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Metallica biography
METALLICA is a heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles, California, in the United States, in 1981. Although not directly a progressive-metal band, their influence on the genre is undeniable, not only due to the mark their music made in major acts like DREAM THEATER or FATES WARNING, but also because at least two of their early albums are considered by most prog-metal experts as pioneering efforts in the genre, and arguably progressive-metal's first real albums. Though METALLICA's music gradually became less progressive with each subsequent release, their first four records are amongst the most forward-thinking in metal's history, and have been widely regarded as masterpieces without which the progressive-metal genre would not be what it is today.

It all started when Danish drummer and amateur tennis star Lars Ulrich moved from his homeland to the United States in 1979. Although his original intention was to become a successful tennis player, he soon traded his racket for a pair of drumsticks as he decided to live his passion for heavy metal and bands like IRON MAIDEN and DIAMOND HEAD. This latter one played a particularly important role in the drummer's development when they allowed him to tour with them after he went to see the group play live in the United Kingdom in 1981.

1981 was also the year where Ulrich met guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield, after the latter answered to an announcement in a newspaper looking for a guitarist to "jam to the music of TYGERS OF PAN TANG, DIAMOND HEAD and IRON MAIDEN" that Lars had posted days ago. The two would become partners and the main creative force behind the band which they soon created, called METALLICA. To record a song for an upcoming metal compilation, METALLICA looked for a lead guitarist. After unsuccessfully trying out Lloyd Grant on the first recording of "Hit the Lights", which was met with favorable comments from the underground metal community, they found a more stable line-up when they hired Dave Mustaine to replace him. With Hetfield's high school friend Ron McGovney joining them on bass, they re-recorded "Hit the Lights" for the second edition of the Metal Massacre compilation and several other demos that helped them make their name known in the world wide metal underground.

McGovney wouldn't last long as his lackluster skills were soon eclipsed by the mastery of the instrument that Hetfield and Ulrich were able to behold in the hands of Cliff Burton when they saw him perf...
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Hardwired...To Self-Destruct (Limited Deluxe Edition)Hardwired...To Self-Destruct (Limited Deluxe Edition)
Rhino/Blackened Recordings ADA 2016
Audio CD$9.19
$5.42 (used)
Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets
Blackened Recordings 2013
Audio CD$3.97
$2.99 (used)
Blackened Recordings 2013
Audio CD$4.87
$3.99 (used)
Ride The LightningRide The Lightning
Rhino/Blackened Recordings 2016
Audio CD$4.27
$4.26 (used)
...And Justice For All...And Justice For All
Rhino/Blackened Recordings 2013
Audio CD$4.98
$4.96 (used)
Kill 'Em AllKill 'Em All
Rhino/Blackened Recordings 2016
Audio CD$5.27
$5.26 (used)
Garage, Inc. (2CD)Garage, Inc. (2CD)
Rhino/Blackened Recordings 2013
Audio CD$9.26
$8.61 (used)
Hardwired...To Self-DestructHardwired...To Self-Destruct
Rhino/Blackened Recordings ADA 2016
Audio CD$1.90
$5.19 (used)
Rhino/Blackened Recordings 2013
Audio CD$4.97
$4.96 (used)
Audio CD$3.97
$3.89 (used)
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METALLICA discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

METALLICA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.39 | 418 ratings
Kill 'Em All
4.08 | 534 ratings
Ride The Lightning
4.11 | 657 ratings
Master Of Puppets
3.94 | 548 ratings
...And Justice For All
3.23 | 476 ratings
Metallica [Aka: The Black Album]
2.38 | 326 ratings
2.11 | 318 ratings
1.66 | 358 ratings
St. Anger
3.34 | 368 ratings
Death Magnetic
2.08 | 209 ratings
Metallica & Lou Reed: Lulu
3.58 | 69 ratings
Hardwired...To Self-Destruct

METALLICA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.87 | 68 ratings
Live Sh*t: Binge and Purge
1.77 | 13 ratings
Live In London - Antipodean Tour Edition
3.45 | 166 ratings
S & M

METALLICA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.49 | 26 ratings
Cliff 'Em All
2.20 | 11 ratings
2 of One
3.24 | 15 ratings
A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica Pt. 1
3.82 | 15 ratings
A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica... Continued (Pt. 2)
4.06 | 18 ratings
Cunning Stunts
3.70 | 54 ratings
2.50 | 6 ratings
The Metallica DVD Collection Sampler
3.47 | 17 ratings
Classic Albums: Metallica
3.77 | 40 ratings
Some Kind of Monster
4.09 | 11 ratings
Live in San Diego
1.06 | 7 ratings
Metallica- Kill Em All To St. Anger (The World's Greatest Albums)
3.63 | 16 ratings
The Videos 1989 - 2004
3.71 | 7 ratings
Franšais Pour Une Nuit
3.33 | 9 ratings
Quebec Magnetic
2.90 | 12 ratings
Through the Never

METALLICA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.71 | 7 ratings
The Good, the Bad and the Live
3.39 | 120 ratings
Garage Inc.
3.20 | 5 ratings
Vinyl Box Set

