riff kicks in, which leads into the verse, which doesn't blow my mind but isn't bad or anything, but the chorus (which doesn't really feel like a chorus, TBH) is kinda cool. That guitar piece after the chorus (which I personally consider the lyric-less chorus of the song, sue me) is pretty cool and I've never heard a song do this sort of thing before, so it gets bonus points for that. Not the biggest fan of the solo, and I don't quite think that another solo section is the best way to close out the song, but besides that, this song is pretty strong. The negatives here can be overlooked when the positives are good, and this is, after all, the shortest song on the album, so it manages to make use of what it's got without running long or becoming repetitive, which I can't say for some of the other songs on here. On that note, I think I can round up again based on strength alone, because I do think it's one of the best songs on here. 8/10

4. Jump In The Fire - This opening riff is pretty iconic, but I can't say I'm a big fan of it. Just feels... stale to me. I know, that's gonna be an unpopular opinion. Sorry. The verse feels rather generic, and the chorus is just... stupid. This song is one of the most boring on here, and I think a big part is the drumming. I really don't like the drumming on this song. It doesn't really... do anything. It's just there, and it doesn't build up the backbone like it should. Like I said... it's just there. The solo bit feels like it wouldn't be amiss on a Heart song, but I think that band could've done it better. The extended chorus near the end is just bland. The solo outro isn't terrible, but it doesn't save the song either. Yeah, I know this is a classic early thrash track, but it just does nothing for me and I think it's the most average track on the album. And honestly... given the stronger songs that preceded it, I think it may even duck below that mark too. 4/10

5. (Anesthesia)—Pulling Teeth - Maybe on another album it would be cool to leave in the "bass solo, take 1" bit, but I don't think it works here, rather taking you out of the "album" feel and making the experience feel during this song more like that of an anthology album. Anyway, the song itself is kinda decent. It's just a bunch of bass noodling for about the first two minutes before it starts getting faster until drums kick in and make it feel like an auto race. I've always thought that Cliff Burton was one of the best bassists out there (even if I didn't quite care for his band), and this is a pretty great glimpse into his playing. It runs the risk of getting boring but manages to avoid that overall, IMO. I don't think it's the best instrumental out there, though, and listening to it doesn't blow my mind or anything, but it's pretty solid overall. 7/10

6. Whiplash - A drum / guitar opening kicks off the song before it starts to go quiet and then builds itself back up with rapid thrash riffage, and while I think most of this is pretty cool, it gets a little long by the end. The verse isn't terrific but the pre-chorus is pretty dumb. Chorus is just the title once, which I don't think is terrible, but it doesn't make the pre-chorus feel any better. I definitely didn't need the verse and pre-chorus three times in a row, and the soloing (preceded by a "Here we go!" shout) may be decent, but it isn't anything special. Overall, I don't really care for this song, it gets kinda boring by the end, but there's enough decent stuff here to save it from the same fate as "Jump In The Fire". Where that one was just below average, this one is just above. 6/10

7. Phantom Lord - A "warp" kind of thing opens this song before the guitars kick in. A pretty signature thrash sort of riff jumps in before the verse, which is pretty cool, but the chorus piece is kind of anticlimactic. The solo piece definitely feels like early metal beefed up a little bit, and then we enter one of those signature Metallica quieter pieces, which is decent, but doesn't last forever, because the heavy riffing comes right back in once it's down and then leads us back into some screaming guitar solos. I'm starting to think that the guitar piece that's between the two parts of the verse goes a little too long for my taste, and the chorus is still pretty bland. That final scream from James is kinda cool though. I've given a lot of thought to how I'm gonna rate this song, because there are some pretty great moments on here, but unfortunately, also some dull ones. I think the deciding factor is that I don't find this song quite as memorable as I'd like it to be, and as such, I think it rounds down to a mere above average rating. 6/10

8. No Remorse - A pretty cool, plodding riff kicks off the song before we get some guitar noodling overtop it. The noodling kinda goes on for a little too long, but the bass riff is pretty strong. The song changes up a tad before the verse, and James really doesn't sound good here. The verse itself is boring and I'm not a fan of the "war without end" bit and the guitar stuff that follows. The chorus is kinda stale and goes on for too long. Don't care for the riffing between chorus and verse either. Another run through mediocrity before the song changes up a little after chorus 2. The solo section is also boring and then goes into a very Maiden-esque little dwindling guitar piece which is really, really out of place and which I've never liked with Maiden and definitely don't like with Metallica. This jumps right back into another run-through of the verse and chorus, which ends with an "attack!" shout and signals a speed-up that goes straight through another narrative piece about the battlefield which... is still boring. There's another big rock ending here which brings the song to a close... thank god. It's far too long for its own good and gets stale really fast. Underwhelming? Certainly. Could it have been better? It could've. Don't ask me how, but I think the ingredients were here for a pretty strong song, but unfortunately that wasn't meant to be. "No Remorse" just ends up boring the shit out of me at the end of the day, and as such... 4/10

