Review Summary: One of the greatest thrash metal albums in history, this album is a masterpiece. It's got nearly flawless guitar, good bass the list goes on. This is a necessity for an fan of thrash metal27 of 31 thought this review was well writtenINTRODUCTION
Hello there. Before I get started with my review I believe I should give you all an idea of what doing with it so you don’t get confused. The concept I’m using for this review is sort of a pick you pleasure type deal. In the time I’ve spent here in Sputnik I’ve been responsible for the birth of a few different types of reviews. Rhyming reviews, trial reviews etc. Some people have loved them, some have hated them. The fact is that here in the land of Sputnik different people like different kinds of reviews. So, what I’m going to do for you is let you have your choice of what kind of review you’d like to read. I’m going to review the album several times using different formats and concepts. Scroll through the review and find one that you think you might like. All of the reviews will be separated by bolded letters in cap locks. Any other bolded words you see are not the start of new reviews. Only if they are bolded and in all caps. For example the thing at the top that says introduction. That’s the type of lettering that let’s you know when one review starts and the one above it ends. Under each review title I’ll have a brief explanation as I’m going to be trying some new things and explanations may be necessary. The explanations will also help you decide whether or not it’s the review you want to read. I’d also just like to state that I know this album has more than its fair chare of reviews, but it’s my fiftieth and I wanted to review an album that was really life changing to me. Anywho, enjoy.
Explanation: No explanation necessary, just a standard overall. This review won’t be overly entertaining. Just a thorough look at the album. If that sounds like something you might like, read it.
Master Of Puppets is undeniably one of the greatest thrash albums of all time.. It’s a fiesta of frequent fretting. A dynamic display of distortion. A sensation of stupendous solos. A cunning collaboration of chords. A searing selection of scales. A rigorous representation of riffs. A behemoth of bouncing bass. A precise parade of percussion. A vicious variety of vocals. More plainly put this album is Metallica in their best form. What makes this album so great? Well before I get into any specifics let me use a few little fun facts as evidence. It has had so much impact on it’s genre that a ‘remastered’ version of the album was put out by Kerrang and it has also been covered by Dream Theater. It’s featured as number 167 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. The album has also sold over six million copies in the US alone. Even taking into consideration that RS magazine doesn’t know shi
t about metal the evidence is convincing that this album is a classic. I will tell you more about this album’s greatness, but first let’s take a look about how Metallica came to be.
Metallica was formed in Downey, California in 1981 by Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield. Both men had put ads out in a publication called “The Recycler”. The first time the band played together there were only three members: James, Lars and Lloyd Grant. A few days later Ron McGovney joined and the band was temporarily complete. They name “Metallica” was actually though of by Ron Quintana. He was trying to think of a name for a new magazine he was making to promote metal bands. After thinking of naming it “Metallica”, Lars suggested that he name it “Metal Mania”. He then used Metallica as a name for the band he had started with Hetfield. Unfortunately at this time the band was having a difficult time holding down a lead guitarist. The band was finally starting to progress and had even recorded their first track Hit The Lights
, but not having a permanent lead guitarist was holding then back. They put out an advertisement in a local newspaper, it was answered by Dave Mustaine. They were instantly impressed with Mustaine. In fact they asked him to join the band just based on his warm up. From here the band began to progress. McGovney would end up leaving the band after having conflicts with Dave Mustaine, however. He replaced by Cliff Burton shortly after. After continuing to build a following in California the guys traveled to Rochester, New York in 1983. The band played a few shows there before signing with Megaforce Records. Now there was only one problem lingering in their way, Dave Mustaine’s disruptive behavior. Dave had serious problems with alcohol and drug abuse and his aggressiveness was becoming too much for the band to handle. The kicked Mustaine out and drafted Kirk Hammet from Exodus. Kirk had been mentored by Joe Satriani, so he brought a unique style to the band. Metallica was now complete, although they would make some line up changes in the future due to the untimely death of Cliff Burton.
Now that you know a little more about the band let’s get more into the album. It’s been said by front man that the albums main theme is manipulation. Well, his exact words were actually “It deals pretty much with drugs. Instead of you controlling what you’re taking and doing, it’s the drugs controlling you”. You see, Mr. Mustaine wasn’t the only band member with drug problems. The whole band used drugs, Mustaine was just the worst offender, thus his ejection from the band. Anywho, it’s not at all difficult to see that this album is about drugs. It’s evident in almost every track actually. A prime example of this would definitely be the album’s S/T Master Of Puppets
. The songs lyrical message is
about drugs, although some have claimed it has political meaning based on the title. This is wrong, however. When listening to the song it’s clearly evident it has to do with drugs. In fact while we’re on the topic of this song I’d like to single out one line in particular. Chop your breakfast on a mirror
. I’ve heard a lot of people give this line grief before, as it seemingly doesn’t make sense. So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you all it’s a cocaine reference. Cocaine is usually chopped and inhaled on a mirror, or any piece of glass. As for it being ‘breakfast’ it’s also known that when people use cocaine it usually causes a loss of appetite. So, the line meant that the drug was basically a substitute for a meal.
While this albums main theme is drugs it does have sort of a sub-theme. War. A nice example of this would have to be Disposable Heroes
. This song takes the stand point of a soldier at war, except for the chorus. The chorus put the listener in the shoes of a general commanding that the soldiers return to the frontlines. The song expresses that the soldiers are puppets and the generals are the master (hence the album title). The track also takes a stab at the government. This can be seen in the line “Twenty one, only son, but he’s served his well”. It implies that the government doesn’t care about the lives of the young men, as long as they win the war. Although, this songs title was inspired by James witnessing his heroes being thrown in and out of the mainstream, or ‘disposed’ of as if once some new came along they meant nothing. Obviously Hetfield ended up taking the song in a different direction.
Lastly, there is one track that doesn’t really have to do with either. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
let’s see the world through the eyes of a man trapped in insanity, or imprisoned in an asylum. Throughout the prisoner speaks of how he deeply wants to be free and to be left alone. This song sort of stands out in the album due to this lyrical message. Although, it’s not difficult to fathom that the man is in the asylum due to drug abuse, or being traumatized by war. This theory could tie it in with the albums theme, but it’s unsure whether or not it’s true. Overall this album doesn’t have the most original lyrical messages, but the majority of the lyrics are well written and although they aren’t original the passion behind a lot of them cancels it out.
