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Metallica Kill 'Em All album cover
3.46 | 552 ratings | 30 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hit the Lights (4:15)
2. The Four Horsemen (7:11)
3. Motorbreath (3:05)
4. Jump in the Fire (4:40)
5. (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth (4:14)
6. Whiplash (4:08)
7. Phantom Lord (4:59)
8. No Remorse (6:23)
9. Seek & Destroy (6:51)
10. Metal Militia (5:11)

Total Time 51:21

Bonus tracks on 1988 Elektra reissue:
11. Am I Evil? (7:52)
12. Blitzkrieg (3:35)

Line-up / Musicians

- James Hetfield / lead vocals, rhythm guitar
- Kirk Hammett / lead guitar
- Cliff Burton / bass, backing vocals
- Lars Ulrich / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Shari & Harold Risch with Gary L. Heard (photo)

LP Megaforce Records ‎- MRI 069 (1983, US)

CD Elektra ‎- 60766-2 (1987, US)
CD Elektra ‎- E2 60766 (1988, US) With 2 bonus tracks recorded in 1984
CD Elektra ‎- 60766-2 (1995, US) Remastered by George Marino

Thanks to ? for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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METALLICA Kill 'Em All ratings distribution

(552 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

METALLICA Kill 'Em All reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by CCVP
4 stars The thrash metal debut

Just like in my review of Death's debut, entitled Scream Bloody Gore, i would like to say that i will rate this album according to this site and, since this is a PROGRESSIVE ROCK site, i got to rate this album according to progressive rock. However, i cannot change my opinion about this album because, otherwise, i would have to give Kill 'Em All a grade that is unfitting for its importance and its metal goodness, so i will give it 4 stars. I would like to make it clear that this rating has nothing to do with PROGRESSIVE ROCK, but with the quality of a good thrash metal album.

Metallica's Kill 'Em All is, without much doubt, thrash metal first album release ever. Being mainly influenced by the New Wave if British Heavy Metal (specially Iron Maiden and Diamond Head) and the punk / hardcore scene from the San Francisco Bay Area and, in some degree, by Motorhead (which somehow joined metal and punk). Though the NWOBHM can be seen more clearly, specially because of the band's lead guitarist and the song structure, the punk / hardcore influence is also very big, since this album shares with them the aggressive tone of the music as a whole and the rawness. Actually, that rawness can make some doubt if this album is really a thrash metal release, but do not be fooled: this is thrash, and it's good!

The songs as a whole are pretty much straightforward and not very complex in almost every way you look: the guitars, the bass, the drums or the vocals. This will change drastically with Metallica's next release, Ride the Lightning, but as far as Kill 'Em All goes, its all simplicity, headbanging and some short, but sick solos.

the highlights go to Hit the Lights, The Four Horsemen, (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth, Whiplash and Metal Militia.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Nice debut by a nice band and deserves to be rated nicely. The two bonus tracks originally from the Creeping Death EP (Am I Evil?, Diamond Head Cover, and Blitzkrieg, Blitzkrieg Cover) also very good and fit quite well here. Both cover songs are from NWOBHM bands.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Welcome to Metallica. A debut to savour.

Metallica unleashed their brand of speed thrash metal to the world with one of the best metal debuts in history. Every track features brutal bass heavy riffing and crunches from beginning to end. This is a relentless 'metal militia'. The young band showed 'no remorse', no repent. They didn't care what it meant. Another day, another death, another sorrow, another death. The lyrics spelled it out in case we didn't get it. Raw, in your face stone cold thrash. Metallica focused on death, victories and losses, fiery hell, the apocalypse with the four horsemen, revelation, valiant struggles, motorbike speed runs, banging heads, lords of death, bloody destroyers and er.... death. These themes would become a blueprint for every budding metal band who were inspired by Metallica's no nonsense approach to the underground metal scene. It was not for the squeamish and still packs a whallop. Even the vocal style would drive and instigate the style of many bands such as Megadeth, Pantera and Testament, who cite Metallica as key influences. Highlights include 'The Four Horsemen', 'Whiplash', and 'Seek & Destroy'. All quite simple in structure, very straight forward - bang your head and get out of there. The simplistic style was easy to play for the budding guitarist and of course the tracks on this debut have been covered by zillions of cover bands worldwide. Heck, even I know most of the riffs and i am know lead guitar extraodinaire. The point was it ws not the complexity of the riffs but how they were pieced together. Take the best track on the album 'No Remorse', for example. Clocking in at over 6 minutes, it features complex arrangements of simple but brutal riffs to die for. It is perhaps my favourite track in the early phase of the band's meteoric rise to power.

In conclusion, a great start for the legends of power metal; the band were still wet behind the ears of course, and the best was yet to come, but this debut is marginally flawed brilliance. Deserving of at least a 4 star rating for its sheer importance in the history of metal.

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Kill the Chicken, Kill the Egg - or simply Kill 'Em All?

Ever since its little brother, Prog Rock hit the spotlights, Heavy Metal has lived in the shade - has always aspired to the greatness of Prog, to the point that the term Progressive Metal has become a common currency to describe Heavy Metal that has such aspirations - but as anyone who has lived and breathed Classic Prog will tell you, the two are not the same thing, and never will be.

Heavy Metal emerged from the Progressive music scene back in 1967, with its tongue firmly in its cheek. Prog was generally a more serious affair - with many risible attempts to inject humour, such as Benny The Bouncer, and More Fool Me (well, I laughed at the latter - at first...).

Metal, however, sent itself up. It was a more Street level version of Prog - and continues to be that up to the current day. Everything is there - the theatricals, the virtuosic displays, nods and winks towards Jazz and Classical music - and even folk - and, in some cases, Rodney Matthews album covers.

OK, so Prog is about more than that little list, and Metallica's debut is more about Heavy Metal than anything else - in fact, it redefines what Heavy Metal was in the early 1980s, and gave the entire genre a kick... and you know where that kick landed.

For Kill 'Em All is a much undersung landmark.

All you need to do to realise its importance is to consider what came before;

Black Sabbath's use of tritones and improvisation in riff creation, Judas Priest's thrashing technique, later realised in potentia by Venom and Metal Church, Michael Schenker's precision metallic solo style, Motorhead's aggression, Randy Rhoades' Classical influences, Iron Maiden and Diamond Head's complex structures and Cliff Burton's own experimental free- jazz-metal stylisations.

That's quite a cocktail, and when you put it into the San Franciso metal smelting pot from which Metallica emerged, showering huge molten gobs of new sound over the Metal community, hotly persued by their competitive contemporaries, it becomes easier to hear how Kill 'Em All lived up to its title and changed the world of metal forever.

