So, I’ve written about Metallica before (twice). I can see all this shenanigans about the new single. Honestly, I like it. Hating on Metallica has become low hanging fruit at best to edgelording or gatekeeping at worst, As fans, we all poke fun at our favorite stuff. I’m looking at you, Star Wars and Danzig people.
I found the new one to be a banger. It feels thrashy like KIll ‘Em All, with pop sensibilities like the black album.
I recently posted a reply to a comment of my posting of the video on Facebook, but the original comment was deleted by the author and my subsequent reply has been lost to the 1’s & 0’s I guess.
The gist of what I was getting at was as follows…
To say metallica has lost or hasn’t been good for decades? I get it, and it’s certainly a valid opinion. People have been saying they “sold out” since Ride the Lightning.
Metallica didn’t hit my radrar until …And Justice for All came out. I hadn’t listened to anything much beyond Top 40 radio or oldies at that point. I worked backwards and was caught up in the magic of Kill ‘Em All and Master of Puppets. I wasn’t aware of the punk scene in 1977 when I was born, but I wouldn’t call myself less of a Misfits fan because I wasn’t around? You could probably assume with great certainty that each Metallica album brought in new fans upon it’s release.
I could also argue that Metallic’s output is quantifiably better than most when compared to their peers or contemporaries.
Say in sheer influence in heavy music, Black Sabbath comes the closest. (OK, maybe Led Zeppelin too, but I’ll go with Sabbath here as Zeppelin ended.) You could say that there drop-offs in interest post-Ozzy & again post-Dio. Does that mean that Iommi and Geezer are any less lauded in the riff lord category? I don’t think so. Their early output is so epic and influential, they could release an album of pip farting on a snare drum and it shouldn’t detract from their legacy. James still writes killer riffs. Kirk is still a master of stringing together wah-fueled madness. Lars is a great arranger and cunning businessman. I wish they hadn’t done Newsted dirty, but Rob seems like a great fit.
In 1991/1992, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses where arguably the most lucrative and widely known hard rock acts on the planet. They were two of my favorites at the time and I still have fond memories of that epic show at Three Rivers Stadium. Look at what both bands have put out since then. Sure, Metallica dropped a Lulu turd in the sandbox, but you can scoop that out and keep playing. Guns N’ Roses pissed into the swimming pool with Chinese Democracy and everyone had to get out of the pool. This is coming from a guy that liked The Spaghetti Incident?. I liked Death Magnetic & Hardwired to Self-Destruct. Even St. (B)Anger got better with time. James, Lars, Kirk, & Rob seem on top of their game. Maybe the rhythmic chugs are more of a gallop these days. Slash has improved so much over time, Duff got sober. Axl’s voice went out the window with his grasp of reality & last vestiges of sanity. I couldn’t even tell you who else was in the band, to the end that I actually just miss Velvet Revolver at this point.
Megadeth? Sure, Dave Mustaine can arguably play guitar better than James or Kirk… may be better at writing or arranging songs… has definitely put out more albums in the same timespan… But who has heard them? There have been a revolving cast of players, each successively thrown under the bus, probably the same Greyhound that drove Dave from NYC home to San Francisco. Seriously, the only press that they have received in the last decade that wasn’t Dave commenting on Metallica has been Dave Ellefson’s whacking it on webcam. This led Dave M. to discount all of the former’s contributions over the years.
AC/DC can make the same album over & over again for decades and it can be great… but not everyone can get away with that.
I’m anxious to hear your thoughts in the comments. What do you think? I’m looking forward to the new album. Will I still poke fun at Metallica? You bet I will. Will I enjoy the rest their new stuff? I sure hope so.
Check out my Metallica related playlists. I had a good one on Spotify that I am in the process of rebuilding for Amazon Music.