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Kill 'Em All

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Editors’ Notes

Metallica's debut album proved a shocking and audacious opening battle cry for a new generation of metalheads who were crawling around the metal underground looking for a leader. Released in 1983, Kill 'Em All combined the primordial, rudimentary riffage of Black Sabbath with the intricate, melodic overtures of Iron Maiden played at the speed of Motorhead and hardcore punk. This new 'thrash' became the schematic for hundreds (thousands?) of bands that would follow, eschewing commercial heavy metal's penchant for big hair, spandex and pop hooks and replacing it with full-on aggression. Later releases would expand on their approach and reach greater compositional complexity, but for sheer raw power tracks such as "Hit the Lights,""Jump in the Fire," the appropriately named "Whiplash," and "Seek and Destroy" are unrelenting. Singer James Hetfield's histrionic growl still elicits strong melodies as it keeps time with his carpal-tunnel rhythm guitar playing. Drummer Lars Ulrich's boundless energy never flails. And underneath the maniacal charge, one can hear the beginnings of the lyrical guitar lines that guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Cliff Burton would bring forth with greater emphasis on later releases. A basic metal primer.

Customer Reviews

As groundbreaking as it is . . .

. . . it's sad that the Mustaine-Burton-Ulrich-Hetfield lineup was not represented on an official full length album. This was the once in a lifetime opportunity for it and it's somewhat tragic that it didn't happen.

Blew away my expectations!!!

I'm new to this "older" kind of metal and hands down Metallica is my FAVORITE so far. This defines epic.

Am I Evil?

No Blitkrieg, No Am I Evil. Good try Apple.


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...
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