Big Bad Hair: Metallica

February 12, 2009

I had a chat with Boz today. He’s the sword-fighting movie-reviewing laugh-generating co-host of Here Goes Nothing, one of my favourite podcasts. He also does a dead-on Cartman if you ask, which I didn’t.

Anyway, Boz and I talked about the 80s output of Metallica, a band he worships, but one I am so-so about. That’s the latest episode of Big Bad Hair, available here.

Just to flesh that all out, I basically break Metallica down into three periods:

  • The 1980s. Grubby, skinny California kids playing impossibly fast, brutally heavy thrash metal, but with hints of experimentation and a clear sense of song structure. The albums of this period, Kill ’em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets and ... And Justice For All are pretty diverse, but chart the band’s rise from local heroes to international superstars.
  • The 1990s. Opening with a bang — 1991’s untitled “black album,” Metallica was suddenly on the radio, on MTV, and maybe even on Dad’s car stereo. Abandoning the long, violent riffage of their earlier work, the band crafted shorter songs with simpler riffs, and scored the biggest hit of their career and one of the biggest-selling albums of all time. The rest of the decade — Load and ReLoad, and some more experimental stuff — was uneven, and there were sightings of haircuts and eyeliner.
  • The 2000s. Low point: St. Anger, a ridiculous, inexcusable recording. But then the documentary Some Kind Of Monster told the story of just how Metallica fell into that pit of suck, and how the band crawled back out. This paved the way for Death Magnetic, last year’s epic, perfect metal album … and their inclusion this year in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.


  1. metalica is beast they pretty ill come look at my review(s) only got one so far looking to do one on the sidekick 2008

  2. That’s pretty much my take on Metallica as well. I love the black album, and some of their earlier stuff, but the local radio stations here have really soured me to the three or four songs they play constantly. I’ve only heard This I Swear off of the new CD, and I don’t care for it, but I need to hear the rest.

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