It’s hard to write about an album which affected me so much. There are a few that have had that effect and the first three Metallica albums definitely gave me something new from music. This was a new style for me, I expect I listened to this in the late 80s after getting into Iron Maiden and AC/DC. The sounds of this album and the thematic experience were beyond my then understanding of what heavy metal was.
I used to think that Metallica took the “chug” sound and made it into a note. They took melody and turned that into rhythm. It felt like a whole new way of writing music and it shook me [but not all night long].
For music to be where it is today you have to have all the bands who now bore me. You have to have the big four. Without them music would be different. Although someone else would have got there, I’m not obsessive enough to think that the creativity of humans is so poor that only a few people are capable of changing the world. If not Metallica then another band. If not Picasso then another artist. That seems quite logical to me.
Every song on this album is an artwork. It is a classic. This is an album that should be owned and played by all. It’s stunning. Yet, now, it bores me. My music has moved on and while I can appreciate this album for the genius that it is I rarely play it and consider it almost a part of history. I would rarely seek this album out. I still play AC/DC and some other bands so I’m not sure what it is about this that does that.
If you asked me to list the top ten metal albums I don’t think this one would make it for me. I’d rather have the first Metallica album. I understand that is a controversial choice and I also understand why but the first album is raw. This album is somewhat polished and I’m not so keen on that sound. Which is ironic given my current propensity for electronic industrial music!
Go listen to this. It’s a classic. It’s just history now.