Metallica - Load review



Reviewer:
8.0

1587 users:
6.43
Band: Metallica
Album: Load
Release date: June 1996


01. Ain't My Bitch
02. 2 X 4
03. The House Jack Built
04. Until It Sleeps
05. King Nothing
06. Hero Of The Day
07. Bleeding Me
08. Cure
09. Poor Twisted Me
10. Wasting My Hate
11. Mama Said
12. Thorn Within
13. Ronnie
14. The Outlaw Torn


OK, I know you're laughing at my rating, but since I want to be an objective reviewer, I'm not considering what Metallica was in the ?80s: I'm just considering the content of this album. And I'm going to show you that it is not as bad as it seems at first. Load is Metallica's longest work yet, clocking in at about 79 minutes, it is the band's first experimental production and it represents a turning point in the history of Thrash Metal. In fact, thousands of Metallica's early fans decided to abandon their idols after they heard this album and many of them still consider The Four Horsemen as a dead band. But what's wrong with Load? Why is it so awful, so bad, so terrible?

In my opinion, there is just one reason why it has a bad reputation: at the moment Metallica is no longer a Thrash band. You can see it from the frontcover, which has a linear new logo, meaning a total change not only in musical style. You can see it from the cool booklet: things have changed and The Four Horsemen have now short hair! That unpleasant sound in the previous black album gave it an aggressive feeling, but there was just a couple of true heavy tunes [I can's understand how could it reach the 1st position in the US charts]. Now forget about it.

Load has a brand new sound that I label as a mixture between hard rock and 'soft? metal riffs with several experimental elements: quite original. The opening track has a great riff, catchy rhythm and aggressive vocals. But since the second track you can feel bluesy lead guitars and slow, soft riffs. '2 X 4' has an evident Sabbathian feel. The following track is really original: freightening atmospheres, scary lyrics, demoniac wah effects and even a talk box.

'Until It Sleeps' is one of the four singles. Nice song, strange lyrics but nothing special, just a good fretless bass. The fifth track, 'King Nothing', is one of the best on this album: it all turns around a wonderful bass riff. A perfect hard rock rhythm catches you immediately. Lyrics are great, well conceived, catchy and there's a strange ?We're off to never never land? at the end. A great single! Another song, another single: 'Hero Of The Day' is an excellent melodic ballad with a heavy disturbing ending: ?Mama they try and break me?.

The seventh track is my favourite: 'Bleeding Me' has a particular experimental feeling. That wonderful guitar intro looks like the sound of blood flowing slowly out of James? wounds. In this part there is also an electric organ which fits in very well. Great chorus, great vocals, great solo, great atmosphere, great lyrics. It's not easy to describe it, you just have to hear it. Absolutely a masterpiece. The eight track is a simple song, catchy and with good lyrics about medicine. Track nine is slow and maybe boring, but I find it is funny because of James? ?yeah?, ?whoho?, ?oh?! 'Wasting My Hate' is similar to the opening track.

The single 'Mama Said' has been heavily criticized because of its country sound, which I personally don's like. Involving evolution now: 'Thorn Within' has beautiful bluesy lead guitars, excellent symbolic lyrics and an intersting structure; 'Ronnie' is the most original song Metallica has ever done: the introductive riff is played on a special Fender Telecaster guitar with a B bender on the bridge. The result is this bluesy, catchy, excellent song made of penthatonic minor scales. The involving lyrics are about a strange mad guy. The final track is Metallica's longest song: nearly 10 minutes. It is an experimental and mature piece, with excellent lyrics, great bass lines, powerful chorus and unusual structure. One of the best on the album.

Finally, I consider Load as a mature work, ready to face those who don's like static bands. I am one of those. This represents a great step forward, both lyrically and musically: stop talking about death and stop ?acting like maniacs?.
James? vocals are amazing in every song, although they're different from the previous albums. If you are disposed to try something new, you might love Load. If you are one of those who like just the first three albums of every band, I don's know why you are reading this. If you're looking for heavy thrash metal songs, you?d better turn away. One more thing: I remember to you all that I love Master Of Puppets.

Written by The Silent Man | 22.09.2003


 


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 43   Visited by: 263 users
24.02.2009 - 17:39
Agguran
This was actually one of the first Metallica albums that I bought, like 12 years ago, and later found out that they had even better albums.
It's actually pretty good, for a bad album (specially if you don't consider it a metal album). The standards got lower, though. The band is hardly the same from the early days, and you have to admit that even though '...And Justice For All' was a pinnacle, it wasn't particularly liked by the band itself; they even said that the sound was under-engineered. They got too proud, and that was what led to the Black Album, this album, and Re-Load. They were referred in my country as Malo (Bad) and Re-Malo (Re-Bad). It sucks that it's a Metallica album.

