METALLICA — Load

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2.62 | 116 ratings | 9 reviews
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Album · 1996

Filed under Heavy Metal
By METALLICA

Tracklist

1. Ain't My Bitch (5:04)
2. 2 X 4 (5:28)
3. The House Jack Built (6:38)
4. Until It Sleeps (4:29)
5. King Nothing (5:28)
6. Hero of the Day (4:21)
7. Bleeding Me (8:18)
8. Cure (4:54)
9. Poor Twisted Me (4:00)
10. Wasting My Hate (3:57)
11. Mama Said (5:19)
12. Thorn Within (5:51)
13. Ronnie (5:17)
14. The Outlaw Torn (9:48)

Total Time: 78:57

Line-up/Musicians

- James Hetfield / Rhythm Guitar & Vocals
- Kirk Hammett / Lead Guitar
- Jason Newsted / Bass
- Lars Ulrich / Drums

About this release

Label: Vertigo Records
Release date: June 4th, 1996.

Thanks to metalbaswee, CCVP, rushfan4, Pekka, adg211288, diamondblack, Unitron for the updates

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METALLICA LOAD reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

martindavey87
Short hair? Make-up? Cigars? What's going on?! What happened to Metallica? Did they... sell out?! OH NOOOOO!!!!!

These are just some of the things the metal community were complaining about back in 1995, when Metallica changed their image and their sound and released 'Load'. Anyone with an open mind will see that there are some really good compositions on this album, but sadly the metal community, as reliable as ever, couldn't get past the fact that Metallica changed their look and "sold out". In fact, most of 'em were still complaining about Metallica releasing a music video in 1988 when they said they never would. Metal elitists... at least they're consistent.

This may not be Metallica's best release, but there are songs on here that definitely stand side-by-side with anything Metallica had done before. 'Ain't My Bitch', 'Until It Sleeps', 'King Nothing' and 'Bleeding Me' are all classics. Even the country-influenced 'Mama Said' is a great tune (unless you're an 80's thrash metal fan who's still trying to get over the ‘Black Album’). But for all its strengths, there is one major problem that bugs me about this album; the duration. Alone, any song on 'Load' is a great track (yes, that includes 'Ronnie'), but when you listen to it all in one sitting, it really feels like you've heard the same song multiple times. It's tough.

I can admit, this may not be Metallica's finest hour, but don't be swayed by any "metal" reviews, because it's not a metal album. It's a rock album, and a bloody good one, at that!
aglasshouse
"Load" is the sixth studio album released by Metallica in 1996. "Load" is the follow-up to the million-dollar making "Black Album/Metallica". Many people were dissapointed by Load, but honestly, I can say that this is easily my favorite Metallica album. Like "RELoad", "Load" I feel is bashed way too much for being different. That is why I am here to share my own opinion.

1. Ain't My Bitch

'Aint My Bitch' is a more fast paced song compared to the other songs on the album, and is honestly very catchy. The vocals easily run along-side the riffs and the drums. The song slows every once in a while, until it quickly regains it's speed. The song is very fun to listen to, yet not one of my favorites. (8/10)

2. 2x4

After 'Ain't My Bitch', '2x4' is a much slower song compared to the former. The riffs and drums still have that sort of groovy feel, which is not bad. In fact, it makes songs like these just absolutely fun to listen to. Unlike 'AMB', this track doesn't have as much groove or overall change. However, it does still have a great bouncy feel to it. The vocals sound much more ominous when paired with other deeper voices. Not as great as 'AMB', but still fun to listen to. (8/10)

3. The House Jack Built 'The House Jack Built' starts off with slow heavy guitar notes, but eventually gains speed after Hetfield cries "Let the show begin..." and the song gets extremely heavy and awesome. Another fun listen, but not as great as other songs from the album. Just a little slow for my taste. (7/10)

4. Until It Sleeps

'Until It Sleeps' is probably the weakest track on the album. The song is very slow throughout, and overall has not much change. When the song gets slightly faster, it gets decent. However, when jumping from slow to fast isn't a great experience all the time. (6/10)