METALLICA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
Ron McGovney's '82 Garage Demo
3.50 | 4 ratings
Power Metal demo
3.33 | 3 ratings
No Life 'til Leather demo
2.75 | 4 ratings
Metal Up Your Ass demo
4.00 | 2 ratings
Horsemen Of The Apocalypse demo
3.38 | 8 ratings
Ride The Lightning demo
3.56 | 9 ratings
2.54 | 22 ratings
Jump in the Fire
3.95 | 21 ratings
Creeping Death
3.14 | 45 ratings
The $5.98 Garage Days Re-Revisited
2.46 | 11 ratings
Eye of the Beholder
3.07 | 16 ratings
Harvester of Sorrow
3.87 | 26 ratings
2.67 | 14 ratings
Enter Sandman
2.71 | 15 ratings
The Unforgiven
3.60 | 5 ratings
Live at Wembley Stadium
3.54 | 13 ratings
Nothing Else Matters
3.10 | 12 ratings
Sad But True
3.46 | 13 ratings
Wherever I May Roam
5.00 | 1 ratings
15 Pieces Of Live Shit promo
2.50 | 7 ratings
3.00 | 6 ratings
Until It Sleeps
3.14 | 5 ratings
Hero Of The Day
3.71 | 7 ratings
King Nothing
2.00 | 4 ratings
Mama Said
3.14 | 7 ratings
2.71 | 7 ratings
The Memory Remains
2.38 | 8 ratings
The Unforgiven II
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live In London - Antipodean Tour Edition
3.60 | 5 ratings
Turn the Page
2.78 | 9 ratings
Whiskey in the Jar
2.67 | 6 ratings
Die Die My Darling
4.40 | 5 ratings
No Leaf Clover
2.86 | 7 ratings
Nothing Else Matters (S&M version)
3.13 | 15 ratings
I Disappear
3.00 | 2 ratings
Bay Area Trashers
3.33 | 6 ratings
The Unnamed Feeling E.P.
2.44 | 9 ratings
St. Anger
1.38 | 10 ratings
2.16 | 12 ratings
Some Kind of Monster
1.50 | 2 ratings
Live From Live Earth
3.21 | 14 ratings
The Day That Never Comes
2.14 | 10 ratings
My Apocalypse
2.47 | 11 ratings
2.78 | 8 ratings
The Judas Kiss
3.94 | 14 ratings
All Nightmare Long
2.92 | 6 ratings
Broken, Beat & Scarred
1.80 | 6 ratings
Six Feet Down Under EP
3.00 | 4 ratings
Six Feet Down Under Part II
2.81 | 43 ratings
Beyond Magnetic


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Kill 'Em All by METALLICA album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.39 | 418 ratings

Kill 'Em All
Metallica Prog Related

Review by martindavey87

3 stars Full of energy and pulse-pounding riffs, this is Metallica's debut album with which they changed the heavy metal world back in 1983. Although the songs are a lot more immature than Metallica's later material, in both lyrical and musical content, the songs are still great if you're after a straight forward headbanging album from start to finish, with many of these songs still being a major spotlight of any Metallica live set today.

Although some tracks are weaker than others, the album as a whole runs smoothly without giving the listener a chance to catch their breath. Metallica classics such as 'Seek and Destroy', 'The Four Horsemen', 'Hit the Lights' and 'Whiplash' make this essential for all metal fans.

It won't be your favourite Metallica album, but your metal collection won't be complete without it.

 Hardwired...To Self-Destruct by METALLICA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.58 | 69 ratings

Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
Metallica Prog Related

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars It sometimes seems Metallica can't catch a break these days...they move on from and admirably experiment with their sound and get labelled `sell-outs', they return to something closer to their metal roots and they're accused of lazily re-creating their past - sigh! Let's just think of Metallica as simply a consistent (and frequently great) hard rock band and enjoy their latest, 2016's `Hard Wired...To Self Destruct'. Hardly some complete re-invention but absolutely delivering plenty of superb moments, this double CD/LP collection shows the band playing to their strengths and offering a set that will appeal to both fans of the pre-`Black Album' metal LP's and the eclectic hard rock of their `Load' onward sound, but delivering a work that could never be confused for anyone except Metallica.

A short and sweet statement of intent, `Hardwired' is a punchy little three-minute opener, a rudimentary and energetic thrash metal throwback of Kirk Hammett's buzzsaw-like riffing guitars, James Hetfield's charismatic snarl and Lars Ulrich's absurdly big smashing drumming that could have easily hailed from Metallica's first album `Kill 'Em All'! The gutsy `Atlas, Rise!' is full of momentum, revealing that subtle complexity found in most modern Metallica songs, with a great (if too short) wailing soloing instrumental burst in the middle, a clever and not obviously catchy chorus, and several moments that might have easily come from any Iron Maiden album with its ringing twin guitar melodies.

`Now That We're Dead' chugs with danger through lengthy instrumental stretches and not one, but two killer choruses! The verses of the celebrity damning `Moth Into Flame' would again have easily fit on their early thrashy albums but the chorus is more ambitious, `Dream No More' is a lurching slab-like dirge with a light stoner rock flavour to the verse vocals, and `Halo on Fire' offers a nice break of clean verses of mysteriously chiming guitars, a sweetly raspy Hetfield vocal and a seamless shift in and out of several highly proggy passages and a suitably epic instrumental soloing run finale - the fact that one of the most commercially successful and mainstream popular rock bands delivers stuff like this is simply inspiring, they may just convert more of the non-prog listening `muggles' yet!

