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METALLICA

Prog Related • United States


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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
$5.51 (used)
MetallicaMetallica
Blackened Recordings 2013
Audio CD$4.02
$2.99 (used)
Ride The LightningRide The Lightning
Rhino/Blackened Recordings 2016
Audio CD$5.73
$5.24 (used)
...And Justice For All...And Justice For All
Rhino/Blackened Recordings 2013
Audio CD$4.37
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Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets
Blackened Recordings 2013
Audio CD$4.28
$4.28 (used)
Kill 'Em AllKill 'Em All
Rhino/Blackened Recordings 2016
Audio CD$5.14
$3.08 (used)
Re-loadRe-load
Rhino/Blackened Recordings 2013
Audio CD$4.97
$3.99 (used)
Hardwired...To Self-DestructHardwired...To Self-Destruct
Rhino/Blackened Recordings ADA 2016
Audio CD$3.49
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St. Anger (CD/DVD)St. Anger (CD/DVD)
Rhino/Blackened Recordings 2013
Audio CD$7.69
$9.62 (used)
Death MagneticDeath Magnetic
Rhino Blackened 2013
Audio CD$8.49
$9.19 (used)
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METALLICA discography


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

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

3.39 | 423 ratings
Kill 'Em All
1983
4.10 | 540 ratings
Ride The Lightning
1984
4.11 | 662 ratings
Master Of Puppets
1986
3.94 | 553 ratings
...And Justice For All
1988
3.24 | 482 ratings
Metallica [Aka: The Black Album]
1991
2.38 | 330 ratings
Load
1996
2.12 | 324 ratings
Reload
1997
1.65 | 365 ratings
St. Anger
2003
3.34 | 374 ratings
Death Magnetic
2008
2.07 | 214 ratings
Metallica & Lou Reed: Lulu
2011
3.46 | 77 ratings
Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
2016

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

3.87 | 68 ratings
Live Sh*t: Binge and Purge
1993
1.77 | 13 ratings
Live In London - Antipodean Tour Edition
1998
3.45 | 168 ratings
S & M
1999

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

3.53 | 28 ratings
Cliff 'Em All
1987
2.20 | 11 ratings
2 of One
1989
3.26 | 16 ratings
A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica Pt. 1
1992
3.83 | 16 ratings
A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica... Continued (Pt. 2)
1992
3.90 | 20 ratings
Cunning Stunts
1998
3.67 | 56 ratings
S&M
1999
2.29 | 7 ratings
The Metallica DVD Collection Sampler
2000
3.33 | 18 ratings
Classic Albums: Metallica
2001
3.75 | 42 ratings
Some Kind of Monster
2004
3.83 | 12 ratings
Live in San Diego
2005
1.06 | 7 ratings
Metallica- Kill Em All To St. Anger (The World's Greatest Albums)
2005
3.63 | 16 ratings
The Videos 1989 - 2004
2006
3.71 | 7 ratings
Français Pour Une Nuit
2009
3.10 | 10 ratings
Quebec Magnetic
2012
2.85 | 14 ratings
Through the Never
2014

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

2.71 | 7 ratings
The Good, the Bad and the Live
1990
3.40 | 122 ratings
Garage Inc.
1998
3.20 | 5 ratings
Vinyl Box Set
2004

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

3.00 | 2 ratings
Ron McGovney's '82 Garage Demo
1982
3.50 | 4 ratings
Power Metal demo
1982
3.33 | 3 ratings
No Life 'til Leather demo
1982
2.75 | 4 ratings
Metal Up Your Ass demo
1982
4.00 | 2 ratings
Horsemen Of The Apocalypse demo
1983
3.38 | 8 ratings
Ride The Lightning demo
1983
3.56 | 9 ratings
Whiplash
1983
2.54 | 22 ratings
Jump in the Fire
1984
3.95 | 21 ratings
Creeping Death
1984
3.15 | 46 ratings
The $5.98 Garage Days Re-Revisited
1987
2.48 | 12 ratings
Eye of the Beholder
1988
3.07 | 17 ratings
Harvester of Sorrow
1988
3.88 | 27 ratings
One
1989
2.71 | 15 ratings
Enter Sandman
1991
2.71 | 16 ratings
The Unforgiven
1991
3.60 | 5 ratings
Live at Wembley Stadium
1992
3.50 | 14 ratings
Nothing Else Matters
1992
3.10 | 12 ratings
Sad But True
1992
3.46 | 13 ratings
Wherever I May Roam
1992
5.00 | 1 ratings
15 Pieces Of Live Shit promo
1993
2.50 | 7 ratings
One
1993
3.00 | 7 ratings
Until It Sleeps
1996
3.19 | 7 ratings
Hero Of The Day
1996
3.75 | 8 ratings
King Nothing
1996
2.20 | 5 ratings
Mama Said
1996
3.25 | 8 ratings
Fuel
1997
2.75 | 8 ratings
The Memory Remains
1997
2.38 | 8 ratings
The Unforgiven II
1997
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live In London - Antipodean Tour Edition
1998
3.60 | 5 ratings
Turn the Page
1998
2.80 | 10 ratings
Whiskey in the Jar
1999
2.67 | 6 ratings
Die Die My Darling
1999
4.33 | 6 ratings
No Leaf Clover
1999
2.86 | 7 ratings
Nothing Else Matters (S&M version)
1999
3.13 | 15 ratings
I Disappear
2000
3.00 | 2 ratings
Bay Area Trashers
2001
3.33 | 6 ratings
The Unnamed Feeling E.P.
2003
2.44 | 9 ratings
St. Anger
2003
1.38 | 10 ratings
Frantic
2003
2.16 | 12 ratings
Some Kind of Monster
2004
1.50 | 2 ratings
Live From Live Earth
2007
3.21 | 14 ratings
The Day That Never Comes
2008
2.14 | 10 ratings
My Apocalypse
2008
2.47 | 11 ratings
Cyanide
2008
2.78 | 8 ratings
The Judas Kiss
2008
3.94 | 14 ratings
All Nightmare Long
2008
2.92 | 6 ratings
Broken, Beat & Scarred
2009
1.80 | 6 ratings
Six Feet Down Under EP
2010
3.00 | 4 ratings
Six Feet Down Under Part II
2010
2.82 | 44 ratings
Beyond Magnetic
2011