From the get-go, Kill Em All bludgeons you into submission with remorseless intent - but, like banging your head against the wall is at its best when you stop, when you stop cowering under the awesome might of the music, you suddenly realise that here is also music of craft and guile - music that twists and turns, that teases and tantalises - that feels improvised.

And here's where the Prog connections begin.

The first connection to make is easy, and only one step away from Motorhead. The intense whirlpool tunnels of Hawkwind are all over this album. The lack of wooey bleepy noises only serves to highlight the vortexes created by the riffs, as they create an almost tangible ball of spikes in which the unwary listener is smashed around.

We are spun into this vortex on the very first track - Hit The Lights, which is where you need to set the volume levels. If you can't hear every detail in the first second, the volume is not loud enough. Volume makes a difference to the experience - so go back, turn it up and start again.

Such a genre changing album deserves every second and them some of the introduction - and then the mayhem starts. The riffs fly off at tight tangents - but the thrash element (for which Metallica are often criticised) is used very sparingly and craftily, and the changes throughout are immaculately timed with, and this is important, Rock and Roll precision. Kirk's solos scream and soar like malignant birds of prey, creating the first of 10 classic tracks.

The Four Horsemen is a slight drop in standards from the opener - while the Hawkwind vortex is still present, it is weaked by repetition in the riffs - and this is part of why Megadeth could never be considered a Prog Metal band in the same way that Metallica can.

There are some wonderful devices - such as the exposed chug around 2:03, leading to a variation of the main riff, the walking phrase that links it to the first bridge at 2:37, linked in by this new walking idea, then on to a chugging variant. The walking phrase is then reused to connect to a new, slower tempo riff, another variant of the earlier material to support the first, guitar solo, but then a dual whammy-bar attack takes us into a new riff, the walking section, and back to a broken up version of the start before returning to the first riff.

This density of material and thematic development has far more in common with King Crimson than it does with Black Sabbath, Judas Priest or Venom - consider the song 21st Century Schizoid Man, which uses the same thematic developing technique (as well as the metallic riffs!). Go ahead - play the two back to back!

Motorbreath is a continuation of this pattern - the old song structure is given new life via riff development - real musical progression, which compares starkly with Mustaine's more tangential unrelated idea- threading technique, as showcased in Jump In The Fire. As with Iron Maiden and Sabbath, it's in the instrumental sections that the interest lies - although there's not so much in these short songs.

I tend to skip through Anesthesia - having heard what Cliff is capable of, this is not a particularly good representation - although it is a rare record of a very gifted musician, and a hugely important figure in the development of Progressive Metal. Finally, the bass is brought out from its supporting role and into the spotlight with the other instruments.

Whiplash rounds off side 1 of the vinyl with a tour-de-force landmark in thrash metal - at one and the same time redefining what thrash is (Thrash is an alternate picked rhythm guitar style that typically uses either the open E or A string, sometimes drop tuned, as a root, while other chords are accented over the top. This root note/changing chord technique is known as pedal points in Classical music), and setting an almost impossible benchmark - a song that is both catchy, and technically challenging (once you've got the hang of exactly where the accent occurs in the second riff, you have to cope with the double-speed Whole Lotta Love riff variant in the instrumental!), dispenses with the old Verse/Chorus format (the only chorus is a shout of the song title), has a multi- tempo, multi-style instrumental section, and the strongest sense of the Hawkwind vortex (as I like to think of it) on this entire side.

...and then we turn the record over!

Only 4 tracks on side 2 - but what monsters.

Phantom Lord exploits the same variation technique - and let's get this straight - the variation technique is hard - much harder than the Off-At-Tangents technique, which is a cop-out in comparison.

Listen to how Metallica spin the riffs around, literally turning them upside down, finding a more mellow, acoustic feel within them, building them up with metallic chunks, and literally throwing ideas around with masterfully timed precision - Lars switching from Hi Hat to ride cymbal for perfect punctuation.

And this is the weakest track on side 2.

No Remorse then proceeds to live up to its name - the riffs, the tempo changes, the searing solos, Kirk's lack of chops... never mind - you get the picture. The Heavy metal riffs continue relentlessly shifting like quicksand - once one hook has got into your head, another evilly replaces it until THAT instrumental - the thrash technique has been held off until precisely the right moment, and it's fed to us bit by bit, Cliff's bass propelling with perfection a riff with more gallop than the Four Horsemen, Lars feeding it hefty slabs of tom-tom - but Metallica save the best for the second instrumental at 4:45; a scream of Let's Goooo!!!! is followed by a riff that makes Whiplash feel slow, accents piercing and punctuating. This is taken down a few steps for the vocal sections, and returned to, never stopping the onslaught, merely changing the bludgeoning rate.

Sadly I've played Seek and Destroy to death, to the point that I can't listen to it any more - but it's chock full of the same sorts of twists, turns and Saxon riffs... yes, Metallica are frequently accused of plagiarism, particularly in their early work, but the reality is that they knew a good riff when they heard one, and, like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple before them, knew with an unerring instinct how to make it better.

Again, the real interest is in the instrumental section - but it's also worth noting that the Ball Of Spikes feeling I meantioned earlier is very strong here, despite this being a slower tempo song. Can't hear it? Turn it up!

The album closes with my favourite, Metal Militia.

The tempo here is quite literally breakneck thrasherama - but it is controlled. Metallica ride the tiger here, unleasing riff after riff, going off at tangents for once - but it works here, as a complete contrast to the naturally developing style of earlier, and proves that Metallica were able to work not only at different tempos but in completely different compositional styles within the fledgling genre that they helped to hatch.

The Ball of Spikes is at its strongest here - and just when you think it can't get any faster... it does. Kirk's solo is a complete revelation - the spikes becoming razor edged.

Then there are more riffs - oh, the riffs!

These are chucked around with devil-may-care alcarity, and only a couple of little fluffs - which we completely forgive the purveyors of the new order of metal.

This is NOT a heavy metal album.

Compare it with ANYTHING else released in or before 1983 and see what I mean.

The closest is Venom's Black Metal - but Venom didn't have Cliff, they had a guy who couldn't play bass. They also had a guy whose rhythmic ideas ran to Hit 'Em All. While the guitarist invented the thrash technique and successfully held the band together, everyone else got on with the business of raising hell and killing music (I refer to the label on the back of the original album).

Metallica, on the other hand, concentrated on the music - on creating new music that had never been heard before for a new world order in which Metallica would be top of the Metal heap - and so they are, for better or worse.

But Kill Em All is an album you MUST hear, if only to understand how Prog Metal came about, and to hear the things it could yet be. For Prog Metal seems to be slow or scared to catch up with the idea of using improvisation and variation in riffs - and until it does, it will never progress musically, just technically. Kill 'Em All is the beginning of BOTH sorts of musical progression, and hence is Progressive Metal in spirit, if not attitude.

