Metallica - Load review
|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
09. Poor Twisted Me
10. Wasting My Hate
11. Mama Said
12. Thorn Within
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.
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| Troy Killjoy
| Void Eater
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