The second disc's opener `Confusion' is a reliable `meat-and-two-veg' Metallica plodder, but it's not quite up to the standard of previous war-themed tracks that were always a band highlight in the past - nice battery of machine-gun drumming throughout from Lars, though! `ManUNkind' is thankfully better that its slightly cringe-worthy title, and now long-established with the band bass player Robert Trujillo gets plenty of moments to shine, with a brief solo introduction and then bouncing furiously when the main heavy grooves kick in. The track almost sounds like Metallica having a lot of fun, as the band races through a string of varied riffing passages back and forth. `Here Comes Revenge' (with a main riff that comes awfully close in parts to `Master of Puppets' `Leper Messiah'), while again not one of the more memorable tunes on the set, has a nice tension to the verses and the chorus rumbles satisfactorily even if the lyrics aren't the strongest.

`Am I Savage?' has plenty of slow grinding grooves even if the `beast of choice' lyric is a bit embarrassing and forced, `Murder One' is an admirable tribute to legendary bass player Lemmy (more likely an influence from his Motorhead days than the psychedelic warlords Hawkwind!) with reliable slow-burn trudging riffs, but thankfully frantic closer `Spit Out The Bone' is a skittering break-neck thrash-attack that has the band full of energy and inspiration tearing through a range of fiery snarling serrated riffs that again happily embraces their early days. Overall the second disc is not as strong as the first six pieces, but there's nothing outright bad to be found here, and the group end on a total killer that fans will likely go crazy for.

Some editions come with a third disc of bonus tracks - `Lords of Summer' being another dependable thrashy rocker - some medleys and covers of tracks by Rainbow, Deep Purple and Iron Maiden, and a cool live concert from April 2016 that focuses on the first two albums `Kill 'Em All' and `Ride the Lightning'. All in all a welcome bonus for the bigger fans.

So the slightly try-hard artwork is kind of rubbish ("Ooh, they're sooooo hardcore, so tortured!!"), and it definitely suffers from the same filler bloat that pads out all the `Load' onward discs, but `Hard Wired...To Self Destruct' is still a ballsy, kick-ass Metallica album that many fans should enjoy. It maintains that fusion of the old and new that previous album `Death Magnetic' offered in 2008 (was it seriously that long ago already?!), and it's still great to see the band re-embracing and acknowledging their past but not merely remaking it, yet delivering simply another great Metallica disc that most fans should love.

Four stars.

 Beyond Magnetic by METALLICA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
2.81 | 43 ratings

Beyond Magnetic
Metallica Prog Related

Review by thwok

3 stars BEYOND MAGNETIC is a short collection of left over tracks released between the excellent DEATH MAGNETIC and HARDWIRED TO SELF DESTRUCT. Critical consensus over DEATH MAGNETIC varied considerably. Your take on this EP may fall in line with what you think of that album. This is not quite up to the level of DEATH MAGNETIC, which I suppose is why it was released separately, but it's still terrific. The sound here is similar to the earlier album; my favorite track here is "Just A Bullet Away". I think "Rebel of Babylon" overstays its welcome. This EP doesn't break new ground, which is a good definition of "progressiveness", but Metallica doesn't have to at this point. On the whole, BEYOND MAGNETIC measures up the usual high standard set by one of the most innovative bands in metal history.
 Hardwired...To Self-Destruct by METALLICA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.58 | 69 ratings

Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
Metallica Prog Related

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Hardwired'To Self-Destruct" is the 10th full-length studio album by US heavy/thrash metal act Metallica (not counting "Lulu (2011)", which is a collaboration album with Lou Reed, and therefore shouldn't be considered a Metallica album). The album was released through Blackened Recordings in November 2016. At this point in their career Metallica are notorious for taking their sweet time between releasing studio albums, and if you don't count "Lulu (2011)", it's actually been 8 years since the release of their last studio album "Death Magnetic (2008)". They've also cut down on their touring activities working a schedule which also takes their family lives into consideration. In addition to that the various members of the band also have other projects going like "Kirk Von Hammett's Fear FestEvil" festival and the "Metallica Through the Never (2013)" movie. So they've branched out a bit since the turn of the century and their music career is now only a part of what they do. Not all they do.

Stylistically "Hardwired'To Self-Destruct" is part heavy metal and part thrash metal, but it leans less on the latter than Metallica did on "Death Magnetic (2008)". There are still some pretty thrash metal oriented parts here and there though, so it's just an album where Metallica combines some melodic heavy metal ideas with more aggressive thrash metal ditto. "Death Magnetic (2008)" was a great album in many ways, but first and foremost it was a great album because it felt like a comeback after "St. Anger (2003)", which many fans consider the low point of the band's discography. "Death Magnetic (2008)" is not an album where you remember many tracks from if you haven't listened to it often though, and it's clear to me now that Metallica used that album to make a point rather than creating the best album they could (It's still a good quality release of course). "Hardwired'To Self-Destruct" feels more natural, less forced and calculated, and it's a much more simple, catchy, and memorable album than both of its two immediate predecessors, and it feels great to again hear Metallica produce something a bit more memorable.