Now let’s get to this album’s prime directive, the instrumentals. People often say that when listening to music instrumentals aren’t everything, which is true, but when listening to metal they’re always the main focus. Regardless of a (metal) band’s lyrics if the instrumentals are good they’ll do fine (Example? Dragonforce). When listening to this album you have absolutely nothing to worry about in the instrumentation department. It’s nearly flawless from beginning to end. Let’s start with the rhythm guitar. It was stupendous to say the least. It’s difficult to plunder how Hetfield managed to put some of these songs together. A lot of the best rhythm guitar I find comes from tracks Disposable Heroes
. Both tracks rhythm guitar work is extremely fast, but precise as well. I used to find the slight use overuse of power chords annoying, but t doesn’t really bother me anymore. One thing I really noticed about the guitar work was the strumming patterns. They especially stood out in DH. At one point it’s just open notes being tremolo picked, but it’s just so fast and articulate that it seems like something miraculous. Some of it was also more concentrated on being well written than just fast and distorted, like in Sanitarium
. That track is one of the more well written of the album and has a splendid verse riff. It’s beautiful, yet sad and really suites the songs cold atmosphere. My only real complaint for the rhythm guitar work was that it was a tad repetitive at times. That combined with the fact that many of the riffs are played in the same octave made some things seems same-y if you didn’t listen closely. The lead guitar, like the rhythm was marvelous. Some of Hammet’s best solos definitely come from this album. The majority of them were immensely fast paced. Kirk showed a wide knowledge of his scales expertly combining them to make these solos. I also enjoyed his use of the wah pedal for some of them. Some say he overuses that effect, but personally I can’t get enough of it. There were also a couple nice melodic solos during sanitarium. They demonstrated that Kirk could do more then just ‘wank’ the crap out of scales (though I don’t have a problem with that either). Overall this album has some of the best guitar work I’ve ever heard.
To be quite honest I do find this album’s bass to be slightly
overrated. People often make it out to be the best ever and it’s not. It is great though. For the most part it isn’t to complex in terms of the riffs, but some of the strumming patterns are difficult. Some of the most difficult come from Battery, but strumming patterns aside the bass work is a tad simple. This is virtually unnoticeable, though. The slight simplicity is masqueraded by the basses tremendously fast pace. Many a times I’ve tried to play a long with this album on bass, all of which I’ve failed. So, while the bass wasn’t too complex that’s understandable as it’s not an easy thing to do to make complex and elaborate riffs that go with such raw fast music. No to say this album didn’t have it’s wonderful bass moments scattered about. Orion
is a real stand out track in terms of bass. About half way through the song everything quiets down you can hear a great little bass riff. As far s the bass’s audibility goes I as pleased. You could hear it fairly easily throughout, but it wasn’t so loud that it distracted you from the guitar work. Another thing I enjoyed was Cliff’s playing style. He uses his fingers and while there’s nothing wrong with using a pick I just tend to prefer the more natural finger picked sound. In conclusion, the bass work is terrific, but quite as masterful as it’s made out to be.
As I previously mentioned lyrics aren’t overly important when it comes to metal, but the vocals definitely are. Nowa days James vocals aren’t so hot, but in this album they’re more than adequate. His voice is enormously passionate throughout the entire album, which is to be expected with the albums delicate subject matter. As for his actual voice, I liked it. He was in key for the most part and it has that classic Hetfield growl. Unfortunately Hetfield’s voice had a bit of a breakdown around 1990 and he’s now lost his signature growl. Regardless of that, that unmistakable angst is present in this album and really tops it off. James may not be the greatest vocalist of all time, but I couldn’t picture Metallica with anyone else.
This albums only really noticeable flaw was the production. At this point in Metallica’s career they were accomplished, but not exactly rich yet. They were still riding in an old beat down bus, sleeping in cheap motels (or on the bus) and eating crappy fast food. Based on that it’s not hard to guess they didn’t have too much money to produce this. You could tell in tracks like Leper Messiah
. Regardless of the slight lack in quality of the music’s sound you could tell because at the beginning you can hear Lars counting the band in. If they would have had more money they probably would have edited that out. You can also hear the lack of production in the instrumentals and vocals themselves. Although, the production wasn’t that
bad especially for the time period it was an obvious flaw. I myself rather enjoyed that aspect of this album, however. Production usually isn’t a big deal for me and this album’s underproduction actually gives it more of a rough, choppy feel, which suites this album’s atmosphere.
Pros: Fantastic instrumentals
Good production for time period
Boat loads of influence on its genre
Cons: Repetitive at times
Production could be better
Overall Rating: 5/5
So, let’s have a brief recap. Instrumentals were awesome. Vocals technically weren’t that great, but suited the album’s rough style perfectly. Bass work wasn’t as godly as made it’s made out to be, but still pretty awesome. The drums, which I didn’t really mention much I guess, were about average. This however is not a big deal as drums don’t contribute much to the album anyway. The lyrical messages, while not overly original were alright and the lyrics themselves were splendid. On top of all that it’s had mounds and mounds of impact and influence on the genre of thrash metal. There’s really no reason not to look into this, unless of course you’re just not fond of this particular style of music.
TRACK BY TRACK
Explanation: I’m taking a different approach to this. There will be no introduction, or conclusion, or anything like that. I’m just going to THOROUGHLY walk you through each track. This review is more for people who haven’t heard the album. So, if there’s one particular song you’re wondering about, scroll through, find the, and learn about it. If you’re wondering about all the songs then by all means read the whole thing, but it won’t be an entertaining read.
