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ALBUMS

KILL 'EM ALL

CD $15.49
TAPE $10.49

Release Date:1983

Review by CDNOW: Few albums draw a line in the sand like Metallica's debut, Kill 'Em All. Others may have come first, but the entire thrash-metal movement solidified itself with this explosive speed-riffing juggernaut. Upon initial release, all heavy metal before it -- with the exception of Motorhead -- suddenly sounded slow; whereas afterward, an entire new army of bands took up the carpal-tunnel-inducing rhythmic attack. In an instant, there was thrash metal, speed metal, and death metal rubbing up against the unfettered velocity of hardcore punk. Something new was definitely in the air.
With lyrics concerned with neither girls nor partying, the songs from these serious metal maestros stressed ominous chords and spirited, ghoulish shouting without resorting to the labyrinthine, Dungeons & Dragons-type mysticism championed by such bands as Iron Maiden. Singer James Hetfield, not yet an accomplished stylist, saw himself as a general leading his band of freedom fighters into the abyss. Such tunes as "Metal Militia" and "The Four Horsemen" were designed to give listeners the idea they were headed on a dangerous and thrilling ride. Guitarists Hetfield and Kirk Hammett combined for a perfectly woven attack, playing with both abandon and precision, and powered by the unrestrained assault of drummer Lars Ulrich and bassist Cliff Burton.

While Metallica went on to become well known and respected for its multitiered songwriting constructions, the material here, for the most part, is much simpler. As a band new to the studio, Metallica had only its live show to showcase. The flat-out aggression of "Whiplash" and "Hit the Lights" served as live-show staples, and their versions here nearly reproduce that adrenaline-injected energy.

There are countless highlights: "Jump in the Fire," "Phantom Lord," "Seek & Destroy" and "The Four Horsemen" kick out the jams from every direction. The superior musicianship demonstrated here hinted at even greater accomplishments to come, but Kill 'Em All wasn't a bad way to start.

RIDE THE LIGHTNING

CD $15.49
TAPE
$10.49

Release Date:1984

Review by CDNOW: Staff Picks are personal recommendations from the music collections of CDNOW's knowledgeable technical, administrative, marketing, merchandising, customer service, and managerial staff.
Before the huge Napster controversy, before the 10 million copies of "the Black Album" were sold, and even before bassist Cliff Burton was tragically killed in an infamous tour bus accident, Metallica was at work developing a dedicated fan base by adhering to three simple tenets: Harder. Faster. Louder.

While Metallica’s debut album Kill 'Em All was nothing more than a brutal assault, this follow-up is marked by a greater sense of craftsmanship in both writing and playing. Ride the Lightning takes everything great from its predecessor, and begins to add the sounds of experience and confidence. It’s still a bunch of kids doing the only thing they know how to do, without the "benefit" of a slick production and management team -- but that’s what makes this CD what it is. The songs are too long and generally too unpolished for commercial airplay, yet that didn’t stop the album from becoming a success and propelling Metallica toward the mega-stardom they would soon enjoy.

On the merits of "Fade to Black" alone, this album would qualify as a must-have. But more importantly, this early Metallica is what inspired 90% of the metal genre in the '80s and beyond. It’s not only great to listen to, but it’s significant from a historical perspective as well. Ride the Lightning is raw energy, pure and unadulterated. A little rough around the edges, perhaps, but a landmark album no headbanger should be without.

 

MASTER OF PUPPETS

CD $15.49
TAPE $10.49

Release Date:1986

Review by College Media: Since its beginning, Metallica has been lumped into the thrash/death/speed metal category, and it's unfortunate. They possess all the power, speed and aggression found in that genre, but Metallica is more musical. Each track is quite long, yet kept alive by unpredictable chord changes and arrangements. The album starts off with a nice acoustic - gasp - guitar intro, kicking into a fast-paced headbanging delight called "Battery." "Damage Inc.," or the title track and the rest come across heavy without being mindless, powerful but not brutal, and, above all, always exciting. Don't underestimate these guys; if this album follows the great success of their previous LP, Ride The Lightning, this young band just may become the next big thing.

...AND JUSTICE FOR ALL

CD $15.49
TAPE $10.49

Release Date:1989

Review by College Media: How to convince the unmoshing millions of Metallica's wonderfulness? The joys of speed metal are usually lost on the MOR-drained minds of the well-named "masses," who inexplicably prefer The Cosby Show and traditional sexual mores to a good, solid bounce around the living room. Perhaps we could explain the intelligence in the grooves of Metallica's records, their well-considered beliefs in liberty and basic freedoms. Even George Bush couldn't deny those values. Perhaps a dissertation on the roots of Metallica's music is in order; their reverence for such critically acclaimed practitioners as the Misfits is worn on their sleeves. Maybe the economic approach will work, explaining how, without commercial radio airplay or MTV play (they've never made a real video, though they've released a videocassette of live material from audience bootlegs) they sell millions of records and help keep American industry growing. But perhaps best of all would be to play.. .And Justice For All very, very loud. Go ahead-it just might work. Top cuts: "Harvester Of Sorrow," "To Live Is To Die," ". . .And Justice For All."

