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Best Metallica album? Ever.

DrFrankCoco

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Every time Metallica comes up as a topic on this forum, I’m reminded of the member who claimed in 2015
that Metallica were so drunk throughout the “Kill ‘Em All” sessions that “a lot
of that record was ghosted by local players.
I distinctly remember a jazz bass player dumbing down some parts for the recording and we all had a good laugh. At least half of the drum tracks were ghosted by local guys.”

Wait! The record sold 2 million copies … These “local guys” didn’t reveal themselves or sue for royalties?

Incredible.

Responding to Vistalite Black’s skepticism, the poster wrote:

“I was there. I saw it with my own eyes. Im sure they could have pulled it off if they were sober. Paul was fed up with their drunkenness and was just trying to get the record done. Im not saying the entire record was ghosted. I do know for a fact that other guys were playing drums, guitar and bass on some tracks. Again, Metallica was not known at the time.”

FWIW: I won’t name names, but several posters bought this far-fetched story:

“Considering everything I've read regarding this band and producer not getting along, this would't be that surprising.”

Wow
Sounds like me
Every time Metallica comes up as a topic on this forum, I’m reminded of the member who claimed in 2015
that Metallica were so drunk throughout the “Kill ‘Em All” sessions that “a lot
of that record was ghosted by local players.
I distinctly remember a jazz bass player dumbing down some parts for the recording and we all had a good laugh. At least half of the drum tracks were ghosted by local guys.”

Wait! The record sold 2 million copies … These “local guys” didn’t reveal themselves or sue for royalties?

Incredible.

Responding to Vistalite Black’s skepticism, the poster wrote:

“I was there. I saw it with my own eyes. Im sure they could have pulled it off if they were sober. Paul was fed up with their drunkenness and was just trying to get the record done. Im not saying the entire record was ghosted. I do know for a fact that other guys were playing drums, guitar and bass on some tracks. Again, Metallica was not known at the time.”

FWIW: I won’t name names, but several posters bought this far-fetched story:

“Considering everything I've read regarding this band and producer not getting along, this would't be that surprising.”

Wow View attachment 560830
Sounds like Metallica.
 

Cauldronics

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I grew up with metal. Metallica was standard issue. Megadeth, Slayer and Pantera were always my better preference. Not to mention Voivod. Canadian math metal. Way before their time and superior musicians.
Apart from Lombardo, I think Megadeth had the best musicians, meaning he carried Slayer. Mustaine's had scary good players in Megadeth.
 
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ppfd

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Orion is epic. Anything before the black album is spot on. How does a band get worse and worse with time? Must be the $ they can barely play their own songs now.
I have to agree, I can't pick a favorite on anything before the "black" album. If I had to, it would be "and justice" even though the bass was turned way down. That double bass pattern for "One" is amazing. And the video really wigs me out still!
Death Magnetic and Hardwired are pretty good and, dare I say Death might be a touch to the old Metallica.

For a fun recording that showcases the bands talent, "Garage Inc" is a must have.

First time I saw Metallica was Monsters of Rock in my hometown of Akron Ohio. It was a rare very high 90's day. So warm the fire dept was hosing people down.
Metallica came out in jeans, thermals and flannel shirts and just killed the entire show.
 

mydadisjr

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Metallica had something special going on with MASTER and JUSTICE that Slayer and Megadeth just couldn't touch. I guess it comes down mainly to songwriting. That's why I always liked JUSTICE the best... lots of really interesting composition/arrangement things going on.

I tried to like Megadeth, but they always just sounded kinda flat. Bland vocals, bland song writing, plus Mustaine is just a loud mouth fart.

BUT I thought Marty Friedman was/is just spectacular. One of my favorite heavy guitarists... just think if he coulda played with Metallica (sorry, Kirk, but I gotta call 'em as I see 'em).

Then there is Slayer... aren't they just a made-up comic book band acting really hard to be all devilish and satan-ish and anti-religious? So silly and oh-so sophomoric.
 

1988fxlr

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Metallica had something special going on with MASTER and JUSTICE that Slayer and Megadeth just couldn't touch. I guess it comes down mainly to songwriting. That's why I always liked JUSTICE the best... lots of really interesting composition/arrangement things going on.

I tried to like Megadeth, but they always just sounded kinda flat. Bland vocals, bland song writing, plus Mustaine is just a loud mouth fart.

BUT I thought Marty Friedman was/is just spectacular. One of my favorite heavy guitarists... just think if he coulda played with Metallica (sorry, Kirk, but I gotta call 'em as I see 'em).

