Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My 15 Favorite Metallica Songs: Post-1990

It's pretty common for metalheads to talk about the glory days of Metallica. Those first four albums, man. They were good. Hell, they were classics. And everything after And Justice For All... sucks...

Right?

I don't really agree with that point of view. Although I love metal and hard rock I wouldn't really call myself a metalhead. I actually like hard rock and classic rock more than I like "metal." I like Frank Zappa and The Beatles and Deep Purple more than I like most metal bands. I don't really care for Judas Priest or Iron Maiden or even Van Halen. I mean, I like them, don't get me wrong about that. But I couldn't list their albums in chronological order from memory the way I could with Black Sabbath, Type O Negative, Metallica, and Slayer without the help of the internet.

I honestly think people take shit too seriously when it comes to music (or shit they like in general), but oh, well, whatever. Nevermind. (Hello, hello, hello, how low...) Other people can like whatever they want and I'll do the same. 

I like some post-And Justice For All... Metallica and as I was on the way home from work today it occurred to me that I wanted to write a Metallica-related post today for shits and giggles. Like maybe my favorite Metallica songs after their early wonder years. 

I honestly think that Metallica during their Load and Reload years were excellent. That's what I think today, anyway. And that's right, I said excellent. So you'll find those two albums heavily represented here. You will even find one song from St. Anger. Nothing from Lulu, though. 

15. Invisible Kid - I'm not going to say this one song is better than the entirety of the Black Album or anything like that. I just like this song and I won't skip it on the occasions I do listen to St. Anger. St. Anger is another one I like, too. In fact, there are things I like on the entire album. I used to play the main riffs to St. Anger, Some Kind of Monster, Dirty Window, and Invisible Kid on guitar quite a lot. And I always had fun doing so. As a recorded piece, Invisible Kid always spoke to me a bit more than the others and I liked the way James Hetfield sang the breakdown of this song. It was creepy. In fact, the St. Anger album as a whole is one of James Hetfield's better vocal performances. Not that anyone has ever really cared enough to listen to the album that closely. Those garbage can lids Lars plays can be quite overpowering.

14. Low Man's Lyric - I suppose this is one of those songs that no one has ever really heard of. I certainly don't hear a lot of folks claiming to like this song, but I do. I've always thought of it as one of Metallica's gems. 

13. I, Disappear - This song is probably easy to forget about since it was never on an actual Metallica album, but I do remember hearing it a number of times on the radio and on the Mission Impossible II soundtrack. 

12. Devil's Dance - I've always liked the hooky guitar and bass riffs of this song. Plus it's a song about Satan where James Hetfield says "yeah" a lot. Gotta love when James Hetfield gives a good "yeah." Rob Zombie, too. "Yeah." 

11. Better Than You - I like the message of this song a lot. Perhaps that just speaks to my ego, though. 

10. Slither - One thing I like about the Load and Reload stuff (and the Black Album stuff to a degree) is that the riffs and lyrics are actually singable. Battery, kickass jam though it may be, on the other hand isn't quite a singalong. "Don't go looking for snakes you find them, don't set your eyes on the sun you might blind them" has a singalong quality to it. Try to sing Battery and you'll get tongue-tied.

09. All Nightmare Long - I didn't really think the "rough" sound of Death Magnetic was that big of a deal. Seriously. I've listened to albums that had far worse production and mixing and still genuinely loved them. Black Sabbath's Born Again, anyone? 

08. The Unforgiven II - There's almost a hint of country in this song. I suppose this makes this song more of a hybrid between Mama Said and The Unforgiven then a true The Unforgiven sequel, but I think the formula works rather well. Can still tell the Ennio Morricone influence, though. 

07. Hero of the Day - Mellow-tallica is a good way to put it. I think the Hero of the Day is the Low Man in disguise. 

06. Sad But True - I've owned the Black Album twice already. My first copy was either stolen or lost. I say stolen. It was in the seventh grade. My copies of Tesla's Standing Room Only and Deep Purple's Made in Japan were stolen at the same time, too. This doesn't have anything to do with this song, but I get pissed thinking about it. I have difficulty letting small issues go, I know. 

05. Until It Sleeps - No idea what "it" is in this song. No idea what they were on when they made the video, either. The song grips you, though. 

04. Ain't My Bitch - Not sure I know what the hell this song is about, either. But it rocks and that's enough for me. 

03. The God That Failed - This is probably the evilest Metallica has sounded in terms of guitar riffage. To me, anyway. Sometimes you just got to slow things down a bit and play those minor notes. 

02. Wherever I May Roam - I think this song has the best build-up out of the all songs on the Black Album. I always get goosebumps when this song starts. 

01. Fuel - I remember hearing this song on the Nintendo 64 game NASCAR 2000 and on NASCAR on NBC. So there's a bit of a nostalgic factor going on here. This song is perfect for racing or rocking out as far as I'm concerned. Love it. 

3 comments:

  1. 1983-1988 Four albums

    1989-2014 Four Albums (and Load & Reload were from the same recording sessions) plus some covers, compilations and Lulu.

    When I look at those numbers, it tells me that they really don't feel as passionate about what they do as they once did. So there is going to be a bit of a drop off. But, like you say, there's still a lot of good stuff in the later period, just not everything like the early days.

    I hate to see my favorite bands start taking long layoffs. Even Mr.Consistent, Bruce went through a time from 1988-2000 where he only put out 3 albums. 1 sucked (Human Touch is the only Bruce album I will say that about) 1 was good and 1 was so-so.

    I don't think Metallica has another great album in them. Good ones but not great ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sad thing is Metallica could just cover songs and those covers would be better than much of their other later material. I don't know if you've heard their Rainbow medley Ronnie Rising, but if you listen to that and then Lords of Summer it's no contest which one is better. I think Metallica is a great cover band, but if they could apply their influences in the studio into their new tunes that wouldn't be a bad thing.

      Delete
  2. I think Aerosmith should have gone to cover band status a long time ago. They have difficulty writing songs and they end up hiring these professional songwriters to help them spew out dreck and they just don't get many decent songs of their own anymore. But, when they did the blues cover album, Honkin On Bobo (there was an original or two on there too) they sounded better than they had in ages. Forget about writing your own if you can't do it anymore and just let it rip with other peoples songs. You don't have to cover popular stuff either, there are mountains of great songs that hardly anyone has heard.

    ReplyDelete