 

METALLICA (BLACK ALBUM)

CD $15.49
TAPE $10.49

Release Date:1991

 

LOAD

CD $15.49
TAPE $10.49

Release Date:1996

Review by CDNOW: In the five years since the release of their last album, Metallica has corroded beyond recognition.

Their 1996 opus, Load, not only ranks as one of this year's biggest disappointments, but comes across as a parody of the intelligent, brooding hard rock which made Metallica's eponymous 1991 disc a watershed.

Alas, the very attributes which used to define Metallica as poignant and powerful have now become business-as-usual. Today the world is all too familiar with Hetfield's growl, Lars' scowl, and the other stern Metallica trademarks that once-upon-a-time seemed to indicate integrity and purpose.

Granted, Load possesses a few redeeming moments: "Hero of the Day" injects an iota of uplift amid the rampant sturm und drang, and "Mama Said" provides a desperately needed peek behind Metallica's armor. But all other potential escape routes from the dungeon are blocked by trudging tunes, stale riffs, and Hetfield's neo-gregorian recitation of gripes.

Perhaps it was inevitable that Metallica would collapse under the weight of their own dour pretension. Rather than indulge in a glimmer of mirth, they avoid humor as if it were the ebola virus. Hetfield & Co. prefer to proudly wear their angst like an endlessly dripping red bandage of courage -- encrusted with blood and bile -- on their deeply furrowed brows.

Nobody is suggesting that Metallica transform themselves into alterno/metal's answer to Up With People, but hey, even the most incorrigible gloomsters can benefit from a change of attitude (or at least a fresh tourniquet) every few years.

Sooner or later, all 15-year-old metalheads grow up, move out of their parents' wood-paneled basement rec rooms, and join the human race -- or else embrace rage, masturbation and fantasy as their chosen (albeit frustrating) alternative reality. In their devotion to purity of artistic purpose, Metallica doesn't recognize their own ever-thickening right hand callouses, or the vanishing line which separates Load from wank. Get a grip, guys.

RELOAD

CD $15.49
TAPE $10.49

Release Date:1997

Review by College Media: "No rules but Metallica rules," frontman James Hetfield was quoted as saying just before the release of the band's 1991 commercial breakthrough, the so-called "black album." The double entendre - a humdinger to begin with - applies even more now than it did before. No doubt you've heard petulant headbangers quibbling over the band members' new haircuts and the Anton Corbijn photography in the Load liner notes since the album hit the racks in spring of '96, but it's useless flailing: Metallica makes its own stinkin' rules, and the fact remains that the band is the most colossal active hard rock band in the world, a juggernaut that's always at the top of its game. In fact, no other band can even rock their way onto the playing field, a fact resoundingly proven by Reload: Not only is Metallica back on schedule, releasing albums and touring on a somewhat regular basis, but amazingly, Reload is actually mostly made up of Load outtakes! Unbelievable. The opening scorcher, "Fuel," and its firey break, with nothing but Hetfield's growling "Gimme fuel, gimme fire, gimme that which I desire!" will have your humble abode rocking and crumbling Earthquake!-style. Once you're sufficiently pumped, imitate the poses in the live photos and dig into "Carpe Diem Baby," "Devil's Dance," "Bad Seed" and "Prince Charming."

GARAGE INC.

CD $21.99
TAPE $16.49
VINYL $16.99

Release Date:1999

Review by MTV: Many diehard Metallica fans (myself included) already have most of the second disc of this giant (over two hours of music) package, which collects every cover song the band has committed to vinyl, tape, or disc. This is a treasure trove in itself, for both the fans who missed the original release of Garage Days Re-Visited (which is included here in its entirety) and the hardcore completists who are still missing one or two of those Motorhead covers. Of course, now you can have all these songs -- and then some, like the band's monster take on Diamond Head's "Am I Evil?" or the classic rip through the Misfits' "Last Caress" -- on one convenient disc.

What links the previously released material on Garage Inc. with the eleven new covers recorded especially for this release is the band's pure love and respect for the acts they cover, and the influence those acts brought to the members of Metallica themselves. Even though the new covers are a more diverse lot than before, including such far-ranging choices as Bob Seger' "Turn The Page" and Nick Cave's "Loverman," each song is treated as a bona fide classic by Metallica and performed with joy and enthusiasm.

 

 

SINGLES

ONE

CD $3.49
CD $26.99 (EP)

 

 

HERO OF THE DAY

CD $1.99

 

 

NO LEAF CLOVER

CD $9.99

 

 

KING NOTHING

CD $1.99

 

 

WHISKEY IN THE JAR

CD $9.99

 

 

THE UNFORGIVEN II

CD $1.99

 

 

TURN THE PAGE

CD $9.99

 

 

NOTHING ELSE MATTERS

CD $9.99

 

 

 

 

INTERVIEWS

INTERVIEW VOL.1

CD $9.99

 

 

INTERVIEW VOL.2

CD $9.99

 

 

INTERVIEW & BIOGRAPHY

CD $9.99

 

 




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