Review by Petrovsk Mizinski
4 stars While many metal bands had become very mainstream and almost pop-ish, and while NWOBHM was busy dominating the metal scene as well, other developments were happening underground. Sure enough, there was also progression happening on the musicianship of singular bands members (such as Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads taking guitar virtuosity to new heights), but what about the band front? Well, as it happens, this is what was happening in the underground. Underground, you ask? Well where else could they be? Metal was hardly popular at the time and even veterans on the scene at the time like Ozzy Osbourne were struggling to make ends meet, what with punk, disco and various other genres being commercially successful to some extent or another.

Many were not happy with the situation and decided to go completely against the mold. The most extreme genre of metal at the time was developing. It was called thrash metal, a genre with characteristics like fast tempos, many tempo changes, heavy percussive low register riffs, fast (sometimes shredding) guitar solos, influenced by punk and hardcore punk and with an overall level of aggression never before seen in any rock music genre, even more so than the aggression found in hardcore punk.

When exactly thrash metal became a genre, is not really known, but it is known a band called Leather Charm, wrote a song in 1981, called Hit The Lights. One of the more important aspects of the band, is that one member was in fact, James Hetfield. Around this time, thrash metal was fully up and running, with many bands having formed already, with the Bay Area Thrash scene being a particular focal point. Leather Charm was just one of these bands, heavily influenced by NWOBHM bands like Iron Maiden, Motorhead and Diamond Head. While very much in the style of NWOBHM, the band had wrote an arrangement of the song Hit The Lights, which is of particular importance.

The band was short lived and out of its ashes, a band called Metallica, which formed in late 1981. A drummer, Lars Ulrich, placed an advertisement in a classified newspaper called the The Recycler that stated he was looking for other band members and James Hetfield answered that advertisement. The band now had a singer and rhythm guitarist and the hunt for a lead guitarist was on. Guitarist Lloyd Grant had a very brief time in the band (legend has it, his contribution consisted of a single guitar solo and nothing more), so the band would have to keep looking. Another ad was placed in The Recycler, and this time around, a 20 year old Dave Mustaine answered. He had some great gear and was subsequently hired by the band. Ron McGovney was the bassist for a while, but clashes with Ulrich and Mustaine resulted in the band wanting to replace him. Hetfield was amazed by the bass solo Cliff Burton performed (at the time, Cliff was in a band called Trauma) and asked if he wanted to join. Cliff said yes.

Now with a full line up, the band would play many shows and obliterated audiences with their hard hitting brand of thrash metal. The band would also record the seminal demo tape, No Life 'Till Leather with this line up. All was not well though, with Dave Mustaine abusing alcohol and drugs and having occasional violent outbursts. He was replaced with a guitarist from Bay Area Band Exodus, the guitarist in question being Kirk Hammett.

History lesson over.

The album begins with Hit The Lights, with a crazy opening of smashing guitars and frenzied drumming before it goes into the main riff. At this point, we know we are in for thrash metal thrill ride. Straight into a speedy riff accented with palm mutes, it's a riff more technical (like many riffs on this album) than much of what other metal bands were doing at the time. The riffs just seem to blend into each other, rather than sound incoherent next to each other. While the song isn't particularly complex, the way the riffs tie in together give the song a evolutionary feel, if you will and certainly The tempo changes too, don't seem a bit out of place at al. Kirk's leads soar and demonstrate a different take on what can be done with the pentatonic scale, but indeed, as this was a song that has Dave Mustaine writing credits on it, the solo is very much in the vein of the solos Mustaine wrote for some of the songs on the record.

Onto The Four Horsemen now. Perhaps the proggiest piece on this album. While many metal bands at the time would stretch out songs by placing in extra riffs that didn't display much development over the prior riff, The Four Horsemen flows like a river free of all obstacles. Each E Minor riff just seems to tie into each other and we even get a taste of the Phyrgian scale (although perhaps not intentional, so chromaticism may be the word here) too, but it flows so effortlessly that it only really becomes obvious when you hear that F note (during the riff that begins around 2:04)

One of the most amazing and beautiful moments of the song for me, is the melodic instrumental section beginning about 3:28. Cliff Burton's bass comes a bit more during this part, and of course, we get perhaps the best guitar solo on the record. Even during the faster moments, I never feel a loss of soul during this solo. After much twisting and turning, we finally return to the first riff of the song. We then get another blistering Mustaine solo before the song concludes.

Motorbreath continues this onslaught and again, the development that was shown during the last two songs doesn't stop. The song being in predominantly B Aeolian certainly gives it a unique, especially wen you consider how popular it was at the time to write metal riffs that bounced off the open E and A strings which would then usually result in a E or A Aeolian tonality. While they may not be long, there is some cool instrumental sections to keep the song going. It's a fairly short song, but it excites me nonetheless.

I've always felt Jump In The Fire was a fairly weak spot on this album and it's really the only track I would consider skipping from time to time. It's definitely more 'speed metal' than thrash metal in feel, although that isn't the reason I may tend to skip it. The song seems to drag on a bit, and the riffs don't seem to excite me as much as the previous songs. The solo sections are not bad, and the lyrics are somewhat amusing too, erring on the sexual side.... funny to imagine a young pimply faced James Hetfield singing that kinda stuff in his gruff and rough voice.

Fortunately, (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth comes to save the day. An all instrumental track (essentially a bass solo), Cliff Burton's playing is a bass tour de force and perhaps represents some of the most virtuosic bass playing in heavy metal up until that point in time. He utilizes a heavily distorted bass tone (it sounds somewhat 'unnatural' leading me to believe he used guitar distortion pedals instead of a bass distortion pedal), while not a new thing, was certainly unusual at the time. Demonstrating the use of picked arpeggios, right hand tapping, use of a wah wah pedal and string bends (pretty tough to do on bass guitar) , it certainly was a fresh and unique sounding approach to bass. While a few players like Steve Harris of Iron Maiden adopted an approach to bass that helped to push bass more towards the center stage (so to speak), Cliff Burton managed to not only do this, but did it in a virtuosic way that left people slack jawed. I still remember when I first heard this album back in 2004, I was absolutely floored by this bass solo. And it's a pretty good composition to top it off.

Now onto the second half the of the album. Whiplash. The riff that comes in at about 30 seconds.... pure unadulterated thrash metal to the core. Palm muted tremolo picked with a chromatic descending line and hitting the open E string. So what? you say. Well it was the stuff that pretty much helped define the genre and it made the riffs feel like they were literally thrashing. Challenging to play, but it doesn't fail to stick in your mind. Like many of the other songs thus so far, it strays from the pop formula of verse/chorus and throws in a cool instrumental/guitar solo section to boot.

