HBTN Metalhead Review: Metallica - "Black Album"

HallowedBeThyName Hi everybody. Thank you for taking your time to read my album review. I know that I am not great in reviewing albums but I decided to give it a try. Let me start off with one of my personal favorite and one of the ten most popular traditional heavy metal bands – Metallica.I’ll do the reviewing album by album. Let me start with their massively sold,career building self titled album – Metallica (Black Album)
This self-titled album by the most popular metal band is the best selling album from one of the best selling bands of all time and it had good and interesting tracks. This album is a major turning point for Metallica and its their ‘sell out’. The album is slower as compared to their previous albums and their music seemed less thrashy and more of groove-related heavy metal. I’m not a Black Album hater at all. In fact, I love the album. I don’t see a clear cut reason as to why a few unreasoning metalheads hate this album (If you have a good enough reason, I’d love to see what you’d post in the comments section.)

Metallica’s previous studio album - …And Justice For All didn’t have great bass playing. A bassist wasn’t needed in that album. The guitars were loud so much that the bass wasn’t even audible.Metallica made a huge correction regarding their bass playing in this album though. They have distinct, audible and great bass playing in songs like Enter Sandman where you can clearly hear the bass after the acoustics or the terrific bass solo in the intro of The God That Failed. And also, let me make a comparison between the production of …And Justice For All and Black Album. The former album had a pathetic, horrible production, I must say but their improved on this factor in their self-titled which is a very good thing. They’ve also experimented on instruments in a few songs. They’ve experimented on Wherever I May Roam with the sitar, Nothing Else Matters with orchestral constituents,etc. So, I’m firmly saying that Metallica has put in effort to fix their previous errors and to make a turning point in their style of music. And for me, it actually worked. This is one of my favorite metal albums after all.

The drumming in this album is great – loud and distinct and sometimes trying to compete with the guitar riffs. The beats are great and unlike in Justice, its distinct and loud. The guitar riffs are good, catchy and groovy. The guitars are loud like in their previous album but they are overproduced. There are quite a number of memorable solos in the album and the guitar goes fast paced or slow paced or sometimes both in the same song. The acoustic guitar riffs are catchy, I must add, in this album and I’m referring to the ones in songs like “Nothing Else Matters”, “The Unforgiven”and “Enter Sandman”. These tracks are my favorites from this album and both have brilliant acoustic intros. Now let me start up with short description of the songs.

The album begins with one of Metallica’s all time greatest and loved song – Enter Sandman with brilliant acoustic intro riffs that are followed by harder and harder riffs and I love the way the song progresses with the beats. A few metalheads call this song poppy and that it fits more into the pop metal category thingy because of the poppy and groovy riffs. I don’t think the same since the riffs are progressively better and they are badass. I remember the first time I heard this song in ECW for the pro wrestler – Sandman. It became my favorite song ever since. This hard hitting song is followed by the relatively slow number – Sad But True that has some great lyrics. The song is hard hitting albeit slow. It still remains one of the best tracks on the record. These songs have repetitive, groovy riffs that are appreciated and loved by a few metal heads while hated by others when they call it “stupid” and “crappy”. That isn’t true though. Holier Than Thou didn’t seem like a big hit on the album probably since it entirely failed on the band’s thrashy nature. Metallica have tried to divert from overly sentimental themes in the album other than ballads and they’ve tried to base everything on situations.

Wherever I May Roam is a decent track and as I’ve told you before they’ve instrumentally experimented on this song with the sitar. The Phrygian scale used in the song makes it a fantastic, thrashy metal song. The next song “Don’t Tread On Me” isn’t on the better side of the album. Its dull and its forgettable. The song tried to be catchy but miserably failed and it lacked in musical contents.Through The Never has a thrashy effect. And it has the ‘Master of Puppets’ feel to it probably because its more thrashy compared to other songs on the album.It was good so that it even became the title of a Metallica movie. Nothing Else Matters is another big track of the album, an awesome ballad that gave out the sentiment well. Its mostly played with the acoustics and a few heavy riffs here and there. The song has a classical influence with the acoustics and the strings background. The lyrics are good but doesn’t really explore on them. It doesn’t remain committed to the theme and the riffs aren’t the best that Metallica has offered but they are still, catchy, groovy and they are loved by fans. And like I told, Nothing Else Matters also instrumentally experiments with orchestral elements.

So, that’s it for my review of what had to be a good Metallica album. My personal favorites on the album happen to be Enter Sandman, Nothing Else Matters, Wherever I May Roam and The Unforgiven.I’m still coming up with more reviews and I’ll post them only if I get some feedback on this review. Thank you for reading. My next review is on Metallica’s …And Justice For All.


Good Review Just Need To Rate The Album/100 - christangrant

I'll give it a good 80/100.
Nothings close enough to hundred except maybe Rust in Peace, Powerslave and The Number Of The Beast. - HallowedBeThyName

Thanks - HallowedBeThyName

Pretty Good Album Better Than And Justice For All I'll Review This Album In The Future When I Review Metallica's Albums Which Will Happen After I'm Done With Panteras Albums - christangrant

I can understand why you think it's better than...And Justice For All.
1. You like groovy stuff (also a major reason you like Pantera)
2. The production of Justice was awful. - HallowedBeThyName

Yup - christangrant

Yup If The Song Has Groove In It It's Good
There Should Be A Metallica Groove Metal Album
That Would Be Interesting To See - christangrant

This is actually a semi groove album. Tracks like Enter Sandman, Wherever I May Roam are groovy. - HallowedBeThyName

Good post! - zxm

Thanks - HallowedBeThyName

Great work. - visitor

Thanks - HallowedBeThyName

Kind Of Ironic Because One My Favorite Song Of All Time Is From And Justice For All - christangrant

Lol. - HallowedBeThyName

Wow...great post John! - Ananya

Thanks! - HallowedBeThyName