Metallica
Kill 'Em All


4.0
excellent

Review

by Caesar Riley USER (25 Reviews)
May 1st, 2011 | 54 replies


Release Date: 1983 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We'll never stop cause we're Metallica!

In the highly popular world of the metal genre today, where we are graced with bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, Metallica seems to be one of the kings at the top. It seems that, in just a couple of years, they went from being a band of 18-year-old first-timers with little or no experience to making an album, to becoming a platinum-selling metal group with an everrising group of fans. But before The Black Album (Metallica) hit stores and completely blew the public away, before Master of Puppets was deemed the greatest thrash metal of all time by some, there was Kill 'Em All, their first experiment back in '83.

Let's get this out of the way first: it's really bloody good. In the early 90's, when thrash metal was just rising, Metallica came in. Comprising of young Kirk Hammet, Cliff Burton, Lars Ulrich, and James Hetfield, the album was recorded in a rush with a budget of less than $2,000, a feat nowadays that seems virtually impossible. But the impact Kill 'Em All is virtually nonidentical. It completely exploded into the underground scene, earning Metallica a reputation that would skyrocket them to making their second albums. And the critics raved for it: it was an influential thrash metal LP that would leave high impressions decades later.

Here's the obvious high spot to Kill 'Em All: for their age, the work put into this album for such a short time is outstanding. Hetfield's voice literally thuds into your skull, with a memorable pitch and voice tweak that could be easily identified by any metalhead. Hammet's melodic, cataclysmic lashing on the electric guitar and Burton's chugging, echoing bass work during the tempos are surprisingly effective. Lars is beyond thrash: Ulrich smashes drums and pounds off in every song in a great amount of spastic energy. But Kill 'em All is indefinitely thrash metal at its peek: take the drum clashing and high vocal capacity in "Hit the Lights", or the crushing riffs and harrowing mini-solos in "No Remorse".

Kill 'Em All is also an album to listen to if you're a Mustaine fan. Given the influencial power of this album: Dave Mustaine's, who later formed Megadeth and left Metallica due to problems with other members, work in the album is strong in the melodies and tempos. The galloping (pun intended) riffs in "The Four Horsemen", the now-famous tempo in "Phantom Lord", or the exploding drums in "Hit the Lights", Mustaine had quite a lot to do with the album: such as writing, guitar work, bass work.

A couple of problems present with the album: the production's rather outdated. There's distortion and muffled audio. Some exceedingly neutral guitar and bass work will pop up here and there, but due to the rushed time date (two weeks) and thin budget ($1,500) this is somewhat understandable. The vocals also tend to come across as outdated compared to James's other work. Some random high pitches and random inflections will come across, as it comes across as somewhat irritating in songs like "Metal Militia" and "Whiplash". I'm far from criticizing the legendary James Hetfield, oh no, but he wasn't as lashing as he was in later albums like Master of Puppets or ...And Justice For All. (Though Motorbreath is top-notch)

As I have mentioned, Kill 'Em All is one of THE thrash albums that made metal history. It brought blazing solos, grinding bass work, and drum shrieks that would help bring Metallica back up. Not only is it one of the most critically acclaimed thrash metals of all time, it's one of the most unique. It touches a various number of subjects: The Four Horsemen's rocketing guitar melody over an invasion of the Four Horsemen of Time, Famine, Pestilence, and Death; Motorbreath's thumping guitar shredding alongside peaceful lyrics about life; Whiplash's haunting drum beat over a crushing guitar sound, ranting about headbanging. And the echoing bass instrumental in the amazing Cliff Burton solo Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth), a good example of why Burton is so influential among bass players.
Kill 'Em All is not perfect. It's far from perfect. It lacks a sense of power and intensity found in later albums. But it is a great album that is sure to please all Metallica fans. The band's first five albums were absolutely amazing, and Kill 'Em All has to be the best attempt out of the five, because it got the riveting band on the road to worldwide popularity. But the ever-consuming question that all individuals ask has finally come: is this 10-track LP worth it? It nowadays, overshadowed by the outstanding success of The Black Album and Master of Puppets, is indefinitely a superior album over the two, because it is so underrated in the music community, but the quality of the content in Kill 'Em All is sublime and beyond comparison to other albums. And that is why Kill 'Em All is so great: is not because it's a really good thrash metal, but because it's Metallica at their peak.

Recommended Tracks

The Four Horsemen - Ah, The Four Horsemen. It took a while for this song to grow on me, because James's
voice becomes distorted and the guitars seemed completely average. But this song has become a staple for me: the cataclysmic solos and invasion-style lyrical content was actually quite superior: and I kept that thought in mind as I saw them perform live. A truly different song.

Phantom Lord - It's almost ironic, in a way. People that I know who hate this album seem to enjoy this song. With an outstanding riff from the Mustaine era, Phantom Lord grinds for a good five minutes keeping an entertaining focus on the lyrics: which, oddly, seem to be about war battles against two heavy metal monsters. Yeah, this song was probably written by a 20-year-old junkie Mustaine for sure. Accepting it as the straight on straight though is easy, it's a sick song.