Then there is Slayer... aren't they just a made-up comic book band acting really hard to be all devilish and satan-ish and anti-religious? So silly and oh-so sophomoric.
Metallica was the one who made great records, but Slayer was the one to see live. Saw the big 4 tour at Yankee Stadium and I’m pretty sure if Metallica could have gone third without losing face they would have. Slayer was not the thrash band you wanted to follow on to stage
 

drums1225

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I was always thoroughly unimpressed with Lombardo. What I heard was a lot of sloppy, out-of-sync double bass, simplistic single stroke rolls around the kit, and polka beats set to thrash guitars. Lars is and was notoriously sloppy, has poor technique (especially on double bass), and his time is largely horrendous, but his parts were always interesting, creative, and musical. I would rather listen to 1980's Lars over Lombardo (and Metallica over Slayer) all day, every day.

Back in that era, Charlie Benante from Anthrax could play circles around any of those old-school thrash guys, and pulled everything off flawlessly live, often even faster than the records. The first time I heard "Gung Ho", I was in disbelief that it was even physically possible to play double bass that fast and clean. Until then, "Fast as a Shark" by Accept was the fastest double bass tune we were aware of. Actually, Charlie talks about getting the gig with Anthrax by playing Fast as a Shark.

Being a New Yorker, I saw 'Thrax in clubs (L' Amour in Brooklyn and the Ritz) before they really hit big nationally, and Charlie was jaw-droppingly insane every time. His parts were mostly straight ahead thrash drumming, but his time, his chops, and especially his double bass playing were blazing fast and dead on. He was superhuman. I always preferred more creative drumming, but Charlie was THE double bass guy back then.
 

XVIII Airborne

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To me their best album is easily Master of Puppets. It has everything you want in a Metallica album, the energy, the seething anger, the speed and they were pulling no punches with that album. I saw them as an opening band in that era, opening for Ozzy In 1986. Ozzy could not have picked a worse opening band, they blew him off the stage. They had that crowd so worked up in that 40 mins that they were ready to rip the seats out and burn the place down. Then Ozzy came out, drunken, slurring words, just horrible.
 

Vistalite Black

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Metallica had something special going on with MASTER and JUSTICE that Slayer and Megadeth just couldn't touch. I guess it comes down mainly to songwriting. That's why I always liked JUSTICE the best... lots of really interesting composition/arrangement things going on.

I tried to like Megadeth, but they always just sounded kinda flat. Bland vocals, bland song writing, plus Mustaine is just a loud mouth fart.

BUT I thought Marty Friedman was/is just spectacular. One of my favorite heavy guitarists... just think if he coulda played with Metallica (sorry, Kirk, but I gotta call 'em as I see 'em).

Then there is Slayer... aren't they just a made-up comic book band acting really hard to be all devilish and satan-ish and anti-religious? So silly and oh-so sophomoric.
Opinions are something that everyone has ... To me, the riff in Slayer's "Raining Blood" is the sound I'll hear as I walk through the gates to everlasting damnation. It's pure evil, and it still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

That said, I kind of agree with my son's view that Slayer had about three great riffs that they used again and again with varying success.

On the other hand, every successful band faces enormous pressure (from the record companies that pay them) to broaden their appeal, record a song that the ladies will like (or at least not hate), record a ballad, embrace more melody. Metallica made the Black Album, Megadeth recorded songs like "A Tout Le Monde," but Slayer remained Slayer until the bitter end. Also, without Slayer, I wonder if there'd be all the greybeard metal bands that exist now.

Metal has had plenty of ridiculous bands, but Slayer is not one of them.
 

Tommy D

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I've been listening to Metallica in the car lately. Here are my thoughts:

Kill 'em All is not bad. A good debut album but James' voice is terrible and there are some songs that get boring just a couple minutes in to them.

Lightning has a good beginning and end but the middle is bleh...

Master is where Metallica kicked their Mustaine inspired "speed metal" out of them and really found their own sound. IMO, it's their best album of their early work.

Justice is okay. A few good songs but lots of crap in there as well. The songs are too damn long and a lot of them go nowhere.

Black album is where Metallica finally got the production value upped big time and really tightened up their song writing. The songs are certainly different from what came before, but they don't get boring half way through like some of their earlier work did. James' riffs and his voice are the best they have ever been. Kirk's solos are the best they have ever been. Lars' drum sound is the best its ever been and Jason kicks it on the bass the whole album. Yes, it was their most popular but there's good reasoning for that. Definitely the best of their middle work. Hands down.

Load & Re-Load, yeah not their best work but music changed big time from 1991's Black album until 1994 and Metallica had to adapt or die. We still got some good songs out of them though.

Garage, Inc and St. Anger. Metallica felt "lost" in these albums. No clue what their sound was, where music was going, where the band was going, where their lives were going and the albums reflect this. I prefer to not remember these albums. Nothing good came from them.