Battery (5/5)- It was recently pointed out to me by a sputnik user that this tracks intro has a hint of Spanish flamboyance. At first I didn’t hear it, but I do now. It’s just a small hint mind you. This is actually one of my favourite parts of the album. The acoustic synthesizers make it sound so powerful and eerie. It’s a great little intro and really sets the tone well for the rest of the album. That’s played a few times before the same thing is played, but with distortion. This helps to build the song up to the mass of fast fretting distortion that it would shortly become. After the acoustic intro is played a few times distorted you’ll hear a few power chords and then we get into the verse. The verse is a series of tremolo picked open notes separated by a couple power chords. It’s truly remarkable how powerful that riff is. I think it’s great that used such a dominant track to start the album off. It gives listener a good impression of what the album is all about right off the bat. After a few moments the verse riff is interconnected with James’s vocals. I actually really enjoyed his vocals in this song. I believe the key was that all of the notes he sang were short staccato notes. I find that a lot of Hetfield’s vocal problems come when holds his notes too long. It’s then that his voice wanders off into different (or incorrect) octaves. It was shortly after the verse that I noticed this songs rather unique song structure. You see, after the verse I was expecting a chorus, but there wasn’t one. After the first verse there’s a brief little solo. It’s nothing overly brilliant, but it’s still a nice touch. It’s just a quick couple of shredding scales, then we get into another verse. Nothing to say about that really, it was just the same as the first verse. After that there’s a brief sort of interlude. There’s a few power chords casually strummed before a clever little riff is thrown overtop of it. This goes on for twenty or thirty seconds then we get into the solo and what a solo it was. It wasn’t really one of my favourites from the album, but it was glorious none the less. It actually could’ve been a bit longer, considering it was kind of varied. It had a healthy combination of wah, bends and shredding, so it didn’t get too repetitive. I dislike when solos are really long, but have little selection. It’s just sort of tedious. Preceding the solo is another verse. It’s the same as the first two, no further explanation needed. The song ends with a nice little arrangement of power chords and the band repeating “Battery!”. After the last time “Battery!” is sung there are a couple chords and the song ends abruptly. Aside from this song’s intro it’s five minutes (and some) of non stop distorted own age. It’s probably my favourite track from the album.
Master Of Puppets (5/5)- One of the most popular tracks from the album Master of Puppets, much like battery is just a powerhouse. It’s starts things off with a few distorted chords and then gets into a purely awesome scaling intro riff. It’s not a brilliant riff, but the maniacally fast pace it’s played at makes it seem like it. After that’s done a few times a nice little spider riff starts. It, like pretty much the rest of the song is played at an uber fast pace. Just a random tidbit of information, this riff is really good to play if you’re warming up. It gets your fingers nice and loose. After that there’s a few notes plucked using pinch harmonics and we get into the verse. Similar to Battery the verse is some open notes plucked and then some power chords. Although, it does differ from Battery’s verse because closer to the end the verse riff modifies into a different version of itself. James’s vocals during the verse are good. Not exactly short staccato notes, like Battery, but still short enough that his voice doesn’t wander out of key. There’s also a little post-verse, pre-chorus thing in here. I’m not exactly sure what to label it as, but I enjoyed it none the less. It slowed the pace slightly and gave the song a slightly more rhythmic feel. James held his notes a little longer at this point, but still managed to put out before his voice went out of tune with the instruments. The chorus gets the pace moving a long a little faster again. The guitar work in it is nothing overly special, though. Just a nice little arrangement of power chords. James holds his notes a little too long in the chorus, so his voice starts to falter, but it’s barely noticeable. After the chorus is played that spider riff comes in again and then there’s another verse, thing in between verse and chorus, and chorus. Nothing to say about them really, they were exactly the same as the first. This time after the chorus everything suddenly slows down as you hear the words “master, master” echo in the background. Then out of nowhere you’re hit with a nice clean toned riff. This was unexpected, but the change of pace at the end of the chorus was well thought out so the riff did fit in nicely. This melodic, depressing riff plays through twice before we get into my favourite part of the song. An astronomically well written dueling, melodic high pitched riff. Yeah, that about describes it. In the middle of this interlude there’s an excellent solo as well. It’s not your typical Metallica solo, however. It’s kind of short and harmonious. Being well written and having a fair share of emotional bends this solo tops off the interlude nicely. After the solo that dueling harmonious riff I mentioned runs through twice more and then it goes back to that clean toned riff. Only, it’s not clean toned this time, it’s distorted. After it plays two times you’re slapped with a culmination of palm muted open notes. I’m not sure what to cal the part after the open notes. It’s different than any other part of the song before it. That’s something I like about this album, the songwriting is more than just you basic intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, verse, chorus outline. Anyways, whatever this little piece was I liked it. Although, it wasn’t too spectacular. Just some power chords with some powerful vocals and back up vocals. Now, we get into the solo. It’s nothing like the first one. Not melodic at all. Just straight up super fast scaling. The review was sort of divided into sections and there were interesting FX used, so it didn’t get boring at all. Aside from that it wasn’t too lengthy, which was good as it wasn’t the most varied solo. After the solo there’s a short little riff. I’m not going to bother describing it as it’s not really key. After than riff we get back into a verse and the song goes on from there like it did earlier in the song. After the last chorus finished you hear some maniacal laughter with some odd guitar FX beneath and the song ends. This song has basically the same overall feel as Battery accept a little softer at parts. My only complaint is it dragged a bit towards the end.
The Thing That Should Not Be (4/5)- This is one of the albums lighter tracks. It’s still heavy, but not quite as commanding as the other tracks. It starts of with a clean toned intro, kind of similar to Battery, but not near as eerie. Again, similar to Battery the light riff is then played exactly the same, but with distortion. It plays for a little while, changes slightly, then after that the verse starts. It’s a fairly slow paced verse. While James is singing the guitar is clean toned, then after he finishes it goes distorted. That happens a few times before the verse changes slightly and becomes heavier. I enjoyed James’s vocals. They were a little less raspy than in most tracks. I do actually prefer it when they’re raspy, but they were still great. They were up to par with his usual angst at times, but during the clean toned parts they were pretty clean. After the verse the intro plays again. All distorted this time, however, no clean tone. Then the verse starts up again. It’s the same as the first, no further explanation necessary. After the verse we’re hit with the solo. It’s on of my favourites from the album. There’s a lot of wah used and there’s this one short little part that sort of sounds Egyptian. It wasn’t the fastest solo in the album, but it wasn’t slow either. Sort of medium paced. My only complaint for the solo is it could’ve been longer. It was a tad short and considering the song was over six minutes they really could’ve made more room for it. After the solo nothing new really happens. Overall I would say this is the albums weakest track. It’s still great, but they probably should’ve shortened it some and made the solo longer. It would have also been an improvement if they had a chorus. There was pretty much just an intro, three verses and a solo. Still a worthy edition to the album, but not their strongest work.
