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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Master Of Puppets

Metallica

1986

Buy At Rough Trade
Master Of Puppets
Album Summary

Master of Puppets is the third studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica, released on March 3, 1986, by Elektra Records. Recorded in Denmark at Sweet Silence Studios with producer Flemming Rasmussen, it was the band's last album to feature bassist Cliff Burton, who died in a bus accident in Sweden during the album's promotional tour. The album's artwork, designed by Metallica and Peter Mensch and painted by Don Brautigam, depicts a cemetery field of white crosses tethered to strings, manipulated by a pair of hands in a clouded, blood-red sky, with a fiery orange glow on the horizon. Instead of releasing a single or video in advance of the album's release, Metallica embarked on a five-month American tour in support of Ozzy Osbourne. The European leg was canceled after Burton's death in September 1986, and the band returned home to audition a new bassist. Master of Puppets peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200 and received widespread acclaim from critics, who praised its music and political lyrics. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential thrash metal albums of all time, and is credited with consolidating the American thrash metal scene. It was certified six times platinum by the RIAA in 2003 for shipping six million copies in the United States, and was later certified six times platinum by Music Canada and platinum by the BPI. In 2015, Master of Puppets became the first metal recording to be selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Wikipedia

Rating

3.71

Votes

12589
Genres
Metal

Reviews

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Mon Apr 05 2021
3

Man they really took themselves serious back in the day huh? 8 songs in 54 minutes attests as much. There’s a certain churning pleasure to be found here, and when it gets chunky it gets good. But I don’t know if long and repetitive necessarily equals masterful. And this from a man who actually likes Tool. I’m giving it 3 stars because I gave Black Sabbath the same and I like this better. From henceforth let’s imagine I gave Black Sabbath 2 stars, okay?

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Mon Jan 25 2021
5

A classic. Enough has been said about the self-titled track, but I just want to call to attention how brilliant of a piece Orion is. One of only a few Metallica instrumentals, and simply stunning.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
5

My personal favorite Metallica album is still Ride the Lightning, but objectively this is probably their most cohesive work. Both are classics.

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Mon Apr 05 2021
1

A very busy weekend which meant I didn't get around to listening to this and, frankly, I'm relieved. I did my time with this and other Metallica albums in my teenage years. I don't need to go back there.

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Fri Jun 11 2021
5

The distillation of all the best bits of Metallica across 54 minutes of brutal, aggressive, tight and polished musicianship (though there’s also a lot of subtlety here too). I listened to this a lot when I was a teenager, and many years after my wasted youth this album still can't be rated anything less than a 5.

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Fri Apr 02 2021
5

i've been eyeing this one, too. fantastic album, and it takes me straight back to the days of bmx bikes and climbing cliffs and hanging out in sketchy attics with sketchy people. damage inc is an awesome way to cap off any album there is, too.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
5

If you'd have asked me even 10 years ago I would have given this an enthusiastic 5 and gushed about it being an enormously influential classic of the genre, which is still is. I'm not in the same place, so I don't enjoy them as much now, but it's still a great album

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Mon Oct 11 2021
4

Thrash metal hits its peak. Growling ginger walrus gargles hate and anger while gurning midget smashes the drums. Solid album. Best Tracks: Battery; Master of Puppets; Orion

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Mon Oct 18 2021
4

I can't say that I've ever been a fan of the members of Metallica as people, but goddamn their early work is just stellar. Intense and loud while still remaining incredibly melodic and intricate, this may be their best album. I just wish that they could have gone the Slayer route more and just stick to their metal roots rather than following the course of popular rock 'n roll. At their peak, Metallica may have been the greatest metal band of all time, bar none. 4/5 (but very close to 5)

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Tue Mar 16 2021
2

Really not as great as I thought it was. Pretty bland.

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Tue Sep 07 2021
5

An easy 5. I don't like all of Metallica's work but this album's hard to argue with. Excellent music.

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Sun Dec 19 2021
5

Arguably Metallica's magnum opus. An amazing, inventive, and powerful set of prog-infused thrash metal tracks, full of tasty riffs and fun solos.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
1

Reaction when this one popped up was “not now.” Reaction after listening was “not ever!” Now that we’ve listened to multiple Metallica albums I can say this is not their best and that is a very low bar.

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Sat Mar 20 2021
5

A classic, definitely enjoyed my listen. The switch in the first song from acoustic to electric is killer, and Master of Puppets is an incredible song. Deserves to be on this list, 7/8,fav song master of puppets.

