The band that put the Metal in Heavy Metal returns with one of their heaviest albums yet. It is a return to the early days of Metallica, resembling their first album, Kill ‘Em All. Unlike their albums of the past decade, there isn’t a single mellow song on this new release. It is simple flat out full throttle metal guitar with the hardest drumming Lars Ulrich has turned out in years. This album is all about, hard and fast, straight down-to-business heavy metal.
A great addition to the album is the bonus DVD with over an hour of video footage of the band and their recording sessions. Every band should do this, then again not every band is as much fun to watch as Metallica. This album is one of the must-haves of this summer of rock.
The Early Early Early Days
In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Metallica lead singer James Hetfield recounted some of his early days as a hard rock fan, “Probably the most memorable was the California World Music Festival. It was one of those two-day things. The first night was Ted Nugent and Van Halen—no, Aerosmith. I must have been fifteen or sixteen. I remember following around my buddy, who was selling drugs. He tore up a part of his ticket—it had a kind of rainbow edge—and he cut it into bits and sold it as acid. I was like, “What are you doing, man?” He used the money to buy beer.”
Under The Influence
In the same interview, Hetfield cited one of his early influences, “I was a huge Aerosmith fan. I could not believe I was seeing them so close. I worked my way up there as far as I could. There was something magical about seeing them as actual live people, not just pictures on an album. The real coolness of Joe Perry, especially. It’s impossible for him to be uncool. And I remember I was blown away by the fact that Steven was calling the crowd “*******”. I was like, “Whoa—are you supposed to do that?”.
Monsters Of Rock
The Jagermeister days. James Hetfield admits that the days during the Monsters of Rock tour were a big fog. Complete with a Jagermeister shellacking. He says it was okay to feel drunk and messed-up back in those days, but ultimately it just wasn’t a great thing. Too many negative ramifications. There were a lot of dads and moms and husbands and boyfriends looking for him when the band came back to those towns. Not good.
Set your CD burners on stun. Metallica rocked the music world when they sued Napster, the company that provided the free-swapping file-sharing app that altered the course of music history. Fans were outraged and felt Metallica was bullying the free system. But, ultimately the industry sided with the band; after all it was the band that was being hurt by their enthused fans. In time it would have been the parasite that bled the tuneful turnip dry.
Master Of Puppets
Oddly enough however, many fans were quick to site that Metallica gained their foothold on heavy metal when the band provided a few tape-trading friends with a demo tape called, “No Life ‘Til Leather.” The seven-song album was dubbed and redubbed and dubbed some more until the tape had hop scotched across the globe from California to Germany. Within a few short months the band had risen from obscurity with a legion of worldwide fans, all due to the free trade of their music.
Ride The Lightning
Here’s a fan listing of Metallica‘s albums in the must-have order:
1. And Justice For All
2. Master of Puppets
3. Ride the Lightning
4. Metallica (The Black Album)
6. Kill ‘Em All
Over time, no doubt their latest outing, St. Anger, will join these favorites.
For a recent Ramones
tribute album, Metallica has joined the ranks of U2, Tom Waits, Garbage, Eddie Vedder, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billy Corgan, Offspring, Static-X, Rancid, Motorhead, Green Day, and Marilyn Manson. The whole project was helmed by shock-rocker, Rob Zombie. According to Zombie in an interview with Rolling Stone, “The whole thing started with Johnny Ramone. He really wanted people to do the tracks in their own way, not like they’re trying to imitate the Ramones. Everyone who ever heard the Ramones started a band, and this record demonstrates that.”
Hetfield concludes, “We’re looking forward to spreading this new lust for life we have. There’s a new strength in Metallica that’s never been there before. There are still fearful parts, too. But I’m pretty well set up. And I’m really proud of the new music. I think we did something where the pedal does not let up.”
About the author: If you would like to read other articles by Chad Koch and articles like this one, visit the American Pop Culture Encyclopedia.