METALLICA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hardwired...To Self-Destruct by METALLICA album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.46 | 77 ratings

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Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
Metallica Prog Related

Review by tarkus1980
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Despite Metallica never having made an album quite like this before, this album sounds like Metallica had been making albums just like this for decades, and that's both a good and a bad thing. Not only is this a "pure" heavy metal/thrash metal album that lacks any diversity to anger the hardcore faithful that had grown tried of justifying Metallica and later "betrayals" to themselves (and I say this as somebody who enjoys both Metallica and a good deal of what came after), it also finally shows the band making a thrash metal that shows no hint whatsoever of the structural pattern, introduced on Lightning, that had lasted through Justice and that ultimately shaped Death Magnetic. The band sounds completely comfortable in its own skin as the old man godfathers of thrash metal, and this album is a full-blown celebration and glorification of that style, without needing to rely on past successes as a crutch. So what's the bad news? The bad news is that, as wonderful and amazing as it is that the band has finally found its way back to what, in a certain sense, it probably should have been all along, they've gotten back to it so late in the game that, frankly, they're just not that great at it anymore. The album is filled with riffs and performances that sound great in 15-second increments, but as nice as many of the individual segments are, they don't ultimately get cobbled together into especially great songs. It doesn't help that Hammett is weirdly flat and subdued on this album; he doesn't have any writer credits on here, and while I don't entirely know what went into that, I do know that there isn't a really iconic Hammett solo anywhere on the main album (there's one in "Atlas, Rise!" that comes close), and that's a disappointment. It also isn't great that the main portion of this so ridiculously long, stretching over two CDs and lasting nearly as long as Load (and longer than Reload); I kinda regret that they couldn't find a way to rework and combine the better sections of the various songs to make a stronger 45 minute album as opposed to this somewhat weaker 78 minute one.

There are a few songs that require special mention beyond "this is enjoyable thrash metal when on and you'll forget about it 10 seconds later," fortunately. The opening "Hardwired" is the shortest song on the album by a mile (only 3:09) and makes incredibly effective use of its time, combining break-neck speed with a nice riff built around a downward phrase followed by an upwards rolling one, and the brief Hammett solo, while a pale shadow of earlier efforts, is rousing in context. The following "Atlas, Rise!" has some clear differentiation in the two main guitar parts and a number of dramatic moments that take a good stab at hearkening back to the band's peak, and it's full of interesting rhythms and harmonies that make it into at least a minor classic. Later on, "Halo on Fire," which closes the first disc, is the longest track on here (8:15), and in addition to some especially rousing instrumental parts it has the album's best "chorus" (to the extent that this album has choruses) when James sings "Turn out the light, halo on fire!" I can't really say if the various riffs in this song are really that much better than the individual riffs that appear on the bulk of the rest of the album, but I can say that they fit together better here than the riffs fit together on most of the other songs.

That leaves nine other songs on the main album and ... oh boy ... hmm ... umm ... hmm. I like every one of them when they're on! I remember almost nothing about them when they're done! "Confusion" has an opening that alludes to the "Am I Evil?" single, and I like the churning riffage that emerges from that introduction. "Here Comes Revenge" has an anguished screaming guitar sound over the pummelling main riff that I like. "Am I Savage?" features a peculiar Hammett guitar sound over one of the main riffs that I think sounds pretty neat. "Spit Out the Bone" has a lot of speed and energy in the grand tradition of speedy energetic Metallica thrash closers, and it's nice. And the rest is fine, I guess. One thing I find interesting was that I received a comment from someone soon after this came out mentioning that they thought that I might end up liking the second disc a lot because the lack of clear structure and organization of the riffage makes it more "progressive," but ultimately I don't really feel that way at all.

