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Metallica - Master Of Puppets CD (album) cover




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4.12 | 743 ratings

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4 stars It needs no introduction.

MASTER OF PUPPETS is usually known for being one of the most influential metal albums of all time when it's not even a quarter-century old (as of 2009). The sound is what you would expect from a metal band, lots of bottom-heavy guitars chugging out riff after riff until Kirk Hammett feels compelled to blast off at the speed of light in the form of a guitar solo.

That's nice and all that...but what's this got to do with prog rock?

A lot more than you think. Take the title track for example. It's eight-plus minute length isn't enough to assume progginess, but if you take a deep listen, the song doesn't appear to compulsively vomit riffs sporadically. Every line seems to have been handled with care, constructed in a meticulous order to achieve the best effect. There's a spot where the song drops to a calm waiting for the listener to get pulled in like a magnet while the chorus chants ''Master!'' building in intensity, then screeching the guitar with the idea that a payoff has been accomplished.

If I can really praise Metallica for anything on this album, it would be that in their better songs, they really know how to use the dynamics well. ''Orion'' is a perfect representation as it starts soft but quickly ascends into typical thrashdom. Then, there's a middle bit led by an intricate bassline to segue to a gorgeous dual lead guitar part that dumps out some emotion. Then, when it gets heavy again, everything just makes sense.

The favourite tracks I have from here are the two that I've already mentioned (''Master of Puppets'' and ''Orion'') as well as ''Leper Messiah'' and especially ''Welcome Home (Sanitarium)''. As positively as I've described it so for, MASTER OF PUPPETS can get quite repetitive with the metal riffage easily, not to mention that the guitars give me head cramps after too long. Besides, I think ''The Things That Should Not Be'' is rather lackluster. But the sound and aura are as close to progressive rock/metal without really getting there, and progsters would be wise to at least have an open ear to this stuff.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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