Metallica

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
"Using" as in discussion tool I don't think so. It's just a stupid rating, but it is google, so the rating is accessible to huge amounts of people, and judging by the AMOLAD's score it is not a wide audience thing.
It actually takes a certain amount of votes for the first score to appear, so while it's not quite an argument, or proof of anything, it's reliable enough to draw a line and get an idea on the matter.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
Then actually record in a garage. They spent a ton of money on a big name producer and fine tuning that room. It sounds shitty but it also sounds expensive, which makes it come off as fake. If you want to hear what an actual garage metal band sounds like, check out Kill Em All.

Edit: sniped by zare
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
I disagree. If St. Anger (and Load/Reload ) was made by some other band, people wouldn't diss it all the time. People would say it sounds new and exciting and possibly consider it as a great record.
I highly, highly doubt that.

I'm repeating myself here but we have a non-Metallica measuring stick for St. Anger, and that's alternative metal/nu metal of the late 90s and early 2000s. That's a fad in metal that didn't produce a lot of great records anyway. St. Anger emulated that sound but with the colossal mistake of making the songs longer. That doesn't fly with that type of sound, you can't make a 75 minute alternative metal album with six 7+ minute tracks and get away with it.

I do think that St. Anger could've been a decent alternative metal record if it was approached differently. Shorter songs, a proper drum sound instead of trash can, and a more appropriate production could've helped. I feel like Metallica's collab with Rick Rubin came an album too late, he'd have been a more fitting producer for St. Anger than Death Magnetic.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Metallica (1991)



1. Enter Sandman - Album #5 opens with a slow, quiet piece that's soft yet sinister at the same time. The drums kick in and then that classic Metallica riffing starts up before we finally launch into that actual riff, and boy is it a banger. James seems to change on literally every album and this is no exception. There's a lot of that tuff stuff from AJFA but it's also the cleanest style of singing so far. Anyway, he's pretty great on this song. The verse is awesome, that pre-chorus is great, but the chorus itself is just fantastic. Every time James comes in with that "EXIT LIGHT" I get chills. It just sounds so good. The uber-wah-laden solo used to bother me when I was younger but I've grown used to it. It's a pretty good solo, honestly, I'm just not the biggest wah guy. A sinister prayer section and bridge that leads right back to that epic as fuck chorus and then we slow down in the outro as James commands us to take his hand and we slowly fade to black. I can't really imagine a better song for the band to become big with. Sure, they've made better ones, but like Mosh was saying, this is "the perfect rock song". Whether it's the best or not is up for debate, but it's pretty much perfect nonetheless. And despite this being a more focused song, easily able to win over rock and hard rock fans, the bite that Metallica had on previous albums is still here, and it's still completely metal. Completely Metallica. I digress. Talk about putting your best foot first in opening an album? This is that concept put in practice. 10/10

2. Sad But True - A smashing opening with some heavy-hitting drumming that moves slowly before stopping... and then that riff just kicks right the fuck in. It's probably one of the heaviest they've ever done and is used to great effect. The verse here is awesome, and the chorus is pretty fucking good too. I've heard some people call this album "less metal" than the previous albums, but I really don't think that's true. Less thrash, maybe, but less metal? I don't think so. Like I said, this song is one of the heaviest they've done even up to this point. It's a slow riff, very doomy, but damn is it a fucking monster. The wah in this solo is actually used to better effect than in the one from "Enter Sandman" and it's pretty great. This song is as much of a banger as "Enter Sandman" was and if your head isn't moving there's gotta be something wrong with you. I mentioned drumming before, but this may be Lars using his style to the best effect possible. It isn't the most interesting drumming, but they've got a heavy riff here and the drumming backs it well. I can't imagine a better song to follow on from the opening. This beast is just too great for its own good. Love it. 10/10

3. Holier Than Thou - I swear I've heard this opening in another Metallica song before, but maybe it's just my brain before weird. It's a pretty aggressive, in-your-face, kick-ass way to start a song, and then the song launches into the actual riff and it's awesome. The lyrics here are pretty laughable, but y'know what, they work despite that. James's "Holier than thouOHHHHH" is also weird but I've come to like it a lot. Not a fan of throwing that "who the hell are you?" in there personally, but the solo here is pretty great. Nice bass solo here before the riff comes back in. Final chorus to leave the song with is great. Not surprised that Bob Rock thought this would be a good first single, but "Enter Sandman" was definitely the better choice. At any rate, great song that keeps the momentum from the first two flowing. It isn't quite as good as they are, but it's still pretty great. 9/10

4. The Unforgiven - A pretty cool rising bit before we enter some nice acoustics with the chorus melody in the background. It's pretty great. James and heavy guitars enter at the same time for the verse, and it's pretty awesome. The singing here is honestly great and that pre-chorus leads up to the real thing perfectly. Heaviness drops out and is replaced by the acoustic guitar, and James sounds amazing here. Emotional yet strong, it's easily one of the best moments on the whole album. Chilling is the best way I can describe it. Nice acoustic piece following chorus 2 before we get the actual electric solo which is also awesome. Fantastic, even. One of the best solos the band's done yet. Then we come back to the chorus and it's still amazing. Pretty nice minute-long outro. The ending took the longest time to grow on me, and I still think it would've been better to repeat the chorus and end from there, but I mean... it's great nonetheless. If there are any real lows to this song, I don't care to know about them. This is a fantastic ballad with a lot of emotional depth to it that just works so well. 10/10

