Metallica
Metallica


5.0
classic

Review

by BigHans USER (108 Reviews)
October 19th, 2011 | 111 replies | 5,445 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I never opened myself this wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Life is ours, we live it our wayyyyyyyyyyy Heyyyyyyyyyy-AH!

28 of 31 thought this review was well written

When I was 11 years old I had absolutely no concept what the term “sell-out” meant any more than I would have been able to engage in a discussion with a C-level business executive on how the ramifications of multi-channel, rules-based marketing can effectively enhance a business’ total operating income through customer relevance and effective targeting. The mind of a child might seem primitive to the intellectually pious yet is probably the purest form of critical thinking possible. Devoid of pretention, over-analysis, jadedness, and carrying the ornate ability to straight up cut through the bullsh/t because they can’t conceptualize the bullsh/t is even there, children often make the best critics. Think of how you listen to albums now and compare it to when you were a child. Chances are you enjoyed the experience a hell of a lot more then because instead of trying to analyze any deep social meaning, whether or not the band’s new direction is in alignment with trends (and of course whether or not they are selling out), and every other tiresome, nauseating thinking point our adult brain juxtaposes after years of trying to be smarter than we really are; you very simply heard what you heard and you liked what you liked. Sometimes the music sucked, sometimes it was ok, and sometimes it could literally change a life. With absolutely zero f*cks given about the concept of selling out, “Metallica” altered my 11 year old existence.

The setup to this scene is stunningly depressing. Aside from the soul-ripping experience of my parents’ divorce and being forced to move to a new town, my music collection at that age was absolutely appalling. Sure I had been reared on 80’s pop radio which remains unequivocally awesome, but my tape collection was littered with Color Me Badd, Vanilla Ice, C & C Music Factory, and New Kids on the mother*cking Block. When I acquired my first CD player (an event as important as a kid getting a touch screen IPod today), the first two discs given to me were Amy Grant’s “Heart in Motion” and Hammer’s “2 Legit 2 Quit.” It was a supremely ironic stage, my music was transcendently upbeat, but my general demeanor due to the fallout of divorce was reprehensibly poisonous. There was no outlet, no channel, and no pathway to unleash this burgeoning rage which inevitably manifested in school. This was the only time in my life where I acted like a punk, raging against authority while jamming “Ice Ice Baby.” A wise sage (still one of my best friends) took notice one day. Leaning on his older brother’s music collection, seriously this dude was the most METAL person I’ve ever met, he handed me a tape. The cassette was overpoweringly black, which a barely visible coiled snake in the lower right hand corner. He gave it to me on a Friday, and said not to say another f*cking word to him until I listened to it. The next time I saw him it was similar to a scene of a disheveled crack addict begging their dealer for more, because that tape held unmitigated, unstoppable power.

I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, routinely forget the most basic, fundamental aspects of my own life, and generally at times walk around a haze, trying to piece together fleeting memories and attach some sort of significance. But I remember every second of that day 20 years ago when I first jammed what would end up being the most important album in my life. “Enter Sandman” gets a lot of sh/t today for having a basic riff, the lyrics where Hetfield adds an unnecessary “AH!” to every sentence finalizing syllable, and suffering from over-saturation, but my initial response the first time I heard it was simply what-the-f/ck-is-this. It was an endorphin high similar to the first time you nail a girl, the brain is exploding with something you can’t identify but would sell your soul to recapture the feeling. From this, the opening riff from “Sad But True” exploded my face, in the best way possible. I remember looking through the album artwork and thinking Kirk Hammett was the lead singer, because his picture actually looked the most evil. I read through the lyrics and thought how pissed my Mom would be if she found this, which only made it better. “Holier Than Thou” was the first thrash song I ever heard, and I dubbed “The Unforgiven” as the greatest song ever, at least until I got to “Nothing Else Matters” and changed my mind back to “Sandman” once I immediately replayed the album after it ended. I had no idea Hetfield was quoting Carl Sagan on “Through the Never,” all I knew is it was arguably the most badass thing I’d ever heard, a sentiment echoed by the still powerful “Wherever I May Roam,” and the criminally underrated “Of Wolf and Man,” which had a riff that would have caused me to jizz my pants if I had been able to yet. It was raining hard that day, and I remember gazing outside at a wilting garden during the seminal bass intro to “My Friend of Misery,” still one of my favorite songs to accompany a downpour. All told I listened to the album 10 times over the weekend; the brain yet to be dulled by astonishing levels of booze and years of hazy experiences was sharp enough to have the entire thing memorized by Monday morning.