"Hardwired'To Self-Destruct" is a 2 disc release featuring 12 tracks and full playing time of 77:26 minutes. So the album actually could have fit on a single disc, but Metallica probably chose the 2 disc approach for effect. They are children of the vinyl age, and to anyone who remember those days, it's bound to fill them with nostalgia thinking of the times you had to rise from where you sat/lay and had to turn the vinyl from side A to B. It may have been annoying back then, but I've come to realize in retrospect that you listened to music much more intimately and discovered more details that way, instead of being bludgeoned with 60-80 minutes of music without breaks which many albums of the CD/Digital age feed you. I can't say for sure if that's why Metallica have chosen the 2 disc option, but it's my guess.

As mentioned above the material on the album shifts between relatively melodic and catchy heavy metal riffs (and quite a few harmony guitar sections), rhythms, and vocals, and more aggressive hard edged thrash metal ditto. Sometimes combined in the same song, and sometimes more isolated in the case of particular tracks. Tracks like "Hardwired" and especially "Spit Out the Bone" are for example pretty thrashy tracks, while there are other tracks on the album which only feature thrash metal leanings. There are several highlights on the album like the two above mentioned and "Atlas, Rise!", "Murder One", and "Am I Savage?", but the quality of the tracks are generally high in the regard that they are all memorable and punchy with a great swing.

There's something about the way Lars Ulrich's drumming and James Hetfield's guitar riffs interlock, which work wonders. Sometimes it's almost too simple and you could wish for a bit more complex rhythm work (in the drum department), but on the other hand Ulrich understands how to make a song swing and rock. Robert Trujillo delivers a solid performance on the bass, although it could be argued that his considerable skills aren't put to the best of use, but on the other hand slap bass and other crazy bass techniques probably wouldn't sound that great on Metallica's music. Kirk Hammett deserves a mention too for his solid guitar solos. It's not too flashy and there is as usual a lot of wah wha pedal use, but his playing suits the rest of the music perfectly. Last but not least Hetfield's vocals are generally a joy throughout the album, and I think I hear new sides of Hetfield on this album that I haven't heard before. It's great to hear he hasn't stagnated when it comes to his vocals.

Despite some early reservations "Hardwired'To Self-Destruct" has won me over. Repeated listens have opened the album up to me, and the sound production, which I initially found a bit flat and lifeless, also works pretty well. It's audible that much time and preperation have been put into writing and creating the album and the sound production too, and upon conclusion "Hardwired'To Self-Destruct" is a high quality release and by far strongest Metallica album in years. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

 Death Magnetic by METALLICA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.34 | 368 ratings

Death Magnetic
Metallica Prog Related

Review by Luqueasaur

2 stars Apallingly repulsive magnetic: 4/10

DEATH MAGNETIC is an investiture of METALLICA to try recompose themselves after their previous three failures. They attempt to revive the aggressivity of the good ole days and quit this neo-thrash stuff they've been plugging out, and while they manage to do so, the result is uninteresting.

I've been a thrash fan for quite a good time, but even that can't make me... enjoy this. It definitively sounds pleasantly aggressive - as one would expect from the Masters of MASTER OF PUPPETS or the thunderstriking RIDE THE LIGHTNING - but bland. The tracks don't have an identity, they feel like generic riffs put together, some crappy solo sections (Kirk is really doing poorly here) and standard gritty or dark thrash lyrics.

Still, not all is lost.

All Nightmare Long is a violent, thoroughly interesting and well-done track (even LARS doesn't suck here!) where even HETFIELD's dwindling vocals are sturdy and fitting (to be fair, HETFIELD used it masterfully in the 80's - no problem by the 00's they're bad). Kirk's solo bridge is amazing, one of my favorite METALLICA riffs to be honest. Perhaps one of their best current works.

Cyanide is a less brilliant track, but it's still a good one. The guitar & drums intro is nice, the main riff & bridge is a good blend of the neo-thrash & old-school thrash, and the chorus is one hell of a headbanging material. HETFIELD sounds absolutely terrific on it. The solo isn't big stuff, though.

Suicide and Redemption is a ten minutes long instrumental song (oh, METALLICA, you really like to pretend to be prog when you bring those instrumental songs don't you?) that features several good riffs and fine solos. I haven't given it much attention, but it seems fine material.

The other tracks are just... meh.

Oh, and if you're looking for progressive here, just forget it. Exactly whence I'm rating this two stars. There are very few, scarce moments of clarity you can milk a little of it, but in general, there's just some few good thrash material here. And by "a few" I mean "two stars a few". (Quality-wise: 6/10)

 Hardwired...To Self-Destruct by METALLICA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.58 | 69 ratings

Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
Metallica Prog Related

Review by Pastmaster

5 stars At this point, it's a long wait for when a new Metallica album comes around. While I'm in the minority of enjoying every Metallica album to a certain extent (not counting Lulu), with the release of the three singles, people were excited for this Metallica album. When the album was finally released, it has seemed to have caused a split among fans. Many people were underwhelmed and found it disappointing, and many people loved it and found it to be Metallica's best album in a long while.

