Metallica
Load


4.5
superb

Review

by markshell USER (2 Reviews)
March 27th, 2007 | 40 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Load is a solid effort in it's own niche, but this great rock album suffers from being labeled wrongly as a Metallica album and not the parallel rock project that it is.

First of all, let's take a look at two of the most hated metallica albums of all time. One of them is Load, the other one is St. Anger. St. Anger is hated because of bad music. Bad production, bad songwriting and bad lyrics. Load is hated because... It's a rock album by a metal band.

What if Slayer released a funk-rock album? It wouldn't matter if it was a Blood Sugar Sex Magik, fans of the band would hate it like there was no tomorrow. In my opinion, that's why Load is hated so much. People were not ready to get passed the fact that their metal gods could play bluesy rock.

Load is by no means a bad album, it’s not metal, but it’s a damn solid effort. Hell, who could imagine those once bearded long-haired beasts from Metallica could deliver something this musically diverse? The effort that was put on making this album is something to be considered, it was not just different from everything they had done before, it was a musical experience to be learned. Country, blues, heavy metal, hard rock, they mixed it all on a cohesive package that it’s so original that it’s hard to understand how these guys could pull this off. One might say they were in just for the money by entering the trend of the alternative rock scene from the mid 90’s. Probably. But it doesn’t matter, because in the end, all that’s left is a masterpiece in it’s on niche. Forget it’s a Metallica album and all the expectations surrounding them back then and you’ll be able to fully enjoy this.

Ok, enough with introductions, let’s go to the highlights of the album:

Ain’t my Bitch starts the album with heavy riffage and the song kicks ass the whole time. James voice is thicker than ever and is very powerful. This songs illustrates what you should expect from the album. Crunchy riffs, deep drums, thick bass and sliding solos. This is actually one of the most frantic songs from the album, so expect a mood change thereafter.

2x4 is my favorite. It kicks off with a bluesy hard rock riff and some nice wah-wah to build the mood for James’ vocals, and they are groovy as hell. It’s important to note how well crafted the singing is on this album. No one would ever think James was a good singer, but his voice is absolutely perfect for this style of music. After verse, chorus and stuff, we get the best guitar solos from the album. By the 2:20 mark we enter the bluesiest jam metallica ever done and at almost four minutes the solo goes wild. Try hating this album after hearing that. I dare you.

Ok, I have so many highlights to this is album that it will seem I’m making a track-by-track review, but I’m not. The House Jack Built builds (no pun intended) an atmosphere that reminds me the 3rd track from Master of Puppets, The Thing That Should Not Be. The two songs don’t sound like each other, but the same feel is there. It’s dark, it’s experimental and makes you feel like you’re surrounded by the music. Creepy. Highlights to this song are the metaphorical lyrics (like most of the album’s) and the solo with talkbox, that sounds like if James guitar is singing.

A lot of people like Until it Sleeps, it’s a well known song because it was released as a single. It switches between clean surf-music guitar filled verses and a heavy chorus. The lyrics are amazing in this one and the atmosphere created is great. Very engaging.

Bleeding Me. This is a must-listen to everyone who enjoy haunting, chilling, epic music. From start to finish, this song will bring shivers to your spine like no other. Featuring the best singing Hetfield ever did, this track can’t be called anything but flawless. It starts very calm with clean chorus-filled guitar and gentle leads, deep drums and oozing bass. James sings with a very soft voice, until a short distorted guitar solo comes and the man sings his soul out along with it. Some falsettos later, the song builds into it’s pounding chorus, followed by a clean slide-guitar solo. Talk about building up atmosphere... After the second chorus the song stops and the heavy riffage begins. It’s a slow, headbanging inducing one act. Then the most intense chorus comes and Kirk’s guitar comes alive. The most beautiful and unforgettable solo from the album, without a doubt. The solo builds into the song’s climax and the clean verses from the start come back to a final round with a nice organ backing up. Yeah, you got it right, I love this song.

After this we get the 3 most underrated songs from the album. Cure, Poor Twisted Me and Wasting my Hate are the most crunchy road songs from the album. You know, those songs you’d love to hear riding a Harley on a deserted road. Poor Twisted me is a moodier track, while Cure and especially Wasting my Hate are balls-out heavy. At least for a rock album.

Mama Said is an acoustic slide-guitar heavy ballad with a lot of cheese like most Country songs are proud to deliver. Talk about open-minded to understand a song like this on an album like this by a band like this.

Thorn Within is a more experimental track while Ronnie is an all-out Western blues-rock track. The lyrics tell a story, very different from everything on the album, but yet it fits with the whole.

Then something like The Outlaw Torn comes in. And you ask yourself what the hell were these guys smoking to make something like this. It’s the most haunting and atmospheric songs on the album. Just like Bleeding Me it will make you shiver, but this time because it’s just creepy. It’s a song with a very slow pace, it’s more like an experience than a song, that has to be listened with attention for all the minor details that makes you claustrofobic. Listening to the violin-like volume swells in the final section are something worth living for, so is the final jam.

Ok, so now I’m going to explain why the 4,5 rating and not a 5 since I already said this album is perfect in it’s on way. Well, the real big problem with this album is because it’s not a Metallica album, but a parallel project using the name Metallica to lure fans to buy it, thinking they were going to hear a Black Album Part II. People should know what they’re buying and the band knew back then that what they were doing was way different from what was expected from them. And they knew people would buy it without knowing what was inside. People would buy anything with Metallica on it.

So, basically, the 0,5 I discarted was from the level of expectations the band created just to win more bucks. The music is awesome, but it’s not what the people who bought expected at all, they were conned. It’s like buying a mango tasting like a banana. When you buy a mango you expect it to be a bad mango or a good mango but not a damn banana! At least it was not as bad as with St. Anger when they made a crappy album that was sales-charted as number one album just like it was number one worse album of the year. At least Load is a good rock album, St. Anger is not good unless you think it’s good when an album sucks.

So stop complaining about Load being a Rock album. Metallica should have warned you, but don’t hate the album because the band cheated on you. There are great songs in here and you should try to listen to them more carefully. You won’t be sorry.


user ratings (3136)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
LifeInABox
March 27th 2007


3708 Comments


you have got to be frigging kidding me

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2007


17920 Comments


haha

Bfhurricane
March 27th 2007


6197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I actually liked the review, good take on your opinion. I completely agree, but I just don't find the album as stunning of a rock performance as you say it is. You will get bored of this album. Good review for a first

oh and btw, I loved the Slayer comparisonThis Message Edited On 03.27.07

WARPATH_88
March 27th 2007


514 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pretty good review man. This album was ok. I like their "newer" stuff, but the old stuff is where its at.

superfascist
March 28th 2007


118 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This isn't really a good review. Before you submit a review, you should read over it to check for faulty grammar, misspellings, and coherency. You make your points, but they would be more effective if they were delivered in a more coherent fashion.

Also, since this is your first review, here's a pointer: don't use the phrase "in my opinion" anywhere in your review. It's incredibly redundant and it weakens whatever it is that follows it. It's pretty much expected that any review you submit to this site is your opinion. There's no need to further clarify this.

Some of your terms were a bit confusing as well. You mention some songs as being "'south' Californian" sounding, but I'm not sure exactly what this means. Maybe it's just a character flaw on my part, but when I think of "Southern California music" I think of bands that have been featured on The OC, like Rooney. (I live in Southern California, by the way)

My advice to you is to continue writing reviews. You're only going to improve, and really, aside from the criticisms I offered in this post, your review was decent. Keep reviewing. You'll get better.

markshell
March 28th 2007


16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hey, man, thanks for the criticism! I explained what I meant by south californian on my review, I said it was the kind of music you'd like to hear when riding on Harley. Don't know if that's better, but anyway... I'll re-check my review to make some adjustments! Thanks for helping me improve!

And I know people won't agree with me saying this isn't a good rock album, and I don't think this album is boring at all. To me ReLoad is boring as hell, not this one. It's a matter of taste... =)

SynGates
March 28th 2007


2467 Comments


I have yet to hear this. Pretty good review for a first, I liked how you used Slayer to compare.

Altmer
March 28th 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I disagree with the rating but you backed up your points.

ZFighter142
March 28th 2007


205 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hey Markshell, Good review i must say . but still Load shouldnt get a 4.5 more like a 3.5

Confessed2005
March 28th 2007


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, I just disagree with the rating.

ZFighter142
March 28th 2007


205 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

same here

Eakflanderyof
March 28th 2007


2143 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Poor album. I've heard way better rock albums.

It's better than Reload, but that's not saying much.This Message Edited On 03.28.07

ZFighter142
March 28th 2007


205 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I heard better too, but i still like Load alot.

chimera908
March 28th 2007


713 Comments


This was a very good review, you backed your points well and the slayer comparison was great. Your right this album was fairly diverse musically but it's execution is horrible. Metallica went from writing great, complex, semi progressive thrash metal to writing straightforward hard rock. What makes matters worse is it's bad hard rock. This isn't Zepellin, Deep Purple or Rush, it's just commercially aimed, poorly done hard rock. If you want well executed musical diversity listen to bands like Opeth, Between the Buried and Me and Mirrorthrone to name a few.

Bfhurricane
March 28th 2007


6197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I got S&M (the album) before this, and with the stellar performance of songs like Until it Sleeps and Hero of the Day it was a little bit of a letdown when I heard the disc recording. Still not bad though

Ire
March 28th 2007


41780 Comments


oh and btw, I loved the Slayer comparison


Me too.

Great review.

freudianslipknot
March 28th 2007


803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I enjoy listening to this now and then. There are some tracks that I think are very cool. Pretty brave first review considering the general opinion of this album - so kudos for that.

markshell
March 28th 2007


16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I just want to point out why I wrote this review. Exactly because no one likes the album. I rated it with an open mind, because I listen to a lot of stuff, especially jazz fusion and progressive metal. I love Opeth, Pain of Salvation and all the great thrash albums Metallica recorded in the past but I still think this is a solid rock album. Was it aimed to win more bucks? Yes.

But if you take the fact that a band like Metallica actually had to sit and learn more about music in general to make something like this is something to be considered in the rating. The effort.

Then the content, it's not as bad as a lot of people claim it to be, it's just not Metallica. It has style, it has good lyrics, it has good riffs, it actually has good singing and good songwriting. Yes, it is straightforward and has no abrupt change in time signature but it doesn't mean it is not complex.

It is a good MODERN rock album, let's put it this way so people won't compare it to Led Zepellin, etc. Let's see what else you had in the 90's in modern rock... Nirvana, Bush, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, etc. Load was a much more complete experience if you ask me. But hey, it's just my opinion.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2007


17920 Comments


Metallica sucks.

Bfhurricane
March 28th 2007


6197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You didn't really need to explain yourself, you didn't really say much else than you said in your first 3 paragraphs.
and chan we know you hate metallica so you can stop commenting on them



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