Review Summary: Stripped down to the basics, they’re no heroes here.
In a garage, somewhere in America…
Kirk: “Hey James this riff cool or what?”
James: “Yeah man, whatever, just play…”
We all know that garage days for Metallica have been over a long time ago. But this is how this album feels like. You all know the rock basics I trust: Bass, drums, guitars, verse- chorus-solo, ballad, and these kinds of stuff. Well, they are all stuffed in Re-Load, plus some Metallica aura from the past. Hard rock, southern rock, country, 70’s rock, boogie rock, you name it, it’s all in.
Re-Load absolutely grooves. Don’t expect a revolution, but Metallica can only mean one thing: quality music. “Fuel”, the opener, is one head banging song of a gun. Enter grim riff, stop and go chorus, I can’t understand why any metalhead wouldn’t bite on this. Live, as you might know, Fuel is nothing less than another Metallica classic. James sounds a bit more pissed in this one, in a not venomous pre- Puppets way, though.
Give it a rest, reloading critics! This album is the real thing, long before psychologists, Napster and the 21st C hit Metallica. The band is maturing, what’s wrong with that? All the best, the songs sound natural, they click. You know this happens, when the band is sincere with themselves. Every note reminds me of something that the band played in the past, hardrocker-ed, of course. I can’t remember the last time that a –tallica record oozed fun and not something… biased or pretentious. “Unforgiven II” is up there with the first one, maybe fresher and more relaxed. “The Memory remains” is a weird ballad, folks, and you can blame Marianne Faithfull for that. Her voice makes me feel uneasy, like something that is not quite fitting in the picture, but squeezes its way in there for weird’s sake…
James: “Hey guys, I feel emo should we go all cowboy now?”
Others: “Shut up Jason.
James, hit the ballads.”
…and then there is “Where the wild things are”. At first, I hated the song. To be precise I thought that it dragged aimlessly, like a fart in the wind. The second time I heard it, it was better. By the tenth time, it became one of the most special tallica songs and -mind my sensitivity- one of the scariest. Can’t imagine this song played live. I really don’t go crazy about “Low man’s lyric”. Its’ melody is just not appealing to me, maybe some years later. It’s not bad at all though, a good ballad.
The best song of this album must be “Prince charming”. It is the epitome of Metallica’s new sound. I think that they were searching for a specific formula in Load-Reload, which is perfected in this song. And has a mature –Kill em All- aura surrounding it. Speedy hard rock, wah wah style! Kirk absolutely rips in this one, Lars is like just himself and James sounds convincing. His lyrics in this one about lowlifes –oh boy- are good. Not exactly poetry, but when he sings “Hey ma, hey ma, look it's me”, it really hits hard. Jason is decent, like a good bass player should be: Always there, but hardly drawing any attention.
ReLoad is not metal, for those who don’t know still in 2013. It is better than Load, more sincere than Death magnetic and is an entertaining/interesting record. The boys relaxed here, only to get more confused in the next one. Oh, well…
After recording epic “Fixxxer”…
Lars: “Call it a wrap, boys?”
James: “Yeah, whatever. Stop soloing next time Kirk, you knucklehead.”