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Album Review

After the muddled production and ultracomplicated song structures of ...And Justice for All, Metallica decided that they had taken the progressive elements of their music as far as they could and that a simplification and streamlining of their sound was in order. While the assessment made sense from a musical standpoint, it also presented an opportunity to commercialize their music, and Metallica accomplishes both goals. The best songs are more melodic and immediate, the crushing, stripped-down grooves of "Enter Sandman," "Sad but True," and "Wherever I May Roam" sticking to traditional structures and using the same main riffs throughout; the crisp, professional production by Bob Rock adds to their accessibility. "The Unforgiven" and "Nothing Else Matters" avoid the slash-and-burn guitar riffs that had always punctuated the band's ballads; the latter is a full-fledged love song complete with string section, which works much better than might be imagined. The song- and riff-writing slips here and there, a rare occurrence for Metallica, which some longtime fans interpreted as filler next to a batch of singles calculated for commercial success. The objections were often more to the idea that Metallica was doing anything explicitly commercial, but millions more disagreed. In fact, the band's popularity exploded so much that most of their back catalog found mainstream acceptance in its own right, while other progressively inclined speed metal bands copied the move toward simplification. In retrospect, Metallica is a good, but not quite great, album, one whose best moments deservedly captured the heavy metal crown, but whose approach also foreshadowed a creative decline.

Customer Reviews

The Black Album

This was the first Metallica album i bought, and every song is just amazing. This is the second best Metallica album there is, the best being Master Of Puppets. But this album is a monster, it sounds a lot different to their massive breakthrough album, being a lot more heavier and epic. Just listening to the opener Enter Sandman, you can tell it is a lot different to Battery and Master Of Puppets. But that is not to say that this album isn't great. Songs like Enter Sandman, Sad But True, Through The Never and Nothing Else Matters are just some of the best songs from this album. If you like metal then this is the album for you. The Black Album gets 10/10. Top 8 1 - Enter Sandman 2 - Nothing Else Matters 3 - Sad But True 4 - Through The Never 5 - Of Wolf and Man 6 - The Unforgiven 7 - Wherever I May Roam 8 - The Struggle Within

Good Not Great

I think this is the point in Metallica's career when they stop being a heavy metal band and turn into a plain rock band. I blame Bob Rock for that. 'Enter Sandman' is pretty good though, with a great solo and memorable main riff. 'Holier Than Thou' ranks upon one of the heaviest on the album and 'Nothing Else Matters' is a ballad with an epic guitar solo in the middle. That's what I like, iTunes, get the old-school up! I hope they put up 'Death Magnetic' when it comes out in September. Download: Enter Sandman, Through The Never, Nothing Else Matters.

Not bad, the best

Nothing, beats this album


Formed: 1981 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Metallica were easily the best, most influential heavy metal band of the '80s and '90s. Responsible for bringing the genre back to Earth, the bandmates looked and talked like they were from the street, shunning the usual rock star games of metal musicians during the mid-'80s pop-metal renaissance. Metallica also expanded the limits of thrash, using speed and volume not for their own sake, but to enhance their intricately structured compositions. The release of 1983's Kill 'Em All marked the beginning...
Full bio

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