Album Review no.4: Kill 'Em All - Metallica

Oh yes, I'm finally getting around to review something else that's good. I really needed this after the horror that was Sounding the Seventh Trumpet. Anyway, this is easily my favourite album by Metallica, it's the perfect combination of pure raw energy and precision make it so good. I felt like reviewing one of their other albums to explain my complaints with the band, but I couldn't go past listening to this first.

Hit The Lights: Metallica really know how to start off with a bang, I can tell you that much. As the opening jam session (as it sounds like) dies down, we are introduced to an amazingly fast, biting riff. The song is easily one of the most raw on the album as it keeps changes between James Hetfield nearly screaming his lungs out while singing, the slightly more controlled chorus, and mini solos every 20-30 seconds. The song ends with a badass guitar solo that is chaotic enough to fit with the rest of the song. All in all, there is very little to find wrong with this song other than the slight waste of time the beginning is.

The Four Horsemen:
In an competition between this song and Megadeth's Mechanix, this one wins quite easily in my opinion. This is an extremely polished song,the riff is simply perfect and the song feels deserving of it's hefty length. One thing that cannot be understated is Cliff Burton's amazing bass work, I believe that no other bassist is anywhere near as great as him. The chorus is fast and catchy, somewhat adding to the ease of listening. As the song reaches just past it's halfway mark, the best part of the song occurs, an awesome breakdown of the 4 horsemen as a different riff is played in the background. The solos in this song are also great.

A much shorter, simpler song than the last 2, yet one of my favourites on the album. The entire 3 minutes is full of nothing but high octane action. The intro alone makes this an amazing song, but this combined with the great solos and fast drumming make it a very memorable song.

Jump In the Fire:
This song has one of my favourite riffs of all time, simplistic, but pure badassery. The other highly memorable part of the song is when James sings the chorus. I love this song because of how fun every part of it is to listen to, and that's one of the reasons why this album as a whole is quite enjoyable, because of how much fun it sounds like everyone is having in this album. The solo at the end is also killer.

Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth):Hands down, the greatest instrumental track of all time. It really shows off the unimaginable amount of skill and talent that Cliff Burton had. The extremely precise, technical riffs are expertly played and I find it interesting how distorted the bass is. The song then kicks into high gear when the drums come in and he goes nuts. All in all, this song is a masterpiece and one of the highlights of the album for me.

This is probably the song that allows headbanging the most on this album. The way the tempo changes when the chorus begins is interesting and the solo when James screams "HERE WE GO!" is amazing.

Phantom Lord:
This is one of the weaker songs on the album, but even this one is still great. The main issue is that the riff gets somewhat repetitive, as it almost never stops during the first half, even when the guitar solo commences. I appreciated that the song slowed down for around 30 seconds, but I felt like they didn't do enough during this time to justify it either. Other than these 2 gripes, the song is still amazing.

No Remorse:
Other than the solos, this song feels quite close to a traditional metal song rather than a thrash one, well, for the first 30 seconds anyway. It's a much more laid back song than most of the others, and I like that, it shows that even in their early days, Metallica had some variety in their music (I wish that they didn't go overboard on later albums though). I know I'm sounding like a broken record at this point, but the riffs are amazing in this song as well (the entire album feels like a dumping ground for amazing riffs)

Seek And Destroy:
This is easily the most technical, controlled song on the album. None of the instruments ever go overboard with speed, and it's a nice, chilled out song, especially compared to every other song on the album. At around the halfway mark, it becomes faster, and the vocals stop for a while. This is the best part of the song, where there are around 4 second solos, a couple of guitar chords, and then some more 4 second solos, before ending it with a massive one. Everything about this song shows maturity in their music, which I always find nice when it's displayed in a debut album.

Metal Militia:
After, the most controlled song on the album, we get what is easily the most fast and loose one directly after. Everything about this song is incredibly quick and almost sloppy. Unfortunately, this is where my one problem with the song, while I like the extreme looseness of all of the instruments, I find James to be singing fairly poorly for a great deal of the song. The rest of the song makes this issue fairly insignificant though, as the album was already very instrument focused, this song especially. I can't ignore this completely though.

Final Thoughts:
This is where I believe the pinnacle of Metallica lies, right at the start. I found the albums after this to either be patchy, boring, or overly experimental. I love how raw this album is while maintaining a lot of precision, which I find to be quite admirable. Even the worst song on here is still of very high quality and as mentioned in my review, Anesthesia is my favourite instrumental. this album is a must have for anyone into the heavy metal genre.

7*10 + 9 + 8 + 7 = 94/100