14 Songs, 1 Hour 18 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After the megaplatinum success of Metallica (a.k.a. The Black Album), the World’s Most Famous Thrash Metal Band had decisions to make. Grunge had altered the hard rock scene of the '90s, and while it was waning down in 1995 and 1996, this shift was still an obvious concern to the bands it affected. Considering the success of its ballad “Nothing Else Matters,” Metallica knew if it balanced things correctly, it could remain the biggest band on Earth—and certainly its hardest-rocking. But among its hardcore fans, the band might have overplayed its hand, since Load and each successive album have been met with uncertainty. If one accepts Load on its own terms, though, it’s obvious that the slower paces (there’s no thrash anyway) let the band stretch its talents in new directions and learn a new language, away from the usual lightning-fast guitar solos and hyperactive drum patterns. The songs are Metallica's bluesiest and most soulful, with James Hetfield writing of his mother’s cancer in the brooding “Until It Sleeps.” Bob Rock’s production again brings out enormous depth in the band's musicianship.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After the megaplatinum success of Metallica (a.k.a. The Black Album), the World’s Most Famous Thrash Metal Band had decisions to make. Grunge had altered the hard rock scene of the '90s, and while it was waning down in 1995 and 1996, this shift was still an obvious concern to the bands it affected. Considering the success of its ballad “Nothing Else Matters,” Metallica knew if it balanced things correctly, it could remain the biggest band on Earth—and certainly its hardest-rocking. But among its hardcore fans, the band might have overplayed its hand, since Load and each successive album have been met with uncertainty. If one accepts Load on its own terms, though, it’s obvious that the slower paces (there’s no thrash anyway) let the band stretch its talents in new directions and learn a new language, away from the usual lightning-fast guitar solos and hyperactive drum patterns. The songs are Metallica's bluesiest and most soulful, with James Hetfield writing of his mother’s cancer in the brooding “Until It Sleeps.” Bob Rock’s production again brings out enormous depth in the band's musicianship.

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