9. Seek & Destroy - Another pretty iconic opening piece kicks this song off before it gets going. It isn't bad, but I think it goes on for a bit too long. This song is more of a plodding one than the rest on here, and I can't say I like that. It's a full minute and 10 seconds before we get to the verse and it's just way too long for this song. The verse isn't even good, one of the worst on the album, and the pre-chorus just sucks. The simplicity of the chorus would work better if it wasn't repeated four times, which is way too repetitive. Another run-through and the whole thing is still as boring as the first time. A faster sort of piece enters the scene afterwards, which becomes the solo section, and it may be the best part of the song, but there's just no way to save this dwindling pile of mediocrity. And yes... another run-through that bland verse, bland pre-chorus, bland real chorus. The ending riff section is kinda decent, but also goes on for too long. This song had a lot of potential, but it just repeats every part for too long and bores me to death. I know that a lot of people love this song and it's considered one of the band's best overall... but for me, it just requires too much patience I really don't have. Sorry, I don't like this song. 3/10

10. Metal Militia - The opening riff builds up before it starts thundering in at a pretty rapid pace, but like a lot of the songs on here, this piece goes on for too long. Sorry, no it's changing up into a different riff which I don't like as much. James is shrieking again on the verse and it sounds pretty bad. Verse itself is just... bland. As is the pre-chorus, and the chorus itself. Yes, I'm gonna go full-on Jer and be picky about the way he pronounces "metal militia". Sorry, but he lost me with "meh-TELL". It's just so... eugh. The solo is also kinda boring, but that bass part is kinda cool, and I like the beginning of the guitar that follows, but again, it ends up running for too long. The verse is still boring, and the pre-chorus is still boring, and the chorus itself is still boring, even more repetitive than earlier. The sound of marching fades in as the rest of the song fades out, and we end the album on that note. This song is pretty bland as well, but I can be a tad bit generous with my rating, because it's not as bad as "Seek & Destroy". Still, it's below average. 4/10

This is a pretty inconsistent debut, opening with three pretty strong tracks (including one great one), but then it's all over the place, with the final three just being nothing short of a snoozefest. For a lot of these songs, it stems from too long of a runtime, despite the fact that the longest track on here actually knows how to use its parts to the best of its extent. Weird. At any rate, it's not the best debut album of all time, even if it was pretty important as a thrash album. I really don't care for the bulk of this, but the good stuff is pretty good, and I'm hoping that the next two albums at least are much better than this was.

Rating: 58%
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
Kill em all used to be my least favorite Metallica album, but it grew on me a lot. Actually, right now it's my favorite classic metal debut album.
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
Scanning the threads on the forum tonight,
I'm typing my list just to start up a fight!
I'm an evil being that just hates riffs,
It's nothing new, Diesel drives you insane!
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
It's Sweet Home Alabama-ized slowed down Mechanix with shittier lyrics.
"The Four Horsemen" is heads and above "Mechanix" and always has been. I've always been more of a Megadeth person, but honestly this is the one time I disagree with Dave completely.

If you don’t like Seek and Destroy you don’t like riffs.
Okay.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Although I rate certain songs higher or lower, I'm with you on your overall thoughts about Kill 'Em All @Diesel 11. It's not a great album by any means and is given a much higher rating by most fans because of perceived worth, historical importance, and youthful love. It was many people's first thrash album or first Metallica album and it was instrumental in kickstarting the movement into popularity. Overall the lyrics are shit, the music is repetitive, and in the grand scheme of Metallica's discography it is incredibly weak.

"The Four Horsemen" is heads and above "Mechanix" and always has been. I've always been more of a Megadeth person, but honestly this is the one time I disagree with Dave completely.
:cheers:
I don't understand why people prefer "Mechanix". The speed at which Dave plays it robs the riffing of both power and melody. The music is so much better at Metallica's pace. Also, the lyrics aren't about having sex in a car, so it's immediately 100% better.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
:cheers:
I don't understand why people prefer "Mechanix". The speed at which Dave plays it robs the riffing of both power and melody. The music is so much better at Metallica's pace. Also, the lyrics aren't about having sex in a car, so it's immediately 100% better.
Spot on. Also the best part of either version is the riff and verse around "time has taken it's toll on you".
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Right on first listen, Ride The Lightning is way better than Kill 'Em All, but I wouldn't quite say that it's perfect at the same time. I'd heard exactly half of this album before (title track, "Bells", "Black", and "Death"; I checked out a live version of "Ice" once but didn't remember a thing from it, and I may have listened to "Ktulu" before, but again, I remembered nothing from it). Not quite sure yet how the ratings are gonna go, but I don't think any song will dip below five. Most of this album is pretty strong.
 

phantomoftheicarus

Bleeding Freak
Depends on my mood. Sometimes it's the best but sometimes it isn't. But I think that Lightning probably has the best objective argument for being the best
 
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