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Metallica - Metallica [Aka: The Black Album] CD (album) cover

METALLICA [AKA: THE BLACK ALBUM]

Metallica

 

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3.25 | 519 ratings

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Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars This is one of those albums that you either already own or can't be bothered with. Well I'll try to take up some of your precious time with another review anyway.

Many fans criticized Metallica's knee fall to please the masses, the Black Album was said to be too commercial, not thrashy enough, slick, sell-out. Those and many other outbursts of betrayed fan rage could be heard all over the place. Well, they didn't diminish the popularity nor the relevance of this album. With its smooth and rocking approach it brought metal to a wider public and helped making it into one of the most popular and most creative scenes of the 90's. And indeed it is an excellent starting point for discovering all things metal, it has power, aggression, shredding, epic drama and some of the most catchy tunes on any metal album. I had had some short flirts with metal in the years before, but this album started my life-long love for the genre.

But that doesn't mean everything is glorious, there's sure filler as well. Up until Don't Thread on Me, there is no dip in the song material, with Sad But True and Wherever I May Roam being the obvious highlights. From then on the quality goes a bit up and down. Some of the songs are hardly necessary and had better been passed on to B-sides. Especially Don't Thread on Me, Of Wolf and Man and The Struggle Within drag the album down. One of the main reasons is Ulrich's uncreative drumming again. If he would have provided more dynamic rhythms he could have given some of the more unremarkable songs a boost. The production by Bob Rock is overwhelming, but he failed in his producer's responsibility to be critical for some of the material here.

As far as I'm concerned, this album wasn't a disappointment but a revelation. Good and relevant enough for 4 small stars. With a bit more scrutiny and a stronger album closer, this one would sit right next to their masterpieces.

Bonnek | 4/5 |

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