Metallica

Edington

Let's Get Volatile
I gave Load a listen in full for the first time yesterday. Knew a handful of songs already, "King Nothing" among them, which is one of my favourite Metallica songs so went into it with an open mind. Quite surprised at how dismissive people can be of it. Sure, it's a little overlong and has some "un-Metallica" moments in there ("Hero of the Day" sounds like a country band) but there are a lot of really cool songs in there and it has such a badass swagger about it, I really enjoyed it. "House That Jack Built" is quickly becoming one of my new favourite Metallica tracks, really liked the mysterious-sounding riff and the heavy, chugga-chugga verses. That verse feels like a precursor to "Dream No More" to me, which is another of my favourites.
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
I gave Load a listen in full for the first time yesterday. Knew a handful of songs already, "King Nothing" among them, which is one of my favourite Metallica songs so went into it with an open mind. Quite surprised at how dismissive people can be of it. Sure, it's a little overlong and has some "un-Metallica" moments in there ("Hero of the Day" sounds like a country band) but there are a lot of really cool songs in there and it has such a badass swagger about it, I really enjoyed it. "House That Jack Built" is quickly becoming one of my new favourite Metallica tracks, really liked the mysterious-sounding riff and the heavy, chugga-chugga verses. That verse feels like a precursor to "Dream No More" to me, which is another of my favourites.
Yeah, Load is very good indeed. A couple of songs too long, but the amount of great songs clearly outweighs the cons of the album.
 

Black Wizard

Cereal Litigator
There's a handful of really good songs on each album but both albums are too long with too much filler. The best songs are not 80s Thrash Metallica of course, but they are good for what they are.
 

Edington

Let's Get Volatile
Reload is even better imo.
ReLoad is also on my list of albums to listen to. I love "Devil's Dance". Dirty, dirty song. "Fuel" and "The Memory Remains" are also good, but didn't grab me as much as other songs have.

The best songs are not 80s Thrash Metallica of course, but they are good for what they are.
Maybe I don't hold 80's Metallica in as high regard as others do, but I think these songs are strong enough to stand on their own.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Ride The Lightning (1984)



1. Fight Fire With Fire - No "big rock" opening to this album; rather, Metallica buck the metal trend with an acoustic intro which is honestly pretty cool. I absolutely love the way the heaviness fades in after the first 35 seconds. That opening riff is glorious, I get literal chills running up and down my spine listening to it, it's awesome. Not quite sure about the verse though, the way James sings the lyrics is kinda weird, mostly because of all the spaces he puts between the words to fit the riff. The chorus is kinda typical thrash stuff but it's pretty cool. After the second round there's a bit of a change-up which I think is great, but it ends up not going anywhere after all and Kirk does a noodley solo instead. The second solo piece is better. There's a really thunderous piece where every instrument except for the drums drop out, and then the riff comes back in and its pretty cool. Verse really hasn't improved by the third time. The repetitive ending vocals of just repeating the title track is kinda stupid. That arching guitar piece before the explosion is a pretty neat way to end though. This is a song that improves with repeated listens, because when I first heard it I thought it was pretty bland but now that I've given it time to sink in, I like it a lot more. That said, it's far from perfect - I don't like the way the verse is structured and I wish we'd have gotten that change-up after the second chorus like it looked like was coming, but on the flip side, that riff is awesome. This falls under the "good, but not great" category for me. 7/10

2. Ride The Lightning - That opening riff on this song is just incredible, I've loved it from the first time I heard it, it's just awesome. The second riff that comes in is pretty great too, and the verse is way better than that of the previous song. The chorus isn't the most outstanding one out there, but who said it has to be? It fits the song really well and I quite like it. One thing you can tell on this album is that James is way better than he was on the debut. There's less screeching and more power, and I like it. The riff after the second chorus is pretty awesome. Not the biggest fan of the riff, but it doesn't detract much from the overall song. The way it slows down a little afterwards is pretty great, and that first solo piece is awesome, probably better than all of the solos on Kill 'Em All. I'm not the biggest Kirk fan, but he's great here. That part where all except lead guitar drops out is awesome. The faster solo piece after that isn't quite as good as the first, but it's still pretty good. The solo ends and that awesome riff comes back in before we return to the bridge, which still isn't great but again, I don't dislike it by any means. Instruments almost go silent before the riff kicks back in and we return to the verse and chorus again, and they're still pretty great. That ending riff-fest is a pretty good way to wind the song down, and then we finally end with that awesome opening riff rearing its head for one last time. This song is 6 and a half minutes long, and yet unlike the ones of similar length on the previous album, this one knows how to use its parts to the best extents. It's a nearly perfect song, but not quite. Maybe if Track 3 wasn't on here I'd give it top marks, but as it is I'll dock it just a point because it's not on the same level as the following song by any means. 9/10

