Metallica

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Educated Fool
@Diesel 11 It's all fun and games until you come to ...And Justice for All. Then...
Well it'll still be fun and games but I will be more alerted.
Considering Metallica's 90's: Megadeth wore it better.
 

Edington

Let's Get Volatile
There's nothing in between, they were recorded simultaneously. Meant to be released as a double album.
That raises further questions. Did he get bored halfway through recording? ;)

One thing I did find interesting is that Kirk played rhythm guitar for the first time on Load/ReLoad. So he's not playing anything other than lead fills and solos on other albums? I had a feeling that was the case on Hardwired... , never noticed on the others.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
90s Metallica is excellent.
I disagree, I don't mean that Metallica was bad bad, but it was meh, and IMHO, Countdown and Youthanasia are top-notch Megadeth. Metallica really did dumb down Load/Reload too much. Hetfield was being sarcastic in a recent interview about the magic combo of Lars and him, in a sense that they went too far in that period rendering out too much material, quantitatively, in regards to amount of original ideas, riffs and melodies they had. I'm sorry that I cannot really convey that properly, it was an answer to number of riffs that average AJFA song has, Lars commented how things were rather opposite in Load/reload era, yet a great success. Hetfield responded how they maybe went too far developing two albums out of just of handful of ideas. Well, they are the masters of arrangement so yeah, it didn't flop but arrangement only gets you out so far.

In Megadeth's case, consider CTE...complexity wise, it's really an average 80s metal album. Yes it sounds more commercial compared to the predecessor but that's only because RIP is such a superb riff fest, any "ordinary" 4 minute metal song sounds like MTV beside it. Youthanasia is even more 90s, as it doesn't have any proper "epics", like Ashes in your mouth, but no dumbing down, riffs, solos, grooves, topics...all there.

Take a regular album track, The Killing Road. You know that riff from the Killing Road? You know that solo from the Killing Road? I bet you do. Now take Better Than You, a great track, IIRC a Grammy winner. The riff? The solo? What riff, what solo.

There are tons of objective reasons why a sizable proportion of Met fans like me don't hold the whole 90s in high regard. For me that's not going to change, and I'm not happy about it because there could be a couple of more top-class metal albums for me, if it weren't so. There are a shitton of stylistic changes in the musical dept. that happened. For example in the BTY the verse guitars are just suspended string plodding. Riffs, downpicks, something? Nope. Straight plodding like it's your local pastor playing a two chord jesus song on acoustic.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
I don’t consider the Metallica guys to be very good songwriters. A lot of their best material consists of a hodgepodge of ideas with shaky transitions and few hooks. That’s part of the charm though. So when they go for a more songwriting based approach, it doesn’t work for me. The 90s stuff is well performed and sometimes well produced, but the songs are unmemorable for me. It’s like they cut out all the things that made Metallica great and instead focused on their weaknesses. That can be admirable if they improved over time, but I don’t feel like they did.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
I agree Mosh about the wrong focus in 90s material but can't agree with you on the composing...I think Hetfield is great in that department. And transitions are usually very good. Live is totally a different matter because drums for complex tracks were done in takes - Lars probably never played Frayed Ends start to finish until this decade.

What happened in 1990s is very simple. No, they didn't receive a golden goose and sold out. AJFA is on the long song side, they got tired of it through live time, and they want a short song type album. A "hit-oriented producer" comes in, and shows Hetfield and Urlich his pop skills of turd polishing. At this time they start actually touring the world, as a big headlining act, which is very important because you don't feel a push for new material if you're playing 10.000 people crowds first time in a country. They tour for years. Then they need to make records. They use everything available to them to live years and years on a handful of riffs and ideas. They use just a basic Sabatesque riff, make a song out of it. Two albums worth, two years of releases. Why not a full album of covers then...yup in all possibility someone from the band jokingly said that and that's what we got. The bandmembers worked hard throughout whole 1980s, and had grave tragedies imposed upon them, so I don't disapprove of their high-life wishes in the 1990s. When you don't want to be out off the road, and when you are out, you're dying to pursue other interests, then yeah, the studio output suffers.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Master Of Puppets (1986)



