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Release date: 13 August 1991
Style: Heavy metal, Hard rock

Rating:

8.3 | 2024 votes

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2285 have it
45 want it
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01. Enter Sandman
02. Sad But True
03. Holier Than Thou
04. The Unforgiven
05. Wherever I May Roam
06. Don't Tread On Me
07. Through The Never
08. Nothing Else Matters
09. Of Wolf And Man
10. The God That Failed
11. My Friend Of Misery
12. The Struggle Within
13. So What [Anti-Nowhere League cover] [Japanese bonus]

Reviews (2)
Lyrics (12)

Guest review by
AnGina--

Rating:
9.8
Even though Metallica became more known to a wider audience in 1986 with the release of Master of Puppets, "The Black Album" (released in 1991) however, was the biggest break point for Metallica. It was praised by reviewers and musicians, it stunned many fans then and also now. With the "Black Album" their old thrashy sound was abandoned and Metallica was literally shot into superstardom. With commercial hits such as "Enter Sandman" and the widely known "Nothing Else Matters", Metallica's music became more and more accessible to radio stations and television. But as I said, I still believe it's a "must have". "The Black Album" was major break point in the rock music business and the influence of it and Metallica in general is just impossible not to notice. Not only does it differ musically from the previous four releases, this album is also lyrically much more personal and therefore occasionally softer. Still, Metallica hasn't lost their touch and the aggressive guitar sound is still there.

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published 07.10.2006 | Comments (50)

Guest review by
ScreamingSteelUS

Rating:
7.3
Like far too many people in this world, I was largely introduced to Metallica by their self-titled album, fueled by the super mega platinum #1 smash hit single "Enter Sandman." In fact, Metallica, known colloquially as "The Black Album" for its presumably Spinal Tap-inspired artwork, was, in fact, one of the first Metal albums that really resonated with me and warranted repeated listens. Even so, I cannot confess to having much of a sentimental connection with this album, because, after exploring the wide world of heavy metal and acquainting myself with REAL Metallica, it has become clear to me that this album is nothing special.

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published 17.08.2012 | Comments (21)

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Comments

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Comments: 113  
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Reza - 21.12.2009 at 06:11  
  I believe it's the best Metallica album.
Jay-WalKeR - 18.04.2010 at 07:16  
Rating: 10 I think this album is one of the best Metallica albums."Sad But True"&"Enter Sandman"&"The Unforgiven"&"Wherever I May Room"These songs are among the best heavy metal songs.
Javier_000 - 24.07.2010 at 03:15  
Rating: 7 Good album. not their best nor the best either.
Disposable Hero - 27.07.2010 at 07:00  
Rating: 8 Good album
Phantom Lord - 15.02.2011 at 20:02  
Rating: 9 Good album but not metallicas best album The god that fucken failed
madrigal - 25.04.2011 at 16:44  
  I give 1 because most of riffs on this album are ripped off, Check out this track and see bu yourselves what I mean "Excel-Tapping Into The Emotional Void"
megametallic0710 - 07.05.2011 at 03:40  
Rating: 9 The black album is one of their best albums. most of the songs sound really cool like "Of Wolf and Man". This is the point in Metallica's history where they showed some true balls.
Troy Killjoy - 07.05.2011 at 06:18  
Rating: 7
Written by megametallic0710 on 07.05.2011 at 03:40

This is the point in Metallica's history where they showed some true balls.

That's an oxymoron if I ever saw one.
Void Eater - 07.05.2011 at 07:40  
  This is a solid trad metal album. It may not rival to some of their earlier albums, but it is good in it's own right. Better than MoP to me. Holier Than Thou, Through The Never, The God That Failed are my favorites from the album. They also played Holier when I saw them live, which was a nice surprise.
imspazzen - 26.05.2011 at 03:54  
Rating: 7 "You just stood there creaming"
Metal_4Ever - 08.07.2011 at 00:49  
Rating: 10 I think it's the best album for them
Megathalica - 05.08.2011 at 17:31  
  Enter Sandman is my favorite song from Metallica.
masterofpeace95 - 03.11.2011 at 01:37  
Rating: 9 2nd favourite album by the gods. 3 best songs are holier than thou, of wolf and man, and struggle within:banger:
Vikcen - 26.11.2011 at 18:33  
Rating: 10 Who is the stupid that thinks this album is hard-rock?
Troy Killjoy - 26.11.2011 at 22:22  
Rating: 7
Written by Vikcen on 26.11.2011 at 18:33
Who is the stupid that thinks this album is hard-rock?

