Metallica - Master Of Puppets
Out of all of Metallica's albums, this may simultaneously be the easiest and hardest for me to review. I have long been in touch with the common sentiment that Master of Puppets is, by and large, Metallica at their absolute best. I have to think it is most frequently ranked as the best by fans far and wide. However, on a personal level, my love for this album is very much superceded by the likes of ..And Justice For All. There were even elements of Ride The Lightning that I found more enjoyable. Farbeit from me to tell you which is best and which isn't. Let's just agree on one simple, universal truth; Master of Puppets is a helluva good metal album.
"Battery" has little competition in the realm of album openers, if you're asking me. The power and straight-ahead thrust aim to scrape your skull off of the concrete, to be blunt. The title track is a metal classic, with an opening riff as easily recognizable as "Iron Man" or "Smoke On The Water". It's length does nothing to dilute it's impact, only to add to it."The Thing That Should Not Be", in retrospect, seems a primer for the style the band would take up on their self-titled release. More mid-paced, stripped-back, groove-oriented. A killer track that helps pace the rest of the record. "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" is a personal favorite for both the lyrical content and the Rush-inspired riff around the 4:07 mark (lifted from Tom Sawyer, and the band credits Rush for this). "Disposable Heroes" is one of my all-time favorite Metallica tracks, intensely heavy, prog in it's complexity and altogether perfectly written and performed. "Leper Messiah" doesn't get the attention it deserves, "Orion" is one of the coolest metal instrumentals I've ever heard, and "Damage Inc" closes on the album on the same high-octane note it begins with.
The 4.5 only comes from a couple of tracks I deem subpar in comparison to the rest of the record. By and large, Master of Puppets was the record that began to launch Metallica into an all-new realm of stardom. It set the foundation that they would build their empire on in just two album's time...
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