Metallica is the fifth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica. Released on August 12, 1991, by Elektra Records, it is commonly referred to as The Black Album because of its packaging design. Its recording took place at One on One Studios in Los Angeles over an eight-month span that frequently found Metallica at odds with their new producer Bob Rock. The album marked a change in the band's music from the thrash metal style of their previous four albums to a slower, heavier, and more refined sound. Metallica promoted Metallica with a series of tours. They also released five singles to promote the album: "Enter Sandman", "The Unforgiven", "Nothing Else Matters", "Wherever I May Roam", and "Sad but True", all of which have been considered to be among the band's best-known songs. The song "Don't Tread on Me" was also issued to rock radio shortly after the album's release but did not receive a commercial single release. Metallica received widespread critical acclaim and became the band's best-selling album. It debuted at number one in ten countries and spent four consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard 200, making it Metallica's first album to top the album charts. Metallica is one of the best-selling albums worldwide, and also one of the best-selling albums in the United States since Nielsen SoundScan tracking began. The album was certified 16× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2012, and has sold over sixteen million copies in the United States, being the first album in the SoundScan era to do so. Metallica played Metallica in its entirety during the 2012 European Black Album Tour. In 2020, the album was ranked number 235 on Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. In December 2019, Metallica became the fourth release in American history to enter the 550-week milestone on the Billboard 200. It also became the second longest-charting traditional title in history, and the second to spend 550 weeks on the album charts.Wikipedia
This is music for people to listen to while fantasizing about bench pressing 500 pounds, throwing the game winning touchdown, Eiffel-towering Pamela Anderson, and kicking some commie ass (does "Lars Ulrich" sound suspiciously European i.e. commie?). But then they open their eyes to discover they've smashed a family bucket of KFC and crushed a 12-pack of light beer while yelling at the television and telling their fat wife to try to look pretty every once in a while. If Flavortown had a soundtrack it would be this album. A goatee-fueled bomb-dot-com explosion of repressed sexuality. Lights out delicious.
“Metallica” by Metallica (1991) I’m very familiar with this album, which I first listened to on the recommendation of a good friend a couple of years ago 😁. This album is top quality in texture, production values, composition, and theology. Yes, theology. Instrumentals and vocals, well-produced and mixed, deliver a powerful and dark ambience, clean distortion and overdrive. Intense lead vocal and driving rhythm guitar by James Hetfield, with robust percussion by Lars Ulrich. Exquisite lead guitar with some fine solo work by Kirk Hammett. Explosive yet steady bass by Jason Newsted. “Enter Sandman” is a nightmare-inducing thrash lullaby, expressing the disturbing irony of a father’s loving and comforting bedtime words to his young son, which are compromised by the horrors that lie behind daddy’s own feigned verities. Set in a minor key (Em—the perfect key for soulful guitar), the song reveals radical disconnect between the soothing and encouraging things parents say to their children at bedtime and the terror and dread in their own psyches. It’s further accentuated by the lyrical suggestion that the ironic disconnect is intentional. It’s as if the father is telling his young son, “I’m here to give you assurance and security, but your fears are completely justified, heh-heh.” Why do we ask our children to declare each night “If I should die before I wake . . .”? What horrible and perverse suggestion. It’s probably the most terrifying use of the subjunctive in the history of English discourse. This song is one of the few Metallica songs my real-life adult son actually likes. A voice inside me says, “What the hell does that mean?” “Don’t Tread on Me” begins with a riff from Leonard Bernstein’s “America” (mixed meter 6/8-3/4) from “West Side Story”, hinting that a jingoistic anthem is on its way. And Metallica delivers, Yankee Doodle Dandy. America—deadly, war mongering, and all at once celebrating and threatening the Spirit of ‘76 as symbolized by the Gadsden flag (“Don’t Tread on Me”). If the lyrics are read without irony, the only thing that’s missing is “God Bless America”. Popular piety at its worst, but you’d better take it seriously. On “The Unforgiven” there seems to be a good number of references to Hollywood westerns, from the obvious title (same as the 1960 film with Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn) to the lyrical theme of the classic western hero. It’s interesting that Clint Eastwood’s “Unforgiven” was released the year after Metallica’s “The Unforgiven” (Connection?). The percussion instrumentation and guitar arpeggios echo Ennio Morricone’s scoring of “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly” and “For a Few Dollars More”. This merits further exploration. I think Eastwood and Metallica should collaborate on a western