Welcome Home (Sanitarium) (5/5)- Arguably the best written track, but doesn’t fit in that well with the rest of the album. It’s much lighter. However, this is a good thing as it gives the album a short break to wind down before you’re clobbered with another overpowering track. Sort of the calm before the storm, or the calm in the middle of the storm before the second half of the storm I suppose. The song starts off with a nice simplistic intro. Some open notes accompanied by harmonics on the twelfth fret. This song’s overall atmosphere is really cold and in a sense emotionless. This intro was a perfect way to start the track because it gave off that blank, expressionless feel. The verse riff didn’t differ too much from the intro in the sense of atmosphere, as it too was on the gloomy side. Although, it also had sort of a beautiful, soothing feel to it as well and was well written also. It sort gave the song a breath of life. After little time the verse riff was covered up by a melodious intro solo. It wasn’t nearly as frantic as most solos in the album and more bend orientated rather than being a culmination of scales. After the solo we get into the verse, although we’ve already been introduced to the verse riff. Similar to The Thing That Should Not Be
the vocals were not quite as harsh as in most tracks. A little past the halfway point of the verse you can hear some distortion come in and James vocals begin to regain that angst feeling. This is an excellent build up for the chorus. The chorus itself is a stand out point in the track. Hetfield brash vocals go well with the short distorted notes. It particularly stands out because it’s heavier than the rest of the track. After the chorus solo #2 starts. It’s somewhat similar to the first, as it’s also melodic and bend orientated. Although, it is a little faster and has a couple nice scales in it also. After the solo there’s another verse and chorus. There’s nothing to differ them from the first ones, so I won’t bother to describe them further. After the second chorus the song breaks into sort of a bridge. A small group of well organized power chords, soon accompanied by vocals. This part of the song has a particularly nice rhythm and fits well with the solo that precede it. Speaking of the third solo it could probably be considered the highlight of the track. Very fast paced with some wah used and lots and lots of tremolo picking too. Nothing more to say about it really it was just an excellent, but typical metal solo. After the solo there are some power chords, but only for a moment or two. After a couple seconds they’re over shadowed by a nice little riff. After the riff plays for a little while it sort of gives birth to the fourth solo. Listen to the song and you’ll understand what I’m saying. The solo sort of starts of sounding like the riff, but then proceeds to turn intro a solo. Like the third solo it’s more fast paced and some wah is used. It’s not really a highlight of the song, but it’s a nice outro. After the solo there’s some more power chord progressions then the song end with an open note and Lars banging on the cymbals. Not the most original way to end a track, but it fit well.
Disposable Heroes (4.5/5)- This song starts out with a good, hard hitting power chord progression. While being a tad on the plain side it is soon accentuated by a nice little riff, mimicking the progression. Some wah is used and it really helps to pull the intro together. This goes on for thirty seconds or so and then there’s a short pause. After the pause you’re clobbered by a montage of extremely precise tremolo picked open notes. Some chords are strummed overtop then it changes up a little bit. A different fast distorted riff starts. As far as the intro goes it was far from complex, but its sheer power and speed make it sound pretty great. After the intro there’s a short little riff and we get into the verse. The pace slows slightly from the intro, but still maintains a certain quickness. This is probably the most emotional track of the song. You can really feel the passion in James’s vocals more than other track and understandably so, as this track deals with the most delicate of subject matter. The passion from the verse carries on into the chorus. Some nice back up vocals are provided by Cliff and Kirk, which provides an extra tint of passion when the sing “Back to the front”. This song has sort of a second chorus too (which is another good example of this songs interesting song writing). Anywho, the second chorus brings back a fast strummed riff from the intro and like the rest of the song is packed full of emotion. After the second chorus deal everything I’ve mentioned (excluding the intro, duh) repeats. No need to describe that. There’s a short bridge after. The songs pace sort of slows, only momentarily, however. The slowing pace is soon interrupted by a massive solo. For the first little bit it’s just status quo kind of. Lots of scales, played at monstrously fast paces. Some nice FX used. This solo does actually manage to stand out from the rest of the albums, though. About half way through it slows down and becomes melodic, only to become extremely fast again. The solo sort of goes back and forth doing that. The slow melodic periods provide the solo with a nice contrast, but also add to this songs depressing atmosphere. Not a whole lot new happens after the solo. There’s some light soloing under the vocals at parts. Some riffs from intro are brought back in the intro. I used to be kind of on the fence with this track. I found it be kind of repetitive. Needless to say it’s grown on me quite a bit. My only complaint would be that I still do find it a tad repetitive, but it’s not nearly as repetitive as I originally thought. Just a tad in the intro. Otherwise it’s fantastic and one of the more moving tracks on the album.
Leper Messiah (4/5)- At the start of this track you are greeted by Lars counting the band in. After that this track is pretty much (like the rest of this album) none stop power and adrenalin. Things start off with some rhythmic power chords. The progressions vary for the first forty seconds or so and then things slow down with some precise plucked open notes. Then starts the verse. It has a good steady pace, a little on the plain side, but still great. This song actually has some of James’s best vocals. They sound a little more matured than the rest of the album’s vocals. This song doesn’t really have a chorus, just at the end up each verse it says “Bow to Leper Messiah”. There are two verses before the bridge. In between the choruses there is an extremely catchy little riff. It sort of regains your interest in the track, as without it things would probably get pretty boring. Anyways, after the second verse we get to the bridge I previously mentioned. It’s a great little addition to the song. Sort of mellow in comparison to the rest of the song. It’s completed nicely with just the right amount of palm muting. After the bridge you’re hit with a mass amounts of heavy chords. There a few moments of vocals before we get to the solo. Like the rest of the albums solos this one was great, though a little short. It’s starts off sort of melodic, scaling back and forth. The only thing this solo seemed to lack that most of the others had was large bends. Most of the other solos achieve a sort of emotional climax from these bends. This song was missing that, but it didn’t really effect the song a whole lot. At first after the solo nothing new happens. We get back into a other verse. Then at the end James shouts “Lie, lie, lie” over and over again. This sort of gave the song the emotional feel that it didn’t get from the solo. Then that catchy riff comes in again to end the song. Overall this is a solid track, not the albums best, but solid. My only complaint was it did get a little boring now and then.
