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RELOAD

Metallica

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progrules
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Strangely this is a very low rated output by Metallica and I haven't got a clue why really. Probably it has something to do with their efforts in the past which are obviously way better and more impressive. But then still the question remains: is this a bad or poor album on itself ? And then I simply say: no ! Music is poor when it's poorly executed or written but that's not the case here. I even rather would have given this album 4 stars than 2 to be honest.

I even would want to go that far to state that I'm not bored for one second when I listen to the entire 76 minutes this release counts. All songs are at least good, some even very good (like the great closer Fixxxer). And then I'm not even a true fan let alone fanboy who wants to hear nothing bad about the band. I'm just judging what I hear and can come to only one conclusion: this is a good album. Ok, maybe not essential, but good; nothing less ! So three stars it is.

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#185541)
Posted Tuesday, October 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars After the controversy caused by the release of “Load”, a very strong album that showed the new direction Metallica went through, “Reload” was released, an album mostly filled with the tracks that didn't make it onto “Load”. At least some songs of this album were written before the release of “Load”, I'm pretty sure of it since “Devil's Dance” was performed twice during 1995, together with “2x4”.

As for the music, this is not a metal album, like most of you know, but it is not “Load II” either; while “Load” was a pretty bluesy album, with lots of melancholic songs and such (“Bleeding Me”, “Outlaw Torn”, “Until it Sleeps”, “Mama Said”, etc.), “Reload” shows the band adopting a hard rock sound, some songs even reminding me of some classic rock bands out there. The tunes are generally heavy and fairly aggressive at times, an example being the opener or “Attitude”. All the tracks are also relatively long, thanks to some extended solo sections and intrumental parts, which is a thing that I truly appreciate. While the songs are not progressive 'monsters', so to speak, a la “...And Justice for All” (which is, by the way, the best Metallica record ever), their structures are quite interesting at times, two examples being the false ending of “Better than You” and the bridge of “Fixxxer”.

Speaking about “Fixxxer”, this is a song that disappointed me a bit. It is not a bad song, by any means, no – but it still can't reach the greatness of the amazing “Outlaw Torn”. I don't know, but when I saw that “Fixxxer” was the longest song of “Reload” and also the closer, I really thought it would be a diamond like “Outlaw Torn”. Unfortunately, I was wrong, but it still is a pretty good song, containing some catchy riffs and one of the best solos of the album.

Returning to the comparison between “Load” and “Reload”, James' vocal approach here is pretty aggressive and his voice sounds pretty damn raw at times. With “Load” he adopted a more melodic approach, but he's absolutely different here, try to listen to “Better than You” and “Wasting My Hate” and you'll see. As for the production, it is pretty good (obviously, this is Metallica) and clear, the guitar assuming the main role, the bass being audible during most of the time and the drums always there.

Kirk's performance here is pretty competent, but I still think that this new sound Metallica adopted didn't benefit him at all; he is a metal guitar player, no doubts about it, he can't just pull out those melodic, emotional solos that frequently, and that doesn't benefit the album. On “AJFA”, for example, he made songs like “Shortest Straw” what they were, with his tight lead playing, but, this time, he has not enought space to shine and some solos of this album are clearly underdeveloped and even weak. As for Lars, he still is extremely predictable; the new sound Metallica adopted doesn't benefit him that much either; he clearly overuses the “kick-snare-kick-snare” pattern and his fills are weak during most of the times. His performance is average, all in all.

As for the songs, I clearly disagree with the majority of the reviewers who said that the first three tunes of the album are the highlights; hell no, “Fuel”, “The Memory Remains” and “Devil's Dance” bore me, perhaps because I've already heard them too many [%*!#]ing times. The best of the three probably is “Fuel” though: it clearly is the fastest and the most 'metal' tune of the bunch. “Devil's Dance” is very groovy, albeit repetitive, and “The Memory Remains” sounds great live, but the studio version doesn't hold my attention.