The rest is history. “Metallica” was the gateway drug to a lifelong obsession with hard and heavy music. It was the catalyst to an absolute devouring of all things hard rock, and I honestly would consider my life much less living without all of the experiences I’ve had due to this obsession. This album is criticized for the very reason it sucked me in; it was absolutely a sellout designed to glean new fans, and that is exactly what it did with me. I didn’t know at the time that every one of their previous albums was far superior, but I can’t say I would have appreciated them quite as much if I had heard them first. “Metallica’s” accessibility was the epitome of temptation, a sultry stripper waving you over to embrace the simpler, more carnal things in life. At a time when MTV and radio still ruled, the album was a watershed event. It was enormous, and it’s almost impossible to describe how transcendent it was unless you were actually there. Looking back on it today, I notice the drumming is average at best, the riff work pales in comparison to their first four albums, the lyrics are at times laughable, and the Bob Rock influence ended up destroying the band, but I just don’t care. “Metallica” is still held aloft for me at times through the sheer power of nostalgia, but objectively speaking it is still the greatest radio-orientated metal album ever made. My 11 year old self could not have known it was actually the first step in their downfall. To me, it was the first step in what turned out to be one of the most important pieces of the rest of my life. My grades and attitude improved exponentially, and it is entirely safe to say that my life was actually improved by metal. It probably wouldn’t have happened without this album. M/.



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user ratings (4949)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
BigHans
October 19th 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

COOL

STORY

BRO

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2011



30882 Comments


Holy fuck, C & C Music Factory

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Their last great record

I had this on physical copy as a teenager, but my parents broke it, because i was spending my allowance on records rather than food.

lol

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

BigHans
October 19th 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Been meaning to do this for awhile. This should explain my unhealthy obsession with Metallica.

Ovrot
October 19th 2011



10468 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Unforgivien has a bitching solo

Digging: Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene

bloc
October 19th 2011



34679 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sad But True is my favourite Metallica song

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Inveigh
October 19th 2011



24800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sweet review dude

my experience with this album was vaguely similar, though it happened in like 1997-98 instead

MO
October 19th 2011



18260 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

awesome review

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

Inveigh
October 19th 2011



24800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol the summary is so perfect

if you never yelled that part with your friends in middle/high school then you'll never get it

BassDemon333
October 19th 2011



3351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review is so good. Album is too.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
October 19th 2011



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fantastic review, best I've read in ages. This is pretty much how I feel about the album too, though I doubt I ever liked it as much as you, and I already had some good music before I got into it.

BigHans
October 19th 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks fellas. Its an intensely personal album for me which is weird cause I never really tried to connect with the lyrics, at least most of the album anyway.

Its just that this opened everythign up for me. I fucking breathed metal/hard rock after this.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2011



5921 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I fucking breathed metal/hard rock after this






this

BigHans
October 19th 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It wasnt even a year after hearing this I had memorized their whole discog up to that point, and I also had an awesome Eddie (Iron Maiden) poster in my room. m/

alachlahol
October 19th 2011



7471 Comments


so was this a review of the album or a reflection on how you got into metal cause i would bet on the LATTER

Sad But True (taken from the title of track #2)

BigHans
October 19th 2011



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

you may be right, oh snarky one.

YOu may be right, I may be crazy
But it just may be a lunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn-atic you're looking for - Billy Joel

alachlahol
October 19th 2011



7471 Comments


when it comes to nostalgia and all those memories of when you ate chef boyardee or first heard michael jackson... Nothing Else Matters

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2011



16263 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hard jams inc. - the black album

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

cinaedus
October 19th 2011



26298 Comments


lololololololooolololoolllolollollol

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

alachlahol
October 19th 2011



7471 Comments


it must have been The Struggle Within that caused metallica to come up with this album. on one hand they could have stuck to their roots and continued to forge a metal crusade that would carry thrash into the 90s and beyond. on the other hand, they could go more mainstream, throwing in elements that would help them to achieve superstar status amongst rock legends like kenny g and michael bolton



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