The year is 1997, and there's this new band (I was told) called Metallica that's being played on the radio and MTV all the time. My brother bought me a copy of their ReLoad album for my birthday and I gave it its first spin. I'm greeted by Fuel
. Some very fast paced drumming, a chorus that'll get you pumped up and catchy guitar riffs. There's even an awesome 20 second solo near the end. My redneck neighbor plays it all the time when he goes out for a drive and all for good reason. What more could he ask for?
is a pure arena rocker. Starting off with a simple drum and bass beat before a catchy, riff comes in and drives the song. The singer (I didn't quite catch his name) has this awesome growling voice which he uses perfectly on the two singles currently overplayed on MTV; The Memory Remains
and The Unforgiven II
. The former is quite an average track. The lyrics and vocals are rather repetitive though he ends of a high with some creepy line right at the end. The latter is the highlight of the album being the most unique song and having a mysterious feel. His vocals here are perfect, he alternates between singing in the verses and growling in the chorus. The guitarist mostly finger picks in the verses and plays this very memorable riff in the chorus. There is also an excellent solo starting at 3:49 which lasts for around 25 seconds which shows considerable technical proficiency.
The middle of the album is quite average at best. It took me several listens to distinguish between Slither
, Carpe Diem Baby
and Bad Seed
; the guitarist mainly being the culprit here as he seemed to recycle his riffs a lot. There are also some god awful vocal performances in particular Fixxer
and Where The Wild Things Are
. I don't quite know what the singer was trying to do on the latter, he tried this rather eerie voice which had an opposite effect and ended up being audio torture. The end section is also quite poor with Prince Charming
and Low Man's Lyric
being the saving grace; the latter being the albums power ballad with some decent singing.
Quite enjoyed this album, definitely gonna do more research into these guys soon.
- First four songs are excellent
- Solid vocals for most songs
- Guitars suit the music and add a lot of melody
- Some great solos
- Consistent bass and drumming
- 3/4 of the middle and end section are filler tracks.
- Horrendous vocals on Fixxer and Where The Wild Things Are
- Riffs get recycled quite a bit
The Unforgiven II
Overall rating: *** out of *****
Note - I tried a different and "experimental" approach for this review, writing it a perspective of a generic mainstream rock fan who's probably heard Metallica for the first time. Comments and criticism most welcome.