I am the stupid.
Marcel Hubregtse - 27.11.2011 at 13:23  
Rating: 6
Written by Troy Killjoy on 26.11.2011 at 22:22

Written by Vikcen on 26.11.2011 at 18:33
Who is the stupid that thinks this album is hard-rock?

I am the stupid.


well then stupid is wrong
this album is straight up heavy metal.
Troy Killjoy - 27.11.2011 at 19:04  
Rating: 7
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 27.11.2011 at 13:23
this album is straight up heavy metal.

I dunno, I identify with heavy metal as Maiden et al, this album has a lot more hard rock influence.
Angelic Storm - 28.11.2011 at 08:13  
Rating: 9 I agree with Marcel, the black album is most definitely a metal album. They didn't start showing hard rock influences in their sound until "Load". Whether you hate the black album is of course just a matter of personal taste, but calling it something it isn't makes me think it's not being bashed for entirely honest reasons. It's mainstream, streamlined metal, which some may well hate, but it's still metal nonetheless. It's as if people can't bring themselves to call it "metal" just because they hate it so much.
Troy Killjoy - 28.11.2011 at 08:24  
Rating: 7 My hatred (I actually find it an average album) for the album has nothing to do with its genre; I'm objective enough to look at this for what it is and that's a hard rock/heavy metal hybrid, with slight emphasis on heavy metal, sure. "Enter Sandman" is a classic example of a hard rock song, and you've got the typical "light" rock songs ("The Unforgiven" and "Nothing Else Matters").
Angelic Storm - 28.11.2011 at 08:40  
Rating: 9
Written by Troy Killjoy on 28.11.2011 at 08:24

My hatred (I actually find it an average album) for the album has nothing to do with its genre; I'm objective enough to look at this for what it is and that's a hard rock/heavy metal hybrid, with slight emphasis on heavy metal, sure. "Enter Sandman" is a classic example of a hard rock song, and you've got the typical "light" rock songs ("The Unforgiven" and "Nothing Else Matters").


I remember the first time I heard "Load" I found it a huge shock to the system. Which was mainly because of the very obvious hard rock influences on the album. Had the Black Album been a rock album, I wouldn't have been nearly as shocked as I'd have already been used to Metallica sounding like that.

Bands such as Whitesnake, Van Halen, early Def Leppard etc is music categorised as hard rock. The material on the Black Album is quite clearly not the same genre played by those types of bands. You may have a point with the ballads, but it could quite easily be argued that ballads by their very nature cannot be metal (unless they develop into metal at some point in the song ala: "One" or "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)"), and so any ballad on a metal album is not actually a metal song, regardless of the genre that's played on the rest of the album.
Troy Killjoy - 28.11.2011 at 08:52  
Rating: 7
Written by Angelic Storm on 28.11.2011 at 08:40
Bands such as Whitesnake, Van Halen, early Def Leppard etc is music categorised as hard rock.

Well that explains it - you refer to a lot of glam and pop/rock bands that dabbled in hard rock as purely hard rock bands, so by comparison this album could definitely be seen as a heavy metal release. I see this the way I see bands like Danzig, Ozzy, Motorhead, Pink Cream 69, etc. - as hard rock/heavy metal hybrids.

It's a difference in age. You and Marcel (no offense to either of you) are part of the "old crowd". You heard it first, when it was fresh, and you were exposed to those kinds of shocks when thrash bands changed their styles. I'm part of the "new crowd" (and I don't expect to be offended as such). I went back and listened to all of those albums years after they were released.