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Tue Mar 02 2021
5

I have loved this album for decades and have no issues listening to it again. It stands the test of time and for me is probably Metallica's best album (or neck-in-neck with And Justice For All). Also the tracks really follow well if you listen in order. Note too that I saw Metallica play half these songs live and it was probably the most high-quality, fan-oriented live show I've seen.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
5

Great album with no bad songs. Battery, MOP, Sanatarium. Excellent guitar, drums and vocals throughout. Substantive, thoughtful lyrics yelled at you until you get it.

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Tue Dec 21 2021
5

THE perfect metal album. To be fair, I am already a really big Metallica fan that has seen them live and enjoys pretty much everything they have released outside of most songs on Load, Reload, and St. Anger. While I would personally take Ride the Lightning or AJFA over Master of Puppets, I cannot deny that this is the masterpiece that made them legends today. The vocals, guitar, bass, and drums are all as strong as can be within the metal genre, but the songwriting and composition make this album insanely hard to beat. I feel that Cliff Burton played a huge part in making this album what it is, and you can tell that this was easily their most mature and sophisticated album up to that point (most would argue they never reached these heights again, but I feel AJFA has amazing moments that prove them wrong). Every song structure here is crafted so tightly that it makes the whole album feel cohesive but unique with a mix of lightning fast and slow paced songs: for every insane track like Damage Inc., you have a somber track like The Thing That Should Not Be that creates a great pace throughout the listening experience. I feel that there is not a dud on this entire record and that every single track has a unique element that makes it stand out from the rest. If I had to choose particular songs, I would say Disposable Heroes and Master of Puppets are my favorites. The anti-war message of the album is most strong through these tracks, but the entirety of the record features pounding aggression and softer moments that really let the lyrics and emotion stand out. This is one of the only hard rock albums I can think of where the songs would work just as well as orchestral versions, especially the instrumental track Orion. For that reason alone, I would say that this album is amazing, but having that aspect combined with top notch performance from every single member makes this flawless. 5/5.

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Mon Aug 21 2023
5

Masterpiece. an album I have listened to more than others.

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Wed Sep 06 2023
5

It's Metallica what more do you want 🤘🤘🤘

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Mon Sep 18 2023
5

Great album start to finish.

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Fri Sep 22 2023
5

One of the greatest albums of all time. What else needs to be said?

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Sat Apr 24 2021
4

This album is even better than I remember it. Though that being said metallica may have better albums.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
4

First full Metallica album I've listened to. I can see why 80's teens were into it. Complicated rhythms, edgy lyrics. Moms don't love it.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
4

Master of Puppets is one of my favorite metal songs of all time. There are moments when the album takes a more melodic, quiet approach which I really love. It's great if you're in the right mindset, but can be exhausting listening all the way through. I think Metallica is as heavy as I can take in terms of metal.

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Mon Jul 17 2023
4

Now I get this genre. Full of brilliant riffs, clever band interplay (especially on Orion) and thankfully little of the cheesy posturing thrash often is known for. Only slight complaint is that it could've been tighter on some tracks.

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Tue Sep 19 2023
4

Probably one of my favorite Metallica albums

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Mon Jan 15 2024
3

Finding this on my hard drive was a small pleasure: a slice of my adolescence before Big Black and Sonic Youth seduced me got caught on my sleeve. I quite enjoyed this! Apart from the first two and the last song, most of these had long left my memory, which was unsurprising as I was a half-hearted metalhead. Master of Puppets commits to its daftness, its countless passages and riff-shifts, and I salute that while realising I may never listen to this again. Simon, I look forward to the “Battery’ that you will undoubtedly deliver to them with this!

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Sun Jun 20 2021
2

It's technical but not really enjoyable. After a while it all just sounds like the same screech. Not my cup of tea.

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Mon Jan 15 2024
2

I guess this is technically impressive but the style leaves me cold, and it all sounds a bit silly and pretty fucking irritating. The band seem like dickheads, to make it even less attractive

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Fri May 07 2021
5

I feel like I can understand people who don't like metal, but I really enjoy it. Metallica, especially, has a lot of symphonic and classical influences apparent in their music. Just look at a song like "Battery", or pretty much anything on this record. I'm not Metallica's biggest fan, but damn does this record rip. Favorite tracks: "Battery", "The Thing That Should Not Be", "Sanitarium"

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Tue Apr 20 2021
5

RIP Cliff who knows what may have been post And Justice For All. This album still slaps

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Thu Feb 18 2021
5

Solid album... not even my favorite from them, but I can't go lower than 5.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

This one is a classic for me. One of my favorites from Metallica

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Tue Apr 20 2021
5

#3 Metallica after Justice and Lightning. Brilliant.