5. King Nothing

This is where the going gets good. The band gets their old feel back with this song and gives you a good shot of the old Metallica feel. You are treated with a long intro which is just leading you to something awesome, and you are treated with it. "Aren't you satisfied?" The lyrical value and vocals themselves sound like the real Hetfield, however the guitar is combined with slower and heavier to make a very enjoyable song. Definitely my favorite song on the album, and probably my favorite in all of Metallica's history. (10/10)

6. Hero Of The Day

After the more heavy 'King Nothing', the power ballad 'Hero Of The Day' comes in to sweep you off your feet with slow and calmer guitar. Slightly retaining the old Metallica feel, the song still is able to use a mix of calm and heavy to make something amazing. The lyrics flow amazingly well alongside the chords and riffs. You are eventually treated to the climax of the ballad and are just absolutely blown away. (10/10)

7. Bleeding Me The slightly shorter of the two epics on the album, 'Bleeding Me' comes out to be one of my favorite epics of all time. The calm ambience combined with Hetfield's voice along side the constant rhythm of the song gets you into a mood of slowness, but you are instead greated with heavy chords and angry lyrics. The song is never the same, constantly and smoothly changing to create one great song. (10/10)

8. Cure

Coming back with "Load"'s jazzy feel, 'Cure' is brining you again back into the original rhythm of the album. Not as much work was put into the song, which gives it that classic Metallica feel alongside the groove of "Load"'s style. (9/10)

9. Poor Twisted Me

'Poor Twisted Me' is another weak track on the album. There are more guitar breaks and more drumming, however the vocals just get more annoying in this song. Not going anywhere, 'Poor Twisted Me' is probably the weakest track on the album. (5/10)

10. Wasted My Hate

Again, 'Wasted My Hate' gets you in the more jazzy tempo different from other Metallica songs. Probably the fasted song from the album, 'Wasted My Hate' uses great vocals, percussion, and guitar throughout the song. Enjoyable to say the least. (8/10)

11. Mama Said Now here is the only horrible song on the album. 'Mama Said' takes Metallica's sound and combines it with some country lunacy. Pretty obvious already, but those two should not be mixed. Enough said. (0/10)

12. Thorn Within Not much to say about 'Thorn Within', besides that it has nice heavy chords and slow drums to go along side eachother, other than that however, the song is pretty generic. (8/10)

13. Ronnie

Here is a good song to headbang to. Very nice beat and tempo. Constant guitar in the backround alongside nice double vocals from Hetfield and Newsted. (7/10)

14. The Outlaw Torn The longer of the two epics, 'The Outlaw Torn' takes the spot as last song on the album. 'The Outlaw Torn', unlike 'Bleeding Me', however, does not share the same cheeriness and charm as the latter. In fact, the song is pretty boring in the area of guitar, vocals and percussion. (6/10)

Overall, we shouldn't hate on "Load" just because it's different. Not all Metallica albums have to blast the flesh from your face with every note, and this album is a good example of that. Just listen to it with an open mind and enjoy!
UMUR
"Load" is the 6th full-length studio album by US heavy metal act Metallica. The album was released in June 1996 by Vertigo Records. Five years had gone by since the release of the band´s multi million selling album "Metallica (1991)" and the fans expectations were very high at this point. Metallica again chose Bob Rock to produce the album (never change a winning formula). 27 songs were written during the sessions and the band had initially planned to make a double CD release but they opted to release the songs they had finished recording as a single CD release as they had been offered to play on the Lollapalooza tour in the summer of 1996 and wanted a new album out before that. The 13 remaining songs that didn´t make it unto "Load" were released on the next studio album "Reload (1997)".

The music on "Load" is completely stripped anything that points toward Metallica´s thrash metal past. While those elements were already very sparse on "Metallica", at least they were there. The music on "Load" is more hard rock/ heavy rock blues based in style than ever before and while I´d still call the music metal, there´s generally a softer and more mainstream approach to songwriting on the album. There are a few harder edged riffs here and there that fully qualify as metal though. The album was the longest Metallica album up until then with it´s 78:59 minutes long playing time distributed over 14 tracks. That´s at least a couple of tracks too long if you ask me.

