“The Thing That Should Not Be“ scared the everloving f*ck out of me the first time I heard it. I was 11, embroiled in a strict Christian atmosphere where the mere thought of inhaling the forbidden Thunder-F*ck-Awesomeness of metal riffs was considered a soul-eviscerating homage to the dark overlords of Hell, and it really sounded like James was talking about demons. Maybe it was just the haunting overtones of that Drop D intro riff, aping the first chord in “Battery“ but remaining definitively more thick, evil and reminiscent of aquatic beasts that inspire nerve-shattering fear in the hearts of other ethereal beings and ghouls and sh*t. Goddamn it that riff is Cerberus chowing-down on fresh recruits at the gates of Hell dark, and I only just started jamming it after sundown when I was 17. Here's the funny thing. “The Thing That Should Not Be“ is the worst song on here.
Speaking of “Battery,“ its absolutely a top 5 all-time metal opener. Sure, the brooding, Flamenco-y guitar thing in the intro that recalls the buttery overtones of Antonio Banderas talking in his “I’m Antonio Goddamn Banderas and I’m here to absolutely annihilate snatch“ accent sounds rad, but Holy Goddamn Tony Iommi, when the electric kicks in with that titanic lick at the 38 second mark. The first time I heard it was akin to my maiden voyage of semi-awkward trim-crushing while brandishing my own scintillating, upper Midwestern, “YA, HI MARGIE DON’T CHA KNOW ITS A GOOD DAY FOR ICE FISHIN LETS GO DOWN TO ARBYS YA“ accent that is only 73% as awesome as the purported morons from the movie "Fargo." It was an uplifting experience even better than riffs. That’s important because nothing is better than riffs, except that we’re actually still taking about riffs.
“Chop Your Breakfast on a mirror.“ I was 11. I thought James was talking about doing rad karate chops with Daniel-Son. The album cover represents a foreboding rosy-palmed deity clutching the puppet strings, so it had to be either God himself, some random Eastern spirit that likes to jerk off a lot, or Mr. Myugai, who can absolutely probably maybe kick God’s ass in a Karate-Stance-Off. Anyway, the title track is the greatest metal song ever written.
Speaking of God, “Leper Messiah“ kind of talks sh*t about his one and only son, and this was a problem for me at the time. The problem diminished every time I jammed the infectiously tit-stabbing verse riff that is definitely one of the best riffs in the history of Thrash in the summer of 1986. The only down side is you can hear Lars talking in his faux Cali-Stoner accent in the intro counting down the time. You’re Danish, Lars, you’re not a f*cking surfer. You might have totally jammed Tygers of Pan Tang, and paid your bills with Diamond Head riffs before James had even heard of them, but now you collect art and basically everyone in metal hates you more than Phil Anselmo after a Sieg Heil meltdown. You’re impossibly short. Goddamn it I hate it when Lars talks. Have you ever seen the ridiculous hand gestures this dwarf uses when he pontificates? Shut the F*CK UP, LARS.
I used to read Metal Edge Magazine. It was kind of like Circus and Hit Parader and Kerrang and RIP! except that it was alot worse than any of those because it had a really unhealthy obsession with Enuff Z Nuff and the editor was a fat chick. Anyway, I was reading the letter-to-the-editor part and a dude exclaimed the intro to “Sanitarium“ was the most gorgeous thing ever made with the same fervent energy a basement-dwelling virgin would use to extol the virtues of his level 80 WOW character while ferociously masturbating into a bucket of fried chicken and crushed dreams. I hadn’t actually heard the song at this point, so when I bought the CD I immediately skipped to track 4 and thought I was listening to “One,“ which was also a track 4 song, then I thought it was “Fade to Black,“ another track 4 song. Maybe its because they all have the same intro chord. “Sanitarium“ is the best because its about crazy people and the version off “Live ***, Binge and Purge“ is completely awesome and James says REACH MOTHERF*CKA before Kirk once again rapes a pentatonic solo of truth.
So, “Orion.“ I don’t even know exactly what instrument hits like a skull-cleaving blow of exploding riff truth at the 1:42 mark, but its inarguably one of the greatest moments in music. It had to have been Cliff. Goddamn it RIP Cliff so f*cking hard. Because that acoustic bass part at 4:02 was definitely Cliff, and its also one of the greatest moments in metal bass history. I love you Cliff. Even Dave Mustaine probably pines for you as he sardonically recalls the time he totally kicked James‘ ass in the studio one day back in 1982, before somehow a cavalcade led by Lars the munchkin actually managed to kick a badass like Dave out of the band without getting GingerExplodingCockPunched in the choppers. Nice restraint, Dave.
Although James was raised in a nutcase Christian Scientist home in Cali and never tasted that sinewy, meat-spraying scent of live combat, James likes to talk about war. His famous war treatises are “For Whom The Bell Tolls“ and “One,“ both of which are top 50 all-time metal songs. “Disposable Heroes,“ a merciless, bone-crushing anthem of bloodlust that was delivered in the same furious tone brandished by the sadistic, absolutely closeted-homosexual drill sargaent in “Full Metal Jacket“ lays waste to both. Even Lars sounds passable here. It might be Kirk’s best solo. Back to the Goddamn Front.
“Damage Inc“ is its probably the best Metallica closer ever and it has a faster riff than “Dyers Eve“ and has the greatest Metallica lyric: “F*CK IT ALL DONT F*CK WITH RAZORBACK.“ I don’t know what this means but it doesn’t matter yet it’s all that matters at the same time.
Best metal album ever made.