5. Wherever I May Roam - I love this eastern-style opening. It brings with it visions of desert lands and nameless wanderers of the sands, and then holy shit that riff comes in and it's just so great. Slow yet knowing where it's going before speeding up and heading for that destination even faster. Then we peak and calm down for the verse, which begins with a whisper before James comes in. It's pretty great and so is the pre-chorus and actual chorus. Parts of the verse and chorus bothered me for a bit but that's gone now because this song really is awesome. A pounding hell's shadow about life on the road. It's a subject that so few bands manage to do well and Metallica actually pulls it off. Wah solo is pretty cool and then we launch into the final chorus and it's still great. James uses a lot of "yeah's" on this album and this song is no exception. It's pointless but never seems to ruin a song. Anyway, I've been unsure on how to rate this song for a while, but man, it's just so good. 10/10

6. Don't Tread On Me - Another cool opening that sounds like it could be a patriotic anthem opens this song, which makes sense given the subject matter. Then we head into a plodding beast that leads to a tuff-guy "don't tread on me!" and then the verse. Honestly, I'm not patriotic in the slightest but this song is really surprisingly good. There's just no way you can't bob your head to it. Heavy stuff with a lot of "'murica fuck yeah" nonsense that's somehow done about as good as anyone can do it. I don't wanna like this per se but I can't help it. Even the chorus is good. This whole album is pretty much the point that Metallica became fully an American metal band and it all peaks here. Like I said, I'm not patriotic at all but despite that, I think the Gadsden flag was a pretty cool design, and this is a pretty great way of turning it into song form. This isn't quite as good as the songs I've given top marks to, but man I'll take this over half the bullshit conservatives normally listen to. Kinda weird to hear this after the critical "...And Justice For All", but that's a given. To sum it up, this song is surprisingly great. 9/10

7. Through The Never - A very classic Metallica riff opens up the thrashiest song on the whole album and it's pretty solid. The verse comes in and it's also solid. This is a pretty intriguing take on the whole "good lord the universe is so big" subject matter TBH. The chorus is pretty cool too. Decent bridge before we exit with a final chorus. This song feels like it could've fit on something like Ride The Lightning, it has that classic Metallica feel to it that that album had and this one moved away from a bit. Because of this, it feels a little like it's paint-by-numbers, but I don't mean that in a bad way. It's got a good spot on the album and is pretty essential, keeping the vibe flowing well, but at the same time is a bit of a step down from the six previous songs. I still like it, just not quite as much as them. 8/10

8. Nothing Else Matters - Some really moody acoustics open up this song, which for most people is the make or break moment on the album. Whatever you think about the rest of the song, can we agree that the opening is awesome? I love how the drums kick in right when James does, really takes it to that next level. His singing here is fantastic, emotional, calm, just really, really good. The idea to write a nearly wholly-acoustic sound is strange coming off of the stuff they'd done before, but man they pull it off. The chorus piece is pretty awesome too, with more forceful strumming and heavier drums backing James's rising voice. Really cool acoustic solo-ish piece. Some passionate vocals in the next verse and chorus before we get an electric solo leading to a quieter James bringing things to an end. Almost actually, because a repeat of the opening is actually what brings it there. Writing a love song for your girlfriend must've been the least Metallica kind of thing anyone could've done, but what a genius idea to place it on the album. Somehow, despite all of the heavy hitters on here, it fits in perfectly. I love ballads so long as they're done right, and this one is really done right. I remember when I heard it the first time, it was such a good building piece of art. I don't care if it's overplayed, because honestly, it deserves to be. 10/10

9. Of Wolf and Man - Some nice guitar here before the drums smack in and we build in before coming down to a cool riff that brings us forward to the verse, which is pretty badass. Y'know what we needed more of in metal? Fuckin' werewolves, that's what! The verse is pretty great, quite vivid. The "shapeshift!" chorus could be stupid, yet somehow it works pretty well. I love that ending line to it. "Back to the meaning of... life!" Honestly I've spent a shitload of time just pondering on how werewolves fit into the idea of life as we know it thanks to this song. It's more interesting in my head than it'll ever be in text. Nice solo before we have a cool atmospheric bit before we get a spoken word bridge. It isn't that great and drags the sound down just a tad, but really, this is an overall very, very solid composition that I quite like. Not perfect per se, but it's a good listen. 8/10

10. The God That Failed - Holy shit, it's "Dawn Patrol"! I kid. It's a pretty awesome bass intro and I love the way the guitars come in. The verse is solid which some pretty good vocals, but it's the chorus itself that really knocks things out of the park. The way James sings "I see faith in your eyes" and "...held back by the deepened nail" is fantastic, easily some of his best singing on this album. Some great soloing on this song, too. Jason's basswork on this song is fantastic. The intro is great, but it's a really great backing to the rest of the song. I really love this song, but I can't fully persuade myself that it's perfect outright. Still, it's really, really good. 9/10