Phantom Lord has that little swirly sound thing going on at the start, but soon goes into melt down metal. Again, it has that evolutionary feel to it. One thing that I found to be really cool, was the use of the right hand tapping technique in the first solo, which sure enough was nothing new, but it helped to cement the use of shredding in more styles of metal. Kirk's other solos in this song have this hellbent sense of urgency, almost as if they are telling you to get away from the Phantom Lord, before he catches you.

No Remorse, is absolutely thundering. From the heavy crushing riff in F# minor in the intro, with Kirk's wah wah pedaled solo, straight into the punishing E minor riffage. One thing that always felt really cool to me, was that clever tempo change and use of Mixloydian riffing at 3:48. I can just imagine that would catch any first time listener of the album completely off guard and leave them thinking Where the hell did that come from?. But hey, it works. From Hetfield's mighty scream of LET'S GOOOO! it's balls to wall, no-compromise thrash riffage. And what a way to end the song it is.

Seek and Destroy. Some really bad lyrics here to be honest, but I can overlook that if only because everything else is done so well. One thing that is immediately obvious, is that it's a mid tempo song for the most part. But have no worries, the tempo change section you are waiting for does in fact exist, coming in at 3:11. Kirk demonstrates some fairly challenging alternate picking chops for the time in his solos, even if the solos themselves aren't the best on the record.

The album closes with a more straight forward thrasher. But it's a thunderous closer anyway, with a torrent of riffs. Perfect for unleashing the Metal Militia onto the world.

A few things that bother me, are perhaps Jump in the Fire being a fairly weak track and some of Kirk's soloing.... because let's fact it, he wasn't a virtuoso and certainly was not up to the level of Randy Rhoads (who had died a year before this album was released) and Eddie Van Halen.

A seminal record in the history of metal and one that changed the way people saw metal, and the way metal would be composed.

Review by ProgBagel
3 stars Metallica - 'Kill 'Em All' 3.5 stars

I do not consider Metallica prog, or related to the genre at all. If it was for proto purposes, I would say Mercyful Fate or King Diamond should be handed the title, but regardless, Metallica is here and I will rate their albums without bias. I was never a fan of this band, metal just didn't agree with me growing up, until I heard Dream Theater. Anywho, Metallica did create some classics that anybody should enjoy.

This is the most thrashy and speediest of the bunch, and that makes this one of my favorites. The speedy rhythm's of James Hetfield and speedy solos by Kirk Hammett nail the classic Metallica sound from the very first song put on record. While it sometimes gets redundant, well a lot, there are some tracks on here that stand out completely as thoughtful and 'cool'

'Seek and Destroy', 'Anesthesia', 'Jump in the Fire' and 'No Remorse' each have some special qualities that the other six didn't have which led them all to sounding pretty similar in nature.

I dub this album to be a very good one. A great start for someone to get into early Metallica (is there anybody out there?) and for curiosity as to how this band was started.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Kill ´em All" is the debut full-length studio album by US thrash metal act Metallica. The album was released in July 1983 by Megaforce Records. After releasing a couple of succesful demos a very young Metallica were picked up by Megaforce Records in 1983. The band originally consisted of James Hetfield (Vocals, guitar), Lars Ulrich (drums), Ron McGovney (bass) and Dave Mustaine (lead guitar and later of Megadeth fame). However There were too many tensions between the two latter and Ron McGovney was replaced by new bassist Cliff Burton. Metallica´s lineup troubles were not over though as James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich had to fire Dave Mustaine. Partially due to his drug and alcohol abuse, but also because of his abuse behaviour. The last drop was alledgedly when he kicked James Hetfield´s dog. Dave Mustaine was replaced by Kirk Hammett who had been a member of Exodus which was another legendary Bay Area thrash metal band. The new lineup recorded "Kill ´em All" in two weeks on a very small budget with producers Paul Curcio and Johny Zazula at Music America Studios, Rochester, New York. Johny Zazula was actually a very influential figure in the early eighties American metal scene also holding producer credits with bands such as Testament and Overkill as well as being the owner of Megaforce Records. The record label was founded after he heard Metallica´s "No Life 'Til Leather (1982)" demo tape. A true visionary who was willing and able to take a chance.

The music on the album is a mix of NWoBHM influenced heavy metal and punk but played with a lot more aggression (well... some punk are pretty aggressive. But still) and speed than usual for those genres and "Kill ´em All" is rightly so called one of the first thrash metal albums in history. The influence from bands like Diamond Head, Motörhead, Iron Maiden and Venom is very obvious in the music. The production is very unpolished and raw which helps give the music and even meaner sound than it already has. it´s definitely one of the most raw, fast and aggressive albums released in those days. Songs like "Hit the Lights", "Moterbreath" and "Whiplash" are absolutely crushing with their "pedal down" simple and powerful delivery. But there are more to the album than songs like that and I count "The Four Horsemen", "Phantom Lord" and "Seek & Destroy" as more sophisticated songs even though they are still pretty direct. "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth" has to be mentioned too. It´s a distorted bass solo by Cliff Burton which he often played live in the early years. Most songs are credited to James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich but it´s noteworthy that Dave Mustaine is also credited on "Jump in the Fire", "Phantom Lord", "Metal Militia" and "The Four Horsemen". The latter is a song which in it´s original and shorter form was named "The Mechanix". Dave Mustaine would take this version of the song with him to his new band Megadeth and it is featured on the "Killing Is My Business...and Business Is Good! (1985)" debut album by that band.

The musicianship is solid (but not outstanding). Raw and unpolished. You can feel the hunger in the way these guys play their music. It´s like nothing else matters (pun intended).

"Kill ´em All" is a seminal thrash metal album and in retrospect it´s almost hilarious that the original vinyl pressing was limited to 1500 copies (which of course sold out in no time). Today the album has sold around 3 million copies in the US alone. For all it´s groundbreaking qualities it´s not an album I put on very often anymore and when I do it almost always comes off before it´s finished and therefore my personal rating will be 3.5 stars. If I rated albums from the perspective of historical importance "Kill ´em All" would probably receive a 4 rating. So add that half stars to my rating if you think that´s more fair.

Review by JJLehto
2 stars First, let me start by saying I do not think Metallica is a prog-metal band, (or proto-prog or in any way related to prog) and I do not think they belong here. So, I will review this album and give it two ratings. How good it is, and then it's actual rating according to site standards. That being said, onto the review.

Kill 'Em All. This is one of the most influential albums in metal. This was the birth of Thrash Metal. The impact can not be fully described. This is a good album, and is pure thrash metal. There is no prog on here what so ever. Some say, (like with Death's first release) this album could be progressive in nature, since it is new. However, I do not think that way. This album, musically, is straight up thrash metal. It has basic, metal song structures, lots of open E string tremolo picking, and wild solo's.