“Unforgiven II” is a competent ballad, nothing special, but it is when we reach “Better than You” that the album really gets going: this song is pretty damn good, in my opinion, great chorus and I love the false ending. The vocals on this track are also very very aggressive, great stuff. “Slither” follows and it is also pretty midpaced, with nice riffs. “Carpe Diem Baby” is a clear highlight, being the seventh track and sounding like a more elaborated version of the previous two songs. “Bad Seed” is a bit faster, even containing some double-bass parts, “Prince Charming” wins the prize for the song with the best riffs of this album, and finally “Fixxxer” closes the album perfectly.

Unfortunately, there are some more fillers hidden here, “Low Man's Lyric” being one of them. It is a very very repetitive tune, and the fact that it contains some violin lines doesn't help. “Attitude” is a really bad song, probably the only BAD tune of the record, and “Where the Wild Things Are” is a bit better but far from a good song, despite its relatively intricate and complex structure.

So, at the end of the day a solid hard rock album, being quite good at times. If you enjoyed “Load” (or if you like hard rock) you'll like this album that's for sure. I don't know if a progressive rock fan will enjoy this, though, so I'll give it just two stars. Highlights: “Fixxxer” and “Prince Charming”.

Best Moments of the CD: -the beginning of “Fuel”. - the “to fall in love with life again” part of “Fixxxer”.

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Send comments to Nhorf (BETA) | Report this review (#187525)
Posted Friday, October 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
ProgBagel
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Metallica - 'Reload' 2 stars

Metallica Reload's, but comes up empty yet again.

It is pretty much just a left-over from the equally terrible 'Load' album. The worst part about this album is it nearly runs for the entire 80 minutes! To add to that liability, only two songs were even worthy of being somewhat remembered. This sound of Metallica was just one of the worst things that can happen to a successful band. Unfortunately, things indeed got a little worse down this terrible change in career path.

Only recommended to Metallica die-hards and anyone willing to waste a few bucks.

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Send comments to ProgBagel (BETA) | Report this review (#190543)
Posted Wednesday, November 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "Reload" is the 7th full-length studio release by American heavy metal act Metallica. The album was released in November 1997 by Vertigo Records. The 13 songs on the album were written during the sessions that took place before the release of their previous studio album "Load (1996)". These tracks are however not leftover tracks from the "Load" sessions. 27 tracks were written during the sessions but as Metallica had been offered to play on the Lollapalooza tour in the summer of 1996 they opted to release a single CD album with the material they had finished recording instead of the double CD release they had initially planned. Thus 13 songs were left unfinished and Metallica went into the studio with producer Bob Rock again in October 1996. The recording sessions lasted until July 1997 and "Reload" was released in November 1997.

As expected the music style on "Reload" is very similar to the style of music on "Load". Heavy metal with bluesy hard rock/ heavy rock elements. You´ll often hear the statement that the tracks on "Reload" are leftover tracks from "Load" but I think the quality is just as high (or low) as on "Load". The album seriously lacks highlights though and while the tracks are mostly of an acceptable quality they are rather mediocre and unremarkable compared to the material on earlier releases.

The sound production is similar to the one on "Load". Professional but not up to par with the sound on "Metallica (1991)".

I don´t consider "Reload" a bad album or a failure in any way, but it´s overall an unremarkable and mediocre release. Especially considering the high quality of the band´s first 5 albums. Metallica simply sound uninspired. It´s like the hunger isn´t there. I´d say somewhere between a 2.5 - 3 star rating is warranted.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#226363)
Posted Monday, July 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
1 stars Yawn!

This is one of the most boring rock albums I've ever heard. It's got some blues rock tendencies, and there's nothing wrong with blues rock in general - if the artist is able to actually play interesting and engaging blues rock. It's got some alternative rock tendencies, and there's nothing wrong with alternative rock - if it seems sincere and if it's performed well. There's a bit of metal, too, but not much, and whatever metal there is is trite and tried and uninspiring. There's absolutely none of the progginess and tendency towards complexity that made Metallica interesting in the 80s.