movie. I’d wear a mask to see it. Even if it situates inner moral conflict in the context of lethal one-on-one confrontation. Prepare to meet your God as “The Unforgiven”. Setting God aside for a moment, “Nothing Else Matters” is, of course, a rock classic. Anthem status. The musical composition is brilliant, with intriguing choices (for a metal band) in the instrumentals, including acoustic guitar with reverb and orchestral background throughout. Again, in the very guitar-friendly E-minor, the arrangement provides the perfect setting for this love ballad, demonstrating an expansive creative range for a band known for “heavy metal”. Interestingly, this song only charted at #34 in the U.S. (#1 in Poland, though—that says a lot about the political and cultural scene in 1992). “Holier than Thou”, a little toxic masculinity goin’ out to all the Elmer Gantrys of the world, is a well deserved rage against the righteousness that lacks humility. This song gives expression to a sentiment that justifies the whole thrash genre. With dizzying tempo, we hear great lead solos by Kirk Hammett, and Jason Newsted keeps right up on bass guitar. Two middle fingers up. “The God that Failed” an anguished and complex musical reflection by James Hetfield on the personal experience he had with parents whose intense religious ‘faith’ (Christian Science) collided with reality. Cancer is personified, rendering mom’s misplaced faith impotent. Where was dad? And where was Dad (the ‘God’ that failed) when mom piously rejected medical treatment and suffered an agonizing death? Great backstory to this, but what Hetfield does with it is musical genius. It pulls the empathy right out of the listener’s guts. Likewise, “My Friend of Misery”, a metaphysics-embracing lament that reminds us: redemptive suffering isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Pastoral Theology 101. The closing track, “The Struggle Within” is (obviously) introspective, but can’t even seem to find a time signature. Like my (your?) struggle within. How can drummer Lars Ulrich keep up? So much more could be said about this album, one of my personal favorites—a classic. 5/5
After the muddled production and ultracomplicated song structures of ...And Justice for All, Metallica decided that they had taken the progressive elements of their music as far as they could and that a simplification and streamlining of their sound was in order. While the assessment made sense from a musical standpoint, it also presented an opportunity to commercialize their music, and Metallica accomplishes both goals. The best songs are more melodic and immediate, the crushing, stripped-down grooves of "Enter Sandman," "Sad but True," and "Wherever I May Roam" sticking to traditional structures and using the same main riffs throughout; the crisp, professional production by Bob Rock adds to their accessibility. "The Unforgiven" and "Nothing Else Matters" avoid the slash-and-burn guitar riffs that had always punctuated the band's ballads; the latter is a full-fledged love song complete with string section, which works much better than might be imagined. The song- and riff-writing slips here and there, a rare occurrence for Metallica, which some longtime fans interpreted as filler next to a batch of singles calculated for commercial success. The objections were often more to the idea that Metallica was doing anything explicitly commercial, but millions more disagreed. In fact, the band's popularity exploded so much that most of their back catalog found mainstream acceptance in its own right, while other progressively inclined speed metal bands copied the move toward simplification. In retrospect, Metallica is a good, but not quite great, album, one whose best moments deservedly captured the heavy metal crown, but whose approach also foreshadowed a creative decline.
As someone who has started a mosh pit watching Metallica, I feel like I'm very qualified to judge this. It's not very good. They were also not very good live, which is why we started a mosh pit to liven it up. I think they're incredibly uncool. 🤟🤘🤟🤘
Saved Prior: Enter Sandman Off Rip: None Cutting Edge: Through The Never, The God That Failed Overall Notes: Me before listening to this album: :) Me after hearing Enter Sandman: :) Me after the next 4 songs: :|||||||| Me after song 8 seems to finally signal a change in the repetitive song structure: :||| Me after song 8 finishes as a sub-par song: :|||||||||||| Me after the album finally ended: :||||||||||||||||| I hated this. I have yet to give a 1 through 80 albums, this album has the incredible Enter Sandman, and I still gave this a 1. Through The Never and The God That Failed had their moments but came nowhere close to saving the immense pain sitting through this album put me through. I remember now why I always thought I hated metal. Shit like this.
'Ten', 'Achtung Baby', ' Dirt', 'Use Your Illusion', 'Loveless', 'Out of Time', 'Nevermind', 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik', 'Bandwagonesque', 'No More Tears'... and if that wasn't enough, this fucking blast.... Maybe those who claim 1971 was 'the year of music' should have been young 20 years later...
tedious and one dimensional. Remember hearing the album when it first came out, and not being overly enthralled then. As singles certain tracks stand up well, but the continuous one tempo power chords over the whole album just get boring after a while.