Much of this album was written when Dave Mustaine was still in the band. He quickly got the boot thanks to his drug use and partying a little too hard for the rest. However, the influence is distinct. This album has a very Mustaine-esque feel to it, with a section of singing, quick solo, section of singing, quick solo, repeat. Followed of course with the grand solo in the last half. I can also hear Dave's influence in some of the actual solo's themselves, (Kirk himself admitted to using them as a guidline). While he is not as good as Dave in my opinion, Kirk Hammett is a good guitarist. James plays rhythm and does vocals, which are in a typical shouting, high pitched style of 80's metal. Of course Lars does drumming duty. He is a mediocre drummer. Not bad, but not great. I guess that's the LEAST you could ask though, is get the job done. Cliff is a great bassist, but you can not hear his work on this album really.

Hit the Lights. Starts with a nice metal intro. Soon it is into a riff that any Metallica fan will recognize. This goes for a while, backed up by some James yelling vocals, and simple thrash beats. Oh and lots of solos! The last 2 minutes feature some wild soloing.

The Four Horsemen. A bit slower and with an awesome riff. This continues for a bit until you get to a cool sounding part in the middle. Then there is one of the better solos on the album, and some really great complementary rhythm guitar work. Then its back to the main riff and goes with a nice solo, (and one where I can hear Mustaine's influence).

Motorbreath. Begins with a fun little drum intro, I can again hear alot of Mustaine influence. Good song but nothing spectacular.

Jump in the Fire. A cool sounding riff, and quick 5 second solo burst before the song kicks in, (again Dave Mustaine anyone?). Again, this song is good but nothing really seems to jump out. Overall, it is a bit slower then the rest, except at the end.

(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth. Ah, yes. The bass solo. While you can not hear Cliff on the album, I guess this makes up for it. Here he showcases his style: his crazy playing and use of effects. The first half is ALL him and has some interesting melodies, and cool sounds. Then it picks up and we get a nice drum beat to accompany him. The second half is faster, dirtier and actually not quite as good. Overall, a unique and great song, a true display of his talents and a rare bass feature!

Whiplash. My favorite song from the album. After the bass solo this takes by surprise! After the loud intro is some Lars...and guitar holds. Then the riff comes in, one of the better ones of the album. This goes for a while, with a few changes and James' distinct rough voice. Also, his famous music pause followed by a yell. ........WHIPLASH! The first half is like this, but the last minute is truly gold! The solo's kick in and boy are they wild. I especially enjoy the second one.

Phantom Lord. A pretty nice intro actually, and then the thrash! This song may has the most chord progression and some great solos! There is a cool dual solo in the middle and a crazy tapping one. Then things get crazy! Crazy as in slow, and melodic. Not for too long though, soon it is back to metal and ends with the most stereotypical rock ending there is.

No Remorse. Another Mustaine influenced song, it can be heard in the first 40 some seconds. There are some really great sounding riffs in this song and there is a blistering thrash finale.

Seek and Destroy. The best riff on the album. Oh and you can hear some bass! It is actually a fairly slow paced song and has some good chord progression. At 3:35 more Mustaine influence is heard with several short, quick paced solos being swapped between Kirk and James. My second favorite from the album.

Metal Militia. That pretty much sums it up. Maybe the fastest song on the album it is, well very fast. Through and through it is speed and great for rockin out. You can also hear a bit of bass as well!

So, what to make of this album? Personally, I love it. It is a great work and one of the true stars in metal history. However, there is nothing prog about it. Not to mention the album can get a bit draggy in some spots. I give the album a 4 out of 5. However, this is not a prog work at all so for the purpose of this site, I say it deserves:

2 stars

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars If the 70's were the golden era for prog, then the 80's were the dark battleground for post-punk and metal. It makes both decades equally interesting to me. If I remember well, you had the choice to be totally un-cool or you could join either the Goth or the Metalhead legions in the 80's. A dissection that seems awkwardly irrelevant these days.

Things evolved rapidly in the 80's. Iron Maiden, leading force of British new wave of heavy metal, had started their career by injecting 70's hard-rock with a shot of punk-adrenaline. Three years later in their career, that punk spirit had faded and they had already started to embrace anthemic pop metal idioms by then. But already a new generation was eager to take over and prove that not only Motörhead had the right to stay true to the rebellious spirit of metal. In the California Bay area a new scene evolved, thrash metal: louder, more aggressive, faster, more vicious, darker and more uncompromising then music ever was before.

Iron Maiden remained an icon, especially for Metallica's prog evolution. But on this debut, it's mainly Motörhead's speed and roughness, Black Sabbath's evil tritone and Judas Priest's twin guitar attack that are stretched to their ultimate possibilities. The great improvement that the thrashers did on the NWOBHM was to make the punk aggression more prominent and to eschew entirely from commercialism and metal sing-alongs. At least, in the beginning they did.

Metallica's debut is a rollercoaster of raw and unpolished energy, it's an album that I love a lot more then just 3 stars, but within Metallica's entire discography, 3.5 stars fit suitably. I rarely play this album in its entity by the way. It's the kind of album I put on if I need a 10 minute shot of energy.

Review by poslednijat_colobar
2 stars Passable teenage debut album

First of all I would like to say I'm pleased with the addition of Metallica as Prog Related in PA, because their 2nd, 3rd and 4th albums are highly influential to progressive metal genre.

At last it's time for me to review Metallica. In front of me is their debut album - Kill 'Em All. This album is legendary for the fans of Metallica, but for me it's not! I think that the band shows some potential with Kill 'Em All, but this album doesn't contains nothing significant, except Seek & Destroy , which is one of their all time best songs. Everything else doesn't contain enough ideas or the ideas are developed too amateurish. The songwriting is poor. The musicianship is good and reveals the big potential of the band. The vocals by James Hetfield are ridiculous - like a screaming little boy. His voice is still not broken. Production is mediocre and unpolished. Not more than 2,25 stars!

Review by tarkus1980
4 stars Oh my, did I ever underappreciate this album once upon a time. My initial assessment was that this is a bunch of primitive thrash crap that might have been hugely important back in the early 80's but that doesn't have any overall staying power. Well, many years later, all I can say to the previous me is "screw you." The most important thing to do when listening to this is to try and not compare it to what would come later; a difficult task, yes, but one well worth the effort. Yes, the band hasn't yet matured lyrically; except for "The Four Horsemen," the band's lyrical shtick about apocalyptic death, destruction, depression, insanity and anger hasn't yet taken root, and the songs tend to be about, well, kicking ass. Yes, James is in serious need of singing lessons on this album; combined with the lyrical matter, he kinda ends up sounding like what I'd expect Beavis to sound like at age 20 fronting a metal band, except without any AC/DC-style juvenile sexuality (not that I mind AC/DC's juvenile sexuality, but that's for neither here nor now). And yes, the production is thinner than the polished death-and-destruction sound that would come on the next two albums.

