METALLICA

Thrash Metal / Heavy Metal / Hard Rock / Alternative Metal / Symphonic Metal / Non-Metal • United States
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Metallica are an American metal band formed in 1981 in Los Angeles when drummer Lars Ulrich posted an advertisement in The Recycler. Metallica’s line-up originally consisted of Ulrich, rhythm guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield, and lead guitarist Dave Mustaine. Mustaine was later fired due to problems with alcoholism and drug addiction - he went on to form the band Megadeth. Exodus guitarist Kirk Hammett took his place. Metallica has been through several bassists, including Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton (who died in a bus crash while the band was on tour), and Jason Newsted. The current bassist is Robert Trujillo, who joined in 2003.

Metallica’s early releases included fast tempos, instrumentals, and aggressive musicianship that placed them as one of the “big four” of the thrash metal sub-genre alongside Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. The band earned a growing fan base in the underground music community and critical acclaim, with the 1986
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METALLICA Discography

METALLICA albums / top albums

METALLICA Kill 'em All album cover 3.78 | 174 ratings
Kill 'em All
Thrash Metal 1983
METALLICA Ride the Lightning album cover 4.45 | 214 ratings
Ride the Lightning
Thrash Metal 1984
METALLICA Master of Puppets album cover 4.53 | 262 ratings
Master of Puppets
Thrash Metal 1986
METALLICA ...And Justice for All album cover 4.32 | 203 ratings
...And Justice for All
Thrash Metal 1988
METALLICA Metallica album cover 3.43 | 168 ratings
Metallica
Heavy Metal 1991
METALLICA Load album cover 2.67 | 122 ratings
Load
Heavy Metal 1996
METALLICA ReLoad album cover 2.25 | 114 ratings
ReLoad
Heavy Metal 1997
METALLICA Garage Inc. album cover 3.38 | 94 ratings
Garage Inc.
Heavy Metal 1998
METALLICA St. Anger album cover 1.81 | 124 ratings
St. Anger
Alternative Metal 2003
METALLICA Death Magnetic album cover 3.50 | 128 ratings
Death Magnetic
Thrash Metal 2008
METALLICA Lulu (with Lou Reed) album cover 1.73 | 74 ratings
Lulu (with Lou Reed)
Heavy Metal 2011
METALLICA Hardwired... to Self-Destruct album cover 3.37 | 36 ratings
Hardwired... to Self-Destruct
Heavy Metal 2016

METALLICA EPs & splits

METALLICA Creeping Death / Jump in the Fire EP album cover 2.88 | 18 ratings
Creeping Death / Jump in the Fire EP
Thrash Metal 1984
METALLICA The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited album cover 4.09 | 40 ratings
The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited
Thrash Metal 1987
METALLICA Live at Wembley Stadium EP album cover 3.67 | 3 ratings
Live at Wembley Stadium EP
Heavy Metal 1992
METALLICA Hero of the Day EP album cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
Hero of the Day EP
Heavy Metal 1996
METALLICA St. Anger EP album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
St. Anger EP
Alternative Metal 2003
METALLICA The Unnamed Feeling E.P. album cover 2.73 | 7 ratings
The Unnamed Feeling E.P.
Thrash Metal 2004
METALLICA Some Kind of Monster album cover 2.69 | 16 ratings
Some Kind of Monster
Thrash Metal 2004
METALLICA Six Feet Down Under EP album cover 2.57 | 3 ratings
Six Feet Down Under EP
Thrash Metal 2010
METALLICA Six Feet Down Under Part II album cover 2.71 | 3 ratings
Six Feet Down Under Part II
Thrash Metal 2010
METALLICA Live at Grimey's album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Live at Grimey's
Thrash Metal 2010
METALLICA Beyond Magnetic album cover 3.36 | 21 ratings
Beyond Magnetic
Thrash Metal 2011
METALLICA Musicares MAP Fund Benefit Concert album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Musicares MAP Fund Benefit Concert
Non-Metal 2014