I belong to the latter group, I think this is the band's best album since Load, if not Master of Puppets. As I'm one who loves Load, probably my third favorite Metallica album, that's nothing to be understated. Self Destruct brings together the best parts of both the thrash side and straight up heavy metal side of the band. Being a double album, this half-and-half sound works out (almost) perfectly. Disc one is pretty much a straight thrash metal assault, starting with the rampaging title cut that opens up the album. Switch the modern production values with an 80's sound, and this sounds ripped straight from one of the band's classic albums. "Atlas Rise" and "Moth Into Flame", the other two singles, are of the same caliber. While they don't sound straight out of the classics, they are indeed pure Metallica thrash.

Now those singles are all killer, but this album has a lot more to offer. "Dream No More" may very well be my favorite, with an infectiously catchy main hook. This one's more reminiscent of the band's crunchier songs like "The Thing That Should Not Be", which is interestingly my favorite from Master of Puppets. Disc two lands more on the groovy Black Album/Load-esque heavy metal sound, with the winner from those being "Am I Savage?". You know, this may even beat Load even though it's of similar style. I find it impossible to not bang my head to the groovy swagger of the main riff, and the main chorus is great. "Spit Out the Bone" is the one exception of the general sound on disc two. This song is all-out thrash, showing the most relentless aggression from the band in a long while while retaining amazing melodies.

All the members of the band are all in complete top form. Hetfield gives absolutely amazing vocal performances, killer riffing from both Hammett and Hetfield, great drumming from Ulrich, and you can actually hear Trujillo's awesome rumbling basslines. You can especially hear the latter in "Am I Savage?". It all really comes together during the chorus of "Dream No More", with the absolutely punishing riffs fronted with Hetfield's gargantuan vocals.

All the songs are great in my book, but the songs I mentioned are certainly all the highlights. I think this is easily up there with the band's best albums, although I think it would have been nice if they released the two discs as separate albums. If they did do that though, "Halo on Fire" and "Spit Out the Bone" would have to be switched around. "Spit Out the Bone", while overall it would fit better on the first disc, works as a perfect finale to the album as it is. If you're a fan of Metallica, and not just the 80's classics, check this killer album out.

 Hardwired...To Self-Destruct by METALLICA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.58 | 69 ratings

Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
Metallica Prog Related

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars "Hardwired... to Self Destruct" (HTSD) is the new Metallica 8 years on following the maddeningly successful "Death Magnetic" (DM) that followed the insanely dreadful "St Anger" (SA). First the good news, it is streets ahead better on every level than "SA"; though that is not exactly a tall order, let's face it. Now the bad news... it is not really up to the standard of previous masterpieces "Kill", "Lightning", "Puppets", "Justice", "Black", and I am still more blown away by "DM" over this latest release. The problem is that Metallica have raised the bar so high that it is almost impossible to surpass it, therefore they are their own worst enemy having reached the pinnacle in the early years and the unmitigated radio success of commercial friendly "Black album". They are undeniable as musicians, but the new album suffers in terms of vocals in places and some of the lyrics are immature. Now arguably Hetfield has still got the raw mechanics to make a growl sound convincing, but I was so taken in by his cleaner vocals on "DM" and "Black" that I felt disappointed that he opts for the growls on "HTSD". At times he sounds auto tuned and often goes for a multi tracked mix to hide the scorched vocals and raspiness. Some will love this approach of course, but he has such a wonderful timber in his cleaner voice that it feels like a waste when he ignores this. It seems that Metallica are making a statement that they can thrash and bash with the best of them, despite being labelled as old dinosaurs, but they have more musical genius than just grinding out a speedy riff and growling for the duration of a song.

The opening track is the worst in this regard. It just states Metallica are back and we are not taking any prisoners. But why do they need to prove that? We know they are back in force by listening to "DM". No, the title track is one I will skip. And what's with all the F bombs and swearing? If they need to resort to swearing their heads off then that shows they are no better than any of the other unimaginative metallers out there who think they need to use expletives to try and ram home a point, but I prefer my Metallica more subtle than that. Anyway, at least it is a short song.

After this shaky start, the songs improve dramatically. Next offering, is the catchy raucous "Atlas, Rise!" and it is certainly a killer track. This one has the infectious hook in the chorus, that has an old school feel akin to the earlier Metallica we all grew up to adore. I was one of the headbangers of the 80s that bought "Kill" off the shelf and played it to death on vinyl. So it is a joy to revisit this old Metallica sound. It has a wonderful instrumental break, Hammett on wah wah pedal as usual but its a powerhouse performance with a half time feel riff. Another solo follows which is a sheer delight, until it returns to the main melody. A highlight.

"Now That We're Dead" begins with an extended intro with a crunching riff, simple but effective, and it just chunks along with some amazing double kick drum. The cool galloping trot riff works nicely with the vocals. The lead break is fantastic shredding with Hetfield's chops and I admire the nice slow pace on this track, a veritable headbanger.

"Moth into Flame" is the track that verges on brilliant; perhaps the stand out track of the album, opening with a frenetic fast paced riff and very angry vocals "Blacked out, Pop queen, amphetamine, The screams crashed into silence, Tapped out, Doused in the gasoline, The high times going timeless, Decadence, Death of the innocence, The pathway starts to spiral, Infamy, All for publicity, Destruction going viral, Light it up!" The rhythms are hyper fast and Ulrich is banging the heck out of the kit; no more banging on beer barrels ala "St Anger". The mid feel is an intense 8/8 pedal to the metal riff blast. The lead break is wah wah and fast fingering all the way. Hammett certainly unleashes a tirade of metal firepower on this track. It is as if Metallica are just unleashing their fury on this track. It is old school and everything we love about Metallica. Another highlight.