So yeah, it's well established what this album does poorly. On the other hand, let's look at what it does well. The riffs range from good to great. The band is insanely tight. The songs chug and thrash mercilessly. The solos are fast and at least mildly interesting. And, a couple of times, we get a clear glimpse at the more "sophisticated" future of the band, particularly in the aforementioned epic "The Four Horsemen," which cycles through a number of terrific riffs and instrumental passages. The descending riff in the "chorus," in particular, could stay in my head for hours and I wouldn't get sick of it. Of course, that riff was apparently written by Dave Mustaine, a former bandmate (and lead guitarist prior to Hammett) who went on to form Megadeth, but who am I to complain? Coming close in "epic" power, though, is "Seek and Destroy," a solid mid-tempo seven minute chugger that would be routinely stretched to 20-minute lengths in concert, and which is a great listen here as well.

Elsewhere, the one track that significantly sticks out is a decently distorted bass-driven (solo for the first half, with drums coming in during the second half) instrumental, "Anaesthesia (Pulling Teeth)" where Cliff mixes arpeggios with shredding his sound something fierce; I might be slightly overrating it, but it's just as fun to listen to as, say, "The Fish," even if for somewhat different reasons ("The Fish" had more arranging talent involved, what with the six layers of bass piling on top of each other). Otherwise, though, the album consists of a mix of mid-tempo thrash ("Jump in the Fire," which has an AWESOME set of riffs, is the highlight of these) and breakneck-tempo thrash (like the opening "Hit the Lights," which shows from the beginning that Metallica had showmanship down to a tee; what an over-the-top great introduction), which all simmers at a pretty solid level. No, I don't consider "Hit the Lights," "Whiplash," "Motorbreath," "Phantom Lord," "No Remorse" or the closing "Metal Militia" to be on par with the band's very greatest accomplishments, but as the years have gone by, I've come to get my headbanging kicks from all of them. No, they're not really sophisticated; the solos, cool as they may be, are more or less tacked on, and the band isn't reinventing jack with these tracks (they're just putting an American gritty slant on European metal). But unlike the younger me, I don't absolutely require "artsiness" in my metal for it to be enjoyable, as long as the more basic elements are effective.

In short, then, this is a really fun, really enjoyable debut, which is a perspective totally unlike my older one. Maybe you'll agree with my previous assessment more than my current one, and I can certainly understand this ... but if that's the case, I can't help but think you need to lighten up a bit. This is one of the best "lightweight" thrash-related albums I've ever heard, and that's enough for me.

Review by friso
3 stars Metallica - Kill 'Em All (1983)

The new wave of British Heavy Metal had almost reached it's highlight in '83, whilst America's heavy metal was about to get a great boost. Metallica became known as the band that introduced the thrash metal genre to public. When I was sixteen I used to like their up-tempo relentless metal very much and I still think it is quality music within it's genre.

The sound of metal changed. First the heaviness of the guitars was used to make the melodic/chord structures more bombastic, but within the borders of thrash the often non- melodic heavy riffs became the main ingredient of the music. The vocals on this record are very tough!

Metallica proved to be the king of these very heavy riffs with extreme guitar amplification. The songwriting was strong with still some punk and rock'n roll influences from bands like Moterhead and Diamond Head. Metallica developed the genre by changing the rules of songwriting from time to time. The Four Horseman had an extended form with song-within-a- song structures, Jump into the Fire has a Deep Purple influenced sound, Pulling Teeth is the best metal-bass solo ever recorded with it's melodic but distorted bass and great drums in the ending section. Opening and ending tracks Hit the Lights and Metal Militia are both up-tempo trash songs with an catchy sound (who would have though such a thing?).

Conclusion. A nice debut of Metallica and still one of their better albums. A very influential and good metal record with little progressive moments. Only the sound of the album can be put forward as a very innovative development. Three stars. Must-have for metal-fans.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars No Life Till Leather

It's interesting to read some of the thoughts of metalheads on the Metallica debut. Some praise it as the righteous father of thrash and prog-metal, while others laugh at this notion, one guy noting that any real thrash riffs on this album were already tired and dated by the time it dropped. Others seem to hate Metallica for bring non-metalheads snooping into the metal scene, where we praise this and a few high profile bands as if we actually understand their scene. I won't do that nor will I pretend any deep insight as I was not a true metalhead who dug beyond the surface too much.

In the mid 80s my high school friends who loved metal and hard rock did embrace those glorious first three Metallica albums as the antidote to crap like Ratt and Def Leppard, and all the rest of the terribly lame 80s hair metal. There was some purity and authenticity to this band. We found a local band who covered Metallica songs and played them better than Metallica, who we realized were actually pretty average as a live band. There was a certain new energy here not provided by older bands like Sabbath or Maiden and we started to cover some of these songs in our own rag-tag band.

The most appealing musical aspect here all these years later is the low-fi DIY sounding production, which some see as a negative. Actually it's what makes the album. It was recorded in just two weeks, something today's Metallica could never achieve to save their lives. This alone speaks volumes about a band's purpose and necessity. The simplicity and the almost punkish energy to the tracks is really invigorating. Highlights include the anthemic, surging "Hit the Lights" and "The Four Horsemen." Horsemen is really the track that brings the biggest smile, such a fantastic combination of chords and crunch, and some really nice variation with the different sections of the song. "Pulling Teeth" is Burton doing some bass soloing which gives a little hint to future aspiration for more elaborate stuff. I love the absolute break-neck speed of the "No Remorse" riff contrasting with the much more subtle and slower pacing of "Seek and Destroy." While all of the tracks are not of great level individually, especially by today's standards, the overall body of work is cohesive and consistent.

While the band would certainly refine and expand on future work, the youth and grit of this one make it a special recording to me. It stands alone as the Metallica spirit I recall most fondly, even if I must acknowledge the maturing superiority of MoP. The album cover's menacing hammer is perfect for conveying this spirit, even if we all have our own ideas over who most deserves the hammer. Kill Em may have been the father of thrash or not, that's up to the experts. For me in 2010 it serves as therapy for rage as well as some good clean fun.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Kill 'Em All' - Metallica (7/10)

While 'Master Of Puppets' may be the album that Bay Area thrashers (and now legendary act) Metallica is best known for, it's their debut 'Kill 'Em All' that may have made the greatest resounding impact on music. The year was 1983, and at the time, the genre of metal was very different than the diverse expanse it is today. With bands like Black Sabbath and Mountain defining what heavy metal was considered to be, one can imagine things getting shaken up when a group of rebellious teens decided to come out with this album; heavy metal had never sounded so fast, and well, thrashy before. The end result left alot of metalheads of the period scratching their heads, and a foundation for the new genre that would come to be known as thrash metal.