Orion (5/5)- This has got to be one of the albums high light tracks. I’ll start off by telling you it’s an instrumental. The song starts off quietly and slowly gets louder as time progressing. At first all you hear are three notes repeating. Eventually there joined by drums. This made for a nice mellow start to the track. After that things pick up a little as sort rhythmic little riff is played. This song actually has so many great riffs it’s ridiculous, though I suppose it should considering there’s no vocals. After the first riff we get into another splendid little riff. There’s some FX used to give it an interesting sound and to help it stand out from the rest of the song. While this is going on you can sort of hear a little power chord progression underneath. You soon are more formally introduced to this as the catchy little FX riff disperses and some major distortion is turned on. It’s definitely the most powerful part of the song and it’s precise as well. This is good because if it was at all sloppy the high amount of distortion would make the notes blend. After that a riff from earlier in the song is brought back, but this time an equally clever little riff is thrown overtop. The riff eventually inverts into a solo. Unlike the solo in the previous track this one is certainly not lacking bends. It’s got plenty of them which really helps to add to this albums atmosphere. The solo also has some nice scales in it. After the solo we finally get a glimpse of some nice bass work. A superb little bass riff comes in with some guitar harmonics thrown in overtop. The guitar soon overthrows the bass once again, but at least it had a short few moments in the spotlight. Eventually some truly brilliant riffs come in. There combination of being well written and the notes being held for emphasis make it sound just unbelievable. After a while sort of a solo emerges. It’s sounds similar to the riffs being played before it, but with some hammer ons and pull offs thrown in. Then after that there’s sort of a blues-y sounding solo that comes in. After a few moments it turns into more of a bridge than a solo. Then there’s a pause, a few power chords and we get into a more rockin’ solo. It’s fast paced and more scale orientated then bend orientated, but still with some bends, also. Then that extremely precise power chorded progression I mentioned from earlier comes in again. It’s plays over and over as it slowly fades out to end the song.
Damage Inc. (4.5/5) This song has a somewhat unique introduction. It’s similar to Orion in the sense that it fades in slowly, gradually getting louder, but it sounds nothing like Orion. It sort of sounds like something you would hear at the end of sad movie, which is somewhat suiting as this the closing track for the album. This sad melodic period doesn’t last long, however. James and Kirk soon slam down on this distortion and you’re absolutely bombarded with riffs. At first the notes are short and staccato, but they soon transform into a mound of chugging distortion and I mean that in a good way. My only complaint is that the notes sort of blend now and then. The guitars immense power is soon matched by Hetfield’s outstanding vocals. He manages to hold the notes just long enough that you get an emotional feel from them, but he doesn’t wander out of key. This song does have a chorus, but it’s really short, they vocals in it are great, though. Some of the best from the album between the verses there’s a sensational riff. It’s extremely fast paced and very well written. When it finishes nothing new happens until the solo. Speaking of the solo, WOW! It had to have been the best from the album. It was extremely lengthy and divided into parts. Thanks to the division the solo gets many chances to very it’s technique. It has some points that are bend orientated, some that are scale orientated and there’s lots of FX and wah used. This was a really great way to close off the album: with a massive solo. After the solo nothing new happens there’s another verse, that’s pretty much it. This was definitely the perfect closer track. It reminds the listener of this albums sheer power and dominance. It wouldn’t have been good to end with something like Sanitarium because while it’s a great song it’s not thrash metal and that’s what this album is.
METALHEAD VS BRATTY GIRL
Explanation: This is new concept I wanted to try. It pits a angst metal head against an obnoxious little girl. Naturally they’ll be debating this album. This probably won’t end up being a very informative review. While it will provide a nice contrast of opinions it’s more for entertainment than anything else. So, it pretty much gives you a mild outlook on the albums pros and cons, while being more of a fun read. There also may be some grammar conflictions as while I’m typing I’ll be typing what a bratty little girl would say and etc.
*Mr. And Mrs. Samson wait anxiously by the door for their babysitter to arrive. They’ve never actually met the gentlemen, but some friends recommended him. Unfortunately the recommended babysitter was side tracked by plans with his girlfriend. Knowing that the family he was supposed to baby sit for has never actually met him he asks a friend to fill in. Finally there’s a knock on the door. The parents open the door and there stands a 6’4 man with frizzy hair down past his shoulders. Everything he’s wearing is composed of leather (including his underwear). His nose is pierced and he has chains attached to all articles of his clothing. Now, most parents would turn the man away, but Mr. And Mrs. Samson hadn’t had an evening out in quite sometime. After giving each other an unsure glance the decide that he’ll have to do. They yell up the stairs to inform her daughter that they babysitter has arrived and hall as
s. The little girl then frantically runs down the stairs to meet her temporary guardian.*
What’s your name?
That’s not important.
*The metal head begins to walk around the house in a nonchalant fashion*
What’re you looking for?
A CD player. You got one?
Yeah, it’s in the living room. Why?
Umm…because I’m going to put a CD in, obviously. Stop asking so many questions you little whore.
*the bratty girl is immediately befuddled by the mans language and returns fire*
SHUT UP! I’m gonna tell my mommy and daddy on you, stupid face.
