Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Metallica - Load (1996)

This is the album that made me loathe everything thereunto that was Metallica, a burgeoning second-hand purveyor of sludgy blues and snarling billboard ballads à la James Hetfield, the replacement Robert Plant of the 1990s (except Hetfield prefers to growl instead of meow.) True, The Black Album was disappointing and inconsistent, but that album, so we believed at the time despite our premature tears, was their sophomore effort, the one where they experimented a bit, right? Well, no. See, if the name Metallica is, in a sense, wordplay on the word metal, certainly Load has become the dross atop it. Scum. Drivel. The ick from a syphilitic dick.

"Ain't My Bitch", the opening track, contains the lyric, "I've already heard this song before" -- and I couldn't agree more. Sure does sound like everything else and not like Metallica anymore, eh? Perhaps they were trying for Alice In Chains-Lite, or Creed with a smarmy snarl, or perchance just the first pioneering thrash outfit to incorporate twang into their tunes and completely lose the riffs? Nah, no self-respecting band would ever do that. I remember being in the car with my mother at the time of this album's release and "Until It Sleeps" came on the radio; and let me tell you something, when this woman -- who could have just two hours earlier screamed at me for raping her ears with "Hit The Lights" -- casually remarked that this song was actually pretty good, I knew that the Metallica I loved was dead and rotting with hundreds of thousands of hungry pop fleas encircling and eating up what newly marketable stink sound it was emanating.

I have little positive to say, other than "King Nothing" and "Hero Of The Day" provide brief glimpses of the former glory these Bay Area thrashers used to indulge in. This abortion of an album along with the subsequent release of its demented sister release, Reload, cemented Metallica's status as the ultimate Benedict Arnold's of the music business. Good luck assholes. I hope you choke on your own shit. F

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