METALLICA live albums

METALLICA S&M album cover 3.06 | 56 ratings
S&M
Symphonic Metal 1999
METALLICA Through the Never album cover 3.55 | 6 ratings
Through the Never
Thrash Metal 2013
METALLICA By Request: Bogota, Colombia - March 16, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Bogota, Colombia - March 16, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Quito, Equador - March 18, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Quito, Equador - March 18, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Lima, Peru - March 20, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Lima, Peru - March 20, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: São Paulo, Brazil - March 22, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: São Paulo, Brazil - March 22, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Asunción, Paraguay - March 24, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Asunción, Paraguay - March 24, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Santiago, Chile - March 27, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Santiago, Chile - March 27, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Buenos Aires, Argentina - March 29, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Buenos Aires, Argentina - March 29, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Buenos Aires, Argentina - March 30, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Buenos Aires, Argentina - March 30, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Helsinki, Finland - May 28, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Helsinki, Finland - May 28, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Stockholm, Sweden - May 30, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Stockholm, Sweden - May 30, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Oslo, Norway - June 1, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Oslo, Norway - June 1, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Horsens, Denmark - June 3, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Horsens, Denmark - June 3, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Hamburg, Germany - June 4, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Hamburg, Germany - June 4, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Nuremberg, Germany - June 6, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Nuremberg, Germany - June 6, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Nürburg, Germany - June 8, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Nürburg, Germany - June 8, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Landgraaf, Netherlands - June 9, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Landgraaf, Netherlands - June 9, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA Glastonbury Festival, England - June 28, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Glastonbury Festival, England - June 28, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Rome, Italy - July 1, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Rome, Italy - July 1, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Werchter, Belgium - July 3, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Werchter, Belgium - July 3, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Basel, Switzerland - July 4, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Basel, Switzerland - July 4, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Knebworth, England - July 6, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Knebworth, England - July 6, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Prague, Czech Republic - July 8, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Prague, Czech Republic - July 8, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Vienna, Austria - July 9, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Vienna, Austria - July 9, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Warsaw, Poland - July 11, 2014 album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
By Request: Warsaw, Poland - July 11, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Istanbul, Turkey - July 13, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Istanbul, Turkey - July 13, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA By Request: Montreal, Canada - August 9, 2014 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request: Montreal, Canada - August 9, 2014
Thrash Metal 2014
METALLICA S&M 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
S&M 2
Symphonic Metal 2020

METALLICA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

METALLICA '82 Garage Rehearsal Tape album cover 2.14 | 3 ratings
'82 Garage Rehearsal Tape
Thrash Metal 1982
METALLICA Power Metal album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Power Metal
Thrash Metal 1982
METALLICA No Life 'Til Leather album cover 4.40 | 5 ratings
No Life 'Til Leather
Thrash Metal 1982
METALLICA Live Metal Up Your Ass album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Live Metal Up Your Ass
Thrash Metal 1982
METALLICA No Remorse/Whiplash Demo album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
No Remorse/Whiplash Demo
Thrash Metal 1983
METALLICA Mandatory Metallica album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mandatory Metallica
Thrash Metal 1988
METALLICA Fan Can 1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fan Can 1
Thrash Metal 1996
METALLICA Fan Can 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fan Can 2
Thrash Metal 1997
METALLICA Fan Can 3 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fan Can 3
Heavy Metal 1998
METALLICA The Garage Remains the Same album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Garage Remains the Same
Thrash Metal 2000
METALLICA Fan Can 4 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fan Can 4
Thrash Metal 2001
METALLICA Fan Can 5 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fan Can 5
Thrash Metal 2005
METALLICA Fan Can 6 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fan Can 6
Thrash Metal 2010
METALLICA The 30th Anniversary Celebration album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The 30th Anniversary Celebration
Heavy Metal 2012
METALLICA Fifth Member Exclusive Deluxe Box Set Sampler album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fifth Member Exclusive Deluxe Box Set Sampler
Thrash Metal 2016

METALLICA re-issues & compilations

METALLICA The Good, The Bad & The Live: The 6½ Year Anniversary 12 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Good, The Bad & The Live: The 6½ Year Anniversary 12" Collection
Thrash Metal 1990
METALLICA Live Shit: Binge & Purge album cover 4.59 | 22 ratings
Live Shit: Binge & Purge
Thrash Metal 1993
METALLICA Vinyl Box album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vinyl Box
Thrash Metal 2004
METALLICA By Request Box Set album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
By Request Box Set
Thrash Metal 2014

METALLICA singles (39)