There's a whole philosophical discussion behind this which I won't get into due to how off-topic it could get, but essentially there are two groups who will identify with this release one way or the other (and then you'll get some new crowd people calling it heavy, not rock and vice versa) but the point is it's not wrong to call it heavy metal or hard rock.
Marcel Hubregtse - 28.11.2011 at 14:48  
Rating: 6 It seems like Troy is being revisionist concerning genres
Troy Killjoy - 28.11.2011 at 19:25  
Rating: 7 That's the constant argument you get from people your age Marcel. I'm sure you're all still upset that we don't call Mercyful Fate black metal anymore too. Hell, in 30 years I'm sure a lot of the black/death/doom/etc. I know and love will be twisted into new forms of music.
Marcel Hubregtse - 28.11.2011 at 19:28  
Rating: 6
Written by Troy Killjoy on 28.11.2011 at 19:25

That's the constant argument you get from people your age Marcel. I'm sure you're all still upset that we don't call Mercyful Fate black metal anymore too. Hell, in 30 years I'm sure a lot of the black/death/doom/etc. I know and love will be twisted into new forms of music.


I can understand MF nto being considered bm anymore because BM is now defined by its music and not lyrics. But saying Metallica isn't heavy metal any more is just plain ridiculos. That's saying the airplane of the Wright brothers isn't an airplane or the very first car isn't a car.
Troy Killjoy - 28.11.2011 at 19:30  
Rating: 7 That's your opinion. I have mine, and that is that this album is a hard rock/heavy metal hybrid.
Marcel Hubregtse - 28.11.2011 at 19:32  
Rating: 6
Written by Troy Killjoy on 28.11.2011 at 19:30

That's your opinion. I have mine, and that is that this album is a hard rock/heavy metal hybrid.


And your opinion is wrong, simple. A couple of ballads don't make it hard rock, else ron maiden would also be hard rock
Troy Killjoy - 28.11.2011 at 19:34  
Rating: 7 No a couple of ballads don't make it hard rock, but as I've already said before, a few of the songs do.

This is going nowhere Marcel. You and I both know how the argument goes: you're old, I'm young, you know everything, I don't know anything. It's tiresome really.
Marcel Hubregtse - 28.11.2011 at 19:43  
Rating: 6
Written by Troy Killjoy on 28.11.2011 at 19:34

: you're old, I'm young, you know everything, I don't know anything. It's tiresome really.


Might be for you, but it is the truth. I don't know everything but when it comes to this sort of stuff I do know more. Simply due to the longer time I am into all this stuff underground as well as mainstream and due to reading up on it by checking out reliable sources and not forums where everyone spouts all sort of nonesense.
Troy Killjoy - 28.11.2011 at 19:50  
Rating: 7 You can't change my opinion regardless. I think this is a hard rock album. It's not because I hate the band, it's not because I'm trying to rewrite history, it's because based on other hard rock bands I listen to, this fits right in. When I listen to heavy metal like Priest and Maiden, I don't think about the black album. When I listen to Godsmack and Audioslave I think of the black album. It isn't nonsense, and it's really unfair to judge my opinion as such because you have a different opinion and had "reliable sources" (which are also just other opinions).
Angelic Storm - 28.11.2011 at 22:36  
Rating: 9
Written by Troy Killjoy on 28.11.2011 at 08:52
I see this the way I see bands like Danzig, Ozzy, Motorhead, Pink Cream 69, etc. - as hard rock/heavy metal hybrids.


Danzig (the first 4 albums at least) were primarily a metal band, but there was hard rock and blues rock (and doom metal) elements in their music at times. Ozzy's solo stuff has always been metal, though I would concede it's closer to hard rock than say, thrash metal.