One of Metallica's best albums, tons of bangers on this one. Definitely the transition point where Metallica went into the more mainstream rock, they're getting older and the Thrash has faded. Kirk Hammett is such a gifted guitarist. Excellent album, a lot of these songs were what drew me to learn to read a tab and play guitar.
Whether you like Metallica or not is irrelevant when it comes to this album. Five massive singles, all of them the biggest and most enduring songs of the band’s catalogue, came out of it. You have to give some fucking respect to that no matter what your musical tastes are. And I, for the record, love Metallica. Because of this album. Jesus Christ, it’s got Enter Sandman and Nothing Else Matters on it. That is huge on its own, but then we also get Sad But True, The Unforgiven, AND Wherever I May Roam?!? That’s insanity! It’s just so fucking good. If you need to introduce someone to Metallica, you play this album and that’s it; they’ve been fully indoctrinated and converted to a life of badass high octane metal head banging from here on out. They’re the ones who take you there, fuck yeah! \m/
Vous qui fréquentez ce générateur connaissez très bien mon être sous ses traits les plus intimes. Vous savez donc à quel point j'aime dégueuler sur tout ce qui se rapproche du heavy metal ; style que je considère comme une véritable fausse route dans l'histoire de la musique. Néanmoins cet album est très bon, il faut le reconnaître. Pour tout vous dire, à la fin du projet, je portais fièrement un tee-shirt tête de mort, des bottines ainsi qu'un clébard dégueulasse.
The fact that this album is on here proves that it was made by a redditor. Definitely a foot tapper/head banger of an album, Lars Ulrich’s drums sounding like artillery abd machine gun fire, James Herfield sounding like a 6’2” cigarette butt. Gotta keep in perspective that this was 30 yrs ago and set the stage for metal. But 30 yrs later, it sounds a bit nerdy, though I bet at the time it was amazing. My complaint: this album is heavy as fuck, but it could be heavier, it’s over produced, the voice dubbing/layering, sound effects, multitrack shit. If the production was pared down to the 4 essential instruments—with their effects—I think it would sound better, harder, the over productions softens the sharp edges. Their older stuff isn’t as well produced, I’d say underproduced, but there’s a happy medium to find in there. Fun album to listen to. Metal can be so repetitive and one note I think I tuned out after about song 6. They slowed it down a couple times, but it still didn’t help, always the same equation. Lastly, there’s an egregiously long fade out on track 1.
Oddly enough, I had a dream last night that today's album would be a thrash classic. Sadly I dreamed of Slayer - Reign In Blood not this limp lettuce of an album.
Metallica's black album, right? That's what this one is referred to? I have no personal relationship with the music of this band. And, I honestly didn't know anything about them until their subsequent Load/Re-Load albums. And, from what I understand, those records are reviled by "true" Metallica fans. That's fine. I hated those records too. All that being said, this is a good record. It sounds dated. Like, in a bad way. Heavy bands just sound heavier now. I hate Lars Ulrich - not for the Napster thing. Because he's a tool that thinks he's a good drummer. Ha. Ringo could have played this shit. And his Ludwigs would have sounded like actual drums. It's hard to imagine anyone would have ever thought this kick drum sound is good. But, let's get to some positives. I really like the guitars (great use of harmonics) and the vocals are still interesting (none of that OOH! WOW! UGH! WUOAHAH! BOOM! horseshit). People I know say that "Master of Puppets" and"Kill 'em All" and the other early Metallica records are good. I hope they are, because this shit fucking sucks.
Best produced album of all time in any genre. Just classic solid songwriting & playing, can't fault it in any way at all. Would have been a great time to be in your early 20s with a mullet. 5/5.
2/1 Speaks to the soul.
Seminal album from my teenage years
Ei ehkä kolahda enää yhtä paljon kuin aikoinaan liiallisen radiosoiton takia, mutta klassikko ja ensimmäisiä levyjä inspiroimassa omaa musiikinkuuntelua ja sillon tätä tykitettiinkin. Ilman muuta ansaitsee 5*
Doesn’t get much better than this. James Hatfield might be the coolest guy alive
Super zestok ali kvalitetan album
This is the first Metallica album I've listened to completely through and I enjoyed the music. I recognized a few songs on this album and knew the words. I could see why people become metal heads, it was an enjoyable experience and it may join my regular listening.
I grew up on this album so I'm biased but crank that shit to 11
One of the greatest so far.