"Am I Savage?" is a straight forward slow track for a while until it moves into a proggish off beat riff prior to the chorus. I like how this shifts and changes throughout and the tims sigs are complex. Ulrich is terrific on this as he drums like a man possesed. It has a darker edge with the lyrics abnout the shapeshifting rage inner man can suffer from, "I don't recognise you anymore". The mid section feels like the sound on "Justice"; deep and bassy, and there is a great lead break to wrap your ears around.

"Halo on Fire" is another of the albums highlights; dynamic riffing with softerand great lyrics "Obey, obey, Come won't you stay, Sincere, sincere, All ends in tears, Endure, endure, Thoughts most impure, Concede, concede, But both shall we bleed, Oh, halo on fire, The midnight knows it well, Fast, is desire, Creates another hell I fear to turn on the light, For the darkness won't go away, Fast, is desire, Turn out the light Halo on fire!" The softer approach is welcome, acoustics and muzzled bass. Hetfield has a great voice here and uses it rather than screaming throughout. The half time feel is killer, with some really melodic riffage, and an infectious vocal treatment. The duel lead break is absolutely sensational. The outro is mind boggling, with brilliant infectious tune injected with the signature Metallica sound. The icing on the cake is the lead soloing finesse of Hammett as a capstone. Another highlight for sure along with "Atlas" and "Moth".

"Confusion" is just a wall to wall assault of raucous metal, with some great lead breaks and thrashing drums. Opening riff is like "Am I Evil" and partly you might hear portions of riffs from the "Justice" album. It could be misconstrued as the sequel to "One" though no where as brilliant. A bit of a throwaway to me but still delivers metal to the max.

"Dream No More" opens with a slow doomy riff. The feel is like "Harvester of Sorrow" meets "Sad But True". It grows on you with every listen, and finally I was enjoying the doomy crunchy riff. "You turn to stone" is quite a memorable lyric but the rest of this fades out as soon as it ends.

"ManUNkind" is a very intense track with killer riffing and very heavy lyrics. The lead break is simply stunning and it has a melodic chorus that stays with me. Like all these tracks there is an accompanying video clip and it features a parody of a Satanic metal band that snort drugs prior to going on stage and then proceed to cut themselves and bleed all over the insatiable crowd. The crowd are even more ravenous when the band throw the spiked pig's head to them, causing some fans to gourge themnselves on it. The band resemble Black Metal legends Mayhem so is perhaps just having an affectionate dig at them; but it is a real eye opener.

"Here Comes Revenge" is another throwaway with a pedestrian riff and vocals. The song blazes past almost without notice among some of the stronger tracks. The riff is too close to "Leper Messiah" and other Metallica of the past for my comfort, but it is not as bad as anything on "St Anger". The lead break fires up and relieves the mediocrity. Oh well, some will love it as usual, but this does little for me personally.

"Murder One" is dedicated to Motorhead's Lemmy; in fact the film clip is a tribute to him showing him with Hawkwind and explaining why he left and how he conquered with Motorhead as a result. The "Aces High" and "Man in Black" lyric is a clue but the clip makes it obvious, beautifully animated in a style akin to the Gorillaz video clips. The music is not as good as the clip but it cranks along with some angry vocals and a simple guitar motif but not as high standard as other tracks. The lead break is worth sticking around for, one of Hammett's most manic lead shreds.

"Spit Out the Bone" closes the album with a slice and dice metal riff motorvating along with purpose and power. This is absolutely one to wake up the senses with machine gun riffing and speed drumming. Once it gets going the pace is as fast as "Damage Inc" or "Whiplash" which will delight all Metallica addicts. There are some amazing riffs on this one, and a relentless tempo throughout with some detours into Pantera like chunks of metal. To cap it off the filmclip is brilliant with violent battling red ninjas, looking like a demented form of Star Wars Royal Guards complete with force pikes that electrocute their prey. The Iron Maiden like skull creature is a nice touch wrapped around a dystopian apocalyptic framework. The riffs at the four minute mark are superb, and it moves into a Slayer like metal feel at the 6 minute mark, as dynamic as anything on the metal scene today. A super fast lead break takes it away to the final chorus and mega fast riff. It ends the album on a high note.

So there you have it. It delivers and the news is good overall, apart from some lapses in to mediocrity in the second half of the album. There are at least 4 killer tracks that will have the Metallica universe buzzing; namely "Atlas", "Moth", "Halo" and "Bone"; as good as anything I have heard from Metallica. The other tracks are not so high standard but still deliver a whallop in their own right. It will appease the depraved Metallica fans who have to wait so long in between albums, and for those who were not that impressed with the Lulu album prior. It will be interesting to hear how other fans feel about this but I was underwhelmed apart from the aforementioned highlights. It should have been a masterpiece given the experience and undeniable talent but a lot of this album feels lazy and uninspired. I gave the earlier release 4 stars so it would be an injustice to award this new album that many stars. It deserves 3 stars at least for the great tracks without a doubt. It is those tracks that make this a worthwhile listen because they are Metallica at their best.