.. Album Cover
3.50 | 1 ratings
Whiplash
Thrash Metal 1983
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 2 ratings
Jump in the Fire
Thrash Metal 1984
.. Album Cover
4.33 | 5 ratings
Creeping Death
Thrash Metal 1984
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Master of Puppets
Thrash Metal 1985
.. Album Cover
3.19 | 4 ratings
Harvester of Sorrow
Thrash Metal 1988
.. Album Cover
2.83 | 2 ratings
Eye of the Beholder
Thrash Metal 1988
.. Album Cover
3.33 | 2 ratings
One
Thrash Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
2.56 | 4 ratings
Enter Sandman
Heavy Metal 1991
.. Album Cover
2.17 | 2 ratings
The Unforgiven
Heavy Metal 1991
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Nothing Else Matters
Heavy Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
2.50 | 1 ratings
Wherever I May Roam
Heavy Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
3.14 | 3 ratings
Sad but True
Heavy Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
One (Live)
Thrash Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
1.86 | 3 ratings
Until It Sleeps
Hard Rock 1996
.. Album Cover
3.50 | 2 ratings
Hero of the Day
Hard Rock 1996
.. Album Cover
1.00 | 2 ratings
Mama Said
Hard Rock 1996
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 2 ratings
King Nothing
Heavy Metal 1997
.. Album Cover
2.25 | 4 ratings
The Memory Remains
Heavy Metal 1997
.. Album Cover
1.50 | 1 ratings
The Unforgiven II
Hard Rock 1998
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 1 ratings
Fuel
Heavy Metal 1998
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
Live in London: Antipodean Tour Edition
Thrash Metal 1998
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 2 ratings
Turn the Page
Hard Rock 1998
.. Album Cover
4.25 | 2 ratings
Whiskey in the Jar
Heavy Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
Die, Die My Darling
Heavy Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
3.08 | 2 ratings
Nothing Else Matters (S&M version)
Symphonic Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
No Leaf Clover
Symphonic Metal 2000
.. Album Cover
0.50 | 1 ratings
I Disappear
Hard Rock 2000
.. Album Cover
3.25 | 2 ratings
St. Anger
Alternative Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
2.38 | 8 ratings
Frantic
Alternative Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
2.25 | 2 ratings
The Unnamed Feeling
Alternative Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
1.69 | 4 ratings
The Day That Never Comes
Thrash Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
1.93 | 3 ratings
My Apocalypse
Thrash Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
1.00 | 1 ratings
Cyanide
Thrash Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
1.00 | 1 ratings
The Judas Kiss
Thrash Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
3.08 | 2 ratings
All Nightmare Long
Thrash Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
2.50 | 2 ratings
Broken, Beat & Scarred
Thrash Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
1.88 | 4 ratings
The View (with Lou Reed)
Heavy Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
One (Awards Show Rehearsal Version)
Thrash Metal 2014
.. Album Cover
2.50 | 1 ratings
Lords of Summer (First Pass Version)
Thrash Metal 2014

METALLICA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.67 | 21 ratings
Cliff 'Em All!
Thrash Metal 1987
.. Album Cover
2.56 | 8 ratings
2 of One
Thrash Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
For Those About To Rock: Monsters In Moscow
Thrash Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
4.02 | 11 ratings
A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica
Heavy Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
3.95 | 16 ratings
Cunning Stunts
Thrash Metal 1998
.. Album Cover
3.74 | 24 ratings
S&M
Symphonic Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
3.88 | 11 ratings
Classic Albums: Metallica - Metallica
Thrash Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
3.48 | 19 ratings
Some Kind of Monster
Thrash Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
3.72 | 10 ratings
The Videos 1989-2004
Thrash Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
3.38 | 7 ratings
Français Pour Une Nuit
Thrash Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 9 ratings
Orgullo, Pasión y Gloria: Tres Noches En La Ciudad de México
Thrash Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
4.03 | 10 ratings
The Big 4: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria
Thrash Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
3.40 | 5 ratings
Quebec Magnetic
Thrash Metal 2012
.. Album Cover
2.25 | 2 ratings
Metallica Through The Never
Thrash Metal 2013

METALLICA Reviews

METALLICA Master of Puppets

Album · 1986 · Thrash Metal
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SilentScream213
One of those albums you know upon first listen as a masterpiece. Now, I’m going to start off by saying it’s only my second favorite Metallica album, and I wouldn’t put it anywhere near my favorite metal albums of all time or anything. There are hundreds of bands out there that cater to my taste more than Metallica – probably a hundred Thrash bands alone.

The thing is, this album just has that sort of magic anyone can identify. Dare I say, a sort of objective quality that one can appreciate, if there was such a thing. This is one of the closest albums I’d award the term flawless to. It’s not that every song is a 5-star masterpiece, however, there simply aren’t any glaring, or even hidden, flaws. The musicians, as always, are fantastic; the dual guitars deliver a combination of incredible riffs and solos, the bass gets time to shine, and Lars on drums sounds better here than he ever had before or would since. James sounds fantastic, using his melodic singing more here than before (and acing it) while still giving us a healthy dose of aggressive yelling. The lyrics here are all great too, referencing literature, war, mental illness, and more.

The music itself is very consistent for an album that mixes a lot together. There is pure heavy, thrashing aggression; there is slow, moody darkness; there are even emotionally compelling and beautifully melodic moments. Every song is a complete package with tons of great riffs, solos, and a couple have complete mood/tempo changes. Despite this, they are all very memorable and deliver something unique. No one can go wrong with this album when looking for a masterpiece.