So that's the main album, which has lots of enjoyable aspects but ultimately doesn't come together in a fully satisfying manner. The good news, then, is that, upon initial release, this album was easily obtainable in a 3-CD "deluxe" addition (I honestly don't even remember seeing the 2-CD version available, or if it was the cost difference wasn't enough to convince me not to get the larger one), and I'm glad that I got the deluxe version, because the third disc is an absolute delight. The first track, "Lords of Summer" was released as a single in 2014, so I guess they decided it wouldn't be a good idea to include it on the proper album, but that's too bad, because it's better than anything on the main album other than the first two tracks. The main riffs are a great combination of memorable and powerful, and there's a great slithering Hammett solo that grows into something really cool, and this one really feels like it could have belonged on one of the band's best albums. The next few tracks are covers, and while I could see a Metallica fan rolling their eyes at these and thinking these are a waste of time, I find them a blast. There's a nice cover of the Deep Purple B-side ballad "When a Blind Man Cries," and the studio cover of "Remember Tomorrow" (from the first Iron Maiden album) and the live cover of "Helpless" (a Diamond Head song that kicked off Garage Inc. way back when) are both lots of fun, but the most fun comes from a medley of Rainbow songs (called "Ronnie Rising Medley") that the band had previously recorded for a Dio tribute album. "A Light in the Black," "Tarot Woman, "Stargazer" and "Kill the King" are referenced here, and while Rainbow-purists might be horrified by this (how many Rainbow purists are there anyway??), I absolutely love this.

And then there's a truckload of live stuff! In April 2016, in honor of Record Store Day, Metallica put on a brief concert at Rasputin Music in Berkeley, CA (a fine establishment that, along with Amoeba, was essentially my home away from home during grad school) that only included songs from Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning, and oh how I love listening to this. The Lightning choices aren't especially shocking (the title track, "Fade to Black," "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "Creeping Death"), and to be honest it's not that shocking to hear them do "The Four Horsemen," but hearing the band tear through "Hit the Lights," "Jump in the Fire" and "Metal Militia" makes me believe in the power of music to keep somebody young, and I would have loved to have been present for this. And finally, the disc closes with a perfect bookend, the first live performance of "Hardwired" (which, again, starts the album) before release, and my feelings towards the set finish up pretty positive on the whole.

Still, as great as the bonus material here might be, that doesn't change that I find the main album a bit of a slog, so I can only go so high with the rating. There's no reason for a Metallica fan not to buy this, but there's pretty much no chance that it will convert somebody who doesn't already really like the band. This will go down in history as a second-tier Metallica album, and honestly, there are much worse things in the world than that.

 Ride The Lightning by METALLICA album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.10 | 540 ratings

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Ride The Lightning
Metallica Prog Related

Review by Luqueasaur

5 stars So let it be played, so let it be heard, it was sent here by the chosen ones: 9/10

To call RIDE THE LIGHTNING revolutionary is an understatement. It is one of the most meaningful thrash metal albums, not only for its unmatchable quality but also for its genre-defining characteristic. Up to this point, thrash was an undefinable mishmash of violence and speed metal; now, thanks to those lads, it meant much more, requiring meaningful lyrics and more sculpted arrangements rather than raw aggression. Finally, thrash diverged from "the quick and craziest, the better" mentality.

It also represented METALLICA's maturation: no longer were they the "let's trash this hotel while drinking beer" as of KILL 'EM ALL. Starting here, some of their most celebrated characteristics began to develop: unusual complexity in their sound; rich lyrics that go beyond the usual (for the genre) "venting" purpose: rather than just expressing visible indignation, they are rather metaphorical and psychological about it; most importantly, we begin to see a shyly gritty sonority - no, not angry sonority, like death metal, neither a suffocating sonority like black metal. Gritty.

Honestly, all those characteristics, exactly for not fully ripening, are on point. RIDE THE LIGHTNING doesn't sound overly pessimistic as MASTER OF PUPPETS and neither as aggressive like in KILL 'EM ALL. Instead, virtus in medium est.

The most meaningful characteristic of RIDE THE LIGHTNING for me is the absolutely killer riffage and presence anthemic songs. Not a single track fall shorts on inspiration and energy, the title track and Creeping Death being unparalleled thrash hymns. METALLICA's unexpected burst of innovation brought us a gem. HIGHLY recommended for metal fans. If you didn't give this a shot, you should do. You will be...

... thunderstruck.

 Kill 'Em All by METALLICA album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.39 | 423 ratings

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Kill 'Em All
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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
3.46 | 77 ratings

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Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
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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
2.82 | 44 ratings

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Beyond Magnetic
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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
3.46 | 77 ratings

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Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
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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 | 374 ratings

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Death Magnetic
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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
3.46 | 77 ratings

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Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
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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. Hardwired...to 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
3.46 | 77 ratings

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Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
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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
4.10 | 540 ratings

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Ride The Lightning
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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.

Thanks to The T for the artist addition.

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