 Ride The Lightning by METALLICA album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.08 | 534 ratings

Ride The Lightning
Metallica Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars Welcome to Thrash-terpiece Theater!

On today's episode, the very first entry in the timeline is the prodigious second offering RIDE THE LIGHTNING by the 1980s thrash- sters of the universe: METALLICA! This album was released all the way back in 1984. George Orwell didn't see this one coming! While the exact beginning of thrash metal has remained elusive with some claiming it appeared as early as 1974 on Queen's "Stone Cold Crazy" with elements appearing in the works of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and ultimately bands like Venom and Anthrax, it isn't hard to pinpoint just exactly where all those metal attributes that would constitute a new metal subgenre would coalesce into the perfect storm. METALLICA are the winners with their outstanding collection of eight tracks that they blended with a brilliant mix of rapid percussion, shredding crunchy riffs, speed of light tempo, pure metal attitude all topped off with classical music underpinnings to create a melodic distortionfest of epic proportions.

RIDE THE LIGHTNING was only METALLICA's second album but a huge improvement in about every way. While "Kill Em All" certainly mastered the art of thrash riffing, pummeling rhythms and not-a-middle-finger-left-to-give attitude, the album was clearly lacking the melodic nuances that were introduced on this one. RIDE THE LIGHTNING offers up all the thrash deliciousness and aggressive fury but adds a healthy dose of diverse dynamics and a major expansion beyond the one-dimensional approach of the debut. Not only are there classical guitar arpeggiated chords that serve as intros and more progressive songwriting techniques but there was also a major leap in the philosophical lyrical content with more thoughtful subject matter as heard on the classic "For Whom The Bell Tolls" which was entirely inspired by the Ernest Hemingway novel about the horrors of the Spanish Civil War," which brilliantly begins with the tintinnabulation of bells as the guitar riffs slowly build up in intensity until it becomes a fully formed thrash behemoth.

"Fight Fire With Fire" begins the album's magic with a classical clean guitar arpeggio that must have thrown fans of the first album for a loop and then ruthlessly and suddenly bursts into full thrash fury that sets the pace for the entire run of the album and a testament to the more mature songwriting on track one only continues through the eight outstanding tracks that make up this musical chef-d'oeuvre. "Fade To Black" debuted the softer side of METALLICA where they created perhaps one of the very first thrash ballads that begins with an acoustic guitar intro that would become a distinct METALLICA staple that would decorate future releases (such as "Welcome Home" or "One".) The technique of a softer intro followed by a harder edged sound was nothing new in the greater world of rock and metal, but METALLICA successfully tackled the dilemma of how to make it happen in the burgeoning world of extreme metal.

As the album churns on delivering one catchy melodic tour de force after another with such thrash classics as "Trapped Under Ice" and "Escape," the true cream of the crop actually comes towards the end with the combo effect of the Biblical inspired "Creeping Death" which lambastes the listener with tales of Egyptian plagues in cahoots with the ultimate instrumental closer in the form of "The Call Of Ktulu." This final juggernaut is really the display of musical brilliance in action and a perfect display of sound dynamics, tempos, time signature changes and the fusion approach of both classical music with hardcore heavy metal. The many moods that are contained in the nearly nine minute run also display the progressive rock influences that would continue to develop into ever more complex tracks on future albums.

James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Cliff Burton and Lars Ulrich didn't only create the world's first bona fide thrashterpiece, they also hurled the entire extreme metal world into a much larger audience that allowed the genre to grow exponentially until METALLICA themselves would burst onto the world's stage as one of the biggest metal bands in history. RIDE THE LIGHTNING isn't only important from a historical standpoint. I can respect an album's influence and still not find it a terribly interesting listen. On this album all of the ingredients on board are perfectly blended together with stellar songwriting, flawless performances and exemplary examples of how to blend disparate musical genres into a seamless whole. METALLICA took the extreme metal world by storm with this one and single handedly opened the doors to the endless stream of bands to follow. While i do prefer "Master Of Puppets" and "And Justice For All" for their increased progressive complexities, RIDE THE LIGHTNING has the perfect raw metal energy from the debut mixed with just enough of the new ideas to put this in its own little transitional state of perfection.

This concludes today's episode of Thrash-terpiece Theatre. Please tune in again.

 S&M by METALLICA album cover DVD/Video, 1999
3.70 | 54 ratings

Metallica Prog Related

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Seven years ago I wrote the review of the audio-only version of S&M, and a couple of weeks ago I wanted to watch the DVD and had a good time. And while re-reading my review, I realized most of my thoughts has not changed which is why I will practically copy those old words and put them in this DVD review. ---

Metallica with orchestra, not a bad combination at all! This is a very popular band that came to my ears since i was a little kid, because it is my uncle's favourite band so i used to go out with him a lot and of course most of the time we listened to Metallica, they have never been one of my favourite bands, not at all, but someday they made great music and some of their songs will be held in my mind forever. Well so i remember vividly i was very keen with their newest album which happened to be a live album, but not just that, but a live album with a symphonic orchestra, so i was curious to know what was it about and bought the album in the week it was released here in Mexico.