METALLICA Ride the Lightning

Album · 1984 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SilentScream213
Canonically among the greatest Metal albums of all time, Ride the Lightning took the Thrash from Kill Em All and, at the expense of some speed and energy, added superb songwriting, lyricism, and a wide range of emotions and moods. In fact, one of the things that makes Ride the Lightning so good is that anyone can enjoy it – you don’t have to be a Thrash fan or even a metalhead to appreciate the fantastic musicianship of the title track, or the emotional weight of “Fade to Black.” Still my favorite Metallica album, Ride the Lightning has stood the test of time for music fans of all kinds.

METALLICA Kill 'em All

Album · 1983 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SilentScream213
Kill ‘Em All is a mixed bag for me. On one end, it’s got some amazing music that was revolutionary at the time. On the other end, it doesn’t hold up all that well. For a Thrash Metal album, it’s incredibly lighthearted. They’ve got…(2?) songs on here that are just about playing music, they’ve got one about going to hell but it’s carried by an incredibly uptempo riff, and . Basically, real generic stuff you might find on a Nickleback album. The introspective and literature-influenced lyrics of Ride the Lightning are nowhere to be found here, and it really matches the all-around mood, which is not serious at all. As I said, it’s lighthearted, and if I’m listening to Thrash… that’s the last thing I want.

Aside from those weaknesses though, it still was one of the heaviest albums of its time, and it really had no tracks that were bad by any means. The B side is where they really shine, I think. Phantom Lord has great riffs and solos, and stays fast-paced throughout. No Remorse is one of my favorite Metallica tracks, and trudges through slower, darker riffs until breaking out in their fastest finale ever. No one would question the fantastic guitar fest of Seek & Destroy and closer Metal Militia. James’ vocals here are also more savage than ever. I can’t say I prefer them because his voice always sounds fantastic, but this side of them is certainly a treat.

Overrated, but still a great record.

METALLICA Lulu (with Lou Reed)

Album · 2011 · Heavy Metal
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Vim Fuego
Metallica fans hate the fuck out of “Lulu”, and if it were a genuine Metallica album, this would be fully justified. I mean, take a look at it.

It’s a high concept album, based on two plays by German playwright Frank Wedekind, which in turn was turned into mostly spoken word poetry by Lou Reed, a man whose musical career is a real world embodiment of the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. And the whole album is basically Reed droning on over some very bare bones music, which sounds like rough, rejected Metallica riffs from various times between 1984 and 1994. Any album which starts with a 69-year-old man channelling the spirit of a young girl drawling “I would cut my legs and tits off/When I think of Boris Karloff and Kinski/In the dark of the moon” isn’t going to go down well with a crowd who are more used to albums kicking off with “Lashing out the action, returning the reaction/Weak are ripped and torn away” or “Do unto others as they have done unto you/But what in the hell is this world coming to?”

But that’s the biggest problem with “Lulu” right there. It’s NOT a Metallica album. It’s a Lou Reed album, with Metallica as his backing band. The writing credits are all Reed’s, with Metallica as collaborators, and the whole album sounds like it.

And back to the self-amputation of legs and tits. This is the lead-off track “Brandenburg Gate”. Instantly, it’s obvious it’s not Metallica, but rather Lou Reed strained through a Metallica filter. “The View” sounds like a cross between Hero of the Day and King Nothing, but for the vocal delivery and lyrics. “Pumping Blood” pumps like, well… a heart, which is a blood pump. And then it goes into a section which bears a slight resemblance to the introduction to Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing”.

“Mistress Dread” is an industrial loop freakout, the likes of which Metallica has never created before, repeating the same frantic (no not that fucking “Frantic”!) simplified stuck-record riff over and over, overlaid with drones and scrapes, and a depraved mistress caterwauling a missive to a lover over it. It’s the fastest thing Metallica has recorded since “Dyer’s Eve”.

“Iced Honey” bears striking similarities to Reed’s own “Sweet Jane”, and features his most tuneful vocal on the whole album. Musically, this wouldn’t have felt out of place on one of Metallica’s “Load” albums. The gentle intro to “Cheat On Me” sounds goes sour, and build into a brooding, throbbing self-examination.

There are a couple of quiet-ish songs which wander off into pointlessness. There seems to be little point to the self-flagellating “Little Dog”, and the minimalist “Dragon”. These are ambient spoken word tracks, until “Dragon” unexpectedly bursts into a full on rock track which wouldn’t have been out of place on the Black Album, except for Kirk Hammett’s schizophrenic lead guitar seizure. Reed’s vocals are some of his most aggressive and angriest on the whole album.

“Junior Dad” is a nineteen-and-a-half-minute marathon, which basically stretches a simple little rock ballad into a drawn-out ambient fade to musical oblivion, the last seven minutes seeming totally unnecessary, but hey, it was all part of Lou Reed’s vision, which the rest of us don’t need to understand.