Am I Evil? (On the Elektra 1988 Reissue) - I'll be honest: It takes a few listens to get into this Diamond Head cover. Metallica fans have completely added it onto their list, and it bumped up another shining point for Diamond Head's career (doubling that once Metallica covered The Prince for Garage, Inc.), but Am I Evil? could be one of the greatest metal songs of all time. With an eerie riff over Hetfield wailing, "AM I EVIL? YES I AM!", with an epic solo that slides onto different notes and chords each time, with a chugging bass line in the back. Yeah, it's a great song. It just took me a while, personally.

---

Also Listen To

Metallica - Creeping Death / Jump In The Fire EP
Metallica - No Life 'Til Leather

Honorable Mention

Jump In The Fire



Recent reviews by this author
Power of Zeus The Gospel According to ZeusFrank Turner England Keep My Bones
King Crimson In the Court of the Crimson KingAsia Omega
Arcade Fire FuneralRadiohead Kid A
user ratings (4430)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Bassist540
April 30th 2011


373 Comments


Cool review. You know my Dragonforce review is top of the notch.

Bassist540
April 30th 2011


373 Comments


I'll pos because I'm in a good mood.

RavenRock
April 30th 2011


688 Comments


Be honest, Bassist.

Be totally and completely honest.

Bassist540
April 30th 2011


373 Comments


Well it was pretty good. You described a lot of the songs really well and there were not many typos. I agree that the sound was fairly lame for this record.

Pretty good read so I'll buy this album tomorrow probably. I have every Metallica CD but this one for some weird reason

RavenRock
April 30th 2011


688 Comments


I've actually gotten into St. Anger recently, and The Black Album currently sits at the bottom of a Pittsburgh dumpster.

But, yeah, Phantom Lord is fucking awesome.

Searchiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing..... SEEK AND DESTROY

Bassist540
April 30th 2011


373 Comments


You don't like the Black album? :0

RavenRock
April 30th 2011


688 Comments


No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

My life will be a fuck of a lot better if I NEVER listen to Enter Sandman and Sad but True again.

And I'm currently digging Hardline's Double Eclipse, dual jamming to Hot Cherie and 31-91.

Bassist540
May 1st 2011


373 Comments


I'm currently listening to Sepultura- Against and I think it's pretty good.

RavenRock
May 1st 2011


688 Comments


YOU'RE HOT.

CHERRIEEEE.

RavenRock
May 1st 2011


688 Comments


Hey sonic.

RavenRock
May 1st 2011


688 Comments


I've kinda gotten into St. Anger.

KINDA. But Kill 'Em All, personally, is their best album behind Ride the Lightning.

R6Rider
May 1st 2011


4679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

follow me now my child, not the meek or the mild, but do just as I say

Digging: Diocletian - Gesundrian

RavenRock
May 1st 2011


688 Comments


Okay, I'm tired of giving St. Anger a chance.

St. Anger sucks a lot of castrated dick. James really needs to be tortured by Jack Bauer for deciding to change his voice, and that drum snare makes me want to shoot myself. Through the eye.

Here's the albums I like, in order.

Kill 'Em All
Ride the Lightning
...And Justice For All (especially the title track)
Master of Puppets
Metallica
Death Magnetic
ReLoad
Load
St. Anger

letsgofishing
May 1st 2011


903 Comments


Dude! yes! an actual review!

1. Get rid of that line "God, I suck at reviewing.", because you definitely don't. One of the biggest rules of reviewing
is that you never put down your own opinion. In fact, do the exact opposite, hold it like it's the opinion of Jesus
Christ himself. Make people think they're crazy for disagreeing with you.

2. Recommended tracks section isn't needed, should be made clear in the review itself. Also put the also listen too
and Honorable mention in the recommended albums space.

3. Review itself is about a paragraph too long. Don't try to fit in every piece of information you have, only what is
strictly relevant. It allows for a much more cohesive and focused review.For this review in particular, I would combine
the last two paragraphs, as the second to last is slightly redundant, and the beginning of it reads like a closer
anyway.


but, hey, you got a POS from me. Great write, especially for what appears to be your first.

RavenRock
May 1st 2011


688 Comments


Thanks fishing. But my Double Eclipse review is an actual review as well. That Number of the Beast rev was for entertainment purposes solely.

rockandmetaljunkie
May 1st 2011


3426 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

In the early 90's, when thrash metal was just rising, Metallica came in

You mean early 80's

Good review btw

RavenRock
May 1st 2011


688 Comments


Huh, I actually didn't expect so many pos's. Or however you say pos with an extra s.

CAN WE SURVIVE THE BLITZKRIEG?

R6Rider
May 1st 2011


4679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just do us a favor and take this out: God, I suck at reviewing.

RavenRock
May 1st 2011


688 Comments


Kay.

iFghtffyrdmns
May 1st 2011


7047 Comments


do us another favor and stick to one review per day, max.

when you post a bunch in a row like this it bumps other people's reviews off the main page and it's unfair to those who want to get their work seen.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy