Metallica - Metallica (1991)
**** it, I think I'm gonna revisit a few more metal albums from my younger days that I haven't listened to in years out of indifference. I mentioned in the above review that Metallica were my gateway to metal, and I can't overemphasize that. The first four albums I ever bought were Master of Puppets
, and Ride the Lightning
. I was quite simply obsessed and listened to almost nothing else for god knows how long.
I loved Metallica like I've loved no other band before or since. Maybe that's down to being older and less passionate about things in general, but I think it's also because my eventual disillusionment with them being sellouts* left me too scarred to ever really give my heart and soul to a band like I did with them. I honestly don't even really feel nostalgia toward Metallica, so deeply did I cut out any positive feelings toward them I had as a kid.
It's no wonder I went straight to Megadeth and Dave Mustaine afterward. We both shared a hated enemy who we wanted to see dead (Luckily we've both moved on from such childishness. >_>)
* It was no later than 2002-2003 when I made this "discovery". Hey, we were all mindless sheep when we were in high school.
But that's neither here nor there. So, The Black Album
. Haven't listened to this album in dogs' years, and I've somehow been able to avoid "Enter Sandman" for so long that it's entirely possible that my overexposure to it has worn off. Not gonna hold my breath though. I heard that song WAY too many ****ing times in high school. Way too many ****ing times. It was the early 2000s and my local rock radio station was still playing it seemingly every hour on the hour.
**** it, all the things I said about Countdown to Extinction
pretty much apply to my current opinion of The Black Album
, so let's just get down to business...
1. Enter Sandman:
Damn. Jumping right into the deep end, huh. Well, let's see if my indifference has worn off.
That is a pretty cool build up. I'll give the song that. And it kicks off pretty hard as well. Nah, though. The initial thrill has still worn off. It's certainly a catchy song, but... I'm over it as much as I ever was. Without that kick-in-the-nuts ear worm quality, this song just doesn't have enough going for it to reignite any fire under my ass.
Two minutes left and I'm already waiting for it to be over. Why was this ever my favorite song in all the world again?
2. Sad but True:
Don't get me wrong, I'd probably like this song a lot better if "Harvester of Sorrow" hadn't already existed. Metallica just self-plagiarized themselves with this one, and dumbed themselves down in the process. The original is brutal as all ****, but this just isn't nearly as good.
And again, I've just heard this far too many times for it to have much impact. It just feels like I left a boring conversation in a party to go smoke a cigarette, forgot exactly what the people were talking about, came back in, and then remembered why I left in the first place. And now I'm kept hostage, since leaving a second time would just be rude.
3. Holier than Thou:
Finally, a song I haven't heard five million and one times. And I was already over the band by the time I got into marathon music downloading sessions, so I don't think I ever even listened to this that many times.
I'm getting the same lobotomized thrash vibe that I did from a lot of Countdown to Extinction
, but at least this pulls off the arena hard rock thing off with more personality than that album [I'm looking this over after about a half hour later, and I take it all back. Up with Countdown and **** this ****]
. Still, I'm only mildly interested. Maybe I shouldn't have burned myself out on mediocre Megadeth, cause mediocre Metallica is becoming a chore.
What's next? "The Unforgiven"? Good. I actually still like that song.
4. The Unforgiven:
I love the epic, tragic vibe of this song. Even though I've heard it more times than the sound of my hand on my penis it's still pretty great. Just metal enough to be badass, melodic enough to tug at the heart strings, and it's somehow catchy in a low-key kind of way that doesn't become irritating with overexposure.
Maybe a bit overlong, but I'm probably just in need of some powerviolence after all this tepid hard rock/metal-lite.
5. Where Ever I May Roam:
Probably the only other overexposed song that I have hope of still liking. It's different enough, with too much coolness going on, for me to ever truly get over. Yeah, it's sounding pretty nice.
Alright, maybe I have heard this too many times. The main riff is awesome, but not enough to keep me from getting bored for a whole six minutes and forty-four seconds. Yeah I'm fading. At least the songs on Countdown
were short, but there are way, WAY too many songs over five minutes on this thirteen-song album.
Wait a minute, why is "So What?" at the end? That was most definitely not on The Black Album
. I guess they've since thrown it on as a bonus track? Whatevs. I remember it being a fun song.