Metallica exploded in the metal scene in the 1980s because they challenged the metal and musical establishment. Lou Reed, both as a solo artist and with the Velvet Underground, also challenged the musical establishment, but at a more fundamental level, even messing with the concept of what music actually is (see 1975’s “Metal Machine Music”). It seems that while Metallica were up for this deeper challenge, a lot of their fans weren’t. The obscure and emotionally confronting source material was perhaps too oblique for Metallica’s usual audience. “Lulu” isn’t easy to listen to. There are no songs of pure metal aggro, no comforting sing-along choruses, no searing solos, and very few big bollocked chugging riffs. “Lulu” delivers subtle new surprises every time you listen to it, but it seems it so alienated many listeners it won’t often get a second listen.

In essence, the biggest band in metal was reduced to the role of hired guns. Here it seemed they had surrendered creative control almost entirely to someone else, managing to throw in a few spontaneous studio jams, but otherwise totally in submissive bondage to Lou Reed’s ambiguous, androgynous vision. The lyrics and subject matter most certainly weren’t what the long-established team of Hefield/Ulrich would ever come up with. For example, what does “I puke my guts out at your feet/You’re more man than I/To be dead to have no feeling/To be dry and spermless like a girl” even mean? For a band usually in total control, it proved to be difficult to handle. Lars Ulrich was even called out by Reed at one point, challenging him to a street fight. Jason Newsted would have been entitled to have a bit of a chuckle at hearing this...

By 2011 when “Lulu” was released, Metallica was big enough that they could easily take risks like this collaboration and record an album which wasn’t a true Metallica album at it’s core, and the damage to their career would be minimal if it didn’t pay off. Lou Reed was long past caring what others thought of him, and understood the value of creating something just for the sake of creating it. His long-time friend David Bowie called it one of Reed’s greatest works, while Reed’s widow, electronica pioneer Laurie Anderson said “…this was really challenging, and I have a hard time with it.”

“Lulu” definitely didn’t pay off commercially, but it remains as a historic marker as to where the band, and a whimsical creative man, were at artistically and emotionally at this time.

METALLICA St. Anger

Album · 2003 · Alternative Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
adg211288
A Journey Into Metal Part I

The year was 2003. The place, a small town in the United Kingdom. The hero of our story is yours truly, then between fourteen and fifteen years old. His quest? To discover a taste in music that he could claim as his own. It is a strange tale of how he came to find the form of music known as metal thanks to an album that goes by the name of St. Anger, which many will tell you on a dark night, telling ghost stories by firelight, is some kind of monster. In most stories, it would cast as the villain. This is not most stories.

Every metalhead who ever lived has a tale about how they came to metal. Many may start with the band Metallica, but something earlier, more classic like Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning or the self-titled 'Black Album'. Or perhaps more likely they'll come to metal through one of the classic British heavy metal bands of the 70s or 80s. Like Black Sabbath, where it all began. Or Judas Priest, who then refined it. Or Iron Maiden, the kings of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. But not so for our young protagonist, and so our story starts in that little town in the UK, where if you wanted to buy a CD, your best bet was Woolworths or a supermarket.

I came late to any kind of taste in music perhaps at first because of my parents; a Father who lived and breathed Pink Floyd and was determined to impose that band on his son above all others he listened to (if he'd gotten the Led out this tale might have taken a very different turn) and a Mother who worshipped Bruce Springsteen to the point that all other music was almost entirely irrelevant. Neither of these artists made me sit up and think 'yeah, that's for me!' In fact, I understood music so little that, in a rather cringe-worthy moment that was probably in the late 1990s, I even went as far as asked my old man what the point of music was. I don't recall the answer I got. I think the question stumped him as much as it would me today. Being into music, it really is an unnamed feeling. Fast-forward to 2020 and I, now in my thirties, have just recently purchased my 1000th CD (and counting fast). But how did I get there?

It wasn't an easy journey. Particularly because it's one of those journeys that you don't really know you're even on until you get there. To understand why, we need to take a closer look at our setting. The early 2000s were dark times for any would-be metalhead in the United Kingdom. It wasn't standard in households to have satellite TV, which (at least by the time I did get access to them) had a couple of music stations that specialised in heavier music (the better one being the now defunct Scuzz), just the standard five channels (used to be four and I still recall how much excitement there was over the launch of Channel 5) where the best and only options to hear new music were the likes of Top of the Pops (which has Led Zep's Whole Lotta Love as the theme which I had taken note of) and CD:UK (where teenage me noticed Cat Deeley more than any music). And they only cared about three things: the charts, the charts and the charts again. And I was a little late to pick up on Iron Maiden when they came up with Brave New World and probably got some coverage at least from TOTP. Maiden would be undiscovered by me until 2006, but would eventually become my first proper concert at the end of that year.