"Reload" is so depressingly boring that the band should have called themselves "Boringwannebe90ishgrownupalternativerockica". Sigh!

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Send comments to Time Signature (BETA) | Report this review (#227236)
Posted Friday, July 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars The leftovers of Load. I might be in minority thinking that the style change marked by Load was a great move and that Load itself is a magnificent album. Well, ReLoad continues with the same style (bluesy heavy rock with touches of alternative rock) but it's a much more weaker effort from Metallica.

I can find several songs that I enjoy, but there are also songs which I consider to be embarrassing for Metallica. The songs I really like are Fuel, Devil's Dance, Low Man's Lyric and Fixxxer. The rest of the album range from ok to horrible. I really liked their change in style, but they made a bad judgement to publish ReLoad as it is.

In conclusion, ReLoad is not a good album, but it is saved by few very enjoyable songs. Especially Fixxxer is a great one in my opinion, and Low Man's Lyric is something very different from them and still succeeds. 2 stars.

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Send comments to nikow (BETA) | Report this review (#231328)
Posted Thursday, August 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Load part II

Reload continues the style of its predecessor - Load, but this time even worse than the first. Most of the songs are absolute irritating and illogical. They are much worse than a mainstreem radio songs. The Memory Remains, The Unforgiven II and Low Man's Lyric are exception. All of them are memorable and contain melody in contrast with the others. On Reload rules again blues, country and alternative music combined in inappropriate and unbalanced style. Because of the presence of less good songs than on Load and because of the presence of less good themes in the poor songs, Reload should be ranked lower than Load. The other reason for than wil be the less number of fresh and innovative ideas here. It could be considered as a lazy and boring release with using of universal chords that can be heard in 50% of radio rock songs. That's why they are lazy and boring: made without a will. 1,5 stars

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Send comments to poslednijat_colobar (BETA) | Report this review (#261637)
Posted Tuesday, January 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This may seem an unpopular opinion, but I'm going to go ahead and give this record four stars. I feel the biggest problem regarding this album is that it generally has such a bad reputation that most peoples opinion of it gets swayed by what everyone else is saying. I'm not saying everyone is a sheep just following the trend, but I feel that most people listen to this record with their minds set that it is terrible because there are few good things said about it.

Well, I'm going to try (in vain) to defend it, because after a number of listens, 'Reload' has really grown on me, and I've come to realise there are a lot of very underrated moments here.

Okay, so these may be songs that didn't quite make it onto 'Load', but that doesn't mean they're terrible. 'Fuel' is a great opening track, which is as heavy and rocking as anything else Metallica have done. And then there's 'The Memory Remains' and 'The Unforgiven II' which are probably the only other songs most people are familiar with on this record. But with a bit of patience, there are some true gems waiting to be discovered here. For example, 'Attitude', 'Bad Seed' and 'Where the Wild Things Are' are all amazingly well put-together songs that are great to headbang to.

As usual the playing is all pretty tight. Kirk is becoming more comfortable with his wah pedal, Hetfield has his growl nailed to perfection, and Lars is, well... Lars.

I'm not saying this album is perfect, just that it is a lot better than people make it out to be. If it had been released by another band nobody would have a problem with it. But hey, I'll be the first to admit one thing, 'Low Man's Lyric' is indeed a pretty awful song. But that aside, this is a great rock album. Give it a chance, and then give it a few more. I did, and I don't regret it.

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Send comments to Valarius (BETA) | Report this review (#265108)
Posted Tuesday, February 09, 2010 | Review Permalink
jampa17
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars More of the same. The flow changed, maybe it work for them, but not for me.

Well, this is a back to back album called in a very original way ReLoad. The same thing, lame composition, just straight metal with short songs and some kind of aggressive sound, but that sounds like a joke if you make a comparison with their old material. As well as with the Load album, the songs are pretty forgettable. If you don't pay too much attention, you can make a headbanging here and there but that's it, really, a forgettable album.