Outside of it's undeniably remarkable historical context however, 'Kill 'Em All' is a good record, and succeeds on many points, especially considering the relative youth of the band at this point. Unrelentingly fast and riff-oriented, 'Kill 'Em All' is a no-frills approach to metal; everything from the rapidfire pace of the music to the machismo lyrical content brings forth the sense that Metallica were trying to contrast the increasingly overproduced sound of the genre, by defying convention.

While certainly unique for it's time, most of the songs here are quite similar in nature and structure, generally revolving on one central, memorable riff, with the adolescent bark of James Hetfield yowling out lyrics that any young metalhead can relate to. The only two songs that really break out of the typical song convention are 'The Four Horsemen', which draws itself out over seven minutes, and 'Anesthesia', a very lo-fi bass solo recorded by the late Cliff Burton after a single take, which while enjoyable enough, has a very muddy, 'demo' production to it that doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the album's comparatively clear sound. Of the conventional songs here, standouts include the opener 'Hit The Lights', 'Jump In The Fire' and 'Seek & Destroy', which has since become a classic song for the band to play live. While the songs are generally quite good, the fact that each is so similar does tend to wear a bit thin by the end of the record.

While 'Kill 'Em All' may not be on the same musical level as 'Master Of Puppets' or '...And Justice For All', Metallica's debut stands out as being one of the most relevant metal albums to be released, as well as a good thrash metal album on it's own. It's simplicity aside, Metallica really rebelled against the heavy metal scene here, and in doing so, inspired a generation of kids to pick up their guitars and start making heavy music of their own.

Review by Warthur
3 stars The most interesting thing about Kill 'Em All is the one contributing musician who doesn't appear on it: Dave Mustaine, who had left Metallica by this point to form Megadeth, but whose compositions stand out as particular highlights of the album. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in The Four Horsemen, most of which was composed by Mustaine but had a post- Mustaine interlude inserted into the middle; the difference in songwriting ability between Mustaine's sections and the rest of the band's is notable. Metallica would catch up on their subsequent albums and this one is delivered in an engagingly aggressive and thrashy fashion which makes up for its shortcomings, but this isn't the most auspicious debut the band could have had.
Review by Chicapah
3 stars I admit it. By all definitions of the word, I am a geezer and have been for quite a while. Therefore, the whole metal movement and the bands that personified it when it arose in the 80s were of only passing interest to me. I assure you, had Metallica appeared on the scene a dozen years earlier I would've gone crazy over them and the gritty music they made but by '83 I had mellowed significantly. It wasn't that I had an aversion to loudness. On the contrary, I'd not only hungrily devoured albums like "Are You Experienced" and "Machine Head" when they appeared but voluntarily had my ears pinned back when witnessing the likes of Hendrix and Deep Purple in concert. It also wasn't that I was offended by the anger and angst in the lyrics because I'd had groups like The Who and The Stones who shared my youthful, rebellious outlook and I'd enthusiastically pumped my fist to their music in my bedroom and when seeing them perform at the local arenas. (When you're so irate you could put your fist through the wall listening to The Hollies does nada for you.) So nothing about metal insulted me, it was just that in that time frame I was more intrigued by what was going on in jazz, world beat and the lighter side of progressive rock. When Metallica's videos started showing up on the infernal MTV network I paid them and their sneering peers bare notice. Yet I could tell that they were most likely going to endure due to the fact that, compared to the pseudo-punk and New Wave acts that dominated that era, the men of Metallica were genuinely talented musicians who knew what they were doing. I was right. Almost three decades later they and their legion of fans are still a force to be reckoned with so it's only fair that I give their product an unbiased assessment. Plus, I wanna do it. So there.

Briefly, after a rocky beginning that involved two of the founding members being replaced, Metallica went into the studio in May 1983 to record their style of raucous, irked mayhem without a trace of compromise. Released in July of that same year, "Kill 'Em All" may not have taken the world or the biz by storm but it did mark the beginning of a welcome drift away from the disturbing triteness of the then-current deluge of vapid pop, back toward the roots of hard & heavy rock pioneered by rough outfits like the original Jeff Beck Group, MC5 and Blue Cheer. Drummer Lars Ulrich, bassist Clifford Lee Burton, guitarist/vocalist James Alan Hetfield and lead axeman Kirk Hammett were only interested in playing sizzling specimens of ballsy rock & roll that sated their souls and got their eager audiences off. They may or may not have realized they were breaking ground on a whole new wing in the planet's music building that the public had been yearning to see constructed for years but it didn't matter. They opened the flood gates.

Debut albums can be dicey deals. The most common ailments that adversely affect a band's first venture are lack of confidence, timidity and too much self-consciousness. Metallica suffered from none of those maladies as exemplified by the raw aggressiveness of the opening cut, "Hit the Lights." You can tell they had visions of SRO concert halls in mind by the grandiose beginning they deliver, setting the listener up for a no-frills metal onslaught. Happily, I detect a solid Deep Purple influence lurking in the song's foundation while Hammett shreds like a madman covered with ants. "The Four Horsemen" follows, a riff-driven rocker that's predictable arrangement-wise but intense enthusiasm can't be overvalued when trying to make an impression and they have plenty to spare. The middle section of the tune turns more adventurous as they guide the number through some unexpected feels and tempos. "Motorbreath" is next, presented at a speed-demon pace and accentuated by tight kicks from Ulrich. I must report that Hetfield's vocal is more shouting than singing at this juncture of his career while acknowledging that years down the road his steady improvement in that area would be nothing short of remarkable. Their naïve innocence is on full display during "Jump in the Fire" as they make it obvious that their sole mission is to further their boisterous agenda even if the track's fidelity has to take a back seat to sheer ferocity. Kirk's guitar ride burns hot as a Hades summer. Speaking of fiery, "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth" is Burton's baby from start to end. His lone, loud-as-hell bass guitar intro is intentionally anti-Van Halen in nature but intriguing in the unique stance it takes. The group dives in at the halfway point but it's Clifford who's making the strongest statement, proving his undeniable ability to run with the big boys via this nut-busting instrumental.