At the time, they had contact, and had to compete with more soft mainstream Grunge bands such as Nirvana (even after Cobain's death) Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, NIN when these were at their peak, so they had to lean that way.
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Hear the sound of thunder... Feel it come with all its pride... And it's all yours!
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21.07.2009 - 00:27
Andresopeth
What a great review!, it is well known that Metallica changed completely to make this one, but it is true, is not bad, it's only different, maybe paople hate it because it was Metallica who did this, maybe this could have been the best album of a band without Metallica's reputation. I like this album, not a lot, not my favorite, not to listening everyday, but i can listening completely and have a good time, Maybe Ronnie and Wasting My Hate are bad points, but i like Until It Sleeps, King Nothing and The Outlaw Torn a lot. Of course it is not the same that their first three albums, but is not as crapy as people use to say.
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26.08.2009 - 20:11
Deadmeat
Necrobutcher
Nice shit from metallica... songs like ronnie and poor twisted me are some of the worst songs a metal band has ever wrote imo...
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Υou've sold your human essence to the cold world of dead and empty things... You're SOLD!
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14.12.2009 - 18:09
Met@1lurg
Ha, it is not trash metal or heavy. It was the first "unmetallical" album, i think. This album dont like many people, because after Puppets, Justice and Black albums it was bubble gum.
Hm... Maybe only King Nothing is not bad. The videoclip is fine.
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16.08.2010 - 21:55
Sephiros7
Bottom line...Load is an amazing album. Fact. The bandwagon of hate for Metallica changing their style is so unoriginal at this point. Ya it was shocking at first...but get over it. They're Metallica, they'll do what the f* they want and it'll kick ass. They get more heat for it cause they're "Metallica." Load is what got me into Metallica, all of their music is great. The only sell outs are the fans that abandoned them after Bob Rock joined the crew. Get over it. Death Magnetic is f*ing amazing too. 27 years later almost in their 50's and they're still putting out music that puts all other bands to shame. "Suck it!"
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17.08.2010 - 12:20
vezzy
Stallmanite
Written by Sephiros7 on 16.08.2010 at 21:55

Bottom line...Load is an amazing album. Fact. The bandwagon of hate for Metallica changing their style is so unoriginal at this point. Ya it was shocking at first...but get over it. They're Metallica, they'll do what the f* they want and it'll kick ass. They get more heat for it cause they're "Metallica." Load is what got me into Metallica, all of their music is great. The only sell outs are the fans that abandoned them after Bob Rock joined the crew. Get over it. Death Magnetic is f*ing amazing too. 27 years later almost in their 50's and they're still putting out music that puts all other bands to shame. "Suck it!"


Bottom line... you are wrong. Fact.
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Licensed under the GPLv3.
Relinquish proprietary software for a greater GNU/America.
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23.08.2010 - 21:12
Sephiros7
Written by vezzy on 17.08.2010 at 12:20

Written by Sephiros7 on 16.08.2010 at 21:55

Bottom line...Load is an amazing album. Fact. The bandwagon of hate for Metallica changing their style is so unoriginal at this point. Ya it was shocking at first...but get over it. They're Metallica, they'll do what the f* they want and it'll kick ass. They get more heat for it cause they're "Metallica." Load is what got me into Metallica, all of their music is great. The only sell outs are the fans that abandoned them after Bob Rock joined the crew. Get over it. Death Magnetic is f*ing amazing too. 27 years later almost in their 50's and they're still putting out music that puts all other bands to shame. "Suck it!"


Bottom line... you are wrong. Fact.

Well said sir...backed up with about as much evidence to support your theory as there is available =D
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02.03.2011 - 10:43
ErnilEnNaur
Account deleted
God, it's like they're trying to bore me on purpose... for once the general audience seems to have gotten it right, there's really nothing much to enjoy on this album. They were the kings of 80's thrash, but with this album Metallica truly became the kings of nothing.
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03.03.2011 - 02:04
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Guest on 02.03.2011 at 10:43

God, it's like they're trying to bore me on purpose... for once the general audience seems to have gotten it right, there's really nothing much to enjoy on this album. They were the kings of 80's thrash, but with this album Metallica truly became the kings of nothing.

I wouldn't call them kings of 80's thrash, but I doubt many fans during their "reign" could have anticipated this load.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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03.03.2011 - 02:58
Void Eater
Crunkcore Fan
I may be the only one that doesn't consider this album to be selling out in the slightest. While the Black Album(which I do enjoy) was obviously a commerical product in every sense of the term, Metallica would have done better simply by releasing another trad metal/hard rock album, rather then the heavy blues/rock thing they did with Load. I think this album was a genuine attempt at a stylistic change, and not an attempt for record sales. That being said, its not a great album- Its pretty average, although leagues above the crapfest that was Reload. Hell, I like St. Anger more than Reload....
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03.03.2011 - 10:38
ErnilEnNaur
Account deleted
Written by Troy Killjoy on 03.03.2011 at 02:04

Written by Guest on 02.03.2011 at 10:43

God, it's like they're trying to bore me on purpose... for once the general audience seems to have gotten it right, there's really nothing much to enjoy on this album. They were the kings of 80's thrash, but with this album Metallica truly became the kings of nothing.

I wouldn't call them kings of 80's thrash, but I doubt many fans during their "reign" could have anticipated this load.


I've never been a fan of Slayer and my favorite Megadeth album is Rust In Peace, so Metallica are the kings of 80's thrash in my opinion. But yeah, I can't think of another band with so much talent that decided to throw it all away. Yes, _decided_ to throw it away, because they couldn't have made an album as bad as this on accident. This is something that a lot of people don't seem to realize, but the ability to write good music doesn't just disappear, which is why these kinds of albums annoy me. Metallica know very well that this album sucks, just like CoB know that everything after Hate crew sucks. But they don't care, they're laughing all the way to the bank.
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02.10.2011 - 14:20
afu
As a musician and songwriter, I can completely empathize with exploring new territory. It gets boring to re-tread old territory. People branch out in different ways. They decided to experiment with Rock, but to give it a certain twist. I think it's a pretty good album. Lot's of good riffs and lyrics. For me, it's about the songs, not being Br00tal.
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29.03.2013 - 05:14
Slayerhed1
Metallica was badass up until and justice for all. Black was ok but only a couple songs. Load is a load of shit. Everything after black was not Metallica it was Gaytallica.
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