Legendary and it holds up
Very good, can hear the inspiration they had on avenged sevenfold
The best songwriting of Metallica’s career and the album they are best known for. While not the most ‘Metallica’ of their discography given the change in sound, but a great rock album.
Didn't even need to hear it to know how good it is
A cracking Friday album. Kirk seems to always table a calm lick of the guitar to set off any track. Iconic drum track
The best album by Metallica by far. This was the CD with which I got to know Metallica in detail. One of the best metal albums of all time in my opinion.
The black album is a great album, It's fairlly increidble to have all these metallica hits in the same album.
One of my favorites when I was younger. Much more mainstream than their other work, but still damn good
Classic! Wat een wereldplaat! Zag gister nog de docu Some Kind of Monster en daarna de plaat toevallig al geluisterd. Hetfield rules!
Energetic vibrant and great! Metallica is an unbeatable classic.
A classic one. Reminds me of being a kid
Het feit dat ik minstens de helft van het album kan meebrullen is al voldoende om het een 5/5 te geven
Sarah used to listen to this album in the 1990s it prompted a request to see more baby pics. Sarah doesn’t have them but does have her early gymnast’s certificate when she was extremely white. :-)
Was always a huge fan of Metallica, but started to fall out of love with them after Master of Puppets and never listened to the whole of this album. Glad I have now, very good :)
Stunning record. I know that metallica fans like to denigrate it for transitioning from a thrash sound to more of a heavy metal sound, but it worked so well. The instrumentals are timeless, the lyrics are deep and dark - I heard this album caused 3 of the band members to have divorces they worked so hard on it. Literally every song on the album is good. It ranks up there with Pink Floyd's the Wall or the Beatles Abbey Road.
Metallica make a turn for the commercial side of metal and came out of it very well off. The songs have lost their aggressive thrash edge to them, however this is made up by having harder riffs.
Awesome album. The last great album from Metallica.
bruh its the black album
What more can be said of such a well-known and loved album? It's packed full of heavy riffs with a fine balance between melody and slabs of metal guitar. An instant classic, synonymous with the middle period of the band's career as they went through the gears to transform into the metal behemoth the world knows today. Favourite songs obviously include Enter Sandman, Sad But True and the Unforgiven but honourable mention go without doubt to Of Wold And Man for a change up in rythmn
5/5. Perfect for the genre. Love it.
One of the best albums ever
Landmark album in a career full of great records. So many great songs, with outstanding production by Bob Rock. Rock’s focus was to polish up the band’s sound, while also tightening up the songs. He and the band accomplished both tasks with flying colors. A must hear from one of the greatest bands of all time.
It’s an easy five star - a band taking their sound in a new direction , an album where the bass player has been given room to play, one of a handful albums where I still remember where I was the first time I heard it, an album where I know at three minutes into sad but true there’s gonna be that two second pause before it goes off. A pure fucking joy of a metal album where I just have to sing NOMAD VAGABOND CALL ME WHAT YOU WILLLLLLLLLLLL no matter where I’m listening (just now in the gym) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Don't even have to re-listen. This is a five-star carved into stone.
I heard this at a friend's house as an early teen and it blew me away. Still had fragments of the songs going around in my head days later. This was the album that prompted me to start seeking out music proactively and build up a collection of cassettes, rather than just passively listen to whatever the TV or radio offered. So yeah, 5 stars for personal significance alone. Fave track - "Sad But True", let's say, but I have a lot of faves on this album even today...
It was prey cool.
I'll equate this album with Revolver by the Beatles (previously reviewed) in the sense that they're both examples of bands who defined their respective genres really hitting their strides and delivering, perhaps, their best collective works and inspiring decades worth of other music. And, in both cases, it's ALL them - written, performed, and produced by. No real outside influence. Specific to Metallica, they prove that Heavy Metal doesn't have to be yelling over something loud and sloppy. It can be perfected. It can be clean, thoughtful, nuanced, and still make you feel like you got punched in the gut.
Amazing album. Hands down the best heavy metal band around.
A classic - not my normal listening but very good when you need something a bit loud! I liked The Unforgiven, and Enter Sandman and Nothing Else Matters of course
Excellent metal album. Definitely their most popular and for good reason. From start to finish this album brings it hard and does metal to the point where it’s enjoyable for a wider audience. This is a must listen and is one of the best metal albums. 8.8/10
This was my first proper introduction to Metallica (yes, I was late to the party) and really liked it at the time. Listening to it again after who knows how many years was a disappointment initially. However, around the half-way point I started to get more into it, and upon a second listen I was really enjoying it. It is not Master of Puppets of course, but nevertheless a well-produced album with solid songs that are compact and catchy.