Motorhead are an interesting one, as many actually class them as metal. But Lemmy himself has always said Motorhead just play "rock n' roll". To me, Motorhead are primarily a hard rock band with punk elements. And later in their career, metal elements found their way into the sound as well. Pink Cream 69? I'll admit, I've only heard about 3 songs by them, but I don't hear any metal in their music at all, it's pure rock.
JÄY - 29.11.2011 at 05:08  
  I think Troy was onto something with the whole "old crowd, new crowd" thing because I see it the same way.
Marcel Hubregtse - 29.11.2011 at 05:21  
Rating: 6 The problem is the new crowd tries to redefine music whereas it's aleadu set in its sound and ways.
Troy Killjoy - 29.11.2011 at 06:04  
Rating: 7 Opinions on this matter will forever change Marcel, so long as metal continues to evolve. Like I said, I'm already prepared to hear the new crowd when I'm 40 telling me my favorite black metal albums aren't black metal anymore because of how the music will likely progress. In either case I don't think it's wrong to say this is heavy metal or hard rock - hell, I set up the styles on Metallica's band page to incorporate both styles. Some of us just hear more of the hard rock elements while others hear more of the heavy metal elements. No biggy.
Angelic Storm - 29.11.2011 at 08:27  
Rating: 9
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 29.11.2011 at 05:21

The problem is the new crowd tries to redefine music whereas it's aleadu set in its sound and ways.


Well, I would have been considered a member of "the new crowd" both when the Black Album came out, and also "Load". As I was in my teens when both albums were released. Yet even back then, the difference in style between the two albums was immediate to me the first moment "Ain't My Bitch" kicked in on my cassette player. (showing my age again there! )

As I stated earlier, had the Black Album been "hard rock", then "Load" wouldn't have been such a huge shock to me when I first heard it. A young person today calling the Black Album hard rock, would be just like me claiming that "Stained Class" by Judas Priest is hard rock. Which compared to something like "Painkiller" or especially "Jugulator" could be seen as a legitimate claim. Yet it isn't, and I would rightly be called out on it if I said so.
JÄY - 11.12.2011 at 03:05  
  After the first time I had sex, I drove to a park, recilned the seat and listened to this.
BoxCar Willy - 28.12.2011 at 17:04  
Rating: 6 I dislike this album, it is basically a sellout album. anything past ...and justice for all is just garbage.
Troy Killjoy - 31.12.2011 at 07:38  
Rating: 7
Written by BoxCar Willy on 28.12.2011 at 17:04
I dislike this album, it is basically a sellout album. anything past ...and justice for all is just garbage.

You aren't elitist enough until you dislike everything prior to the black album too.
BoxCar Willy - 31.12.2011 at 17:08  
Rating: 6
Written by Troy Killjoy on 31.12.2011 at 07:38

Written by BoxCar Willy on 28.12.2011 at 17:04
I dislike this album, it is basically a sellout album. anything past ...and justice for all is just garbage.

You aren't elitist enough until you dislike everything prior to the black album too.

I'm working my way up the totem pole... They've really pissed me of so I hardly listen to the at all. However I really like dyers eve
Vod52 - 02.03.2012 at 19:51  
Rating: 10 Another masterpiece from the band but it doesn't sound like before it's more heavy now
NocturnalStalker - 03.03.2012 at 17:50  
Rating: 6 It was a challenge to listen to this album in its entirety again after all those years. I like only three songs on this album - Sad But True, Wherever I Roam, My Friend Of Misery. And listening to Metallica's ballads... is a pure torture for me. All in all... Not a bad album but a boring one.
jukebox1480 - 07.03.2012 at 04:32  
Rating: 8 Im so sick of people using the word sellout. If you dont like the album,thats fine but just because its different from other albums doesnt mean they are sellouts.Not every band is like Godsmack and puts out the same album every other year.I am all for bands trying to be creative.Sometimes it works and sometimes it dont.Its like if a band becomes successful they are automatically sellouts,such bs. Every one of you would take the extra money too,lol.
Marcel Hubregtse - 07.03.2012 at 04:50  
Rating: 6
Written by jukebox1480 on 07.03.2012 at 04:32

Im so sick of people using the word sellout. If you dont like the album,thats fine but just because its different from other albums doesnt mean they are sellouts.