6. Don't Tread on Me:
I know I said in the last review that James' vocals on this album weren't as embarrassing as Dave's on his, but at least Mustaine's goofy singing had character. James Hetfield is just boring as a hard rock singer. On paper he's any band's dream, but... I don't know. I just don't at all care about what he's doing.
I remember that I'd never heard this song on the radio, and then 9/11 hit and it was everywhere. Of course us Americans were all about it back then, cause 'Murica, but now it's just bleeding into the rest of the surprisingly faceless pseudo-thrash on this album. Which is weird, cause they don't all sound alike, but they all have some variation of the same unmemorable chugging riffs.
7. Through the Never:
And yet another interchangeable not-thrash tune, except that this is one of the filler tracks on the album. So it's even more unmemorable. God, now I wish I could go listen to Countdown to Extinction
. I think I might after this, just out of spite.
The old, childhood hate is slowly returning, except due to boredom rather than some silly sense of betrayal.
Aw, ****! The next song is...
8. Nothing Else Matters:
**** me. This song is six and a half minutes long and I'm already bored from the last seven songs. Remember how I said Metallica plagiarized themselves with "Sad but True"? Well this is a second-rate dead ringer for "Fade to Black" (which is one of my all-time fav Metallica tunes, unlike this snoozefest).
When James sings "Never cared for what they do! Never cared for what they know! But I know!", it just sounds so awful. You can't sing, dumbass. Stop trying. You got away with it on "The Unforgiven", but you've lost the plot on this one. God, now that I'm paying attention his whole performance on this song is just an abortion.
Is this song over? I think so. Yup. Thank god. Never realized just how much I hated it. I always thought I was just indifferent. I was wrong.
9. Of Wolf and Man:
I have some hope for this song. I seem to remember still digging it even after I stopped liking this album, so it's possible this could rejuvenate me. Yeah, the chugging riffs are a bit more memorable this time, and it's only a little over four minutes long.
But there are still four more songs I have to slog through. I wasn't prepared for just how much I don't care about The Black Album
. I seriously didn't start this for the express purpose of ****ting on it, it just sorta happened. I think I might actually rather listen to St. Anger
to be perfectly honest, but don't quote me on that. I'd definitely rather listen to Load
10. The God That Failed:
Alright, this is yet another mid-paced chugger, but that's a pretty sweet riff. Okay, only five minutes long. That's not too
bad. I can last this one out without hating its guts. Probably. Don't quote me on that.
11. My Friend of Misery:
I was just going back to make a comment in the middle of song three, so I missed the transition, but **** this song too. And it's almost seven god damn minutes long. I guess they justify that by making it kinda ballady (cause ballads need to be long, right?) but really it's just more boring, mid-paced, boring, tepid, boring rock-thrash. God damn it.
How much left? Only two and a half minutes? Good? Still too damn long.
12. The Struggle Within:
And here we come to the last of the filler tracks, and the end of the album. Thank. ****ing. God. I was ready for Countdown
to be over, but I wasn't praying for it. Jesus Christ.
Oh my god, James Hetfielf may even sound ****tier here than on "Nothing Else Matters" (I just had to take almost ten seconds to remember the title because that's how fried my brain is from the deluge of mediocrity). He's got this goofy rhythm going on that makes it clear why they stuck this (thankfully short) ****fest at the back of this album.
**** it. I'm cheating.
13. So What?:
Seriously, does anyone else remember this song being on this album? I thought it was some cover from Garage Inc
. I also don't remember it being this boring. It's not awful or anything, but whatever the original sounds like must have far more energy than this. Merely a meh, rather than a "**** all of this and everything that Lars Ulrich cares about !".
NO NO NO NO DON'T YOU DARE START TO REPLAY!!! **** YOU, "ENTER SANDMAN"!!! **** YOU SO HARD!!!
Alright, so, that wasn't good. Honestly, each individual song isn't so bad, and a few of them are even good, but when taken all in one sitting, one HOUR AND SIX MINUTE LONG SITTING, it becomes torture. My indifferent quasi-dislike has just become a grudge. Next time some twat comes to this site with an "Everybody hates on this album, but it's not nearly as bad as all these mindless sheep make it out to be" or a "Say whatever you want to about it, but it sold more copies than you ever could" or even "It's not that great, but I still kinda like it", I'm going to jump down their throat and **** them in the mouth. Seriously. The Black Album
just made an enemy.
Someone get me Dave Mustaine's number.