1. Battery - Remember that genius idea of beginning Ride The Lightning with an acoustic intro? Well, they're doing the same again with Master Of Puppets, only where RTL's just made the riff so much more awesome than otherwise, this intro is actually really, really good. It's eerie and haunting, and when it turns heavy it's all the better for it. Then the song changes up and we get that trademark Metallica thrash riff, only this one is way better than most of the ones we've seen before with these guys. James sounds much, much better on this album and that fast-paced verse is awesome, leading straight into the great chorus. This is a banger for sure, and if you're not moving, I dunno what to tell you. Another round of verse and chorus (with a short lead piece between) and then the song slows up a little and we get a great riff piece there that's awesome. Unlike on "Fight Fire With Fire", this one actually gets the attention it deserves. The solo section is noodly but it keeps up the momentum set up by the rest of the track. There's a heavy-hitting riff section before we return to the verse and chorus again, and they're still awesome. Finally, another heavy riff piece closes out the song. After mucking around with two decent but not perfect openers on the first two albums, Metallica really nailed it on this one. Third time's the charm? Hell yeah it is. There's literally nothing wrong with "Battery" and it's easily one of the best songs up until this point. Great stuff. 10/10

2. Master Of Puppets - Obviously one of the most iconic riffs in metal history, the album's epic title track hits like the battery they were talking about in the previous song. With a lot of down-picking and some really good bass, and even some of Lars's better drumming, we move forward until we hit the verse, and I mean come on, it's great. This isn't the kind of drug song that was popular at the time, and yet Metallica turned the concept into arguably the greatest metal song ever. (Arguably is the key word.) The verse is great, the pre-chorus is pretty great, the second pre-chorus is even better (love the way they double-tracked the vocals when he sings "faster" and "master"), and then the chorus itself is just as awesome as you remembered it was. "Master! Master!" No wonder they play this so damn much, it just screams for audience participation. Another round through and then the song goes quiet as some really cool guitar bits come up leading into an awesome lead break. This isn't quite the thing you'd expect from most thrash songs of the time, but Metallica took that extra step forward and it's all the better for it. When the heaviness returns it's even better than before, and we're lead to a pretty strong bridge with some great vocals, which breaks into the solo section, and it's arguably one of Kirk's best ones. It's noodly, but it works well. There's a "flat" piece of riffing before we go through the pre-chorus 2 riff and its sounds so dang good. The opening riff returns and we're ushered back into the verse - pre-chorus - second pre-chorus - chorus. Such a solid construction and it still sounds great. Then there's a riff piece with rising guitar that stops and then ends with a graveyard of maniacal laughs. Great stuff. There's a reason this song is considered one of the best metal songs ever, because it's just really, really great. For my money, it deserves the title more than "Hallowed Be Thy Name" does. It's just a perfect song, not as good as "For Whom The Bell Tolls", but it's up there. 10/10

3. The Thing That Should Not Be - I really like this opening, it feels kinda like a gritty western as the main character cowboy enters the saloon hell-bent on destruction. But this ain't an ordinary western, as that mammoth riff proves. I really like it. There's a bit of a breakdown before we get a little quieter for the verse. That verse is pretty great, doing the vocal stuff before launches back into the riff. In our western, there's something moving in the fucking lake, coming to take you down. The breakdown piece pops up again in the form of the pre-chorus, which is pretty decent, but I'm left hanging with the chorus itself. Not that it's terrible, but I kinda expect more from it. Then again, this is my third listen of this song and I have to say it gets better with each listen. Verse is still great on the second round, but the pre-chorus and chorus are still a bit suspect. Luckily the solo is great, with a nice watery sound that works perfectly in the context of this Lovercraftian tune. There's a short repeat of the chorus (which isn't really a chorus, honestly, but that's how I view it). Some atmospheric guitar stuff before we re-enter the verse, pre-chorus, and chorus. Then we plod on with the riff as a chugging piece pushes us forward until we reach the end as the song fades out. This song has given me a lot of trouble trying to rate, because it's easily the weakest thing on this album, but there are so many good parts here (with merely the chorus and pre-chorus being a little half-baked) that I've gotta round up. Besides, it's better than the other songs I've given 8's to, so consider this one that verges on a precipice, but I think may just be good enough to get near top marks. 9/10