The only song that I really like is Fuel, because is fresh and aggressive but the album end up plain. So, I don't recommend this album. Maybe it work for background music for a party with the boys, but if you pay too much attention you will end up boring. Not progressive elements, just straight metal and that's it.

1 star is very fair. Nothing save this album of being poor.

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Send comments to jampa17 (BETA) | Report this review (#278321)
Posted Saturday, April 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
JJLehto
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Load...of crap. Maybe its second half will be its better half?

NOPE

Actually, it's worse. I really do not want to go into any of the songs, and that's OK because there is not much to go into. Generic, boring...when can I stop using these words? Even though it was bad, at least Load sounded kind of cool. ReLoad does not.

As a true metal head, it pains me to hear "this album is not prog at all, but a regular metal album" because this is simply not true. I would not consider ReLoad, or the 2 albums prior, metal. And even if I had to, they are not good ones.

According to Lars, "that, to me, is what Metallica are all about: exploring different things. The minute you stop exploring, then just sit down and f**king die". While I absolutely won't disagree with that, and in fact think exploring is a good thing, an experiment can go wrong...OK, enough dancing around. This album is terrible.

One star

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Send comments to JJLehto (BETA) | Report this review (#283778)
Posted Thursday, May 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Metallica's seventh album and the follow up to Load.

Those who thought Metallica could not sink any lower than they did on Load were up for a nasty surprise. Reload is a reload of the ideas from Load. That is, only worse.

The sound on Reload is dirty and with more than some hints of Trouble and sludge. That on the top of some music that reminds me about heavy metal, but with a vastly different sound. I cannot pinpoint this sound and I am not that interested either. This album and the tracks sounds like the US government's new initiative against insomnia. Which is exactly what it feels like. Only the new version of The Unforgiven and the Marianne Faithful collaboration The Memory Remains is half decent. The rest of this album is already forgotten.

2 stars

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#355460)
Posted Friday, December 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
Sheavy
COLLABORATOR
Progressive Electronic Team
1 stars No we do not want a Reload of an album that was already standing on a precipice of doom and no return.

If you thought the songs on Load were absolutely terrible then, this album must have come from your nightmares. There is not a single good song on this album, it is just a bunch have discarded ideas, and it really shows. probably the worst part to this entire album is the horrible voice in the middle of The Memory Remains. i was close to tears listening to that terrible sound, and then once you think you have gotten through it, it pops up again towards the end of the song. utterly horrible. The song that is even remotely close to being worthy of listening to is the first track Fuel, and itis just barely a two star song.

The hole created here to gid out of is deeper than the Mariana Trench.

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Send comments to Sheavy (BETA) | Report this review (#470319)
Posted Sunday, June 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Believe it or not, I actually like this album more than its predecessor. The actual songwriting isn't that much better (after all, these were recorded in the same sessions), but what sets this album apart is how weird it is. Ostensibly, these are (for the most part) the odder, more "experimental" songs that the group had done in those sessions, and which hadn't been fully mixed by the time Load was ready for release. One thing that comes out of this is that I really don't get how this could possibly be considered a mainstream or "alternative" album - this is not conventional rock music, by any means. If I may make an analogy (analogies are fun!), this can be considered the Metallica version of the Rolling Stones' Goats Head Soup (and come to think of it, "Devil's Dance" kinda reminds me of "Dancing With Mr. D"); a weirdly decadent mix of various styles done by a previously "conventional" rock band. Of course, this album is way worse than GHS, with a ton of filler threatening to drown out the best moments, but it still deserves some credit in the grand scheme of things.

The album starts off normally enough, of course. "Fuel" is a fabulous, powerful riff-rocker, replete with solid vocal harmonies, and its overexposure around the time of release way back when never quelched my love for it. The second song, though, is a weird cross between ultra- mainstream "alternative" rock and the experimentation of the rest of the album. Not that that's a good thing in this case; "The Memory Remains" is close to my least favorite Metallica song of all time, as it's an almost ridiculously repetitive weak, weak attempt at hard rock, complete with a cameo from Marianne Faithful that starts off seeming clever and ends up feeling incredibly stupid and gimmicky. It's followed by a positive number, though, in the aforementioned "Devil's Dance," a mid-tempo stomper with well-produced grumbling, battling guitars and overdone-but-still- enjoyable "menacing" vocals. It's a clear keeper, that's for sure.