11. My Friend of Misery - Another cool bass intro opens this song (kinda reminds me of "Darkside of Aquarius", or maybe the other way 'round lol). I love the way the heaviness comes in, and it's a slow but great riff. Probably the darkest part of the album and I really like it. The verse is great as well. That said, the chorus is a bit of a step down from the rest, anticlimactic even. It's not bad, but it's not the best thing ever and does sadly drag the song down. Nice midsection here that calms down with that bassline backing some moody guitar-ing. Then some pretty great quiet guitar comes in before we get to the actual solo which is pretty cool, though it makes the mistake of going into the chorus piece and knocks down the vibe a bit. Then the chorus comes back for a last hurrah and then we noodle our way out of the song, which is definitely a bland ending to the song. This track had a ton of potential, but wasted it on a bland chorus that dragged it down and stopped it from rising higher. Solid overall, but could've been way better. 7/10

12. The Struggle Within - Some militaristic drumming open the song before another RTL-esque piece comes in. A pretty cool open when all is said and done but far removed from the rest of the song. The actual riff comes in and for whatever reason, James jumps right in before it even finishes. The verse here is pretty messy, but I do like that chorus which works well and brings up the song, unlike in the previous song. Then we drop down before the song builds up again for verse 2. This one works better than the previous one simply because it's a bit sturdier. Again, that chorus manages to turn a weaker song into a better one. Then we drop out and again and head into a solo section that would've worked well on Master Of Puppets, actually. I quite like it. Final verse still isn't great, but again, that chorus is great. One final drop down and a piece of build-up ends the album on a surprising high note. The verses here are pretty meh, but the solos and chorus are great. This is also a pretty great ending to the album, so I can round up. 7/10

Man this album grows on you. My first listen was less than satisfactory, yet somehow it gets better right with the next listen. Surprisingly awesome album that isn't perfect, but it's up there. Best thing since MoP. I also love the tracklist, as it's perfectly executed, putting the songs exactly where they should be. Even the weaker ones fit. For a "sell-out" affair, they did it well.

Rating: 89%
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
Agreed on pretty much every single point you've made. It didn't have to grow on me though. I've loved it from the beginning (IIRC, it was the first Metallica album I've heard in full), and it's still my favorite of theirs to this day.

Edit: I'd rate "Of Wolf and Man" a point higher, but my thoughts on it are pretty much the same.
 

SixesAlltheway

Ancient Mariner
Nice write-up. Last "classic" Metallica album for me. The Struggle Within feels kinda thrown together and doesn't serve the album that well as a closer. Holier Than Thou was the projected album opener for a while until Lars (I believe) convinced the others that Enter Sandman should be the first track.

Faves: Through The Never, Sad But True, Wherever I May Roam
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
I've heard some people call this album "less metal" than the previous albums, but I really don't think that's true. Less thrash, maybe, but less metal? I don't think so.
About this, people go around saying that sort of thing because this is where their sound took a shift into more commercial, and to some degree radio-oriented territory, which consequently broke them into the mainstream and caused many people (mostly die-hard fans of their first four albums) to start hating on them for "selling out" (which I think is ridiculous, btw).
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
About this, people go around saying that sort of thing because this is where their sound took a shift into more commercial, and to some degree radio-oriented territory, which consequently broke them into the mainstream and caused many people (mostly die-hard fans of their first four albums) to start hating on them for "selling out" (which I think is ridiculous, btw).
Yeah I knew all about that. I just don't get how anyone could consider this to be "less metal" or "hard rock" like some do. It's a more focused record, but it's still a pretty heavy one.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
I don't think Metallica sold out, nor do I fault them for the change they made. They saw an opportunity and ran with it. Plus Justice For All really took that style as far as it could go. The problem is that, for me, the music on The Black Album isn't good.

I would call The Black Album hard rock, but that doesn't really factor into how I perceive the quality.
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
Yeah I knew all about that. I just don't get how anyone could consider this to be "less metal" or "hard rock" like some do. It's a more focused record, but it's still a pretty heavy one.
It isn't, but the constant bashing of any sort of mainstream music is what leads to bullshit like that. It's become a thing to hate on mainstream artists, and this trend just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Terms like "commercial", "radio-friendly" and "mainstream" are being used more and more frequently as insults to more common music styles that some people, whether it is to feel superior or "cooler" than everyone else, refuse to accept. That happens to be common amongst metal listeners due to the fact that metal started as an underground music style that just happened to grow more than it originally should and started attracting more and more listeners. When Metallica broke into the mainstream, these people appear to have started trying to delete them from the metal fanbase (possibly due to the infantile mentality of "I don't like you anymore, this is my music style, get out" caused by the refusal to accept that metal wasn't an exclusively underground genre anymore), which they failed horribly at.
 
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