The sound production is professional but lacks the metallic power of the predecessor.

"Load" is just like it´s sister album "Reload" a pretty unremarkable and medicore affair. The album seriously lacks highlights/ standout tracks, the production lacks edge and the music lacks attitude. Compared to the "Black Album", "Load" is quite the disappointment but it´s still a somewhat consistent and decent affair deserving a 2.5 - 3 star rating.
poslednijat_colobar
The end

I like when a band takes different direction to explore some other types and genres of music. Not now, of course, because it has to be made with elegance and quality. The situation here is totally different. Metallica takes the commercial development and it looks like they will never get back. The genre in Load is absolutely different - mixture between country, blues and alternative music combined in mediocre way. No sign of thrash!!! The worst in Load is the length of the album - it's too long and because of that some more dull, boring and shapeless. At that moment of their career, they've lost the sense of making heavier music. But there is other aspect in here. They partially kept their sense of making ballads. These ballads save the album. Namely these ballads are the only good songs here, with Mama Said being the best one. The other songs deserving attention are: Until It Sleeps, The House Jack Built and Bleeding Me. Because of them - 1,75 stars rounded down to 1,5 stars under my voting system!
Stooge
When I was around 12 or 13, I got my first exposure to Metallica. At this point in my life, the band was in the midst of their “Load” era. Maybe this is why I react much more positively to Metallica’s transformation from metal maniacs to hard rockers than the average metal fan. Hell, they already dabbled in the rock realm with The Black Album, so why should we not be surprised that they took it a bit further?

When Metallica thrashed, they thrashed with the best of them. With Load, they proved they could rock with the best of them. And rock hard this album does! “Aint My Bitch”, “King Nothing”, and “Thorn Within” can get me pumped as much as “Blackened”, “The Four Horsemen”, and “Ride The Lightning” do. It’s just by slightly different means.

Compared to the album that preceded it, much of Load sets a darker atmosphere. Singles “Until It Sleeps” and “Hero of the Day”, along with “Bleeding Me” and “The Outlaw Torn”, are some of the gloomiest tracks in Metallica’s discography. Oddly enough, in the case of the two mentioned singles, they are rather uplifting at the same time.

It is commonly said that the Load albums would be better if they trimmed out the filler and created a double album as originally intended. If this were the case, I suppose I would nominate “Cure”, “Poor Twisted Me”, and “Ronnie” as songs that the album could possibly do without. They don’t do much that other catchier rockers on the album already do, and do so to a much lesser effect. “Bleeding Me” and “The Outlaw Torn” could afford to be a bit shorter in running time as well. Many may consider it wise for Metallica to have excluded the country-tinged “Mama Said” from the album, but I like it for the sake of variety and it’s grown on me a bit over the years.

Despite all the negatives associated with Load, I see the positive. There is no reason for a metal head to be ashamed to own this album. Great album by Metallica!!
The Angry Scotsman
Different is not a bad thing!

However, this album is.

Despite what I used to think in my younger days, different is not bad. A band changing its sound is not automatically bad, and experimenting is good. Sadly, "selling out" has nothing to do with why this album is bad. The music takes all the responsibility for that.

I actually like this album a little better than the Black Album. While this album is generic, it is at least a bit faster paced and just more upbeat overall. The hour long ballad of a snore fest that was the Black Album has been replaced with a more hard rock, bluesy sounding album. Actually, that sounds very appealing to me. I would love that! The problem is, this album is overall, boring.

Ronnie, for example, is a pretty sweet sounding song. However, I can barely make it to the end as it just feels so dull by then, (jeez how many times have I written that now). Shame because that opening riff really makes me wanna groove.

Wasting my Hate I really like. Cool sounding, decent amount of heavy rockness, really awesome feel. Not to long.

This is counterbalanced by "Mama Said". This is just an insult to the fans. I guess unless you happen to like country as well...

King Nothing may be the best song on the album.

I will not continue on, because most of the songs fall into the same category: Kind of cool, got some nice feel/moments but boring. Despite some cool and even groovy moments, this is a dull hard rock album.

