Tuesday, 8 March 2011

CD Review: Load, by Metallica (1996)

A full five years after ruling the music world with their self-titled black album, Metallica returned in 1996 with Load, and most of the metal world wished they hadn't.

Dropping to an unimaginable low of bankrupt creativity and a mundane, uninspired and irritating tone, Load sounded like it was put together in 5 minutes, not 5 years. Not even pretending to be a thrash band anymore, and often barely sounding interested in metal, Metallica cloak themselves in a vaguely southern, redneck sound, emphasizing Hetfield's vocals and relegating the rest of the band to a shadow of their former selves.

The songwriting is a combination of amateurish and insulting, most songs latching onto the simplest of chords and repeating to eternity. Not content with a devastatingly poor quality, Load suffocates with endless quantity, the 14 longish and mostly banal tracks resulting in an almost tortuous, unlistenable experience.

King Nothing survives the horror and is the only song on Load worthy of the Metallica name, thanks to an aggressive, combative riff. The slower Until It Sleeps and The Outlaw Torn convey decent emotion.

The other eleven tracks wallow in the misery of a band that completely lost it's identity, and the plot that goes along with it.


James Hetfield - Guitars, Vocals
Lars Ulrich - Drums
Kirk Hammett - Guitars
Jason Newsted - Bass

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Ain't My Bitch - 7
2. 2 X 4 - 7
3. The House Jack Built - 6
4. Until It Sleeps - 8
5. King Nothing - 10
6. Hero Of The Day - 6
7. Bleeding Me - 7
8. Cure - 6
9. Poor Twisted Me - 6
10. Wasting My Hate - 7
11. Mama Said - 6
12. Thorn Within - 7
13. Ronnie - 7
14. The Outlaw Torn - 8

Average: 7.00

Produced by Bob Rock, with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.
Recorded and Mixed by Randy Staub. Engineered by Brian Dobbs.
Mastered by George Marino.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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