4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) - A somber yet eerie opening opens up in this song and it feels like you've just entered an asylum yourself. A few seconds before the drums kick in and you're wandering through the hallways of the insane as the lead guitar rises over the quieter stuff. James sounds fantastic on the verse. It's such a haunting piece of music and I love it. The heavier guitars kick in for the pre-chorus and that leads us to the chorus itself. The way James sings "Sanitarium!" just curdles the blood, it's so good. The verse goes round again as you pass by the cells, or cages as you could say, because it's a song that showcases how those dubbed "insane" may not be as crazy as the ones that put them there. The second chorus is still great, and then we get into another piece that feels like you're being chased by a truck. It's paranoid and yet great at the same time. The bridge is possibly the best part of this song with so many great parts. The solo seems to go wild as the inmates stand up and strike back at their master. There's a cool riff break and we chug along there as the guitars keep rising up, trying to break out of their skins. Then we reach a piece where the drums drop out but keep beating back in, reclaiming their stake, before we get a nice "big rock" ending. This song does a great job of conjuring up less-than-pleasant imagery, but you don't wanna escape from that at the same time. It's pretty fucking great, and good lord is this beast of a release on a roll. 10/10

5. Disposable Heroes - A heavy, rocky opening throws you right into the battlefield as the battalion charges the ground and rips up the earth. The lead guitar rises up and the song crashes down to build back up with one of the best chugging riffs I've ever heard. You've been thrown from your horse, bloodied and bleeding, but you stand back up on your feet, grab another and ride it towards the fight. A faster piece kicks in and then we slow a bit for the verse, which is strong as fuck. These lyrics are great too, and then the faster piece kicks in again in the form of the pre-chorus as Hetfield basically barks the aggressive lyrics he's spouting. An atmospheric piece hangs over before the song changes gears and we plunge into the chorus, which is fucking awesome. The way they shout "back to the front!" is genius, and while it's not your typical chorus, it's too fucking powerful for its own good. If you don't move to this song, you need to see a doctor. Another round through and it's still as great as it was the first time. Then we head into the bridge which is also great. The solo section is pretty damn good too, kinda similar to "The Trooper", though then it changes into a bit that sounds like Maiden may have taken a page out of Metallica's book for The Book Of Soul's solos. Then we hit the bridge again which finishes with Hetfield screaming "I was born for dying!" and then it's back to the... verse, actually. There's a lot of power and prestige in this song, and yet it's one of the dirtiest, grittiest anti-war songs ever. The pre-chorus is still as impactful as it was the first time, and come on, that chorus is still fucking amazing by the third time. I like how instead of repeating the whole thing again, they change it up and just repeat the "back to the front!" part. The song goes into hyperdrive again with the pre-chorus riff and then we slow back down... whoops, the heavy piece comes back and we end with that. To sum up: this song is awesome. It could be easily overlooked by the title track, but don't dare do that because it will kick you right in the ass. This song may actually be the best Metallica song apart from "For Whom The Bell Tolls". It's "The Trooper" on steroids, a metal epic in every sense of the word. 10/10

6. Leper Messiah - "One, two, onetwothreefourfive!" This studio bit works way better than it did on "Anesthesia" from the debut, because instead of taking you out of the album, it makes it feel more personal. These guys are friends and having fun, y'know. Anyway, the opening riff is awesome, and it moves into another riff that almost sounds messy, but isn't, and that's its charm. Then it enters another riff that brings with it the verse, which is pretty great. The pre-chorus / chorus keeps the momentum until James commands you to "bow to lepp-ah muh-sigh-uh!" I could nerd over how the pronunciation isn't great, but I'm too lazy because everything else is great and so is that piece. Another run-through and it's still great. Then we change up into another piece that's slower but has a really got piece of guitar and I love it. Then we get a bit faster and meet the bridge which is still good, and then the solo comes and it's awesome too. Then that piece I liked so much returns again and it's still great. A slightly different pre-chorus comes rushing through and Hetfield shouts "lie, lie, lie, lie!" over and over again, which is silly but works. Then we return to the riff that opened the song and make our exit from that. I know a lot of people consider this the weakest song on the album, but it's just too strong for that. Definitely better than "The Thing That Should Not Be" and stands head-to-head with the other bad boys on this record. Great song. 10/10