The reason people call this album a sell out album is not because of the change but because the band said they wanted to reach a larger audience and therefore started writng a different kind of metal and hire Rock to produce it because he had produced Dr Feelgood by Motley Vrue and knew how to make an album appealing to the masses. They even let Rock meddle with the song writing to make it catchier and ffs even let that dickhead of a producer record the bass parts and co-write most of them as well.
A band saying they changed their sound to reach more people IS A SELL OUT BAND
Neiluria - 31.05.2012 at 22:32  
Rating: 10 The fifth album by Metallica, the fifth best album of metallica for me.
Despite the change in style, black album is very good.
The Shape 1973 - 04.06.2012 at 23:28  
Rating: 9 Filling in my back catalogue on CD, finally getting rid of those tapes. Its a long time since I listened to this and it surprizes me how good the production is.

Compared to their earlier stuff the bass sounds really deep. It still has some punch the air moments, but not as thrashy as I remember. When i first listened to it it was the heaviest thing I had heard, now it just seems like straight forward metal, somewhere around Black Sabbath's earlier stuff like Iron Man.

Still the only Metallica album I will listen to. I would guess that it single handedly brought a lot of people to start listening to metal, probably a lot of people on this site as well. How can that be bad?
Angelic Storm - 04.06.2012 at 23:54  
Rating: 9
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 07.03.2012 at 04:50
A band saying they changed their sound to reach more people IS A SELL OUT BAND


When did anyone in Metallica say that? I read loads of interviews with Metallica round about the time of the Black Album, and I never heard them saying that was the reason they changed their sound. James said after Justice they were tired of playing long songs, so deliberately made an album with shorter, more streamlined songs because of that. Maybe you're right, but I've certainly never heard or read anything where a member of Metallica has said they made the album that way to gain more popularity.
Mattybu - 10.07.2012 at 02:49  
 
Written by Angelic Storm on 04.06.2012 at 23:54

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 07.03.2012 at 04:50
A band saying they changed their sound to reach more people IS A SELL OUT BAND


When did anyone in Metallica say that? I read loads of interviews with Metallica round about the time of the Black Album, and I never heard them saying that was the reason they changed their sound.


What musician is going to say in an interview, "Yeah we have a new album coming out, we softened up our sound and abondoned our roots so it'll appeal to a much wider audience. That way we make more money. We all know hookers and blow are expensive!"
Angelic Storm - 10.07.2012 at 07:10  
Rating: 9
Written by Mattybu on 10.07.2012 at 02:49
What musician is going to say in an interview, "Yeah we have a new album coming out, we softened up our sound and abondoned our roots so it'll appeal to a much wider audience. That way we make more money. We all know hookers and blow are expensive!"


Dave Mustaine may have not used those exact words, but he has said he made the early-late 90's albums more commercial as a way of gaining more mainstream popularity.
Marcel Hubregtse - 10.07.2012 at 08:27  
Rating: 6
Written by Angelic Storm on 10.07.2012 at 07:10

Written by Mattybu on 10.07.2012 at 02:49
What musician is going to say in an interview, "Yeah we have a new album coming out, we softened up our sound and abondoned our roots so it'll appeal to a much wider audience. That way we make more money. We all know hookers and blow are expensive!"


Dave Mustaine may have not used those exact words, but he has said he made the early-late 90's albums more commercial as a way of gaining more mainstream popularity.


And so did Metallica, they said they hired Bob Rock for the production because they loved what he had done with Motley Crue's album and that that would give them a much bigger uadience as well and also that's the reason they shortened the songs and toned their sound on Metallica down.
Angelic Storm - 10.07.2012 at 13:54  
Rating: 9
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.07.2012 at 08:27
And so did Metallica, they said they hired Bob Rock for the production because they loved what he had done with Motley Crue's album and that that would give them a much bigger uadience as well and also that's the reason they shortened the songs and toned their sound on Metallica down.


I can't say that they never said that, only that I personally have never read anything where a Metallica member has said they made the black album the way they did specifically to gain more popularity.
Marcel Hubregtse - 10.07.2012 at 13:56  
Rating: 6 Well I have and more than once.

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