Two Stars

Pekka
Metallica had changed big time at the turn of the decade, dropping the thrashy epic metal masterpieces for shorter songs with simpler structure and polished sound. Then why was it Load five years later that caused the fan backlash and not the Black Album? It traded some of the heaviness for some extra spit, dirt, blues and emotion, but to these ears the style isn't that much different to justify the slaughter.

Obviously when an album lasts for 14 songs and 79 minutes, there's bound to be stuff that's weaker than the rest. 2x4, Cure, Poor Twisted Me and Ronnie are the slightly sub-par pieces that prevent this from being a five star record, but as my rating shows they aren't an overbearing burden and actually mostly very good, just not as good as the others. At the other end of the spectrum this album contains some absolute gems, including my favourite Metallica track of all time.

The pounding opener Ain't My Bitch, The House Jack Built with its truly insane wah solo, the surprisingly sololess Wasting My Hate and Jason's personal favorite Thorn Within are all solidly crafted heavy metal, as is the heaviest single of the album, King Nothing. Other singles of the album are among the softest Metallica material ever, Until It Sleeps with its make up and whatnot video (probably the biggest reason for the reaction this album got), the partly pop-partly heavy Hero of the Day and the country ballad, yes, a country ballad called Mama Said. Metallica and country ballads must have been a pill tough to swallow for a lot of people, but if they actually listened to the song, they might have noticed that it's a fantastic piece of heartfelt music. One of the highlights of their entire career, James being very sincere about his life.

Both of the so-called album "sides" end with a brilliant song among their finest ever. I remember listening to Bleeding Me as a ten-eleven year old kid and thinking it's the most boring song on the album. Oh how tastes change. Absolutely captivating and emotional, James pouring his heart out. The second "side" and the whole album ends with The Outlaw Torn, which is the song I was talking about earlier. An atmosphere like nothing else on any Metallica album before, great simple riffs, great lyric and vocal work (as on most of the album) and the outro jam... all this makes it my favourite Metallica track.

A natural successor to the Black Album, and in my opinion the better of the two.

Members reviews

jampa17
Well, I wasn't fan of them at the end so, don't expect a better rate.

Yeah, I'm not fan of them, but I do appreciate their capability of making impressive thrash metal during the 80's. Now, when you take away the complex arrangements, what you have left is just an average hard rock band, but for me it's too evident the limitation of their creativity during the middle 90's.

Hetfield vocals fits better with the more limited music, but his voice is plain and the lyrics are really childish, and metal is way more than that. Hammett, Ulrich and Newsted are average musicians at best and only the riffing guitars of Hetfield stand tall in this album, but don't save this lame production.

Not a single song made it. This is maybe their worst album. If you like the 80's Metallica, maybe you won't like this particular album. Now, if you like 90's Metallica, this album can be for you. But is, certainly, not for me. 1 star, this album is really poor.
metalmillennium
What the hell is going on? Is this the same band that recorded Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets? After listening to this album...you would never guess it's the same band! The music at this point is pretty much a heavier Alternative-Rock sound, as Heavy Metal is out of the picture. The production is the highlight of Load, with the instruments being pretty audible. Jame$' vocals are average at best, Ja$on Newsted's bass work can actually be heard, and Lar$ seems like he's bored back there on drums.

Load has a few good tracks, although plenty of filler/unlistenables, as well. Of the better tracks include the lead single "Until it Sleeps," which has a fairly decent chorus and clean guitar passages that make it worth a listen, but it's OK at best. "Bleeding Me," "Thorn Within," and "King Nothing" make up the other decent at best tracks offered here. Unfortunately the rest of this album shouldn't even be included, as the cuts lack aggression, speed, emotion, or just plain suck.

By the look of Metallica on the back cover art, sitting together in designer wear suits, smoking cigars together on a candle lit-table, they appear to be established "rock stars" at this point. This album shows progression, sure, but not progressing in a direction that will please the long time fans. Metallica's days are over, and this album is either there to keep the Metallica name intact or to collect a heavy paycheck (in which they did).

Keep playing your 80s Metallica albums and stay far away and clear of Load like the Ebola virus. This band is capable of such better music..or at least was. Not recommended.

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