7. Orion - There's something building up on the horizon. It gets closer... and closer... and closer... It sounds like bass to me (could be wrong) and drums fading in from the plane beyond our existence and then it launches into one of the band's best riffs... ever. I just love how this damn thing sounds. It's heavy, it's well-mixed, it's just awesome. I really don't mind it going around a few times before we change up into a piece where the bass takes the center stage over the guitars. Only someone like Burton could pull that off, I'm convinced of that. The guitars come back to the forefront and the bass rests away as we go through the piece again with a focus on the riffing itself. Then we come back to that awesome riff from earlier and it's still great. The lead guitar comes up and you really feel like you're floating across the Milky Way. There's a cool solo piece there too which I quite like and is probably one of the best Hammett solos out there. Then things seem to slow down as the song comes to a close... or so you think. Some nice bass stuff appears in a nice, tranquil feel that leads into a cool melodic piece as the guitars come back in and rise above the bass that's leading them on. There's some really nice stuff here which could've been hard to do since it follows the epicness of the first half, but they nail it anyway. Honestly, this piece sounds like Metallica trying to do a kid's song, and I really, really like that. It's the heaviness of thrash but with a calmer feel, a look back at childhood, which has come and gone but the feelings remain. I love it. Some more nice soloing before the song builds back up with heavy riffing from earlier and a more wild kind of Hammett solo comes up front. This one isn't as good as the stuff from before but it fits the song quite well. Then it leaves and we're left alone with that riff and we slowly fade out into oblivion. Metallica really set a standard with "The Call Of Ktulu", which was pretty great, but they amped-up everything they had for this instrumental, which is even better than the previous one. Awesome song and easily one of Burton's finest moments. RIP. I hope he's happy wherever he is knowing that he left this work of art behind in his wake. 10/10

8. Damage, Inc. - And so we come to the final song, and what a brilliant way to follow "Orion" with a nice, building, lucid, watery kind of guitar thing going on. I really, really like it. It sticks around for about a minute and then we start to move into the actual song. Some UFO-esque stuff before we smash down into a military-esque drum/guitar thing that's pretty great. The riff breaks out and really takes no prisoners, crushing all opposition. It's kinda like "Battery Pt. 2" and the verse drives that idea home even more, but this one is still great. That chorus is even better, which James just letting loose and spitting his lungs to the wind. Then we stop for a moment as a whispered "Damage, Incorporated" comes in, before we smack down again and then go through another time and it's still great. Then we get a cool riff piece where we slow down for a bit for the bridge which is still great. Then the solo just shoots out from behind you and cracks your skull open and damn it's good. Then we pound-down with some great riffing stuff and verse 3 comes up. James just lets all loose with "fuck it all and fucking no regrets!" which was a risky line to pull off but he does it. The chorus is still great and we exit with another whisper of the title and a final smack-down and... silence. This song took all three listens to final really get; the first time I didn't know what to think, but having let it sink in... I love it. Genius way to end the album in much of the same way as it started and... yeah. It's awesome. Loudwire picked this as Metallica's best song for their list, and while I don't exactly agree 100%, I honestly totally see where they're coming from (even if most of the other stuff on there was a sham). So yeah. Fuck it all and fucking no regrets, this one is yet another... 10/10

Holy fuck this album is good. I'd heard a good chunk of these songs before I heard the whole thing, but as one musical body, they work even better than individually. There's no bad song here, with the weakest one actually getting better with repeated listens. I gave out seven 10's and one 9, which is insane. These guys fucking nailed it with this album. HOLY FUCK it's good.

Rating: 99%
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I swear to fuck this album really surprised me with how great it is, and it gets even better with relistens. May be my Painkiller moment, similar Knick's reaction to that album in the Priest thread. Whew this thing is badass. A surprise favorite that may end up on my overall Top 10 favorite albums.
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
Master of Puppets barely makes it into my top 10 Metallica albums:D. But I'm glad you love it and I'm sure you'll love ...And Justice For All as well.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I'm sure you'll love ...And Justice For All as well.
Not too sure about that one, from the songs I've heard I doubt it'll be able to match MOP, but maybe it'll be around the level of RTL. Maybe it'll actually be pretty great. Who knows? Either way, I'm going into it with an open mind.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
You knew it was gonna happen so here it is: how I’d rank the songs from the first three albums.

1. For Whom The Bell Tolls - 10
2. Disposable Heroes - 10
3. Damage, Inc. - 10
4. Master of Puppets - 10
5. Orion - 10
6. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) - 10
7. Battery - 10
8. Creeping Death - 10
9. Leper Messiah - 10
10. Ride the Lightning - 9
11. The Call of Ktulu - 9
12. The Four Horsemen - 9
13. The Thing That Should Not Be - 9
14. Fade to Black - 8
15. Motorbreath - 8
16. Fight Fire With Fire - 7
17. Hit the Lights - 7
18. Trapped Under Ice - 7
19. (Anesthesia)—Pulling Teeth - 7
20. Escape - 6
21. Phantom Lord - 6
22. Whiplash - 6
23. No Remorse - 4
24. Jump In The Fire - 4
25. Metal Militia - 4
26. Seek & Destroy - 3

*list subject to change
 
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