Death Magnetic was a "redemption album" for Metallica. Faster and longer songs trying to get back to their early roots. I remember being very excited when this album came out. Upon re-listening, some songs are good, others get boring. So I guess they achieved the goal of going back to their roots. The best of their later work I believe.

Hardwired... I'm so bored listening to this album. It's like they combined their long song style early work with the song writing abilities of Load and Reload. A "safe" album but ultimately a boring one.

So, it's Master of Puppets (early), Black Album (middle) and Death Magnetic (late) that are their best studio albums in my book. But for best "Album" it would have to be Live S**t: Binge and Purge. Metallica at the height of their abilities. Fast, aggressive, James's voice is great, the best of their old work combined with the best or their middle work. Yeah, you miss out on their later work but that's okay. Great live album.
 
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1988fxlr

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I've been listening to Metallica in the car lately. Here are my thoughts:

Kill 'em All is not bad. A good debut album but James' voice is terrible and there are some songs that get boring just a couple minutes in to them.

Lightning has a good beginning and end but the middle is bleh...

Master is where Metallica kicked their Mustaine inspired "speed metal" out of them and really found their own sound. IMO, it's their best album of their early work.

Justice is okay. A few good songs but lots of crap in there as well. The songs are too damn long and a lot of them go nowhere.

Black album is where Metallica finally got the production value upped big time and really tightened up their song writing. The songs are certainly different from what came before, but they don't get boring half way through like some of their earlier work did. James' riffs and his voice are the best they have ever been. Kirk's solos are the best they have ever been. Lars' drum sound is the best its ever been and Jason kicks it on the bass the whole album. Yes, it was their most popular but there's good reasoning for that. Definitely the best of their middle work. Hands down.

Load & Re-Load, yeah not their best work but music changed big time from 1991's Black album until 1994 and Metallica had to adapt or die. We still got some good songs out of them though.

Garage, Inc and St. Anger. Metallica felt "lost" in these albums. No clue what their sound was, where music was going, where the band was going, where their lives were going and the albums reflect this. I prefer to not remember these albums. Nothing good came from them.

Death Magnetic was a "redemption album" for Metallica. Faster and longer songs trying to get back to their early roots. I remember being very excited when this album came out. Upon re-listening, some songs are good, others get boring. So I guess they achieved the goal of going back to their roots. The best of their later work I believe.

Hardwired... I'm so bored listening to this album. It's like they combined their long song style early work with the song writing abilities of Load and Reload. A "safe" album but ultimately a boring one.

So, it's Master of Puppets (early), Black Album (middle) and Death Magnetic (late) that are their best studio albums in my book. But for best "Album" it would have to be Live S**t: Binge and Purge. Metallica at the height of their abilities. Fast, aggressive, James's voice is great, the best of their old work combined with the best or their middle work. Yeah, you miss out on their later work but that's okay. Great live album.
In defense of Garage Inc, it turned me and a lot of other 12 year olds in 1998 on to a lot of other bands that were worth investigating. We all could have done without “Tuesday’s gone” though
 

MJB

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Master of puppets definitely.They learned how to play there instruments better by this album. I think losing Cliff really changed there sound not for the better.
 

Vistalite Black

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In defense of Garage Inc, it turned me and a lot of other 12 year olds in 1998 on to a lot of other bands that were worth investigating. We all could have done without “Tuesday’s gone” though
The original 1987 $5.98 - Garage Days Re-Revisited EP had just five songs:

Helpless - Diamond Head
The Small Hours - Holocaust
The Wait - Killing Joke
Crash Course in Brain Surgery - Budgie
Last Caress/Green Hell - Misfits

It was definitely my first exposure to those bands, and it definitely widened my perspective of metal .. . Expanding to 27 tracks in 1998 was mostly good, but there were some stinkers on that version (Whiskey in the Jar, for one, though I love their support for Thin Lizzy).
 

1988fxlr

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The original 1987 $5.98 - Garage Days Re-Revisited EP had just five songs:

Helpless - Diamond Head
The Small Hours - Holocaust
The Wait - Killing Joke
Crash Course in Brain Surgery - Budgie
Last Caress/Green Hell - Misfits

It was definitely my first exposure to those bands, and it definitely widened my perspective of metal .. . Expanding to 27 tracks in 1998 was mostly good, but there were some stinkers on that version (Whiskey in the Jar, for one, though I love their support for Thin Lizzy).
I thought they did fine with Lizzy and Seger, but Skynyrd is terrible although its not one of my preferred Skynyrd songs to begin with. A metal version of Gimme Back My Bullets could have been way more interesting
 


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