*the metal head ignores the little girl and walks over to the CD player. He carelessly discards the Jessica Simpson album already in there and inserts his newly acquired album (Master Of Puppets). The bratty girl marches up to her room to go play with ponies…or whatever it is little girls do. Metal head cranks the stereo and listens to the album all the way through. After it finishes the bratty girl comes down to give MH a piece of her mind. Aside from already being perturbed with him for the name calling incident, she’s also been listening to the music from her room and is not impressed.*
Put in my Jessica Simpson album! NOW!
No. I’m going to listen to my album again, so eat me.
No way! That album sucks. How can you even listen to it??
Master Of Puppets is one the greatest thrash metal albums of all-time, you ignorant piece of feces.
Um.. HELLO? That guy can’t even sing. His voice is totally hoarse. Like come on it’s all raspy and stuff. Hilary Duff would show him a thing or two. He’s obviously never taken any singing lessons. It almost sounds like someone punched him in the nuts right before he started singing!
Shut up, vagina face! James’s vocals may not be perfect in retrospect, but they’re perfect for the genre. This is thrash metal and thrash metal is supposed to have harsh, raspy vocals. You can’t criticize one man for something the entire genre is guilty of. Take Dave Mustaine for example. His vocals are quite similar to Hetfield’s at times. Many other singers in the genre could be accused of the same thing as well. Simply put the music just wouldn’t be the same without Hetfield. If someone like Hilary Duff tried to sing this album it would sound like sheer garbage. I know you already think it sounds like garbage, but that’s just because you’re and ignorant piece of trash.
Like whatever! You can talk all you want about the vocals, but the instruments and like how the album sounds in general DEFINITELY suck.
Wrong again. First off you know nothing of instrumentals, so you shouldn’t talk. Most of the music you listen to doesn’t actually have real instrumentals. They majority of the sounds you hear are engineered by soundboards. So, you have know idea just how difficult it is to write an album as instrumentally sound as this. The guitar is simply astounding. The frequent masses of riffs can keep any non-retarded listener at the edge of their seat. The solos are also brilliant. Often using playful splashes of wah and jam packed full of emotional bends. Not to mention the constant shredding in the solos. Hammet is definitely on top of his game. The bass work, while sometimes exaggerated is still great, especially for its genre. The drums were not overly special, I’ll admit that, but at the same time drums are not considered a main focus when it comes to music in general. As for “like how the album sounds”, this is thrash metal what the hell else would you expect it to sound like. This is pretty much the same as what you said about the vocals. You can’t criticize a band’s sound if that’s the general sound of the genre. You can however, express your dislike for the genre as a whole.
Well… this album sucks because it doesn’t have that many songs. My new Jessica Simpson CD has way more!
I’ll give you this, you do make a valid point. Although, you have to take into consideration a little called filler. Filler tracks are tracks that aren’t very good and definitely not up to an albums standards. Bands just throw them on albums to make the albums look bigger. Metallica on the other hand did not do that with this album. While it may seem to be short because it only has eight tracks the fact is that they are all incredibly solid tracks. Each one is a worthy edition to the album. Personally I’d rather listen to an album with a few outstanding tracks than an album with a bunch of sub par tracks. Not to mention this album really can’t be called short due to the length of the songs. Your little Jessica Simpson CD may have ten more tracks, but like three of them could fit into one Metallica song. So, in conclusion I win again, bitch.
Yeah well… well… what about the albums pro… pro… um that’s the word?
The word is production, you nub. This album’s production may seem poor when ranked by today’s standards, but you have to take into consideration this album came out quite some time ago. Even for the time period the production wasn’t great, but contrary to popular belief the band didn’t have a whole lot of money. Furthermore while the production isn’t great, it is great for this albums style. It’s fast, hard and rough. So, the choppy production actually goes quite well with the albums mass amounts of distortion
Yeah well, I don’t care what you say this album stinks. So, brick wall, water fall, metal head thinks he’s got it all, but he don’t and I do, so boom with that attitude, Dr. Pepper, 7up, mess with me I’ll mess you up…
*Metal head introduces little girls face to size thirteen leather boot*
In closing, Metal head wins the argument, but is not paid for his hours of service because y’know…he kick the little girl in the face.
Explanation: Last time I tried this it didn’t go to well. So, I’ll try and be more clear this time. Everything I say about the album is the complete opposite of what I actually feel and the exact opposites of how the album sounds. Examples: bad=good, clean tone= distortion, slow = fast, average= average (because it’s like the middle) etc. You got it? This review may also have the tendency to seem like a rant. Personally I find rants to funny and enjoy them now and then. If your opinions on that coincide with mine then you mat enjoy this. If not read a different one.
Metallica- Master Of Puppets
Let me just say right off the bat, this album sucks. It definitely shouldn’t be held in such high regards in the world of thrash. Hell, it’s not even thrash metal. This is one of the lightest, most melodic albums I’ve ever heard and not in a good way. It’s extremely slow paced, the guitar is mostly clean tone, the bass is horrid. The drums were the only tolerable thing about this album, as they were average. The production was also good, but how could it not be. They had loads and loads of cash to produce this album and it showed. The production was damn near perfect, if only the music didn’t suck. You see at this point in their career Metallica were at a financial high. They had never had more money. They flew first class to all their shows, enjoyed the finest of foods and etc. Metallica were living the high life. Unfortunately their quality of life was much, much higher than their quality of music.
Lets’ start by me telling you about the guitar. In short it sucked, but let’s go into more detail. First off practically everything was clean tone. There was very little distortion to be seen. The riffs didn’t flow well at all and were all slow and harmonious, with only occasional fast distorted riff. The guitar really wasn’t suited to the genre at all. The song structure was also terrible. Completely standard throughout. Then there were the solos, again simply repulsive. The majority of them were short, clean toned and lacked any distinctive features. There were no bends, no wah was used, not even hammer ons and pull offs. In conclusion, this albums guitar was deplorable, overly simple, had no presence on the album. Unfortunately the list goes on.
The bass work was no better than the guitar. Throughout the entire album Cliff only played root notes, except for the occasional riff. The bass lines were not well written at all. It was awfully audible for most of the album, though. The only track it didn’t really stand out on was Orion. Although, since the bass did suck, it standing out was not a good thing. I also really hate Cliff’s style of playing. His sound is just terrible. He should really have played with a pick. That would’ve been a huge improvement. Furthermore his rhythm was horribly, horribly off. He was never in the proper timing. As if all that wasn’t enough his tone was also dreadful. Simply nothing good is provided from this albums bass.
