Pros:James Hetfield's best vocals, No filler songs, Brilliant lyrics, Outstanding musicianship.
Cons:Not the revolutionary step forward that "Ride the Lightning" was.
The Bottom Line: Not as revolutionary as "Ride the Lightning" or entertaining as "Kill Em All" but it's still a classic album. Buy it!
While I do personally think that Metallica's previous 2 studio albums "Kill Em All" and "Ride the Lightning" were better albums, I won't deny that "Master of Puppets" is a classic album and deserving of the praise it gets. I rank it as my 3rd favorite Metallica album. Lets' get to the tracks to see why:
Battery: The album opens similarly to how "Ride the Lightning" opened which was with a song that started with a slow acoustic intro and then transformed into a fast-as-hell thrash riff. Battery is one of the fastest songs on the album and it's immediately apparent that James Hetfield's singing has improved greatly. His vocal performance on this song is just awesome making the memorable lyrics just that much better. The main riff is killer, the drumming is fast and the guitar solo is nuts. This song should be a perfect song but it isn't. I don't know why but I just feel like it doesn't deserve a 10/10. Grade: 9/10
Master Of Puppets: The song that made this album famous. I've heard it so many times that it's starting to get a bit repetitive for me but it's still a wicked song. Crazy riffs, unique drumming and a haunting middle section make up the song. The build-up to the famous guitar solo is just mesmerizing and the solo itself is no slouch either even if it is a bit too short for my tastes. Master!, Master!. Grade: 8/10
The Thing That Should Not Be: Arguably Metallica's most creepy and haunting song. Also one of the most underrated songs they have recorded. The scary guitar lines, pulsing drums and James' unique vocal delivery help make the song stick in your head. Like Metallica's instrumental "The Call of Ktulu", this song is based on the short story "The Call of Cthulhu" by H.P Lovecraft. The guitar solo is dominated by wah-wah but it fits the feel of the song. Grade: 8/10
Welcome Home (Sanitarium): Metallica's next ballad after "Fade to Black". It isn't as great as Fade but it's still a standout track thanks to the atmospheric vocals, slick guitar parts and memorable lyrics. The beginning sets the haunting mood of the rest of the song and it gets faster and harder as the song goes. Short but sweet guitar solos are littered everywhere. 9/10
Disposable Heroes: My personal favorite song on the album. The guitar riffs are absolutely sinister, the drumming is intense (especially near the end), and lyrics are just awesome. There's nothing quite like hearing James' growl and snarl the words "Get back to the FRONT!" like he does in this song. Kirk's solo is the best part of the song. It goes everywhere and strikes a perfect balance between "blistering" and "melodic". The riff that plays before and after the solo is one of the heaviest riffs I have ever heard. I just can't give this song enough praise. Grade: 10/10
Leper Messiah: The most underrated track on the album. It's a shame that it isn't mentioned by fans more often because it contains a wicked main riff and a cool solo. Lars' drumming is particularly awesome on this song too. The lyrics aren't entirely memorable though and James' worst vocals appear on this song. This is a great song and it thankfully doesn't wear out it's welcome either. 8/10
Orion: This is easily Metallica's best instrumental. Cliff Burton's bass work on this song is just fantastic and it features a few cool bass solos. The guitar work is also stellar and the sad melodic section in the middle is just heartbreaking. Lars puts up a good fight too with drums that fit with the song perfectly. Even though this is Metallica's best instrumental, it's hard to give it a 10. Like Battery, I just don't feel it's a perfect song for some reason. 9/10
Damage Inc: The final song is the fastest and heaviest song on the album. It also happens to be one of the best. It begins with a creepy fade-in acoustic section and then goes straight into a rapid fire thrash riff that seems to change constantly throughout the song. This song contains Lars' best drumming that features fast double bass, small drum fills and a nice slow beat. James' vocals are particularly nasty here and the lyrics are pretty brutal. Kirk's beast of a solo kicks you in the face and just when you think it's over, it kicks you again. This song flat-out rules and is a perfect way to close the album. Grade: 10/10
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