And i was happy with it, nowadays i can say i enjoy listening to this album, though i dont really do it that frequently, but i believe the inclusion of the orchestra was a great and correct decision, something kind of new to the old thrash metal band, a soft and classical sound included in their fast and aggressive music, was a nice combination, in my humble point of view, and you know, i am not the best metal follower around here, so that may be a reason why i liked the album, due to the symphonic orchestra sound.

So besides the previously said, what you will find in this double CD live album released in 1999 is a performance of most of the better known Metallica songs played of course by them, as they use to do it, accompannied with an orchestra led by Michael Kamen and offering more than 2 hours of their music.

The first album CD is opened with a intro of a song from The Good, The bad and The Ugly performed by the orchestra, and leading to the beginning of Metallica's music with of my favourite songs, The Call of Ktulu which is instrumental, and then to the surprise of the people they follow with Master of Puppets one of the best songs they have created, so the concert's beginning is actually a bomb, excellent, after those songs you can foresee a great concert.

Well some other great moments or favourite songs from that first cd are The Thing that SHould not Be, Memory Remains or the last one Bleeding Me, they also included two unreleased tracks, the first one in this CD, No Leaf Clover.

And the second CD, opens with Nothing Else Matters, you know, a catchy song and my favourite moments are For Whom the Bell Tolls, One and Battery, honestly i prefer much more the first CD, here there are moments where i get bored, but after all it is a nice second cd.

So it's a very good live album, for Metallica fans, a must having, for beginners, also a nice recommendation, and for prog fans, it may be nice to have one more album in your collection, prog moments here are minimum.

My rating would be 4 stars, but in this site, i think 3 are good enough.

Enjoy it!!

 Master Of Puppets by METALLICA album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.11 | 657 ratings

Master Of Puppets
Metallica Prog Related

Review by CassandraLeo

5 stars Does the world really need another review of Master of Puppets? Probably not. But it's the album that got me into more extreme forms of metal, and as such has had an immeasurable impact on my musical taste, so I'm going to write one anyway.

To fully appreciate this album in its proper context, one must first be aware of the background: Metallica burst onto the scene in 1983 with Kill 'Em All, which has been called the first full-length thrash metal album ever recorded. This consensus is not universally shared among listeners; some will point to Venom's 1981 effort Welcome to Hell instead (note that Venom also had a substantial influence on the yet-to-be-named style of black metal, which actually takes its name from the band's second album). Regardless, what is a matter of consensus is that Kill 'Em All rewrote the rules of metal. It was faster, louder, and heavier than anything that had been released before, and it did not sacrifice musicianship in the pursuit of these goals.

Metallica, however, were not content to rest on their laurels. They began incorporating substantial progressive rock influence on their next album, Ride the Lightning, and even incorporated an honest-to-god ballad as the fourth track (though, in a form that Metallica would repeat several times throughout their career, it eventually built to metallic sections). The band also incorporated a lengthy instrumental showcasing the skills of bass monster Cliff Burton (named for H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, no less), and the album also featured one of their signature songs, "Creeping Death".

However, even that monster of an album couldn't have prepared people for what was to come in Master of Puppets. No one had ever done anything like this album before. The song were longer and more complex than ever, the aggression was generally higher than ever, and the quality of the music surpassed Metallica's already high standard. From the opening acoustic notes of the album opener "Battery" to the last thrashy chords of the closer "Damage, Inc.", there is not a single moment here that qualifies as even remotely dull. The band's intense musicianship doesn't let up even once; there is not a single moment on the album where Burton, Hetfield, or Hammett aren't playing something technically fascinating. Indeed, the only respites from the album's frenetic pace after the distorted guitars come in on "Battery" are the lyrical solo on the title track, the opening half of the album's obligatory fourth-track part-ballad "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)", the more subdued moments of the instrumental "Orion", and the opening chords of "Damage, Inc." (It has become a Metallica tradition for the first half of the fourth track to be a ballad and the penultimate track to be an instrumental; they have repeated this with ...And Justice for All and Death Magnetic).

The production on this album is almost perfect. The instrumental clarity is astonishing for a metal recording made in 1986, and the fidelity remains superb whether the band are playing with their amps turned up to 11 or whether they're playing a more subdued clean passage. The album is mixed quite well, with all its dynamics intact. My only complaint with the album is that I'd like the bass to be a little higher in the mix, but at least it's still audible, which can't be said for the band's next album, ...And Justice for All.

Master of Puppets remains Metallica's highest artistic achievement. It's more polished than Ride the Lightning, more unrelenting than Death Magnetic, and doesn't have the fatal production flaws that marred ...And Justice for All (or the original version of Death Magnetic, for that matter). It also doesn't help that the band's virtuoso bassist Cliff Burton tragically perished in a bus crash after this album. His successors Jason Newsted and Robert Trujillo are no slouches on their instrument, either, but no one could truly have match the standards Cliff set. Additionally, it might be a slight exaggeration to say the genre of progressive metal wouldn't even exist without this album, but it certainly would sound a lot different. Every metalhead needs to have this album in their collection, and if you aren't a metalhead yet, it just might make you into one.

Thanks to The T for the artist addition.

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