"The Unforgiven II," then, is hilariously, offensively bad. It's one thing to ape a previously well- received song for a new number in order to use the good will for that song as a crutch; it's another to prop up its rotting corpse a la Weekend at Bernie's and then rape and desecrate its rotting corpse when you're done with it. There are certain things in rock music that are fundamental offenses against nature, and one of them is not only naming a song "*Already famous song* II" (unless it's "Larks' Tongues in Aspic," of course) but using that full title in the actual lyrics. And that's all I'm going to say about it, else I get angry and blustery while typing.

Aside from a great, great up-tempo 70's-style rocker (with Sabbath-quality riffs) in "Prince Charming," as well as a surprisingly decent seven-minute acoustic ballad in "Low Man's Lyric," the rest of the songs hit neither the highs nor lows of the songs already mentioned. "Slither" stands out slightly both because its main riff is pretty similar to that of "Enter Sandman" and because of its creepy vocal harmonies, "Carpe Diem Baby" has a teeth-gritting, slightly unpleasant (in a good way) set of riffs and some oddly ok vocals, and, uh ... "Where the Wild Things" Are has some pretty ugly (again, in a good way) guitar interplay. None of these are great, but none of them are even remotely bad either. As for the rest of the songs, well, I never feel like I'm listening to a "typical" album when listening to them; I don't really like the other songs, but I like how moderately unusual they are as a whole.

In the end, this is another giant heap of filler smattered with a few good songs, and while this has more low points than Load does, the filler tends to be more interesting on the whole than Load's filler. Again, an hour-long album consisting of the best material from these two behemoths would probably merit a **** rating; as is, the amount of sludge to be slithered through between these two albums makes such an assessment impossible.

PS: If you're interested, my ideal 1-hour Load Sessions album would look like this:

"Ain't My Bitch" "Until it Sleeps" "Devil's Dance" "2x4" "Low Man's Lyric" "Fuel" "King Nothing" "Prince Charming" "Mama Said" "The Outlaw Torn"

Lead single: "Hero for the Day"

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Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#573316)
Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Metallica - a band that I don't like much in that I always felt that they were overrated and mistakenly called one of the fathers of prog - metal. They did release two albums that I did like being "Ride the Lightning" and the self titled "Black Album". The previous album (Load) was an insipid release of standard heavy rock. This album again repeats the formula of the previous album. They seem to have jumped on standard rock formula bandwagon with the release of the "Black" album however that album was well done and well put together and it does contain some brilliant material. I'm not going to do a track by track review here in that there is really nothing that stands up to be counted. I do enjoy "the Unforgiven II" Many of the tracks here, to my ears, could have come from the Alice Cooper "Poison" period however Alice Cooper does what he does very much better than what these guys do.

If the listener is looking for listenable hard rock then there is nothing basically wrong with this album (or the previous one) but I prefer a little more complexity in the music that I listen to for pleasure. The problem that I have with Metallica is that to my view they are a two trick pony - the one being the thrash metal (of earlier albums) which they repeated ad infinitum over their first album releases, so much so that I could have been listening to one track over the course of their first few albums - repeated over and over again. The other trick was to follow the standard hard rock fare of later albums where again there is not much to differentiate between the tracks. I never saw the band members as anything like being masters of their instruments and I do demand a certain level of expertise from musicians which I can be able to hear clearly in the music.

There is nothing prog here whatsoever and in that light this album gets a two from me where on a standard rock review site it would have achieved a three.

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Send comments to sukmytoe (BETA) | Report this review (#1011725)
Posted Tuesday, August 06, 2013 | Review Permalink

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