Completing the trio of crappiness James’s vocals made me want to vomit. The were really clean and melodic. Didn’t suite the genre of thrash at all. They were like Kalan Porter almost. Really poppy, no angst whatsoever. I’ve always hated Hetfield’s voice and this album is no exception. The only times when his voice is tolerable is when he holds his notes for long periods of time. He’s excellent at staying in key. Other than that his voice tends to really falter. Like the rest of the album it sounds nothing like thrash metal. Just another feather in the cap of reasons why this album sucks.
Aside from sounding bad this album offers nothing lyrically either. The lyrics are all really positive and cheesy. Dealing with clean living, anti-drug stuff and actually respecting your government. While the lyrical messages were somewhat unique, as you can see they were undeniably lame. This again contrasted the usual style of thrash metal. I honestly can’t affiliate anything from this album with thrash at all. Not the guitar, not the bass, not the vocals and not the lyrics. This was just plain upsetting.
Pros: Drums were alright
Overall Rating: 0/5
In conclusion, this album is highly overrated. It’s had little to no impact on its genre. Hell, it doesn’t even fit in with it’s genre, or the genre of metal period, not only thrash. Aside from nice production nothing is enjoyable. Avoid this album like the plague.
Explanation: Let’s just start off by saying this won’t be like the usual trial review. In the past the albums that I’ve used this format for were ones that I was speaking negatively of. I’ll be speaking positively of this album, so it’s not going to be nearly as easy to funny, but I’ll try my best to stick some humor in wherever possible. For anyone who doesn’t remember this review is pretty much the band on trial for making the album. I’ll try harder to be descriptive this time as well, but it won’t be near as descriptive as the overall or anything.
Metallica- Master Of Puppets
*Judge Schneider (yes from the St. Anger trial) makes his way to the front of the court room. Everyone in the courtroom is in awe as the man is clearly intoxicated. He reeks of cheap whisky and has sauce from chicken wings all over his robe. Furthermore, considering his wife had just left him and he’s clearly not the happy playful kind of drunk, he’s clearly not in a good mood*
All rise for the honorable
*The Judge gives the bailiff an angst glance after the seemingly sarcastic emphasis on honorable, but is far too plastered to care. Groggily the judge manages to squeeze out a sentence*
Prosecutor, what are the charges against the defense (Metallica).
The charges are as follows:
-releasing an album that would take metal in new directions (The prosecutor is not at all a fan of thrash metal)
-playing the same scales over and over again, but making several different solos out of them
-lots of same-y sounding riffs
-having terrible production
And how does the defense plea?
we plea not guilty, you honor.
*Metallica are representing themselves, as after their last trial they had no money left over for a lawyer*
Alright, prosecutor call your first witness.
I call James Hetfield to the stand[/b]
*James struts calmly to the front of the room. He knows this album is fine, so he’s not nervous at all*
Well Mr. Hetfield, why don’t we start off by addressing your vocals? To be blunt they stunk. The were really angry and rough, kind of like sandpaper really. They weren’t as bad as they are today, but still not good. Next there’s the impact that this album had in the music world. America was perfectly happy with it’s cheesy glam metal bands, but you had to come in and screw everything up. Personally, I hate this ‘hybrid’ of sound you guys created. The world would be a better place is you guys never existed. In addition, you’re accused of having lost of similar sounding riffs. In fact some were so similar that people can’t even tell the difference. Last on the docket, you’re accused with having terrible production. Your response?
First off, I’ve never claimed to have perfect vocals. I know they’re not the greatest, but they’re definitely not the worst either. Furthermore while on the grand scale of vocals mine aren’t that good, they do suite our Metallica’s music style perfectly. If I was some sort of god damn opera singer our music would sound like crap. Secondly, are you actually criticizing us for evolving metal? If you’re a fan of glam that’s fine, but that doesn’t give you the right to trash our style because we’re known for hating glam. Now, I’ll address this riffs. I’ll give you this, most of them were played in the same key, but that doesn’t mean they all sound exactly the same. Any moron can tell the difference between the riffs in any of the tracks. Perhaps one might get them mixed up occasionally, but even that isn’t overly likely. Lastly, at this point in our career we were not wealthy to say the least. We had very little money to produce this album, so yes the production is kind of bad, but you can’t blame us for not being rich. Also, the rough production suites our style of music to a ‘T’, so actually improved the album in a lot of peoples views.
*Hetfield, content with his testimony steps down*
Prosecutor you can call your next witness…but first make me a sandwich!
*the judge is clearly still out of it and ignoring all court rules. The prosecutor ignores his sandwich mark and goes on*
My next witness will be, Kirk Hammet!
*Kirk walks to the front of the room with only slight hesitation*
Mr. Hammet, you are accused of using the same scales over and over to create many different solos. You’re also accused with overusing your wah pedal. Wah is fine in small doses, but you use it so much that it seems sort of cliché. What are your thoughts?
Well, a lot of solos may be played in the same scale, but that doesn’t really mean anything. It’s not like any of them really sound the same or anything. As long as you can differentiate between solos I don’t see why it matters at all what scales they’re based on. As for overusing wah, it’s only partially true. I don’t use it nearly as much as some people say I do and even if I did it shouldn’t be a really big deal. Many guitarists have FX that they overuse, mine just happens to be wah. Besides, you can never overuse it’s just too awesome!
Well…um…fine. YOU STILL LOOK LIKE A GIRL!
Yeah, he kind of looks like your wife, prosecutor!
*the judge barrels over in laughter, clearly pleased with his little joke. Meanwhile, Kirk leaves the stand.*
I now call my Lars Ulrich to the stand!
*Lars walks up to the stand eyeing down the prosecutor as he does so…remember their little skirmish in that last review? The prosecutor starts to question Lars, while keeping a safe distance.*
Now Lars, in this album there was nothing at all wrong with your drums tuning, but your playing was still just plain unimpressive. You didn’t show a whole lot of skill as a drummer. Your beats were okay and you stayed in time for the most part, but your fills were average. In fact as a whole your drumming was pretty average. Thoughts?
