Review Summary: This is one of the most overrated albums of all time! But it's still pretty damn good. Master of puppets, indeed.
Here's one for all you metalheads out there! I for one find Metallica about hit or miss throughout their career. For every In Justice for All there's a Kill Em All and for every Ride the Lightning there's a Load (not to mention St. Anger and it's GODAWFUL drum sounds. Where the drums recorded on a tin can?) They have about as many good albums as they do bad ones but Master of Puppets sits around the middle. How it is revered as a classic album I'll never know, it's only like the fourth best Metallica album! But if you can put that presumption aside, it's actually pretty good, you might find. It is here where Metallica really started to find their footing as a band. Where Kill Em All was a band that didn't know how to do anything, Ride the Lighting was a band that used their inexperience to their advantage, and Master of Puppets has a band that is finally starting to figure out what they're doing.
This is clearly shown with the first track Battery. I loved this song on Rock Band and I love it here too, it's just a great opening track and the acoustic intro contrasts with the shredding later on, perfectly. My problem comes in with the title track called Master of Puppets. It's too long; like way too long. And that's a common theme with the album, the songs are all wearing out their Welcome (Home Sanitarium...sorry). It's not that the songs are bad they just last way longer than they should, and get too repetitive. I think if you cut out all the repetition then you'd have an album damn worthy of being labeled as a classic, but there's too much fat on this album. Maybe the same is true for And Justice for All but at least that one has 9 songs to spread the length over instead of just 8.
Plus a couple of the songs are too fillery for my tastes. While the first half of the album is pretty good, it falters in the second half with duds like Leper Messiah and Damage Inc. Filler songs like this makes a long album feel even longer. And why isn't Orion the finally? It has all the making of an epic, instrumental closer but for some reason Damage Inc. is tacked onto the end instead. It's the little things like this which keep Master of Puppets from truly being the classic that everyone seems to think it is. If you cut out some repetitiveness and rearranged the songs to make it flow better, it'd be an easy 5, but as it sits here and now, it's a pretty middle of the road album.