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Review of Metallica's "Master of Puppets"

Updated on July 2, 2012
Unknowing courtesy of Wikipedia
Unknowing courtesy of Wikipedia

Where do I begin?

Perhaps their most highly acclaimed, and reviewed, album, "Master of Puppets" is Metallica's... well, "Master of Puppets!" How does one review an album already reviewed by thousands before him, and in superior formats? You just do it, that's how! So here goes, I'll go song by badass song and give you my opinion of this masterful creation. After looking around for albums to review, I realized I have no Hubs on my second favorite band (behind Judas Priest), so I'm seeking to change all that.

Track List

1. Battery 5:09

2. Master of Puppets 8:35

3. The Thing That Should Not Be 6:34

4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) 6:26

5. Disposable Heroes 8:16

6. Leper Messiah 5:41

7. Orion 8:28

8. Damage Inc. 5:31

Master! Master!

What got me into Metallica was this first song, Battery. I heard it on some sort of Guitar Hero Band World video game BS and instantly was intrigued. I thought very highly of bands like KoRn and Disturbed, naively believing that they were the makers of the world's finest music (I was twelve at the time). So when I hear this song, with its soft strumming tune at the beginning, only to charge into full swing and kick your ass, I wanted to hear more from the band. That is, indeed, how the song works its magic. Something about the guitars and drums, accompanied by Hetfield's then-awesome vocal skill, hits every metalhead in their face and lets them know, if they don't already, something is demanding you attention. The best headbanging moment occurs at the 3:46 part. That's some heavy shit.

The album's title track, and one of their most well-known songs, is up next. How many crowds over the years have chanted "Master! Master!" at live shows (or, like me, in their bedrooms)? A lot, i'd guess. Hetfield's unique and rough vocals are perfect, and the interlude in the middle of the song features some of the most beautiful solo's known to the world of heavy metal. It is definitely one of the longest songs still played on the radio today. Thank God it never gets old.

Good old days!
Good old days! | Source

Review Continued

The third song, The Thing That Should Not Be, tells a tale of a mysterious and deadly sea monster. If you've seen some covers online, bands will add a cool visualizations to bring a real eerie feel to the performance. I think that, overall, each song is brilliant in its own right. This is probably the slowest song on the CD, but definitely one of the heaviest.What follows might be the second most popular track, Welcome Home (Sanitarium). This song is the closest the album has to a ballad. A mix between soft melody and heavy riffs, the song seems to climax at the 4:05 point, and holds that intensity for the rest of the song. A damn good tune.

After that we have the fastest of all the tracks, Disposable Heroes. A very powerful anti-war anti-military anthem with James wailing, "Back to the front!" Not very many bands had such speed or heaviness at that time, and many modern groups still fall short. As always, as well, kudos to Kirk's solo skills. Leper Messiah might be the worst song on the whole release, which isn't an insult since all the other tracks kick ass! As this details corruption and greed, do you get the feeling of some underlying themes on this album? There are drugs, yes, but no girls or heartbreak. There is a mythical monster lurking beneath the sea, but nowhere will you see the glamor of fame or riches from them at this time. And yes, there is even an instrumental:

Orion is the second instrumental released from Metallica at this time, and msot likely the best (To Live is To Die comes a close second). Starting with a cool bass intro, Orion suits any activity the listener might be doing at that moment. Sitting, headbanging, driving, doing homework, or anything else. The bass stands out more on this song than any other, a testament to Cliff's skill. Like Master of Puppets, the instrumental has a beautiful interlude in the middle, making it seem more divinely inspired than written by drunken kids in the 80's. To end, we have Damage Inc., a great finale! In retrospect, it is similar to "Death Magnetic's" All Nightmare Long. Comes closest to the heavier sides of metal than the other songs, with its speed and thundering drums.

Obey your master!

Just leave me ALOOOONE!

Conclusion

I normally rate albums out of ten, but if I were to rate out of 100, then it would be a 95 (which rounds to ten on that scale). Influence aside, this album seriously transcends time and trends when it comes to quality. They weren't setting out to receive radio airplay, they were setting out to write some heavy shit, and write they did.

Overall: 10/10 For musicianship, creativity, heaviness, vocals, and badassery.

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    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 5 years ago from The Garden State

      Oh gawd, yes. This album was the soundtrack to my high school career. They were never this awesome again.

      Cliff Burton would've been 50 years old this week. Man, I miss that guy. R.I.P.

    • Steve Orion profile image
      Author

      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Absolutely! The Justice album, which came out right after, was not quite at this level. Indeed, RIP Cliff. I can't see him doing Load and Reload, let alone St. Anger.

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 5 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      I'm not a big fan of Metallica nor this album, but your review was very nice to read and I'll give the band another chance. My favourite song of theirs was probably "Eye of the Beholder", or "For Whom the Bell Tolls". ^^

    • Steve Orion profile image
      Author

      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Really?! "Eye" was an ok song, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" is pretty badass. I'll do their "Justice" album next, which has some quite heavy tunes on it. But yeah, give these songs a listen, some great tunes in the realm of metal.

    • TheHeavyReview profile image

      TheHeavyReview 5 years ago

      Cool review! I like "Master of Puppets", but not a lot. I've always preferred "Kill 'Em All" and "Ride the Lightning" to this one. I'm not sure I even consider this to be a thrash album, it just doesn't do it for me. Nevertheless, I can't deny the impact this album had on the metal world. "Orion" is an amazing song! RIP Cliff. Very good review.

    • Steve Orion profile image
      Author

      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Thanks for the comment. I think that this was better than both Kill and Lightning, but only by a small margin. Orion is great, indeed, and many bands have some cool covers of the tune, ie. Mastodon and those Spanish guitarists (I can't recall their names) that play acoustic. I can't believe it took me this long to review this album, but I finally got it done.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 5 years ago from Earth

      Metallica kicks ass! Yeah, I liked all of those albums: ...And Justice For All, Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica - the Black Album, and hell, I even liked Load and ReLoad, but not near as much as I did their older stuff.

      Damn, I've drink many beers over the years while listening to that heavy metal band; LOL!

      I haven't listened to their new stuff yet, so I can't comment about that... Rock on!

    • Steve Orion profile image
      Author

      Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Hell yeah, man! Thanks for the comment, their oldest is the best. "Death Magnetic" was an ok album, hopefully their next will be better.

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