3. For Whom The Bell Tolls - We open track 3 with the tolling of the bell... and then HOLY SHIT that opening riff with the bass stuff rising above it is still as awesome as it was when I first heard it. It's such a chilling piece and it's heavy as fuck. The bass drops out from center stage but the guitars carry the momentum on and on and it just never lets up. It's a two minute opening but there's not a single moment here wasted and I fucking love. We hit the chorus riff and sign on to meet the verse. Holy fuck. These lyrics are easily the best I've ever heard in a Metallica song. Back when I was younger I thought this was about a funeral procession, and it surprised me to find out that was not the case when I looked up the song some time later. You can have your "One", but "For Whom The Bell Tolls" is easily one of the best anti-war songs of all time. Just take a lot at these lyrics: "For a hill, men would kill - why? They do not know." "Take a look to the sky once before you die - it's the last time you will!" The chorus is simply but so goddamn effective that it hits you like a ton of bricks. The instrumental piece between chorus 1 and verse 2 is awesome, and then we go through the verse and chorus again and it's still as good as it was the first time. The song then slows up on its way out in a frantic but controlled piece that perfectly takes us out. This song is five minutes long but it feels like it's a full-on epic. Oh my god. It completely blew my mind when I was younger and it still does now. I highly doubt there's going to be a better song out there in this discography. It's easily the best Metallica song I've ever heard and one of the best songs in metal history at the same time. It's a fucking masterpiece. 10/10

4. Fade To Black - A building piece leads into some cool acoustic bits with some electric soloing on top. Kinda reminds me of "One", and I wouldn't be surprised if they took that same concept and repurposed it for the later song. I like it in "One" better, truth be told, but then there's that change-up and this acoustic piece is awesome. I remember talking to a friend about this song and he said that the best part was easily the acoustic guitar, and honestly, I agree. Quieter James is really good, too, and I quite like this verse. The heavy riff that comes in is pretty good, but I think it goes on for a bit longer than necessary. Half of it could've been trimmed out, but that acoustic piece comes back and it's still great. Verse 2 is also still really good. This may be one of James's best performances ever, honestly. The heavy riff comes back, and I still think it goes on for longer than I'd like it to. The change-up is pretty cool. This verse / bridge thing is also pretty cool, but it doesn't blow my mind or anything. The song changes up slightly after it finishes and we enter an instrumental piece that starts out well enough with some cool dual guitar stuff. The solo itself isn't the best thing ever, and it feels like its building up to something even better but is taking a while to get there. Finally it starts to rise higher and higher before it reaches the peak and then... the song just fades... to black. A bit too early and it feels like wasted potential. I know a lot of people would argue that this is actually Metallica's best song, but I don't see it. I've never seen it actually, not since the first time I heard it. The good parts here are really good, but there's not quite... enough. Some parts are awesome, and some parts are wasted potential. As such, it's a bit inconsistent, but I'll round-up my score based on the good parts. 8/10

5. Trapped Under Ice - Side 2 opens with some cool riffing stuff before we barrel headfirst into a frozen lake. God, that hurt my head! All jokes aside, this opening is pretty cool. Not sure about the noodley stuff here, but the verse is solid, even if the way it's delivered is kinda silly. The chorus needed a few repeats to get, and I'm still not sure if I have or not. I don't think it's perfect, certainly. It's that "cry out!" thing that bothers me the most here, because there's that change-up in the chorus halfway through and then it goes back to the first piece. The change-up after chorus 2 is weird (one of the times I wish the band had a better drummer than Lars), but I love that bridge. The solo is short but sweet, and the verse / chorus here at the end is fine. This was a song that kinda grabbed my attention when I first saw the title, but it doesn't quite deliver IMO. It's solid but far from perfect. 7/10

6. Escape - The opening riff here (preceded by a cool drum kick) is really strong and it's exactly the kinda thing you can bob your head to. The verse isn't the best out there but it's pretty strong nonetheless. The chorus is the strangest thing on this album, but I really like it. It's kinda like those Priest songs "Take On The World" and "United" that @MrKnickerbocker considered "Queen-like", and I feel that that's exactly what they're doing here too. But this chorus works way better than the ones Priest did. I quite like it! Second run-through before the song hits a bridge which is absolute dogshit. Holy fuck, this is worse than every bad part on Kill 'Em All. James sounds like a dying Axl Rose. The solo section is solid, luckily, but I don't care for how the song ends. Would've liked to hear the chorus again. The first half of this awesome was pretty great, but it just fell apart after the bridge and never really recovered itself again. Sad jams. 6/10