The internet wasn't an option either. In those days, even having the internet wasn't a given depending on your situation. Rich Kids (meaning kids who had rich parents, but Rich Kids was the term we used back then due to the way they flaunted the wealth as their own) had PC's and the internet. You, among the plebs in your more humble background, didn't. It wasn't the thing everyone takes for granted now. It certainly wasn't on your phone. The mobile phone may have a history going back much further than 2003, but it would be a while yet before it was normal for every kid to have one and they weren't the iPhone and Androids of today. If you were lucky enough to access to the internet, it was strictly in the home. And it was probably dial-up, whose speed and constant disconnections would likely make the youth of today who are surgically attached to their phones shoot themselves. And then ask someone to shoot them again because they ain't dead yet. And even if you were lucky enough to be online, this was 2003. There was no Spotify. No YouTube. No Bandcamp. None of the websites that in later life I have come to rely on to check music, old and new, out so that I can make an informed purchase of it.

If you were a Brit in those times you either had to hear new music that made the charts, or hear about through word of mouth from someone you knew, or buy a magazine, the ultimate quality of which remains debatable to this day. Metal Hammer did help me in the following years, though Kerrang could fuck right off, and who'd think to buy a Metal Hammer when you haven't yet realised you liked metal? This was thing: how could one find metal, if one didn't know to even look for it?

Like my parents, my circle of friends and peers tried to enforce their taste upon me. Some were trying to be helpful. Others were more aggressive in their belief that everyone should like the same bands as they did. To protect identities, I'll just refer to these people by their first initial.

There were a few bands of the time, all chart reaching types, that were rock bands but not metal bands, that were collectively liked by a few of these people. Blink 182. Feeder. Green Day. Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Not liking the song Can't Stop by RHCP was something that some of my mates, particularly 'D', couldn't get their heads around. I remember vividly one day in the school grounds in 2003, when Can't Stop was a single, how 'D' was so shocked that I did not like the song that he went running round to the group who liked these bands mentioned above about how I didn't like Can't Stop. I'm still not sure what he intended to achieve by that. Validation? Who knows, this was the same person who in the school canteen one day asked me why I always ordered a chicken burger from the stand instead of a turkey burger. The answer of course was that they were made of chicken. I still can't believe that 'D' retorted that they were 'the same fucking bird'. Last I heard of 'D' he was training to be a chef.

Possibly there were other bands to whom I was introduced (either willing or just by being in proximity) by these people, but these were the stand out names that kept being presented to our hero. Well, there was also that one friend, 'R', who was all about Sum 41 and also had a thing for Slipknot's Iowa album at one point, but the less said about him the better. He, after all, completely turned his back on all rock music and started exclusively listening to hip-hop and adopting the culture of that music. A common issue of white kids acting and talking like they're black. These days they'd probably label it cultural appropriation.

While I did get a few (heavy) rock bands that I liked it this time period, which would have been the very early 2000s, the only one I still listen to every so often is Foo Fighters, who were the gem of that era as far as mainstream rock music went. Other bands I found I liked were Nickelback (who I later found out were if anything even more hated than St. Anger not just for one album but as a whole, which I must say was rather a childhood ruining experience) and Muse, but my interest in Muse turned out to be short lived. I even sold the albums I owned of them, which in later years I have begun to wonder if I may have been hasty over. I didn't sell the Nickelback. Not just because of greater nostalgia than Muse, but because no bugger would have bought them anyway. Still, back in the early 2000s I liked these bands, but something still wasn't quite right. I wasn't interested in moving beyond these bands.

One mate, 'C' who to this day is my best friend, was the most useless of the bunch at the time. 'C' joined our school in year 8 and when asked what music he was into I recall him answering one time the exact words of 'black man rap'. These days, excluding myself, he's the biggest rocker/metalhead of the lot of them.

The truth was, I did actually hear metal music before Metallica came up with St. Anger. And I didn't like it. In fact it was some the worst shit that was bothering the charts. Wait...the charts? We have to take an intermission here to give a rather sarcastic round of applause to the following bands, who almost did a damn good job of forever derailing my journey into metal.

Linkin Park. Limp Bizkit. Papa Roach. Korn. Actually, not so much Korn, but they didn't exactly do it for my young mind either and honestly Korn weren't getting the airplay at the time like the likes of Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit were. But these bands were what I first knew of as metal. Again, this was pre-Internet for me, so there was no going on the likes of Encyclopaedia Metallum and seeing how these acts were rejected as metal by those in the know (a stance that would have (and did) swayed my younger self but at this point I can recognise bigoted elitism when I see it).

