Metallica - Kill 'Em All Album Review

IronSabbathPriest In 1983 metal was in full swing. Iron Maiden had released "The Number of the Beast" the previous year. As had Judas Priest with "Screaming for Vengeance".

James Hetfield, Cliff Burton, Lars Ulrich and Dave Mustaine were just four ordinary men from California, who looked up to the NWOBHM bands and UK punk bands. They combined the guttural rawness of bands like Motorhead with the blistering solos of Maiden and Priest. This combination created thrash metal. Possibly the most famous metal subgenre.
Welcome to the first installment of the Metallica discography review! (Long time coming I know).

One of the first things you'll notice on this album is that several of the writing credits are from Dave Mustaine, who would go on to form Megadeth shortly after being fired from this band. He was replaced by Exodus guitarist Kirk Hammet.

So where to start? Well, how about at the beginning:

Hit the Lights
Was never very big on this song, seems a it too repetitive for me. Not to say it's bad, it reminds me a bit of Rock and Roll all Nite.

The Four Horsemen
Now we're talking! This is a f***ing great tune! This is the heavier version of "the Mechanix" a pre-Megadeth song written by Dave Mustaine. It has a great riff, solo and bridge. It's about the four horsemen of the apocalypse (Time, Famine, Pestilence, Death).

Another speedy, breakneck riff accompanied by lyrics about life on the road. Not my favourite on the album, but for the only song written by James alone, pretty good!

Jump in the Fire
Slightly slower track with another Mustaine conceived, groovy riff. This song is about how the devil tempts people into hell by making them do bad things. "So come on, jump in the fi-a!" I used to not be very big on this track, but now it's great!

(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth
I like to call this the "Eruption" of the album. Cliff Burton gets to prove himself a valuable member by creating this bass solo. Very good track, that goes straight into the next song:

Another hard hitting song and the first single of the album, so this was many people's introduction to the band. It probably gave them whiplash by headbanging so hard. Awesome song.

Phantom Lord
Possibly the most underrated song from the album, also one of the most heavy. It goes from having a slow intro, to becoming really fast and aggressive. However the bridge in the middle is pretty cool.

No Remorse
Great track, it has great lyrics and solos. A decent song to listen to while going through the album. Works well live.

Seek & Destroy
Now we get to one of my all time favourite Metallica songs. It has a fantastic intro, riff and solo, with cool lyrics. And I love the call and response effect the chorus has on you. When James sings "searching" you have to say "seek & destroy" back at him. A great live song, even better than One or Master of Puppets in my opinion.

Metal Militia
Eh, this song is alright. It kind of feels like filler because Seek & Destroy would've made a great closing track. But I like this song slightly better than Hit the Lights.

Overall, this album is essential to the development of heavy metal. The production seems a little miffy at points, but that doesn't take anything away from the quality of the songs.

Overall rating: 9.75/10

Stay tuned for Ride the Lightning!


I already did this! - muffinkid

Awesome. - LizardKing99

Jump in the Fire is seriously underrated... - visitor

My favorite of the bunch has to be Four Horsemen. - visitor

I Agree - BeatlesFan1964

I love this album but the one flaw it had would be Hetfield's vocals were a little too raw which is something that he fixed over the next few albums. You finally did the review. I thought you would completely forget it. - MrQuaz680

Great album, although they would definitely have some better ones later on. The Four Horsemen, Seek & Destroy, Hit the Lights, and Metal Militia are my favorites - Shake_n_Bake13

"Stay tuned for Ride the Lightning" - IronSabbathPriest