7. Creeping Death - Iconic riff opening here, and I think it's pretty great. The way it moves into the faster riff is awesome. This is one of the biggest headbanger songs in metal and it literally makes you wanna bob up and down. The verse here is pretty great. Can we take a second to just acknowledge the fact that these motherfuckers literally took a Bible story and turned it into a thrashing monster? What a genius idea. The riff after the verse isn't outstanding but I love the chorus, even if the way the throw together the lyrics is weird. I swear I thought he was saying "So let me return, so let me down" for most of my listens to this song. The solo section is pretty cool and there's one bit there that I really like a lot. And the whole thing slides down into a groovy piece that introduces us into the bridge, which I'm not surprised is a popular sing-along piece live. We return to the verse and it's still good. Still not sold on "So let it be wreee-ton!" so I'll just pretend he really is saying "return". The outro piece is pretty cool and we could've ended right on that note, but instead we go through the opening riff again, and y'know what, that works too. A big rock sort of ending closes us out. I've thought long and hard over what to give this song, because there's no way it's as good as "For Whom The Bell Tolls", but it's still a pretty great song. You know what, I'm feeling generous right now. I'll give it top marks based on strength alone, because this song is a killer slab of classic thrash, Diesel-certified. 10/10

8. The Call Of Ktulu - I really love the opening to this song, it's really moody and sets a tone that is gonna need to be delivered with the rest of what happens. This is a nearly 9-minute instrumental, so let's see what happens, shall we? The songs goes into a more haunting piece next, and ever deeper and deeper into the pits of despair, until it finally erupts into heaviness around the 1:20 mark. This riff is killer. The bass here seems to be in a constant uprising against the guitars, which I don't think works as well, but I guess I see what Cliff was going for with it. The Hetfield / Hammett riff slaughterfest on display here is just awesome throughout, even if it seems to run over the same thing several times. The change-up around the 3:20 mark is cool, but man, I wish Lars would be a little more interesting with his drumming. The lead guitar here is really flying over the rhythm until it erupts in a pretty cool solo section that I quite like. We return to riffs we've already heard, but they still work here, so there's no issue with that. Again, it'd be great if Lars could do something different than just hit the kick again and again, it mars a couple sections. After the 6:10 mark, the song slows down before hitting a really nice piece where I actually think Lars does a good job with the drumming. Then with about two minutes left, we enter a slow piece that announces the break-up of the song, winding to a close now. Some cool lead stuff pops up and we finally head back into the moody piece we started with. It slows down and a cool drum piece seems to close us out, but instead we returning twice through riffing before we get a big rock ending to the album. It's not quite the ending I wanted from it, TBH, I'd have liked it more if that drum piece closed things up. But it's still solid. Talk about an audacious song though; it's the longest thing Metallica have released up to this point and it repeats itself a lot, and yet somehow it feels necessary. All of its pieces are pretty great, though there are a handful of weaker bits that knock it down a notch. Still, this is a pretty great ending and a really strong instrumental overall, and I quite like it. 9/10

To say that Ride The Lightning is better than Kill 'Em All is an understatement, because holy shit, it is. The production here is awesome, way better than the rawness of the debut. Songwriting has taken a huge leap forward, James is singing rather than screeching, the riffs are great, and they've finally learned how to write longer sounds that need the length rather than just throwing the same thing on over and over again. Well... they're still not perfect in that department, but it's much better than on the debut. They're also focusing less on quantity (10 songs vs 8) and more on quality (the average song here is way better than the average KEA song). It's still not a perfect album, but it's pretty dang good. I'm quite excited to hear Master Of Puppets now, because if they're continuing in this direction then I hope that that album hits every nail on the head.

Rating: 83%
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
The song changes up slightly after it finishes and we enter an instrumental piece that starts out well enough with some cool dual guitar stuff. The solo itself isn't the best thing ever, and it feels like its building up to something even better but is taking a while to get there. Finally it starts to rise higher and higher before it reaches the peak and then... the song just fades... to black. A bit too early and it feels like wasted potential.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Ride The Lightning was pretty great, but holy fuck, Master Of Puppets is on another level. I can already tell that this album is gonna become a favorite.
 

Collin

New Tool is coming!
The only song I dislike on Master of Puppets is Leper Messiah. The rest of the album is near god tier. Still not as good as And Justice For All though.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Funny, to me MOP is their Powerslave; Half filler.
Well my favorite Maiden album is Powerslave, so... :p

Just off a first listen, there’s one obvious weaker song to my ears and even it’s fairly strong. The rest are fucking awesome. Let’s see how well it holds up with relistens.
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
Well my favorite Maiden album is Powerslave, so... :p

Just off a first listen, there’s one obvious weaker song to my ears and even it’s fairly strong. The rest are fucking awesome. Let’s see how well it holds up with relistens.
The "fillers" are actually mostly very good songs, just like on Powerslave. But The Thing That Should Not Be is boring as hell. Maybe my least favorite Metallica song.
 

Edington

Let's Get Volatile
ReLoad isn't as similar to its predecessor as I expected, it's a bit more consistent in sound compared to Load, until the last few songs at least. Where did "Low Man's Lyric" come from? Don't know what happened to Kirk between recording of these albums but his solos are far, far better on ReLoad, I'm impressed. Again the only real negative is that it's too long, but you could make one killer album if you mixed the best of both. I'd also say the best songs from Load are better than the best songs of ReLoad.
 
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