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Sat Feb 27 2021
5

This rating was not pulling my strings

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

Geweldig album van een geweldige band, gister led zeppelin en vandaag deze klassieker

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

One of my favorite albums. Most Definitely my on ramp into metal.

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Thu Mar 18 2021
5

BEST METAL ALBUM EVER. I'd give it six stars if I could.

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Sun May 23 2021
5

Masterpiece. What a ride. Headbangers dreamland.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
5

Awesome thrash sound. Consistently hard and fast.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
5

Gammal Metallica er gammal Metallica

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Wed Apr 28 2021
5

Classic. One of the best by one of the best.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
5

Great to listen, I recommend playing agressive Red dead redemption 2 gameplay while listening to it.

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Sun Mar 07 2021
5

ja tinha ouvido umas tres vezes antes, por isso fiquei com preguiça de ouvir denovo, mesmo assim vou dar 5 estrelas, muito bom

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Tue May 25 2021
5

I think I'd go to bat for this as the most essential and best Metallica album, definitely a classic, definitely belongs on the "must listen" list.

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Wed Jul 21 2021
5

absolutely legendary. best thrash album of all time

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Mon May 17 2021
5

A metal masterpiece. A must listen for any fan of the genre. Highlighted songs: Master of Puppets, Welcome Home (Sanitarium), Orion

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Wed May 12 2021
5

as good as I remember from 10 years ago

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Mon May 10 2021
5

Super fast, super powerful, with killer songwriting. Battery is a hell of an opener, and MoP is an all time classic track. Spectacular from beginning to end.

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Thu Jun 17 2021
5

I don't even need to listen to this to give it a 5/5... buuuuuuuut I'm still gonna listen to it anyway :D

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Wed Sep 01 2021
5

Excellent - every song a banger

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Mon Sep 06 2021
5

Always love older Metallica! And this came up on the 3-year anniversary of my last show of theirs!

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Tue Sep 07 2021
5

Easily one of my all time favourites. Let’s GO!!!

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Mon Sep 13 2021
5

The first time I've heared this album. Great! Should listen more Metallica.

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Tue Sep 28 2021
5

An album that I have dipped in and out of over the years. I'm not a massive fan but I enjoy what I hear

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Thu Oct 14 2021
5

Great classic thrash album, lots of nostalgia for me personally so this is an easy 5 as I grew up on these tunes. Still bangers.

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Sat Nov 06 2021
5

Pionero del metal de una de las bandas más contundentes. Todo un clásico con guitarras y batería poderosas

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Sun Nov 21 2021
5

Sólo por Master of puppets se merece el 5, pero es que además tiene casi todas buenas.

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Fri Dec 03 2021
5

ну норм так то. Метально

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Tue Dec 07 2021
5

One of their best albums ever

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Sun Dec 19 2021
5

What we are talking about here is in my opinion one of the most famous metal albums of all time, and for good reason. Diverse sounds, with all the stuff that is good about thrash at one point or another. Not even my favorite Metallica album, but their most prominent early one by far.

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Thu Dec 23 2021
5

Battery, damamg inc, Master of puppets - great album

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Thu Dec 23 2021
5

Greatest thrash metal album of all time.

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Fri Dec 24 2021
5

Metallica have been in my musical DNA from a very early age, thanks to my older brother. I fell in love with them hard, myself, when I was about 20. They were my gateway into metal and for the longest time they were my all time favourite band. They have since been surpassed by Coheed and Cambria, but Master of Puppets remains a top tier Metallica album for me, as well as being one of the greatest representations of metal at it's finest. I love all the songs here, with the exception of Leper Messiah. That song leaves a bit to be desired but every other song is a banger. They've all been reviewed a million times but the longer songs Orion, and the title track are the best for my money. Not to say the others are slouches. Battery may be the single greatest metal opener, alongside Angel of Death and Clenching the Fists of Dissent. My first live experience watching Metallica was Download Festival 2006. It was the 20 year anniversary of this album and they played it in it's entirety and I kid you not when I sat I had an out of body experience! I there my whole being, body and soul into that show and was lucky to make it out alive! Perfection, or close enough.

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Mon Jan 03 2022
5

Absolutely phenomenal album, always worth listening all the way through

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Tue Jan 04 2022
5

Best Metallica album, rated previous Metallica albums as 4 (AJFA) and 3 (Black) so this should get 5.

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