"Whiplash" knocks you upside your skull with sharp blasts resounding over Lars' heavy toms, then it evolves into a locomotive-on-high-octane-racing-fuel extravaganza that takes no prisoners. As I implied earlier, in the early 70s I would've eaten this stuff up like bon-bons because the band's overall musicianship and tightness is nothing short of phenomenal. The royal intro they attach to "Phantom Lord" doesn't last long as they soon revert to their bread-and-butter, unrestricted maniacal rock. Again they surprise me by digressing into a semi-prog motif briefly before returning to their blazing sprint. I found myself amused during "No Remorse" by how they consistently stick Kirk's guitar leads way up front in the mix as if to say "we don't care about being slick, Dick, just listen to THIS!" It's another road-grader of a tune with no hint of a let up in their aural assault to be found. "Seek and Destroy" exemplifies everything ruthless about metal music due to its unapologetically pulsating, head-banging mindset. This cut, maybe more than any other on the disc, forces their regal roots to the surface and shows Metallica to be an ensemble steeped in the grand tradition of the rock titans that were roaring like lions when they were still pooping their Pampers. "Metal Militia" is next and there's only so much you can assimilate when they're flying by at the speed of light. I just tried to hang on. The much slower, menacing approach they adopt for the start of "Am I Evil" brings to mind the dark aura that Black Sabbath once exuded. But by now the unrelenting sledgehammer effect becomes headache-inducing inside this graying head of mine although Hammett does a fantastic job of imitating Ritchie Blackmore on this song. They close with "Blitzkrieg" and they go out the way you'd expect, riding atop another growling riff like demonic cowboys and relentlessly chewing up the landscape without mercy.

When Metallica was added to this site I, not being all that familiar with their body of work, had reservations about their qualifications. However, now that I've investigated their debut, I clearly see the progressive spirit they possess because, while they may be many things, they're never boring, unimaginative or cowardly and those are essential ingredients to being labeled as prog-related. I remember the excitement I experienced every time bands like Trapeze dug in their claws and produced gut-grabbing hard rock in the 60s and 70s that acted as a necessary pressure-release valve for my pent-up emotions. Now I'm starting to understand why Metallica's music meant so much to so many, especially during the empty 80s. They met the same primal need that must be met in each generation, else the Earth will explode. 3.4 stars.

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5 stars A Great Start For Metallica. If I had to choose my favourite Metallica album, it would be this one. A lot of fans say that Master Of Puppets or Ride The Lightning is the greatest Metallica album, but for me this is all you need in a Metallica album for reasons coming up. This is one of the gre ... (read more)

Report this review (#2972194) | Posted by JakeTheGuitar2004 | Friday, December 8, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars While I can't be as harsh as many other reviewers, I do think that KILL 'EM ALL is often overrated in Metallica's discography. Maybe it depends on your opinion of this brand of metal. I often find it repetitive and derivative. While I love Metallica, and I recognize the probable historical s ... (read more)

Report this review (#1943057) | Posted by thwok | Wednesday, July 4, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If there ever was a perfect debut, Metallica never listened to it. Nevertheless, when this was released, it was pretty much all that I wanted to listen to for a few months (at least). To me, at the time, Kill 'Em All felt dirty and Metallica seemed to be filled with venomous rage. This made perfe ... (read more)

Report this review (#1736976) | Posted by UncleRust | Friday, June 23, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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 straig ... (read more)

Report this review (#1736756) | Posted by martindavey87 | Friday, June 23, 2017 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is going to be a tough task for me - Metallica have never appealed to me in the least however I'm going to try and be fair. There are many who feel that Metallica are a "prog" metal band and were highly influential to prog metal - for the purposes of a fair review I'm going to keep an ope ... (read more)

Report this review (#1010252) | Posted by sukmytoe | Saturday, August 3, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I'm going to review the album Kill 'Em All by the legendary Thrash Metal band Metallica. This is Metallica's best work IMO. This is where all the energy is! This has a very raw and bad production, but I couldn't care less, considering they couldn't afford for a better production. The album start ... (read more)

Report this review (#780802) | Posted by ThrasherPT | Sunday, July 1, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars And trash metal was born... Metallica began in the beginning of the 80's. They sounded as fast as Motörhead, -which was a major influence for Metallica by showing that fast and loud music was okey-, but had lost it's rock rock and roll influences. Metallica was not such a unique band as some ma ... (read more)

Report this review (#481292) | Posted by the philosopher | Wednesday, July 13, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Many people say that thrash metal was born with this album. Many people claim that this album has an important role for the history of metal music. Many people argue that this album was the first step of a famous legend. All of those things are true but when it comes to review Metallica's debut albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#383248) | Posted by kluseba | Wednesday, January 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Kill 'Em All is the legendary first album by thrash metal giant Metallica. Production of this record is not al that good, but the songwriting makes up for that. This album has a lot of the metallica classics on it, with the whole album only having a few weak moments, for example Jump In The Fi ... (read more)

Report this review (#316462) | Posted by Metalbaswee | Saturday, November 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars For better or for worse, thrash metal started here. Personally, I would say for better, as I've always been a fan of the genre whenever it's been done right. This is actually one of my favorite thrash albums, but saying it's Metallica's best is ridiculous. The lyrics are undeveloped, the percussi ... (read more)

Report this review (#278602) | Posted by CinemaZebra | Monday, April 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Somehow, this album always reminds me about the first albums by THE BEATLES. The naivity and the freshness before the musical devolopments takes them in a different direction, that is. Kill 'Em All is just about breaking the speed limits. The next two albums was about doing intelligent, mature ... (read more)

Report this review (#218309) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, May 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Hey there, Metallifans! Welcome to their debut! Although I think it's one of their better discs, I cannot, in all fairness, give it five stars. I save those ratings for MASTER OF PUPPETS and METALLICA. But let me mention my faves here. First tune, HIT THE LIGHTS, blazes out of the speakers li ... (read more)

Report this review (#208548) | Posted by nahnite | Tuesday, March 24, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is pretty good, but does take a little getting used to. The vocals are a lot different than any other Metallica album, being that there are a lot of high-pitched screams. The solos are amazing, also considering Kirk Hammet only had a couple weeks to practice before recording. Cliff's play ... (read more)

Report this review (#201574) | Posted by estes | Tuesday, February 3, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars In 1983, Metallica was just a modest and unknown band, in love with the aggression of Motorhead and with the speed and complexity of many of the british heavy metal acts, most notably Iron Maiden and Diamond Head. This marriage of styles originated this album, which emerged from an american scen ... (read more)

Report this review (#187523) | Posted by Nhorf | Friday, October 31, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well, first of all I have to clear a point: I'm a big fan of these guys. Metallica has been one of my favorites band ever, they're certainly on my Top Bands Of All-Time, so this might decrease the sense of objectivity I'm supposed to have. In fact, I do see the first 4 studio albums by Metallica ... (read more)

Report this review (#185592) | Posted by Pink_Gilmour | Tuesday, October 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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