Review Summary: Master Of Puppets
The critically acclaimed album from the one of the biggest acts: Metallica. This album is full of relentless riffs, solos, dark lyrics and brilliant playing from the whole band. This is Master Of Puppets
The classic album Master Of Puppets has been reviewed and mentioned many times, but seeing as this is my first review I couldn't think of a better album to choose for it.
A time of uncertainty and potential for Metallica, after just receiving critical acclaim for their second album Ride The Lightning and playing to massive audiences, Metallica had alot of eager fans and curious observers to appease with their next album. Master Of Puppets is the last album to feature the bassist Cliff Burton who was tragically killed in a tour bus accident while touring to promote the album. While it is seen that James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich are the main songwriters in Metallica, Cliff Burton gave them the skills to mature from the more simple and upbeat lyrics of Kill 'Em All. His musical influences are obvious for the ear to hear, his H.P Lovecraft inspired "The Thing That Should Not Be" and the classical inspired "Orion".
After a lengthy intro I will now go into the classic songs.
Considered to be one of Metallica's best songs and a staple on live sets, the song starts with a breathtaking intro, an acoustic plays a simple melody which is backed up by another acoustic, then evolves into a wall of acoustic melodies then Lars invades with powerful drums and the acoustic guitars become full on heavy electrics and then fall into the song's main galloping riff backed up by an ever present Cliff on the bass. James's vocals are as powerful as ever and midway through the song Kirk comes into the fray with a relentless solo, then the song finally ends with a powerful outro already leaving the listener out of breath and waiting for the next song. 5/5
Master Of Puppets
Metallica's masterpiece, the title track, the song that is played at almost if not all their performances. Unlike Battery this song has no time to lose and goes straight into it's legendary intro and heavy opener riff, James then comes in with vocals that would be memorised by listeners to the point where the whole chorus would be sung by the crowd live. After the second chorus the whole band stops and goes into a clean, mellow melody accompanied by a harmonized solo which is sadly shunned by Metallica's heavier fans. Then it returns into one of Metal's most famous solos and the verses and chorus, the song ends sinisterly with the band laughing. 5/5
The Thing That Should Not Be
Cliff Burton's H.P Lovecraft inspired song, sadly in some places this is the lowest point of the album for me as the verses can get tedious, however credit must be given to the atmospheric guitar work. The song starts with a dark acoustic and then builds into a slow but heavy riff and then goes quiet again, this formula stays with the whole song with the only change being a superb guitar solo by Kirk. While I do skip this song for the next track I do appreciate the atmospheric writing and vocal work. 3.8/5
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
Inspired by the film "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" This is the album's "Fade To Black" with a ghostly intro and excellent melodic solo by kirk, the song sticks to James's simple but effective melody. The song's bridges to the chorus's are some of the highlights on this album lyrically for me. The whole song is an excellent build up to it's spectacular ending which has the whole band on more than top form, the solos, lyrics, melodies and riffs are Metallica at it's best. 5/5
One of the heaviest and best songs on the album, the World War I influences on this song are obvious, this is one of the biggest thrash songs by Metallica. Lyrically the song is brilliant, James captures the feeling of the pointless deaths of World War one. Straight from the intro the song never lets go with it's fast and thrashy intro, half way through the song Kirk comes in with one of the best solos he has ever written and then the song carries it's rampage on as a band. BACK TO THE FRONT!! 5/5
The albums lowest point for me, the song starts with a mid tempo intro with just guitar and carries on while drums are added in, while it is a good song, it seems like the songs surrounding it are far more superior. The lyrics are Hetfield but the rest of the song is quite tedious, it is almost like "Escape" on Ride The Lightning. Although the ending solo and thrashier riffs do redeem the song at the end, by the time I've skipped to the far better song Orion. 3.5/5
One of the highlights of this album and for me Cliff's last spotlight. Cliff starts the song with his trademark eerie sound on the bass and the song goes into a classic riff backed by Cliff's sound. Then suddenly it stops and Cliff is in the spotlight again with the rest of the band working around him, they then follow his lead and move onto the next riff together. Then it returns back to the first riff with Kirk doing a superb solo, then the song stops and allows Cliff to once again stop into the spotlight with a brilliant bass melody. The rest of the band then acheives an eerie guitar and bass sound, it then builds up with the guitar doing more work and kirk building into an amazing solo, then what is commonly mistaken for a guitar is actually Cliff playing one of the best solos on the album and shredding as if he were on an electric guitar. The song then ends with more brilliant solos and the beginning riff. 5/5
The take no prisoners approach. The best end available for an album like this. Cliff again makes an eerie intro with the bass (which as usual in these intros doesen't sound like one). Then suddenly the rest of the band build up into an incredibly thrashy riff and violent vocals. Then in the middle of the song all it takes is for James to shout "Go!" and Kirk goes into a shredtastic solo, and then returns to the thrash riffs of the song. The album ends on a massive high. 5/5
This album is commonly known as one of the best if not the best heavy metal album of all time and considered almost an experience to listen to. While many will not find this review news hopefully some will and buy this classic album. Thank you for reading.