And because of these bands I thought metal fucking sucked.

Salvation then, come from a source that years later seems a most unlikely one, a much maligned album by Metallica, a band that I was aware of, but had never heard until this, and just assumed sounded like those other shitty metal bands. I'd certainly never heard the term thrash metal before. There was just nu-metal. Other metal presumably being old-metal and redundant. Lord knows there was that one guy 'L' in school who gave his own friend 'K' all kinds of shit for liking Iron Maiden and Nirvana. ''K' only listens to artists who are over 50 or dead', 'L' would say regularly in that 'I'm better than you' way of talking that he had. A showcase of ignorance: Iron Maiden weren't that old in the early 2000s. The oldest member is Nicko McBrain who is only 68 now in 2020, making him the only one who had passed 50 in 2003.

In hindsight I should have gotten to know 'K' better. He probably had the best taste in music of all of us. But I don't recall sharing any classes with 'K' and so we didn't really socialise. He was also really quiet, like an invisible kid. Somehow I ended up getting to know 'L' better, since he seemed to attach himself to as many people as possible. I think he only hung out with us because he didn't like that some of his mates from primary school had befriended some of us who went to different primary schools once we all merged for secondary school. But we weren't friends, 'L' and I. Our relationship ranged from toleration to hostility. 'L' was into all those bands I mentioned earlier. He eventually forced his way into my school years band, since the rest of my mates thought the sun shone out of him, to the result of that band never trying to play together again after one bedroom rehearsal at 'D's' place. Of course we were crap, couldn't string one song together, had no bassist (my mate 'A' would turn his guitar low to try to compensate) or singer (I would try to growl briefly, which was quickly put a stop to by interfering parents), but that wasn't the point. It's because of 'L', more than anyone else who tried to push their taste onto me in these years, that I even today have an irrational hate of bands like Feeder, Green Day and RHCP. One might even say I was madly in anger with them.

Anyway, that Metallica album, before I digress from this story too far:

St. Anger. St. Fucking Anger.

And my mind was blown by music for the first time in my life.

But we do need to rewind slightly to get the full picture of this story, because this wasn't the first time I had heard metal that wasn't the awful nu-metal crap I'd previously been exposed to. I hadn't realised that another album I'd discovered slightly before this in 2003, was actually metal as well, except no one seemed to acknowledge it at the time (or since, really). Yet in hindsight it obviously was. Alternative, yes, but not nu (well maybe one song slightly, but not enough to worry about), and that really made a big difference. But the media just labelled it goth and Christian rock, so we can't really say that this album was my real gateway to metal. Sorry Fallen and Evanescence, but a misunderstanding media make you this story's tragic character who should be more important than you actually are.

When St. Anger first blared out of my speakers, there could be no room for doubt. THIS was metal. Not that nu-metal stuff that was full of rapping and other nonsense. And I somehow knew that this was it. This was my music. It was the heaviest and most aggressive stuff I'd ever come across. And it suited me like nothing else did. From that day forth, I knew one thing for certain: I had to find more metal. This was my world.

This choice wasn't met with much approval. In fact, none at all. My more punk and pop based mates thought I'd lost the plot. 'A' labelled me as having become a 'grunger'. Another show of adolescent ignorance there. This was the first and only time I've been called such or even heard the term. We were of a generation who'd missed the grunge explosion and that term may have been more widely used. 'A' probably knew it because he had a much older brother who was already an adult while we were in school and couldn't tell the difference between Nirvana and what Metallica was doing here. There's actually a lot of debate still about what Metallica was doing here, but it sure as hell isn't grunge. 'L' got something that he could throw in my face for liking even more the the crap he gave 'K'. But I didn't care. I knew I was now onto something that would likely shape the remainder of my musical life. And if 'L' had an issue with that he could respectfully go fuck himself.

My parents were more accepting, especially my Dad, though my Mum, who did her best to make sure her son lived a very sheltered life, disapproved of the swearing in the album, but by that point swearing in my music wasn't anything new. Even an ill fated exploration of techno had had the same 'problem' but the less we say about those times the better! Eventually she came around and has even attended concerts of metal bands herself, including Paradise Lost touring Medusa, growling and all. As an aside, I also found some appreciation for her beloved Springsteen, but as far as Bruce's go, I'm with Dickinson any day. I still can't stand Pink Floyd though. Sorry Dad!

But this disapproval of the time didn't stop me. If anything, it added fuel to my fire. And I found what I desired. More metal. Early Metallica, starting from the beginning with Kill 'Em All, was an early one on my list, which soon made me realise, although I'd played it to death by that point, that maybe St. Anger wasn't actually that great after all. That I'd been looking in through a dirty window but hadn't yet got a clear picture of what was possible with metal. And so I moved on from it. Convinced myself and I didn't like it at all any more for a time, and St. Anger began to gather dust.