This is an easy 5 for me as I've listened to this album since it came out in 1991. While I like the older Metallica albums, this is just more accessible and I really enjoy it. Hits that sweet spot for still being metal and driving but doesn't drive my wife out of the room!
Anspruch und Wirkung auf Kulturgeschichte seien dahingestellt. Aber das ist ein 5-Sterne Album Hörgenuss
Complete classic. So heavy.
In words of James Hetfield, YEAAAAAH
Literally my childhood. Every. Song.
The hits are amazing, the rest of the album is really good. The biggest problem is NOT ENOUGH BASS. It's better than "...And Justice for All" which basically has no bass, but damn this album needs more bottom end. Even the bass drum is too treble-y. Is that a word? Favorite tracks - mostly the hits: Sad But True (extremely cool song then and now), Wherever I May Roam, Enter Sandman (so overplayed at Guitar Center), Nothing Else Matters (also overplayed at Guitar Center). I like The Unforgiven but it was sooo overplayed on MTV in the 90s. Favorite non-hits: Through the Never, The God That Failed. I'd call it a 4.5, but I'll round it to a 5.
Almost forgot how Metallica was part of the 1991 music revolution. Whereas Soundgarden turned their metal into grunge, Metallica turned metal into something new - less frantic, more dense (the sound just fills your head). Like Sabbath set the standard for the 70's going forward, these guys set the standard for the 90's and beyond. This is a true masterclass. Still a ton of great guitarwork and pounding drums, but the melody attached to the intensity is amazing. After all these years I still say wow listening to it.
Does what it says on the tin.
Never has a crossover album felt so good. Thirty years later and it still hits home. An absolute joy to listen to. Life is hard and no one understands me.
Amazing mix sonority!
Ktebt 6 Saf7at Fy Kteb El Bouheli Mte3 Dostoevsky
Legendary album that changed the history of metal forever. A lot of people don't like it because that's when Metallica turned to mainstream, but you can't deny the huge importance and impact this record had (and still have!). I believe it should be a must-listen for everyone at least once in life. Favorite tracks: * Through The Never * Holier Than Thou * The God That Failed
Wow, knew about this album most of my life but disregarded it as generic. Really loved the listen and how deep many of these songs meanings are. Dang, the instrumentals were killer also, mostly by the riffs and bass lines.
Their 5th album. Heavy Metal not particularly my thing but this was excellent…
Discazo de auténtico thrash-rock de los chicos de San Francisco. Auténticos temazos y sin bajar el listón en ningún momento
I worshipped this album when I was a kid and still belt this album out whenever I hit play or when it rarely plays enter sandman on the radio.
Perhaps the most consequential album in the metal genre in the past thirty years and for Metallica. While not every song hits the mark, for the most part it is a solid, neverending barrage of peak Metallica; the everlasting hour in which the band took the reins and dominated the landscape for all eternity. As always, an essential listen. Favorites: Enter Sandman, Holier Than Thou, The Unforgiven, Wherever I May Roam, Through the Never, Nothing Else Matters, Of Wolf and Man, My Friend of Misery.
This is an excellent album with lots of great songs from start to finish and goes hard AF. Excellent instrumentals. 9/10.
One of the best rock albums of all time.
As a fan of hard rock music in general, this album is basically flawless. Enter Sandman is on the list of greatest album openers ever. What more can say beyond this is simply one of the all-time great albums?
It's briliant. I found myself trying to justify not giving it 5*. But I couldn't so I did.
Voor mij jeugdsentiment en het album dat Metallica ook echt bekend maakte bij het grote publiek. Het klinkt stoer maar heeft ondertussen erg leuke melodietjes. Mijn favorieten: "Enter Sandman", "Sad But True", "The Unforgiven" and "Don't Tread On Me". *****
Dispensa comentários. Maravilhoso!
Is there a single bad song on this album? I say NAY!
Confirmou o meu ingresso no mundo do metal. Especialmente na dedicação de se escutar um álbum completo.
One of my favourite albums in my youth. Up there with the best metal albums and helped inspire more mainstream metal.
No comments - it's a legendary album.
All so good, probably like some of the less popular ones most too
I have heard most of these and they are all fantastic even the ones I hadn't heard
Well- what can be said. This is the Black Album