*Lars attempts to keep his cool*
I’ll admit that I’m not the greatest drummer ever, but out music has never really been about the drums. Even if I am an average drummer, our music isn’t drum orientated so it doesn’t matter. I do my job and keep the beat. I try to throw in whatever fills I can, but if I can’t come up with anything mind blowing so be it. I’m just kind of the man behind the curtain keeping everything together by keeping a nice steady beat. That’s what I do, deal with it.
*Cliff Burton can’t be interviewed for obvious reasons*
The Judge will now make his decision.
*The Judge, again still drunk thinks about it*
I find the defendants not guilty because I do not like the prosecutor and had rough biker sex with his wife! Oh, and they didn’t do anything wrong etc. etc.
The Sentences: The prosecutor is sentenced to make the judge a sandwich. Miracle Whip, chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, no mustard.
Explanation: This, like the trial review will be a sort of humorous review with some good detail, but not massive mounds of elaboration and such. It’ll be pretty much the same as last time, one contestant will be retarded etc. etc.
Hello, and welcome to Jeopardy! We’ve got a great show lined up for you today, so let’s meet the contestants. First we have Josh a construction worker from Ohio. Second we have Mindy librarian from Oklahoma. Last we have Derek, an accountant from Florida. Let’s not wait any longer, let’s start the game! Mindy you won the coin toss back stage, so you get to pick the first category.
I’ll take “Popular Heavy Metal bands” for 200.
Here’s the clue. This thrash metal band rose to fame in the early 1980’s. They grew almost instantly popular because of their fast, rough sound. You see, at this point in musical history thrash metal had not yet been born. These guys helped invent it. Their career started in California, but eventually they moved to New York. No matter where the band was they were always poor (in the early days that is). On a good day they were lucky to have McDonalds, on a bad day they had a thing called “losers lunch”. It was a piece of bologna eaten off ones hand because they couldn’t afford bread. Eventually the bands luck turned as their popularity grew. They began to rake in the cash after highly successful releases like “Ride The Lightning” and “…And Justice For All”. Today the band is in kind of a slump, but hoping to bounce back with their next album.
Who are Metallica?
That’s correct! You now have selection over the board.
I’ll take “Metallica Albums” for 400.
This album, released 1986 is one of the most popular metal albums to date. It’s simply brilliant from beginning to end. Hetfield’s vocals are not the best they’ve ever been, but still pretty great. The guitar work was nothing short of astounding with mass amounts of violent riffs and massive solos. The solos were mostly played in the same scale, but due the FX used and the variations of how the solos were orientated they all sounded different. The bass work is often made out to be the greatest ever, which is indeed false, but it’s still splendid. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get a lot of time shine in this album, but it does have brief stints scattered about. For example, “Orion” has some damn good bass in it. The drums were about average, but since this is not a drum orientated album it didn’t stand out too much, or at all really. This albums has had mounds of impact on it’s genre and was also the last album that Cliff Burton ever played on.
umm…what is Paris Hilton’s s/t?
What the hell? Were you even paying attention? Seriously, shoot yourself.
What is Master Of Puppets?
Correct! Pick the next category.
Let’s go with famous musicians for 100.
Oh my, you’ve landed on a special DAILY DOUBLE! I’m going to ask you four questions and for each one you get right you’ll receive one hundred dollars. This man is the front man for heavy metal group Metallica. In the early goings of the bands career his voice was a tad on the shrill side. Around the middle of their career his voice improved significantly, but it would again falter later in their career (present day). What he lacks in the vocal department he makes up for with excellent songs writing and excellent rhythm guitar playing. He’s been the primary song writer for the band since their start and rarely ever makes any mistakes when playing live. He even writes a lot of the bands solos. Without this man Metallica would be nothing.
This man is critically acclaimed as one of the greatest lead guitar in history. As a young man he was taught by guitar legend Joe Satriani. After Metallica released their lead guitarist Dave Mustaine, this man was brought in to fill his shoes. Since then this man has dominated the metal scene with his massive solos. Despite kind of a prissy appearance he can rock out like no ones business. Although, it has been said that he is a bit sloppy live he covers it up well with FX, like wah. This man is definitely not the greatest songwriter, however as he joined the writing process for Metallica’s latest album and let’s just say it didn’t go so well. Despite having some small flaws this man is a great addition to the band.
This bassist, now deceased was the life blood of Metallica. It’s been said that no one could head bang like this man. His stage charisma was simply unparalleled. He was also a rather unique bassist. Take for example his famous “Anesthesia” solo from Metallica’s debut album “Kill ‘Em All”. He is a tad overrated, though. He’s made out to be the greatest bassist of all time, but he simply isn’t. He is however, one of the greatest. Unfortunately, this man died in a tragic bus accident while touring for the album “Master Of Puppets”.
This man is Metallica’s drummer. Aside from that he also handles a lot of the bands other business like booking shows, making appearances and etc. he actually got the band to where the are now because of his connections in the world of metal. If it were not for him who knows where Metallica would be today. As a drummer he’s certainly not the best ever. He’d be somewhere around average. He can certainly keep a beat and has some good fills here and there, but not much more. Mostly just simplistic beats. He did actually have a good showing in the bands last album. He used a lot of crazy double kick and overall the drumming was quite exceptional. Unfortunately he also screwed with tuning on his drums, so they ended up sounding pretty bad.
Who are James Hetfield, Kirk Hammet, Cliff Burton and Lars Ulrich, in that order.
That’s correct. You now have 800 dollars, which is four times Derek’s score and Mindy is in the negative.
*the question in final Jeopardy was unrelated to music. Josh got the question wrong, but wagered nothing, so he won. Mindy had sex with Alex so she could get back on the show again. Thanks for reading*
Explanation: This isn’t a review at all. Just some fun stuff for you guys. Enjoy.
Links to good live shows:
..Found a tab for the whole album, awesome.
This review, including this statement is 10,933 words.