But it didn't matter, because St. Anger had done something for me that no other album could claim, something that made me keep remembering it, which leads us to today's story and ultimate reappraisal of the album. It had made me a metalhead. And for that reason alone, I'll always have a special place in my collection for it. It might arguably be the most important album for personal discovery and growth that I own.

It is now 2020 and it's not many years off two decades since the album was released and at this point in time it's easy to acknowledge the problems that St. Anger objectively has. The writing is too drawn out. The lyrics aren't great. Most songs here could comfortably shave some minutes off. The drum sound sucks as much as every says it does and probably has harmed the reputation of Lars Ulrich for life. James Hetfield's vocals aren't what they once were. It's not the thrash metal album that people likely wanted after Load and ReLoad. It's not even a Black Album Part II. And there are no solos.

But you know what it also is? It's the sound of a long running band having the balls to do something different – to go into the studio and have Kirk Hammett not record a single guitar solo. To fuck up the drum sound because Lars Ulrich literally forgot to do something to set up his kit like he was supposed to and just rolling with it and seeing what happens. And to be honest I believe that Metallica played with a level of passion and commitment on this record that rarely comes through on a studio recording. And you know what? It's at least better than Load. Load is just boring. I'll take passionate but faulted any day over boring. I actually find myself really sorry for them that it has been thrown back in their faces so much.

Overall, today I believe St. Anger to be at least a semi-decent album. That will likely prove a controversial opinion to many who may read this. Well, I certainly have gathered quite a few of those in my strange journey into metaldom, such as believing that the idea of the Big Four of thrash is one of the biggest farces in metal. But that is another story. This one must end now and I hope it has proved enlightening in some way (or at least entertaining) and perhaps will give you pause to reconsider St. Anger. It sure as hell isn't perfect, but it could be a lot worse.

It could be Lulu.

METALLICA Movies Reviews

METALLICA Some Kind of Monster

Movie · 2004 · Thrash Metal
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martindavey87
‘Some Kind of Monster’ is an interesting look at the personal problems that arise amongst band members after having worked together throughout careers that span decades. The biggest rock band in the world is on the verge of breaking up, with one member leaving, one member in rehab and one member being the most hated man in music. It’s compelling viewing, that’s for sure.

However, it’s been often stated that this will appeal to Metallica fans and non-fans alike, and I do consider that a bit of an overstatement. I’m a huge, huge die-hard fan of the band, but at two hours and 10 minutes in duration, and a couple of hours of extra material, even I find this quite a tedious viewing at times.

Essentially, it boils down to the egos of two men, James and Lars, and goes on to become nothing more than “Temper Tantrum: The Movie”. Still, it’s always fun and interesting to see what musicians I admire get up to when they’re not on stage. The process of recording their 2003 dud of album ‘St. Anger’, what they do in their spare time, the auditions for a new bass player and the endless promotional events they partake in.

While this isn’t essential viewing to the average movie-goer, fans of the band will enjoy this stripped and bare movie that shows that even rich and famous rock stars have egos and emotions, and the tolls that that stardom takes on them.

METALLICA Classic Albums: Metallica - Metallica

Movie · 2001 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
martindavey87
This is basically a DVD highlights package of the two Metallica VHS releases, ‘A Year and a Half in the Life of…’ that the band released in the early 90’s. A harmless enough watch, which looks at the making of one of heavy metal’s most iconic albums, we’re given a track-by-track look at the process of writing and recording each song, and there’s some additional material with band members reflecting upon the album years later.

It’s interesting to watch, but it mostly comprises of footage we’ve already seen in countless other videos, and it lacks all the emotional depth of Metallica’s 2004 movie ‘Some Kind of Monster’.

Still, while it’s hardly going to be the most riveting thing you’ve ever watched, if you’re a fan of Metallica it’s certainly not a bad way to kill two hours.

METALLICA The Videos 1989-2004

Movie · 2006 · Thrash Metal
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martindavey87
Let’s face it, when it comes to music videos, Metallica have had some absolute bangers, and some absolute stinkers. Some of them, such as the iconic ‘One’ and ‘Enter Sandman’, have become heavy metal classics, which stand up as well today as they did upon release. Then there’s the not-so-classic ones… ‘Hero of the Day’, ‘King Nothing’ and ‘The Unforgiven II’, all of which are great songs, but the videos could easily be any other generic rock band from that era.

With that said though, this is a cool disc for any die-hard Metallica fans. Music video compilations are obsolete now thanks to YouTube, but it’s still cool for a collector to have these on DVD, especially if they insist on owning everything a band puts out.

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